Best Area to Stay in Busan

 

Recently, I’ve had quite a few people ask me “what is the best area to stay while in Busan?“. So I thought I would compile a list of areas which I think are best depending on what kind of activities you want to do and what places you want to see. Before choosing an area to stay in, you should be asking yourself 3 things:

 

        1. What are the places I am wanting to see while I am in Busan?

        2. What activities do I intend on doing?

        3. How long do I plan on staying in Busan?

 

Based on these answers you should be able to narrow it down to 1 or 2 areas. Others on the other hand my not necessarily know exactly what they want to do or see (if this is the case check out My Top 10 Places in Busan to help you on your way) and are just looking for the most convenient place to visit the main attractions while in Busan. Let me give you some insight into the questions above.

First Question, if you plan on visiting places that are all in the same area (Eg Haeundae, Gwangalli, Centum City) then you obviously should be looking to stay someone close to those rather than book a place that is centrally located to other attractions you don’t intend on visiting.

Second Question, this one is important as if you intend on doing a lot of shopping, you may want to stay closer to Centum City (Shinsegae Dept Store) or Seomyeon as those have some of the best shopping areas in Busan. If you are planning on going out most nights, then I would recommend either staying close to Seomyeon, Gwangalli or the Kyungsung University Area. Wanting to visit mostly attractions, temples and other important locations? then I would pick an area that is centrally located and has convenient transport. Wanting a mix of everything? Then Seomyeon or Gwangalli Beach would be a decent choice here.

And lastly the Third Question, if you intend on spending only 1 or 2 nights here then you may choose to stay in an area of which you can do a mixture of everything as this eliminates you having to catch transport to another area to enjoy your days/nights. Also, if you were planning on spending 4 or 5 nights here, you may be OK with staying in an area which is a little further out from the city like Haeundae Beach as you won’t be rushed to see everything in a short amount of time.

busan-subway-map

 

When I travel to a city, I always like to look at the subway map and then check out where the top 4 or 5 places are. This gives you a general idea of what areas you will have to visit to see the places you want. Like Seoul, Busan’s public transport is very convenient and there are loads of trains and buses to get you to most places easily. I have added STARS on the map next to the stations which are of interest for your convenience 🙂

 

Haeundae Beach Area

 

DSC_0174
 
DSC_0204
 
DSC_0154

The advantage of staying in the Haeundae Beach area is that you will be within walking distance to one of Korea’s most famous beach fronts…. HAEUNDAE BEACH 🙂

Haeundae beach contains a large number of restaurants, cafes, small stalls and bars to keep you entertained while you are there. It is also only 3 stops by subway to one of the largest Department Stores in the world, that being Centum City (Shinsegae). It is also only 6 stops by subway to Gwangalli Beach which in my opinion is the better of the two beaches. Dalmaji which is essentially a famous street lined with numerous amounts of coffee shops is also located in the Haeundae Beach area which is another plus if you do decide to stay here.

Another popular area for shopping, eating and entertainment is the Kyungsung University Area which is 9 stops by subway which although not far is not exactly close as such.

The disadvantage of staying in this area is that Haeundae Beach is located towards the end of subway Line 2 in which only a few other areas are classified as “close”, being Gwangalli Beach, Shinsegae Dept Store and Kyungsung University (sort of). The other main areas require a decent subway ride or taxi ride to go and return.

 

REASONS TO STAY (Advantages):

  • Loads of restaurants, cafes, stalls & bars.
  • Haeundae Beach only a minutes walk away.
  • Close to Gwangalli Beach and Shinsegae Dept Store.
  • Dongbaek Island is extremely close.
  • Dalmaji Road (Cafe Street).

 

REASONS NOT TO STAY (Disadvantages):

  • Far from other main areas.
  • Located at the end of subway Line 2.

 

My thoughts: Haeundae Beach is a great place to stay in Busan as there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and you have the beach within walking distance. I would recommend it if you only have a short amount of time  (1 or 2 nights) and you are intent on spending a night out there. If you want to try to see a variety of different places within Busan, I would recommend Seomyeon as it is more centrally located.

Need help deciding where to stay in Haeundae Beach? Below is a list of accommodation which I believe is best suited for all kind of travelers.

 

Budget

 

Mid-Range

 

High-end

 

My Recommendations

 


 

Seomyeon Area

 

Rainy Seomyeon 2
 
Seomyeon, Busan
 
心。

In my opinion, Seomyeon is probably my #1 choice in terms of where to stay in Busan. There are many advantages of staying here and the main one being the location. Seomyeon station connects subway Line 1 and Line 2, meaning you can ride the subway to the following places without changing trains: Nampo-dong, Jagalchi, PNU (Busan University Area), Kyungsung University Area, Gwangalli Beach, Shinsegae Dept Store, Haeundae Beach and Dongnae.

Not only that but Seomyeon is arguably the busiest area at night in Busan as it contains a large number of restaurants, cafes, shopping (above and under ground) and bars. As Seomyeon is located on subway Line 1, those arriving via KTX or bus through Busan Station only have to travel 6 stops on the subway before arriving at Seomyeon Station. Another attraction within Busan that is accessible without changing trains is Beomeosa Temple which is located at the end of Line 1. Being centrally located, trips to various other sights will tend to be shorter which is great while you are travelling.

Potentially one disadvantage is if you only plan on travelling to Busan for 1 night and you want to spend the night in Haeundae or Gwangalli Beach then I would obviously recommend staying at one of those locations.

 

REASONS TO STAY (Advantages):

  • Loads of restaurants, cafes, shopping & bars.
  • Centrally located to most of the main places in Busan.
  • Able to travel to most of Busan’s attractions without changing subway lines.
  • Great place to spend a night out eating, shopping and drinking.
  • Located close to Busan Station which allows for easy arrival / departure.

 

REASONS NOT TO STAY (Disadvantages):

  • Both beaches (Gwangalli and Haeundae) require a minimum of 10 stops on the subway.

 

My thoughts: There is a reason why Seomyeon is my #1 choice while staying in Busan and that is because of essentially 2 things. Location and Atmosphere. If I was travelling to a city, I would want to stay in a conveniently located area which is buzzing day and night. Seomyeon is that place.

Need help deciding where to stay in Seomyeon? Below is a list of accommodation which I believe is best suited for all kind of travelers.

 

Budget

 

Mid-Range

 

High-end

 

My Recommendations

 

 


 

Gwangalli Beach Area

 

DSC_0144
 
DSC_0169
 
DSC_0136

This area is similar to the Haeundae area however two things are different. One being that it is closer to the other attractions than Haeundae and Two, I personally prefer visiting here over Haeundae. The reason being, at night the bridge is lit up, it is convenient to buy seafood and have a tent prepare and serve it to you, and the feel is generally better.

Both Shinsegae Dept Store and Kyungsung University Area are only 3 stops away which is super convenient and Seomyeon is a little closer. Gwangalli Beach is a great place at night for all kinds of people, in such if you want to get a coffee and take in the glowing bridge there are more than enough coffee shops to keep you satisfied. If you want to eat Korean food, there are more than enough restaurants to satisfy you what ever you are looking for. Wanting to meet other like-minded travelers? Gwangalli is a great spot to meet expats and other people passing by.

As great as Gwangalli is, if you don’t particularly enjoy views of the beach, or dislike seafood, I would probably advise somewhere like Kyungsung University Area, Seomyeon or even PNU (Busan University Area). If you are here for the shopping, I would even suggest staying close to Shinsegae Dept Store (Centum City) as there are endless amounts of shopping.

 

REASONS TO STAY (Advantages):

  • Loads of restaurants, cafes & bars.
  • Located close to Shinsegae Dept Store, Haeundae Beach and Kyungsung Uni Area.
  • One of the best places in Busan for a night out eating and drinking.
  • Gwangalli beach is within walking distance.

 

REASONS NOT TO STAY (Disadvantages):

  • Not that centrally located.
  • If you are not that fond of the beach, there are better places to stay.

 

My thoughts: Gwangalli Beach is one of my favourite places in Busan whether it be day or night. Obviously at night a lot comes to life including the famous Gwangan Bridge which is lit up purple making for a very nice view. Behind Seomyeon, I would probably suggest staying at Gwangalli Beach second as although it is not completely central, it is still close to other vibrant areas such as Haeundae Beach, Kyungsung Uni Area and Shinsegae Dept Store.

Need help deciding where to stay in Gwangalli Beach? Below is a list of accommodation which I believe is best suited for all kind of travelers.

 

Budget

 

Mid-Range

 

High-end

 

My Recommendations

 


 

Nampo-dong Area

 

20131231_183238
 
20131231_174914
 
20131231_222416

The Nampo-dong area  has many advantages as this area has quite a lot going for it and it comes as no surprise that it is arguably the #1 tour attraction in Busan. Nampo-dong is famous for its street food, wide variety of shopping stores from high-end brands to local discounts to loads of imported goods. If you wanting to get a birds-eye view of Busan, Busan Tower is also located here (Yongdusan Park – Picture on the left).

Right next to Nampo-dong is Jagalchi Fish Market which is one of the best in Korea and certainly Busan. It is easily walkable and depending on where in Nampo-dong you stay, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to walk there. If you are looking to eat fresh seafood or constantly snack on Korea’s best street food, this is the area you should seriously consider 🙂 Nampo-dong is also only 2 stops away from Busan Station which is a plus if you intend to catch the KTX to other places in Korea.

As Nampo-dong is located towards the south on subway Line 1, it is therefore a little bit further from other key areas such as Gwangalli and Haeundae. Also, you will have to switch onto subway Line 2 as well to reach those 2 beaches. although it is on the same subway Line (1) as PNU (Busan Uni) and Beomeosa Temple, it is still a decent trip out to there.

 

REASONS TO STAY (Advantages):

  • Some of Busan’s best street food.
  • A good range of shopping available at your doorstep.
  • Within walking distance to Jagalchi Fish Market.
  • Close to Busan Station for quick Departure/Arrival via KTX.
  • Very close to Taejongdae.

 

REASONS NOT TO STAY (Disadvantages):

  • Quite a distance from Haeundae, Gwangalli and Shinsegae Dept Store (also required to switch subway Lines)
  • If you are not big on seafood markets or eating seafood, I would probably stay elsewhere.

 

My thoughts: Nampo-dong is a great spot in Busan and I would definitely consider staying here no matter your taste. If you are in a rush and want to see Taejongdae, Jagalchi and Nampo-dong itself, this is a good choice. If you are not so much into the nightlife, then I would perhaps choose Nampo-dong over Gwangalli and you may want to shop into the evening. To be honest you can’t really go wrong staying in the Nampo-dong area as it has so much to offer.

Need help deciding where to stay in Nampo-dong? Below is a list of accommodation which I believe is best suited for all kind of travelers.

 

Budget

 

Mid-Range

 

High-end

 

My Recommendations

 

 

At the end of the day, no matter where you stay in Busan, you are bound to enjoy yourself which is the main thing 🙂

Hopefully the information and advice above pushes you in the right direction to help make your stay in Busan more convenient and enjoyable. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have stayed in an area not mentioned above that you would recommend and I’ll try to add it to the list.

Also, if there is a Guesthouse, Motel, Hotel or Hostel you can recommend then please do! The more the merrier 🙂

 

122 thoughts on “Best Area to Stay in Busan

    1. Thanks Katie, yeah the city is spread out a bit. Your itinerary on Busan is very helpful. Would definitely recommend it to others 🙂

  1. Hello! Thanks for the informative post!! We are heading there next weekend and were super confused on where to stay. This is super helpful! At the moment, we are trying to decide on Hotel Almond or Sunset Business Hotel. Any thoughts on Hotel Almond? Does not seem to fit into the neighborhoods you spelled out but very close to Nampo-dong.

  2. Hello! This was such an informative post, thank you for writing it! 🙂 We are heading for Busan in November and just booked a room at Sky Island Guesthouse. Unfortunately, it is not listed here. (Or at least, not yet!) I thought I’d ask for your thoughts about it, anyway 🙂

    1. Hi KB, glad my post could be of some assistance 🙂 I just checked the Sky Island Guesthouse out after you mentioned it. Location, price and reviews look good. Being near Nampo-dong, Jagalchi and Taejongdae is great. Also, you will be fairly close to Busan Station which is convenient if you end up catching the KTX from/to Seoul.

      You should be able to see the Autumn colours which will be nice 🙂 Make sure you to visit places like Haedong Yunggungsa Temple and Beomeosa Temple as the leaves will be great that time of year.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. Also, remember to try Dwaeji Gukbap 돼지국밥 as it is a Busan specialty (Pork Soup with Rice).

      Hope you enjoy your trip!

      1. Thank you very much for your quick response! I am currently prowling on your website for more information 😀 Also noting your recommendations in our itinerary!

  3. Your information is very helpful. Can I ask which is more budget friendly for using the metro and buses? The top up ard or unlimited one day pass?

  4. thank for writing such a great article ,i planning my trip to busan ,4days 3 night
    my flight back to seoul will be 7.30am
    in this case if i stay around Haeundae or Seomyeon ,how do i go to airport ?
    as i read airport bus only will start around 7 or 8am ?
    hope to get ur reply,thanks

      1. Thanks for the fast respond ,so 307 will start operate at 5am++ ? i going alone & is my first time going to busan ,glad to found you blog,really help me a lot ^^

        1. Hi Yuri,

          Not a problem. I searched Naver maps for you and it seems the Bus starts at 5am. Here is the link: http://me2.do/xbhTWe3z

          Some helpful info: 해운대기점 is the stop you can catch Bus 307. It is located just near Exit 1 at Haeundae Station.
          Here it is in Google maps

          If you are feeling nervous about it, just ask the hotel/guesthouse/hostel to double check the time of the bus for you.

          Let me know how your trip goes 🙂

          1. really appreciate your help ^^ my flight 7.30am ,if 5am start ,i saw from your link it will take 1hr + to reach ,do you think i will be able to catch it ?
            you mention that taxi is not that expensive in busan,do you know around how much will it cost from Haeundae / Seomyeon to gimhae airport ?
            still in dilemma choosing between Haeundae or Seomyeon
            seomyeon is nearer to airport right ?
            sorry for asking too many question,i will sure update you my trips,quite nervous as is my first solo trip to busan ><

          2. Hi Yuri, I think you will have enough time. If you arrive at about 6.15, still some time to check-in. If you take a taxi from Haeundae, it will cost about 30,000 – 40,000 won (about 35 SGD) I would think, depending on traffic. haha not a problem.

            As you mentioned you are staying for 3 nights, it might save you some travel time staying in Seomyeon (plus Seomyeon has a lot to offer). Loads of restuarants, shopping etc. It’s a lot easier to travel to places around Busan from Seomyeon, as the train station connects with a few different lines and is centrally located. Yep, Seomyeon is closer to the airport.

            Busan (and Korea in general) is very safe and has lots to do, so you don’t have to be nervous. I’m sure you will enjoy your trip. And yes, please update me how your trip goes 🙂

            Some recommendations on Accommodation for Seomyeon below:

            Budget

             

            Mid-Range

  5. hi,Thanks ,that’s cheap ,i was thinking maybe will cost over $100sgd ,haha
    i wanna experience staying beside sea side so i guess maybe first 2 days stay Haeundae,last day shift to Best Western UL Hotel?!
    thanks for your accommodation recommend,it help me a lot ^^

    1. Since you would like to stay near the beach, have you considered Gwangalli Beach? I prefer it over Haeundae (still love Haeundae btw) but definitely worth considering. Then again it really comes down to personal choice.

      The Best Western UL Hotel is a decent choice for Seomyeon. Personally I would rather just stay 3 nights in the one place (where ever you choose). Gwangalli is almost in the middle of those two places (it is about 5 train stops closer to Seomyeon than Haeundae) and is close to the Kyungsung University Area (which is a great spot for eating and drinking at night). Gwangan Bridge at night is a great view which is a big plus.

      I hope that helps and doesn’t make your decision harder haha 🙂

  6. yes,i did consider staying near Gwangalli Beach,saw from your blog,the bridge look so beautiful ,however i can’t find any hotel available from booking.com & agoda all sold out for the date T_T

        1. Hi Yuri,

          Have you looked at White Island Bed & Breakfast? Location is very close to Gwangan Station, $70 SGD p/night for a private room or $27 SGD p/night for a bed in a dormitory (I included both options as not sure what you’re looking for). It has good reviews on both Tripadvisor and Booking.com. There are a few others around a similar price.

          If not, I would just stay in Seomyeon and visit both beaches during the day and at night 🙂

  7. Thanks! This post was very helpful. I’ll be in Busan in July and I’m deciding between Seomyeon and Gwangalli but can’t make the final decision.

    I’m not into shopping nor I like to go to bars. I like beaches but we have 4 of them in my city so living by the beach is not as tempting. I’d prefer an area with lot of convenience stores and local restaurants or/and night markets.

    What do you think?

    1. Hi Mario,

      Based on your preferences, I would probably choose Seomyeon or Nampo-dong.

      Nampo-dong is close to Gukje Market which is quite popular and I enjoyed it when I went. Jagalchi Fish Market is very close as well. Seomyeon has loads of restaurants and has a good atmosphere.

      Seomyeon is slightly more convenient for sightseeing but not by much.

      I hope that helps 🙂

  8. Guesthouse Mate there’s no private toilet ,mango hotel no review so i chose Bexco Hotel B&B,
    to get to the beach,i need to take to 광안역 right?
    Thank for helping me finding accommodation ^^

    1. Oh glad you managed to find something 🙂 heres a helpful subway map btw

      Yep, thats the correct station. So 3 stops away is Kyungsung University Area (Good place for eating and drinking) and Centum City (Shinsegae Dept Store). 6 stops away is Haeundae Beach. 10 stops to Seomyeon.

      By the way, Bexco Hotel B&B is really close to Millennium Hoetjip (밀레니엄횟집), which is where you can buy fresh seafood and then take it to a small orange tent to have it cooked up for you. Pictures can be seen from my Gwangalli post and I have put a map below to help you with directions.

  9. yeah,thanks for your help,now i can start my Itinerary planning from getting information from your blog ^^,can tourist go in Kyungsung University Area ?
    oh ya ,will they overcharge foreigner if buying seafood from there ?
    i wanna try to eat in those small orange tent but i am alone.can Solo Traveler eat in those small orange tent ?

    1. Yuri,

      If you want to buy fresh seafood from Millennium Hoetjip (밀레니엄횟집), when you order just stand as close as you can to the older lady when she is cutting it up. They are more likely to give you less than actually over charge. It shouldn’t be too expensive, so don’t worry too much.

      Eating alone is fine, I haven’t had any issues or bad experiences before, so don’t be shy.

      With regards to Kyungsung University area, keep in mind the area I’m referring to isn’t actually on University grounds, see the map below:

  10. i see,i will stay as close as possible when i order,hahaha
    i had bad experience eating BBQ alone in seoul last month
    every one was staring at me while eating,felt so uncomfortable

    1. Don’t worry too much about that. I always ignore people who stare, just make sure you enjoy the food and the atmosphere 🙂

  11. Hi. I am currently looking to stay i Nampo area and had identified Boutique Hotel YTT Nampo. What’s thought?. I have 3 adults and a 11 year old child travelling to Busan.

      1. Hi. Just read in one of the hotel review in which it mention that is was a formerly a “love hotel”. You have an idea ?.
        Concern is a love hotel now. I have a children travelling so a bit concern now.

        1. Hi KM,

          I didn’t seem to see that review. I would think it is fine as the many reviews from other guests (I checked Agoda as well) seem good.

          If you think that is going to bother you that it possibly was a former love hotel, I would simply book somewhere else (I have given a few hotel recommendations in the Nampo-dong section of this post you can look at).

          Hope that helps 🙂

  12. Hi there. We (5 adults) will be traveling to Busan this coming 24 to 29 June 2016. It’s 6D5N free and easy. Because it’s a last minute decision to visit Busan ( we booked our flights 2 days ago), we have not any plan as to where to stay and what to do and which places to visit. Our plan is to visit as many of those must see places, eat those must try foods and of course do some shopping. Would be great if u could give us some ideas as to how to kick start our holidays. Thanking you in advance.

    1. Hi Kuenie,

      First, I will ask what age groups the travelers are in? (someone who is 20 may have different interests are someone a bit older) 🙂

      As you have 5 nights, you may want to split your stay into 2 areas or if you are happy to stay in just 1 area that is also fine.

      Also, you can pretty much stay where ever you like (lots of time to see the major sites).

      I would recommend Nampo-dong, Seomyeon or Gwangalli, as these areas are most centrally located.

      I would suggest you take a look at my 3 Day itinerary and spread it out over 6 days.

      If you haven’t been to Gyeongju before (Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla – a lot of great temples here), I would suggest doing a day trip from Busan on one of your days.

      Some places to you may want to spend longer at are:
      + Shinsegae – A lot of shopping, Jjim jil bang (spas, saunas and massages) and a cinema.
      + Taejongdae – Take your time (maybe go to one of the many clam tents near the entrance after you are finished here).
      + PNU – The area around Busan University at night is pretty good and buzzing with people. Lots of restaurants.
      + Gamcheon – Spend a bit longer here.
      + Gijang Shijang – At Busan Crab Market, you may want to sit down and eat crab here (you can take your time and really enjoy it).

      I hope that gives you some ideas and points you in the right direction.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

  13. Hi Mark, so glad to hear from you. Thank you so much for your suggestions and recommendations.

    4 of us, husbands and wives are in our fifties and a daughter in her twenties.

    Yes, we intend to spend 2/3 nights in the city and 2/3 nights near the beach. We were thinking of Nampo-dong area and Gwangalli beach.

    We would love to cover Gyeongju as well since there are 2 Unesco World Heritage site there.

    If we are to follow the itinerary below, how can we include these places in -Gwangbok-dong Fashion Street / Yongdusan Park & and Busan Tower / GUKJE MARKET / Biff Square / Oryukdo Skywalk? Not forgetting Gyeongju

    In Nampodong 2 nights and visiting the following places:
    Day 1 – Nampodong / Jagalchi Fish Market / Taejongdae / Nampodong (Dinner)
    Day 2 – PNU (Busan National University) / Beomeosa Temple / Dongnae Station Area (Dinner) /Seomyeon (Drinks + Late night)

    In Gwangalli Beach for 3 Nights:
    Day 3 – Haeundae Beach / Dongbaek Island Walk / Igidae Coastal Walk / Gwangalli Beach (at night to see the Bridge lit up + Dinner)
    Day 4 – Haedong Yunggungsa Temple / Gijang Lotte Outlet Mall / Gijang Crab Market / Kyungsung University Area (Dinner)
    Day 5 – Shinsegae Department Store (Jjim Jjil Bang Spa + Shopping + Movies) / Gamcheon Cultural Village / Gwangalli Beach (Dinner)

    Do we need to arrange/book ahead, Entrance tickets/Train tickets (where applicable)?
    Can we use ATM card to withdraw cash at ATM machine (if yes, are they easily available everywhere) or do we need to carry enough KRW?

    Thank you. Thank you.

    1. Hi Kuenie, not a problem.

      I have included those other places below.

      In Nampodong 2 nights and visiting the following places:
      Day 1 – Yongdusan Park & Busan Tower (opens at 9am) / Jagalchi Fish Market / Taejongdae / GUKJE MARKET / Biff Square / Gwangbok-dong Fashion Street / Nampodong (Dinner)
      Day 2 – Gamcheon Cultural Village / PNU (Busan National University) / Beomeosa Temple / Dongnae Station Area (Dinner) / Seomyeon (Drinks + Late night)

      In Gwangalli Beach for 3 Nights:
      Day 3 – Haeundae Beach / Dongbaek Island Walk / Igidae Coastal Walk (Oryukdo Skywalk is at the end of this walk – 5km) but you can go directly to Oryukdo Skywalk if you want / Shinsegae Department Store (Jjim Jjil Bang Spa + Shopping + Movies) / Gwangalli Beach (at night to see the Bridge lit up + Dinner)
      Day 4 – Haedong Yunggungsa Temple / Gijang Lotte Outlet Mall / Gijang Crab Market / Kyungsung University Area (Dinner)
      Day 5 – Gyeongju Day Trip (you can buy bus tickets to Gyeongju from Busan Central Bus Terminal, which is next to Nopodong Subway station – one more stop after Beomeosa Temple).

      You don’t need to book ahead (can buy everything on the day). I didn’t have any problems withdrawing cash from an ATM (always a good idea to keep a little bit of cash on you). Citibank is always a good bank to withdraw from (normally works fine).

      Please note, your Day 1 contains quite a few places, but since most of them are all in the Nampo-dong area you should be fine (make an early start).

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Enjoy your trip. I’m sure you will.

  14. Thanks for your post; it’s very informative 🙂 I’m going to busan in December (3D3N) which is during the winter season. Can’t decide between Seomyeon and Gwangalli. I like the beach but will there be much during winter? Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Janice,

      Gwangalli Beach is a great place to go for a night out (restaurants/bars overlooking the water and famous Gwangan Bridge). It is also fairly well located to other sights.

      As it is Winter, I highly doubt you will be swimming or sun bathing as such so I would probably choose Seomyeon as it is very well located and allows easy access to almost all the sites in Busan (mainly because it is on Line 1 and Line 2 of the Subway). Not only that, Seomyeon has an abundance of restaurants, bars and shopping (make sure you do the underground shopping area which is located essentially at Seomyeon Station).

      If you are set on Gwangalli that is also OK, as it is also a great place to stay.

      Have a nice trip 🙂

  15. Hi,
    I’m going on end nov, my friend is keen to see sun rise and i like sea view in busan accomodation. Had originally plan to stay hotel foret busan station but now im trying to figure out best place to stay.

    Had yet to fix itinary but since shinsaegae , gawali beach and tarjongdae, might just follow your itinary;)
    We do have 2 kids and 2 old folks in our group of 9
    Would you be able to advise location to stay that meet our needs and convenient? Thanks

    1. Hi Chris,

      Sounds like maybe somewhere like Gwangalli Beach would suit. Beach view + can see the sunrise any morning by a short walk. Haeundae beach, Shinsegae Dept Store and Jyungsung Uni Area are very close. So is Seomyeon. You would have to change trains at Seomyeon to get to Nampodong/Jagalchi/Beomeosa but that isn’t a big deal.

      Some good places for the young ones: I would suggest Gamcheon Village, Taejongdae and Sea Life Busan Aquarium. Jagalchi (lots of weird seafood to see + can do nampodong at the same time). Dongbaek island (30 minute walk near Haeundae beach – i have some pics on my haeundae beach post)

      Enjoy your trip 🙂

  16. This post is super informative, thank you!
    I will be in Busan for 10 days, this September, taking the KTX from Seoul. My main reason for being in Busan is to watch the Women’s Baseball World Championships at Gijang Hyundai motors Dream Ball park. What mode of transportation would you recommend on getting there?
    I was thinking of staying in a more central location to see temples in between watching the ball games. From some research it looks like public transportation doesn’t reach out there.

    1. Hi Sarajuvee,

      The ball park seems like it has just been built so I would think it is going to be a great stadium 🙂

      In terms of where to stay, I had a quick look at what is the least painful in terms of travel time to and from the stadium. I would suggest staying near Haeundae Beach (closer to Jangsan Station 장산역) and just catching bus 182 to Gijang Hyundai Motors Dream Park (as shown in Google Maps below), that way you are still in reach of everything Busan has to offer (rather than just staying out in Gijang for 10 nights) and you only need to catch 1 bus to get there. The bus ride seems to be about a hour and 20 minutes.

      Also while catching bus 182, if you get off at the bus stop Gijang Shijang (기장시장), you can eat some fantastic seafood there, especially crab. If you’re interested you can see more on my Gijang Crab Market post.

      I hope that helps and that you have a good time watching baseball 🙂

  17. I’m so glad I found this blog!

    Quick question – I’m heading to Busan on 25th October (arriving at noon) to 30th October (flight departing at noon).

    Will probably stay in Seomyeon all the way. Don’t mind to travel via subway.

    Can you kindly recommend a 4.5 days suggestion list on sightseeing and what to do/eat (local food)?

    Also, should I get an unlimited pass (2 pax travelling) for subway rides?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Rachelle,

      I would suggest doing this 3 Day / 2 night itinerary + Songdo Beach.

      As you have 5 nights in Busan, I would highly recommend taking a day trip to Gyeongju (A lot of historical sights located here eg: Anapji Pond, Bulguksa Temple, Seokguram Grotto and Daereungwon Tomb Complex). You could spend 1 night there if you feel like you needed more time sightseeing.

      If you still find yourself with a lot of time, you could go to Seokbulsa Temple.

      That should give you plenty of things to do and see while in Busan 🙂

      The unlimited pass seems like a good idea (I believe it is only 4500 won per day), so that would make sense.

      I hope you enjoy your trip 🙂

  18. This post is awesome! glad to have found this 🙂 My family and I, will be visiting Busan for 2 days then we’ll be transferring to Daegu then to Seoul..I think Seomyeon is the best location for our short stay in Busan.

    Can you suggest one restaurant in the Seomyeon area that serves the best fish cakes 🙂 ? I was recently watching this Korean Series of the three triplets Daehan, Mingkuk & Manse and one of the episodes featured their breakfast eating delicious fish cakes in busan (yum yum).. We would really love to try one of these authentic cakes before we leave..

    1. Hi Jules,

      Glad you found my post informative 🙂

      I think you are referring to this series (The Return of Superman) For fish cakes (오묵 / 오뎅 both words are used) I would recommend getting it from a street stall like in this photo below:

      20131228_162608

      These can be found pretty much everywhere on the street at night. I was in Seomyeon a couple of nights ago and there was heaps of Fish Cakes available at most street stalls.

      If you do want to eat it in a restaurant, you will need to look for a dish called Odeng Tang (오뎅탕).

      A few suggestions would be:

      마라톤

      부산어묵

      Simply order Odeng Tang (오뎅탕). Please note these restaurants normally open in the evening so probably sometime after 6pm would be recommended.

      I hope that helps 🙂

  19. Really thankful for ur blog. Going to Busan (27-31Dec). Shd b real cold then. I have 4 adults(including a preggy lady), 1 teenager and 2 kids. Wont be rushing but intending to enjoy the time theredue yo the mixed group. Taking up ur 3d2n itinerary.

    1. Hi Kath,

      Winter is a good time to visit as there are usually less crowds ( although it is a bit cold – just make sure to wear some warm clothes and you will be OK 🙂 ). It also rains a lot less in Winter in Korea so your days should be pretty good (little bit chilly but OK).

      Nampodong normally have some XMAS decorations so be sure to take a look (some statues will lights etc, worth a look).

      I hope you enjoy your trip.

  20. Came across your blog while I was planning my itinerary to Korea 🙂
    Thank for such a beautiful and informative write-up!

    Would like to ask for your advice ask my friend and I (age 21) will be travelling to Korea from 4-20Jan ’17.
    We intend to spend 1 night in Seoul on 4Jan and depart the next morning on 5Jan to Jeonju and will be there from 5-7Jan.

    We will then head to Busan on 7Jan and spend 5D4N there. We were thinking of staying in an accommodation in Nampo-dong area since it seems to be more accessible to the places which we intend to visit. Should we give up visiting the beach since it would be winter when we visit? Or which between the 2 beaches would you recommend?
    Also, would you have any guesthouses to recommend apart from those listed above?
    Additionally, would you recommend us to shorten our Busan visit to spending 3 nights there instead?

    After Busan, we would then head back to Seoul and will be there from 11-20Jan.

    Sorry for the trouble and thanking you in advance.

    Cheers,
    Sophia

    1. Hi Sophia,

      Winter in Korea is cold however mostly dry therefore taking a trip to one of the beaches like Haeundae is definitely worth it. My post on Haeundae was done in the winter so all the photos are most likely what you will get.

      2 beaches would be Haeundae Beach (during the day) and Gwangalli Beach (at night to see the bridge lit up between 8pm-10pm). I would recommend getting dinner in Gwangalli one night overlooking the beach (its a nice view).

      Hotel Noah is in a really good location in Nampodong. It is right across the road from the main food street in Nampodong and also very close to Jagalchi. 3 minute walk to both Nampodong and Jagalchi train stations.

      Since you have so much time in Korea I think 5D4N is perfect. There is enough things to do in Busan to keep you busy for those 5 days. If you feel there isn’t, you could always take a day trip or overnight trip to Gyeongju.

      No trouble at all. Any other questions please let me know 🙂

  21. Hi, thank you for your detailed post.
    I’m currently deciding on my accommodation for 3 nights in Busan during the Lunar New Year.
    It will be with my parents, and they do not want to stay at hostels.

    I’m considering on home hotel, and found reviews that it is a love hotel. May I check if it’s true?
    And for best western UL busan, is the walking distance from the Seomyeon station manageable with luggage?

    Thanks.

  22. Hi, I have came across your blog while searching for busan, and your site has the most intensive information about busan, almost like a one stop centre. Thanks.

    I’m travelling with my parents in the 50s, and will be in busan for 3 nights during the Lunar New Year period 28/01/17 – 31/01/17.
    We are flying in from jeju and arrive at 3pm, and leaving via KTX to seoul (timing flexible)

    My main itinerary is as follows:
    nampo area: jagalchi fish market, taejongdae park, yongdusan park, busan tower
    haeundae area: yonggunsa temple, crab market, lotte outlet, busan aquarium
    i’m still comtemplating if to travel out to seokbula temple, beomeosa temple, or even Bulguksa Temple in gyeongju.

    I’m also undecided on where to stay. We don’t club or drink, and my parents don’t do shopping.
    Reason to stay in seomyeon will be for easy access to subway, but that’s about it.
    The hotels that i’m considering is the Home Hotel, and Best Western UL Busan.

    Another area is the Nampo area, and the hotels i’m considering is the GNB Hotel and Aventree Hotel Busan.
    I’ve read up on GNB Hotel, and i’m more keen to book that as the price is more competitive and the hotel is also newer. But is the walking distance to the subway manageable?
    Also, am I able to take any airport shuttle to either of this 2 hotels? The information provided on the airport site does not provide much information. https://www.airport.co.kr/gimhaeeng/extra/bus/busList/layOut.do?menuId=2728&categoryIdx=10

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to hear from you soon! 🙂

    1. Hi Yan Ting,

      Glad you find my blog helpful.

      Seokbulsa is probably too troublesome for your parents (unless they like hiking) as to get here is about a 4km round trip once you arrive at the top (after catching the cable car).

      Beomeosa is fairly convenient especially if you stay in Seomyeon (just catch line 1 and get off at Beomeosa Station).

      Bulguksa Temple is easily a day trip and with your limited time I would suggest spending your time on sights in Busan (rather then spending 2 hours on a bus there and 2 hours on the way back).

      Your itinerary seems good. I would definitely visit Gwangalli Beach at night.

      Seomyeon is convenient for travelling so that is probably a good choice (its located in the middle of both Nampodong and Haeundae so that is ideal as your itinerary is exactly that).

      If you do stay in Nampodong, Hotel Noah is very conveniently located and also the Aventree Hotel is quite good as you mentioned.

      The GNB Hotel seems nice however it is slightly further from the Jagalchi train station then the other hotels listed above. If you don’t think it will be much of a problem and you like that hotel better, by all means book it 🙂

      You have a few options in terms of travel from Gimhae Airport:

      Subway to Seomyeon: Gimhae Airport Station to Sasang (change to Line 2 towards Seomyeon Station) Korean Link
      Subway to Nampodong: Gimhae Airport Station to Sasang (change to Line 2 towards Seomyeon Station), Change at Seomyeon Station towards Nampodong or Jagalchi Station (which ever is closest to the hotel you book) Korean Link.

      Shuttle bus to both Seomyeon and Nampodong: Airport Limosuine Bus 1 – 공항리무진1 (Korean Link)

      If you are unsure about the shuttle bus simply ask the driver or the information desk (who speak English).

      I hope that information answers all you questions 🙂 I’m sure you will enjoy your trip.

      1. Hi Mark, thank you for your detailed reply.
        My main itinerary for the whole korea trip is Jeju, Busan, and Seoul.

        I was not aware that Korea celebrates the Seollal and have already booked my plane tickets to korea.
        Would it be better for me to spend the actual lunar new year (27/01/17 – 31/01/17) in Busan or Jeju?

        Will the attractions and shops be opened?
        nampo area: jagalchi fish market, taejongdae park, yongdusan park, busan tower
        haeundae area: yonggunsa temple, crab market, lotte outlet, busan aquarium

        Thanks.

        1. Hi Yan Ting,

          I don’t think it matters too much where you spend Seollal (like Chuseok, a lot of Koreans go to visit their family to pay their respects to those who have passed). A few restaurants/shopping places may be closed on the 28th Jan but the other days they should be definitely be open. Most (if not all) of the attractions should be open (info here: Taejongdae, Yonggungsa Temple and Busan Tower are all open).

          So I would plan to visit Taejongdae and Busan Tower on the 28th (that way the other days you know for sure the shopping centers will be open.

          Hope that helps 🙂

  23. Hi! This is a very great and detailed post! ( I have not yet finish reading, tbh).

    Seeing that you’re out helping readers about their itinerary, I would also to try my luck, and hope that you’ll be accommodate me too 🙂

    Me and my friends are bound to Seoul, South Korea on 24 March until 02 April. We planned on staying in Busan for the first five days of our trip. Our first option is to take the AREX from Incheon to Seoul, then Korail to Busan. I am currently looking for accommodation near Busan Train Station so that it’ll be easier for us. Do you have any recommendations? I am considering getting one via AirBnB.

    Could you please help me produce a 5-day itinerary? We prefer to jut stay in one hostel/hotel for our Busan trip but we hope to visit as many places as possible 🙂 I might definitely follow this entry of yours (http://boundforbusan.com/2015/11/busan-travel-itinerary.html).

    Thank you and hope you’ll find time to see my post 🙂

    1. Hi Mitzibelle,

      Some hotel recommendations near Busan Station would be:

      I would do the 3 Day / 2 Night itinerary I suggested, plus add on Songdo Beach and if you like a small hike, Seokbulsa Temple (includes a small cable car ride). I would potentially look at doing a day trip to Gyeongju (if you haven’t been there before) as there is a lot of historical sites there. This can be done visa bus from Nopo Station on Subway Line 1.

      Also, you may want to take your time at some of the sights as you have 5 days. If you do the Igidae coastal walk, you might want to visit the Oryukdo Skywalk while you are there.

      Some other advice would be to eat dinner at Jagalchi Fish Market. Some foods to try would be: (산꼼장어) Seasoned Grilled Hagfish, (산낙지) Raw Octopus, (파전) Korean Pancake, (전어구이) Grilled Gizzard Shad.

      Also while in Busan you should eat: (돼지국밥) Pork Rice Soup and (밀면) Noodles in meat broth (similar to Naengmyeon).

      1. Yay! Thanks for the notice and assistance!

        One more thing if not a bother. I’m a little confuse about using the korail pass. Upon seeing the website (http://www.letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizBfKrPassFaq.do?idx=4#hidpos4), I’m a little confuse if I buy the 5-day use pass, will I’ll be able to use the same ticket for using the trains in busan or do we need to buy a designated train card for busan trains? Also, I have a T-money card I’ve bought and used last 2014, can I also use this for the ktx or trains in busan?

        Thanks a Lot!

        1. Hi Mitzibelle,

          You can use your t-money card in Busan. To recharge it just look for the T-Money logo at convenient stores like CU, 7/11 etc.

          What are you planning to use the Korail pass for? I don’t think you can use it on public transport.

          1. Hello again!

            Thank you for confirming that I can use the T-Money card I have 🙂

            We though of using the Korail pass to be able to ride the KTX express from Busan to Seoul. Or the T-Money card also accepted? Kindly advise 🙂

  24. Hello, I will be visiting Busan during New years day.
    What special events will there be on new year’s eve and new year day?

    1. sorry! i couldn’t find my previous post so i asked the question again. But i found it after all >< sorry for double asking!

    2. Hi Kinlet,

      Go to Busan Tower for New Years Eve, they let off balloons, have fireworks and have a small ceremony ringing a bell.

  25. Thank you for sharing the informations about Busan.

    My family of 9 (6 adults, 1 senior and 2 kids – 5 & 9 yrs) are traveling to Busan from 17-19 Dec. We travel by train from Seoul to Busan. It seems there are many places to go in Busan. With my mom who is 75 years old, what is the best mode of transportation to move around in busan? Can you advice the 3D2N itineraries? Thank you very much. Jacq

    1. Hi Jacq,

      I think the best option is taking a city bus tour like the following: here as it would be comfortable and convenient for your mum.

      Taking taxi’s is another alternative however if you think your mum is able to use public transport then of coarse that is an option. Please keep in mind the bus drivers in Busan are quite rough which means if you don’t get a seat (sometimes you do sometimes you don’t) it would be difficult for your mum. Taxi’s in Korea are quite cheap in comparison with other countries. As you have 9 people in your group, you would have to catch a few taxi’s which may be inconvenient.

      I would definitely recommend having the Korean names of the places you want to visit printed out if you do catch taxis within Busan (that way you can show the taxi driver – otherwise it may be quite difficult to communicate).

      I would do this itinierary and take your time. The Gamcheon Cultural Village has a lot of steps so I wouldn’t advise going there with your mum. Most other places should be fine.

      I hope that helps you 🙂

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  26. I am going to seol and Busan in mid December and was trying my luck to search for “Best place to Stay in Busan” and found your blog. Since this is the first time I am going to Busan, I will stay in Seomyen. Will follow your itinerary on the 3 days 2 night to others. I do not need to go Google for more information, this is such a great blog. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Hello Mark

    Thanks for such a superbly helpful blog. Would be grateful if you could advise us (me and my wife). This is our first trip to Busan and we plan to spend 9 nights in Busan (Dec 5-13). Our main interests are food/shopping/sightseeing (not temples though). We plan to stay in Seomyeon area. Mode of travel in Busan: mostly subway, bus, taxi (if necessary).
    Most of the posts here are for considerably shorter duration of stay in Busan so we would be grateful for your suggestion for a 9-night itinerary.
    Thanks so much in advance 🙂
    Eric
    (ps: should we spend some time in Jeju (will it be too windy/cold there in mid-Dec?) or should we leave it for a future trip?)

    1. Hi Eric 🙂

      May I ask why you have chosen 9 nights in Busan? (are you coming for work? travel?)

      Have you been to Gyeongju before? If not I would definitely recommend spending a night there and enjoying the historical sights (more info here)

      Do you plan on visiting Seoul? Once you reply I can give you more of a detailed response.

      Thanks,

      Mark

  28. One more thing I forgot to mention, do you know of:
    i) any area where there are fishing tackle/gear shops (selling fishing rod, reels, hooks etc) in Busan and
    ii) if I could do some fishing at a pier/jetty?

    Thanks! Eric

  29. Hi,
    My parents are travelling from Seoul to Busan via KTX. They will stay 2 days and 1 night in Busan and then heading to Gimhae Airport. My mom is worried that they might miss their 9:30 am flight if they will stay in any hotel near busan station. Please help me or recommend how to get from Busan station to Gimhae in details. (Price, bus or subway,schedule and a help desk just in case they’ll get confused)
    Thank you! The itinerary that you provided and suggested hotels already lessen my stress in helping them with their vacation. Thank you very much!!

    1. Hi Elena,

      You can easily catch the subway (Busan Station > Seomyeon > Sasang > Gimhae Airport) or a limousine bus however if they are not confident travelers, I would recommend your parents getting a taxi from Busan station to the airport (about 30 minutes travel time and around 15,000 to 20,000 won depending on traffic).

      Hope that helps 🙂

  30. Hi! Bookmarked and love your blog! My family of four (including 2 kids aged 12 and 9) are travelling to Busan feom April 10 to 15. All our flights arriving and departing Busan are in the evening. This will be our first time ever in Korea. We wanted to see the cherry blossoms, go to Lotte Theme Parks and the beach. My mom also brought home these lovely small ceramic birds that you could blow into and whistle. I wanted to know where to buy similar items. Plus my husband and I would love to try Korean food as well.

    Reserved at Dawn Beach Hotel based on what I read from your blog and availability. I could cancel easily for free though. Given my particulars, may you kindly suggest the best place to stay during our time frame and may you suggest an itinerary for 5 days?

    Would you advise us taking the train to the hotel bringing 2 large luggages? We could also spread out to 4 cabin luggages. Not familiar with anything in going around Korea. And if taking the cab is better for 4 pax to and from the airport.

    Many thanks and kindest regards 🙂

    1. Hi Jules,

      The Dawn Beach Hotel is a great spot as it is right next to the waterfront. As you will have 5 days in Busan I think that location is fine (close to Haeundae Beach, a few stops from Seomyeon and still not too far away from everything).

      A taxi is easily the most convenient way to get from the airport to your hotel. If you catch the bus from the airport it is 6,000 won each (so it will be 24,000 won all up). A taxi will be about the same price, even cheaper. So I would recommend catching a taxi. For your convenience, here is the hotel name in Korean 돈비치관광호텔 and also the address in Korean 부산 수영구 광남로 96 .

      I would do the 3 day itinerary I recommended however taking your time and enjoying the things you like (do more shopping if you want or stay longer at the temples/beach etc). Songdo Beach is a nice place which has a nice boardwalk.

      For Korean food, you can get some ideas here and also a few restaurant recommendations here. Small ceramic birds/items I am not too sure about unfortunately.

      In terms of the Cherry Blossoms, you may want to take a bus to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival (about an hour away, you can see my time spent there in 2015)

      Hope that helps 🙂

  31. Oh, thank you so much! Your blog has been truly helpful. I had been reading it way before we booked a flight 🙂

    All the best to you and your endeavors. You truly help make visiting Busan easier for many tourists like myself 😊.

    Many thanks and kindest regards.

    Cheers!
    Jules

  32. Hi there, you have a very nice travel blog and very accomodating too. 🙂
    Im planning to go to Busan on March and will plan to stay in Angel Hotel as you recomended.
    Im just worried how to get there the fastest, I arrive 10pm at the airport and would like to know if you recomend the limousine or the subway?
    I’ve been searching the net (http://happydalki.blogspot.com/2015/04/1-april-2015-angel-hotel.html)
    but would still like to get your suggestion for me not to get lost on my first day in Busan.

    Thanks much

    1. Hi Mikee,

      The fastest way would be a taxi and would likely cost somewhere between 10,000 to 18,000 won depending on traffic. The limousine is about 6,000 won (per/person) however takes slightly longer.

      If you are going with another person I would definitely recommend taking a taxi and the price would almost be the same. The subway is fine and is your cheapest option.

      Personally I would take the Limousine Bus or Taxi.

      Hope that helps you make up your mind 🙂

  33. hihi, your blog awesome, it provides great insights for first timers like me.
    I will be going to Busan from 25 March to 29 March. I like to see cherry blossom, but I doubt I am too early! Nevertheless, where do you recommend me to go? Dalmaji-gil road looks good to me or will you recommend jinhae-gu?
    Also, I intend to visit Busan University, Oryukdo island, Gamcheon Culture village and Haeundae Beach. In this case, will you recommend to stay at Haeundae or Seomyeon?
    Is there any food, places or things I shall buy, visit or eat during my times there?
    Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Hi Lucas,

      Seomyeon is the most centrally located area so it definitely makes your travel a lot more convenient. Some ideas on what to eat while in Korea, and a few restaurant recommendations. You should definitely try Pork Rice Soup (돼지국밥), Hagfish (꼼장어) and a noodle dish called (밀면).

      For Cherry Blossoms, please see the list below:

      Haeundae Dalmaji Road
      How to get there: Take metro line 2 to Jangsan Station, then take either bus #2 or #10.

      Oncheon Stream Park
      How to get there: Take metro line 1 to Dongnae Station and walk for about four minutes.

      Mt. Hwangnyeong Ring Road (very popular)
      How to get there: Take metro line 2 to Mt. Geumnyeon Station and leave by Exit #6, then walk for about 30 minutes.

      Samnak Park
      How to get there: Take metro line 2 to Mt. Geumnyeon Station and leave by Exit #5, then walk for about 10 minutes towards Gwangalli Beach.

      Namcheon-dong Cherry Blossom Road
      How to get there: Take metro line 2 to Mt. Geumnyeon Station and leave by Exit #5. Gwangalli Beach is roughly a 10 minute walk.

  34. Hello,

    I just wanted to say thank you for such an informative post. This really helps sort out the amount of info that I have been looking at regarding Busan.

    I also have a few thoughts on my mind for my upcoming trip (mid May). My wife and I (along with a baby) will be in Busan for 4 days, 3 nights. Initially, I had wanted to stay at Haeundae Beach, but after reading your review, I am considering Seomyeon at the moment. What is special about Seomyeon besides the fact that it is centrally located? Are the restaurants there good and is the location good when traveling with a baby?

    Also, do you have an idea of how long it takes to take a taxi from Haeundae to Seomyeon (and how costly) at night time? I have not been able to find this information on Googlemaps.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!
    Tim

    1. Hi Timothy,

      Glad the post was helpful. Seomyeon has a large number of restaurants, is centrally located (Access to both Subway Line 1 and Line 2) and has a lot of good shopping available as well. It makes traveling by subway a bit more convenient as you won’t really have to change lines at all. If you are wanting to stay near the beach while in Busan I would recommend Gwangalli Beach as the restaurants all face the waterfront over-looking Diamond Bridge (Gwangan Bridge). It’s also slightly closer to other popular attractions.

      From Haeundae to Seomyeon at night would cost about 11,500 won and take about 35 mins (source from Daum Maps: http://dmaps.kr/3ow2w)

      I hope you have a good time 🙂

  35. Hi, I have only two night stay at Busan and planned to visit Taejedong area and Shinshage the most. I realy love beach so I did make a reservation at Busan Yellow Hostel Songdo beach. Do u have any good recemondation for me to stay? Thank u

    1. Hi Waqie,

      Since you really love the beach, I would probably recommend staying in Gwangalli Beach or Haeundae Beach (they are both pretty close to Shinsegae Department Store as well).

      Hope that answers your question 🙂

  36. Hi, I am planning to go for trip at Busan in beginning of June with 3 adults & 7 yrs old girl.
    Can you pls advice how to plan 7 days 6 nights itinerary at Busan…(not thinking for rush traveling so not planing to go Seoul)
    All of us including my girls are foods lover…
    Looking forward to hear from you!

    Rgds
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      As you have 6 nights in Busan, I would suggest doing my 3 day itinerary and spreading it out a bit. Also, you can include Seokbulsa Temple if you feel like a hike. I would also recommend visiting Songdo Beach which is only 20 minutes by bus from Nampodong Station.

      If you find yourself with a lot of time, a day trip to Gyeongju is very doable and you may even want to spend a night there (if you dont want to rush things). Very historical/pretty place with some good food.

      As to where to eat in Busan, there are few recommendations here. Also you may want to look through some of the food I have eaten in Korea so far here.

      Busan specialties are:

      • Milmyeon – Buckwheat Noodles – 밀면
      • Dwaeji Gukbap – Pork Rice Soup – 돼지국밥
      • Gom Jangeo – Grilled Hagfish – 꼼장어

      Hope that helps 🙂

  37. We’ll be in Busan for 5 nights in July and this information was super helpful. Thanks! We’re spending a week in Seoul and 2 nights in Jeonju so we want to stay by the beach in Busan. Regarding the difference between Gwangalli Beach or Haeundae Beach, are they both good for swimming? Does one have cleaner water than the other? I like the idea of Gwangalli because it is closer to the city, but my kids will want to swim in the beach and I was wondering if it would be as nice as Haeundae since it is closer to the city. Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Renee,

      Haeundae beach in summer is very busy so if your kids would like a bit of space when they swim, maybe Songdo Beach or Songjeong Beach may be slightly less crowded.

      In terms of the water quality between Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach, literally the same to be honest.

      If you want to stay near the beach I would choose Gwangalli Beach.

      🙂

  38. Hi, thank you for your post, it is indeed very useful for first timer like me. I am planning to go to Busan by end of June. Is it a suitable timing to go there? Will the weather be too hot during that time?

    1. Hi Carmen,

      Its not that hot in June. Its a little humid but should be good weather for travelling 🙂

  39. Thank you for all the great info. I am currently living in Japan and will take the speedboat across from Fukuoka in June. I am a avid hiker so that is my main focus in Busan. There is a possibility that I may be traveling by myself.
    I will have 6 full days in Busan.
    I really want to see and do as much as possible. Hike and explore by day, and see the lights by night.
    Tips of what district would be best and hiking tips for a solo middleage female?
    TIA

    1. Hi Birgitta,

      I would suggest staying in Seomyeon as it is very conveniently located (Subway Lines 1 and 2) therefore it will make your travel time a lot shorter. Seokbulsa is a temple you may want to visit if you like hiking (you can catch the cable car up and then hike to the temple). Jungang Park provides a nice stroll/hike.

      If you are looking to meet other travelers, I would suggest going to some foreigner friendly bars like HQ bar or Beached Bar in Gwangalli Beach.

      In terms of food, Busan specialties are:

      • Milmyeon – Buckwheat Noodles – 밀면
      • Dwaeji Gukbap – Pork Rice Soup – 돼지국밥
      • Gom Jangeo – Grilled Hagfish – 꼼장어

      Hope that helps 🙂

  40. Hi, thank you for this great and informative post. Better than any guide book I have come across to understand Busan, where to stay and what to do.
    Blog is also great, as it is very informative reading people’s questions and answers.

    I will be staying in Busan for 7 nights (although I am planning up to 2 one day trips to Gyeongju – do you think this is doable, recommended?), I’d like to stay in 2 places in Busan,

    I am thinking of staying 3 nights at the Ibis Ambassador Hotel in the city centre and 4 night at Citadines in Haeundae. What do you think?

    I have some points to use with Accor hotels (of which the Ibis is part of), but also thought the area may be nice to explore in the evening as I will be there early September from midweek, so Haeundae may be very quiet then. I would then move to Citadines at the week end, as I thought it would get busier around there and would not mind to relax an afternoon/ morning by beach.

    What do you think of this plan, the one day trips, the hotels and are my assumptions of staying in Haeundae at week ends true. Will it be busier and livlier then?
    Thank you so much in advance
    Vic

    1. Hi Vic,

      I would certainly recommend a day trip such as Gyeongju. I would even suggest maybe just booking 1 night there as that will allow you to see everything.

      As for staying near the beach for part of the trip and the other half in the city center (near Seomyeon), I think that is a good idea and I have a friend who is doing exactly that when they come to visit me (as you are coming for 7 nights I would agree it is best to change scenery).

      Haeundae is busier on the weekends (you’re right).

      Have you considered staying in Gwangalli Beach (arguably better than Haeundae – ocean facing restuarants, cafes, Gwangan Bridge lights up every night at 8pm).

      You can see my post on Gwangalli here.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      1. Thank you very much for your reply.
        I’ll take your advice and book at least a night in Gyeongju. I’d like to stay at Citadines. Looks very nice, has a kitchen and I loved it when I was in Tokyo, hence thinking of Haeundae, but I’ll have a look at Gwangalli.
        Thanks again your blog will be really useful for my trip.
        Regards
        Vic

  41. Hey,
    Thanks so much for this amazing post. We’re staying in Busan for 2 weeks (arriving on August 3, then going to Seoul for a week on August 8-14, then stayng in Busan again from 14 to 20). My nephew actually lives in Busan in Dongseo University. We think the best choice is Seomyeon for us, all things considered.
    Again, we both really appreciate it.

    1. Hi Luin,

      You are welcome. Thats great you know someone here 🙂 Should make things a bit easier. I hope you enjoy your trip!

  42. Hi,gh
    If you had a chance to live a year in Busan, which neighborhood would you choose?
    I plan to go there for a Job a i gonna need to go in Yangsan each day…I looking for a good place to rent an apartment in Busan near from subway..

    Thanks
    Myke

    1. Hi Myke,

      Yangsan is quite far from the main city part of Busan. The best areas would be Gwangalli, Seomyeon, Nampodong, Haeundae Beach or any other area that is close to Seomyeon by bus/Subway. As you said you would be working in Yangsan, it is better to find a place to rent closer to there otherwise you will have a long commute to work everyday.

      Let me know if you would like any other advice.

  43. Hi there! (:

    WOW. What an amazing post! This is so so helpful =D
    Just wondering, a lot of your suggestions are hotels / motels.
    Is it possibly be because airBnB wasn’t as common previously?

    What are your thoughts / recommendations re airBnB? (:

    1. Hi Germaine,

      I have stayed at quite a few airBnB’s in Busan however have found better service with hotels/motels (in my experience), so have recommended those.

      I have friends who have stayed at airBnB’s in Busan and really enjoyed it, so it’s really up to the person what they prefer.

      I would first choose an area which you think is best (like Seomyeon, Gwangalli Beach etc) and then look for accommodation which is within your price range.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  44. Hello there….I simply love your blog. It is detailed and informative until I am now really confused as to which area is better. Will be in Busan for 3D2N in early Dec with my family and we love the beach, tourist sites , shopping and also eating seafood. Which is better, Seomyeon or Nampodong? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! Regards, Jacqueline

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Both areas are great to stay. I would choose Seomyeon as it is a bit more convenient in terms of location (Seomyeon is located on subway line 1 and 2 – therefore you won’t need to transfer at all). It’s closer to Gwangalli, Haeundae, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Beomeosa Temple.

      If you really want to stay in Nampodong, go ahead as there are still quite a few places down that way (Taejongdae, Gamcheon Cultural Village, Jagalchi Fish Market and Songdo Beach).

      Hope that helps 🙂

  45. Hi! Thank you for this blog. It’s very helpful. I am planning to visit Busan for 3D2N last week of October. I am.not a shopping person. I enjoyed more exploring nature and beaches. Based from your blog i think I will stay in Gwangalli. 😊😊
    I would like to ask some help, ill reach ICN airport 7pm on 27Oct17 from there how should I go to Busan? My first option is to take train to Gimpo then fly to Busan but it’s a bit costly. What do you recon? And if you can recommend a 3D2N itinerary as well will be much appreciated. I am a solo traveller. Thank you so much and looking forward to your reply. 😊

    1. Hi Bujoie,

      You can catch the train (KTX – click here for the official site for booking tickets) from Incheon Airport to Busan and it take about 3 hours (I prefer it to flying). The last train seems to depart 8:38pm.

      28 Oct: Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Dalmaji Road (coffee shops/unique cafes), Haeundae Beach, Dongbaek Island, Gwangalli Beach at Night for the annual Busan Fireworks Festival.

      29 Oct: what time do you leave Busan? If it is late, I would visit Taejongdae first thing in the morning (9am), Songdo Beach Cable Car, Nampodong/Jagalchi Area

      Did you know the Busan Fireworks Festival was happening during your stay? either way it great to see 🙂

  46. thank you for the prompt reply. 😊 ill catch the last trip of KTX back to Seoul (or maybe 2nd to the last).
    ….and thank you for the heads up re: Fireworks Festival!!!! 😍 am SUPER excited now!
    if i will make it 4D3N? what can you suggest on my last day?
    thank you once again for your generosity!

  47. Hi! This blog and all its Information inside are very helpful. Been in Seoul for more than 5times but never visit Busan. Will definitely visit Busan in my next trip.
    I want to ask, what about staying near to Busan Station? Is it convinient for a 3 days 2 nights stay? I have no idea where to go yet, will browse more in your posts for sure. Because we’ll be staying in Seoul and Busan too and bringing luggages, I thought staying near Busan station would be a simple choice. Need advise. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Cicha,

      Staying near Busan Station is also fine if you are only staying for 1 night as it would be convenient to access the train station for KTX etc.

      However if you are staying for 2+ nights, somewhere like Seomyeon would be better as you can catch subway line 1 and subway line 2 without transferring saving travel time. Near Busan station is China Town, Russian restaurants and obviously some Korean restaurants however somewhere like Seomyeon would be a lot easier plus also a lot more vibrant. You could also opt to stay in Gwangalli which is about 10 stations east of Seomyeon however if you plan to visit places like Nampodong, Jagalchi, Taejongdae, Songdo Beach, Gamcheon, Beomeosa Temple and Busan University Area you will need to transfer through Seomyeon if you’re taking the subway (which is the most cost-efficient way).

      It’s probably worth thinking about what attractions you want to see and then decide what area is appropriate. Generally speaking Seomyeon is the most centrally located place and has the most restaurants/atmosphere in Busan. I definitely do recommend going to Gwangalli Beach at night for dinner and/or drinks.

      Hope that answers your question 🙂

  48. hi..this is very informative blog. i will be in Busan on early October. My flight will arrive around 8 am and i plan to take last Mugunghwa train to Seoul at night. May i know what time is the last train? Before leave to Busan, I plan to stroll along Busan. can u recommend me some place to visit. Thank you very much.

Leave a Reply