Are you spending 3 days in Busan and are looking for the best itinerary? You have come to the right place because we have put together an easy-to-follow comprehensive itinerary.
It includes the answers to all your questions, from how to get to Busan, how to travel around the city, where to stay, what to do, and much more.
During our stay in Korea, we loved Busan and went back as often as we could. Its colorful streets, vibrant neighborhoods, delicious and fresh food, sandy beaches, hip cafes – all these make a city worth visiting for at least 3 days.
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Table of Contents
3 Days in Busan: Complete Guide + Itinerary
- Useful tools and information for when you travel to South Korea
- How to get to Busan
- Getting around Busan
- Where to stay for 3 days in Busan
- Are 3 days in Busan enough?
- When to visit Busan
- What to do and see in Busan in 3 days
- Other South Korea Travel Resources
3 Days in Busan: Complete Guide + Itinerary
Useful tools and information for when you travel to South Korea
Before moving to Seoul, we had no idea how important it is to have the right tools at our disposal. Not only because we did not speak or read Korean, but also because common things such as Google Maps do not work in South Korea.
In order to make your vacation a success, here are a few things worth knowing and having:
- have a SIM Card with a T-Money card that will allow you to use public transportation anywhere in South Korea.
- instead of Google Maps, you will need Naver Maps (for IOS | for Android) or Kakao maps (for IOS | for Android). I found Naver easier to use and have it installed on my phone.
- For translations, Papago is your savior. Use it on pictures or copy and paste the text. (for IOS | for Android)
- For flights, both external and internal, you can use Skyscanner to check prices and options
How to get to Busan
If you are traveling from Seoul, you will have plenty of options to get to Busan.
You can read the complete guide here, including getting there by plane, bus, train, or car.
Getting from Gimhae Airport to Busan city
After the 1-hour flight from Seoul, you can easily get to the city by subway. The purple line links Gimhae Airport to Sasang. From there, you can take any other line and get to your final destination.
If you travel by train, Busan Station is right in the city center. From there, you will be able to travel by subway or bus to wherever you need to go.
Getting around Busan
Even though the second time we visited the city we traveled by car from Seoul, we never actually used it to get around the city.
Public transportation in Busan is so reliable, easy to use, and has such a great network, that we only used the car to go on day trips outside of the city.
Using the subway and the bus will get you anywhere without having to worry about spending too much or finding parking.
Get the full information about the Busan metro system here.
Get the full information about the Busan bus system here.
Where to stay for 3 days in Busan
When you only have 3 days in Busan choosing the right place to stay becomes very important. Busan is a big city and even though it is serviced by great public transportation, you will still need plenty of time to get from one place to the other.
During our trips, we chose to stay in 2 different areas based on the attractions we had on our itinerary.
LaValse Hotel in Yeongdo-gu
One of the most Instagram-worthy hotels in Busan, LaValse Hotel is set on Yeongdo island.
Set close to some tourist attractions, within walking distance of a subway station, the hotel offers stunning views over the harbor and the surrounding hills.
We stayed in a standard room with ocean views and we liked how simple and modern the interior was. The hotel offers also breakfast served at its rooftop cafe and has a sauna.
The corner room is its main attraction, but you should book way in advance if you want to find any available. They do have a Korean-style room where you basically sleep on the floor, and that would also be a unique experience to have.
Hotel Hyggelig at Haeundae Beach
Minutes away from the most popular beaches in Busan, this small hotel is simple and affordable.
Set by the sea, rooms have city or harbor views. We stayed in a room with a balcony and really enjoyed waking up and looking at people as they come to shop for fresh fish from the fisherman at the fish market.
Around the hotel, there are plenty of restaurants with delicious food, convenience stores, the Blue Train Line, and the sandy beach is less than 5 minute walk.
The hotel also hosts a cafe with a stunning rooftop.
It all comes at a very convenient price if you compare it with other hotels in the area.
Are 3 days in Busan enough?
While spending 2 days in Busan would be too short, allowing an extra day to explore the city or to go on a day trip, should give you the chance to feel the city vibe better.
Even though we have spent one week in Busan without getting to do it all, I think that, with the right itinerary, 3 days should be a good amount of time.
When to visit Busan
Because of its location at the tip of the Korean peninsula, temperatures in Busan are milder than in Seoul. However, winters can get windy and cold, with mostly rain.
In our opinion, the perfect time to visit Busan is during spring or autumn. Those are mainly the most beautiful seasons in the whole of South Korea.
We visited during May and September, and both trips were perfect. However, if you want to see the cherry blossom, you should go as early as March or early April, and if you want to catch the full fall foliage plan your trip for October.
What to do and see in Busan in 3 days
Your days in a nutshell:
Day 1: Explore the western part of Busan ( Gamcheon Cultural Village, and go on a Busan city tour by bus to Taejongdae, Jeoryeong Coastal Walk, and Jangalchi Market)
Day 2: Head over to the beach: Haeundae Beach, the Blue Line Train, Busan Aquarium, Sunset Yacht trip
Day 3: Go on a day trip or head further east: Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Wave on cafe & Songjeong Beach
Day 1 of your 3 days in Busan
Gamcheon Cultural Village
Start your day climbing the hills at the Gamcheon Cultural Village, and snapping countless pictures on the colorful streets of this area.
How to get to Gamcheon Cultural Village
Take the bus or subway to Chungmu Market, from where you will board the Seogu 2-2 green bus. This is a small bus, that only fits roughly 20 people, thus it will be easier if you get there in the morning.
A short history and why should you visit
Built in the 1920s and 30s by the Korean government, the neighborhood was thought to be a place for the poor workforce. Throughout the years, the district developed and it became home to thousands of people.
In 2009, following a project run by the government, Gamcheon Cultural Village was reborn and became one of the most colorful neighborhoods in South Korea. As a consequence, the village is one of the top attractions in Busan and it draws over 1 million visitors every year.
Buildings have been painted, many unique cafes have appeared everywhere, and you can find even k-pop idol murals, the Little Prince watching the ocean, and much more.
While this place might not be your usual tourist attraction, it is one of the main things to do in Busan, and we strongly believe you should give it a chance.
Busan City Tour
Should you take the Busan City Tour Bus or use normal public transportation?
Of course, you will be able to get to the attractions we have added to the list for today, by using normal public transportation. However, you will have to change a few buses, and understand where exactly to get off.
By choosing to go on the Busan City Tour Bus, you can choose your preferred itinerary and know exactly where to go. They have included on each bus line’s route, some of the most important attractions in town. Additionally, you know in advance the total price you will pay for the day.
For your first day in Busan, you can take the Green Line bus. It will take you to all the places you want to see today: Jagalchi Fish Market, Huinnyeoul Culture Village, Taejongdae Park, Yongdusan Park, and the Busan Tower.
Jagalchi Fish Market (부산 자갈치시장)
Close to the port, the famous Jagalchi Fish Market will be easily reached by bus after your visit to the colorful Gamcheon.
With its unique architecture and one of the largest buildings in the port, it will be hard to miss it. However, there are many fish stalls on the streets behind the actual building, thus it will be hard to miss.
You can stop here for lunch and taste some of the traditional Korean fish dishes – extremely fresh, straight from the ocean, or dried fish.
Buying fresh fish and taking it home won’t be an option when you only have 2 days in Busan, but you can buy it on the first floor and take it to the second floor where the Jagalchi Ajummas (the local for middle-aged women) will lure you with their cooking skills.
Opening hours: every day, between 02:00-22:00, closed on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
If you choose to travel by Busan City Bus Tour, you can take it from there and head towards your next stop on the Yeongdo Island.
Huinnyeoul Culture Village (희여울문화마을) & Jeoryeong Coastal Walk
A narrow colorful street, perched above the sea, from where the ocean will charm you with its infinite blue. Initially thought to be a lively tourist area, Huinnyeoul Culture Village quickly became a laid-back area, with the white and colorful buildings contrasting with the blue sea, known also as the “Santorini of Busan”.
Along the 14 intertwined streets and alleys, we found countless cafes, lazy cats, vibrant murals, and breathtaking views. This place has become extremely popular with Korean people, and you will find them strolling around and taking countless Instagram-worthy pictures.
From the streets above, you can see the Jeoryeong Coastal Walk, painted in blue, that ends with a beautiful rainbow-colored staircase, and one of the most photogenic caves in Busan.
At the entrance to Huinnyeoul Culture Village, you will find an informational map, and you can create your itinerary base on it. Or simply walk along the sea and let yourself explore every narrow and colorful corner.
Stop by at the Huinnyeoul Beach Cafe (흰여울비치), a beach-themed cafe with pink exterior walls and beautiful ocean views. Address: 부산 영도구 영선동4가 1109
The Cliffed Coast is a must-see for nature passionate, but also for those who want to go for a walk on the forested paths, or simply admire the beautiful Yeongdo Lighthouse and have access to the Taejongdae Observatory.
At the end of the coastal walk, you can visit the Taejongsa Temple – a must-visit during the month of July when the Hydrangea Festival takes place here.
Yongdusan Park, and the Busan Tower (부산타워)
The tower was built in 1973 and is set in the middle of Yongdusan Park.
Apart from seeing the city from the tower’s observatory, you will learn about Busan’s history and its transformation throughout the years.
Day 2 of your 3 days in Busan
Today you will be taking it slow, spend time at the most poplar beach in South Korea, and enjoy the ocean view from the colorful Blue Line Train and Sky Capsule and from the boat.
On our second visit to Busan, we chose to stay at Haeundae Beach and take advantage of everything it had to offer. We spent one week there and we really liked its vibe and all the things you can do in the area.
Haeundae Beach is the most famous and the longest beach in Busan. It stretches 1.5 kilometers and is a white sand beach that attracts thousands of people on a daily basis.
Along the beachfront you will find some of the most luxurious hotels in Busan, all boasting sea views and infinity pools. Paradise Hotel is one of the fanciest and most instagrammable hotels in the region, Grand Josun Busan has rooms with stunning sea views and a great infinity pool, and Shilla Stay doesn’t disappoint either.
If you are wondering whether you can swim at Haeundae Beach, the short answer is yes. Of course, depending on the season and weather conditions, swimming will be limited or regulated by the authorities.
We loved Haeundae beach so much, with its vibrant atmosphere, many restaurants, the open food market, cafes, and all the hustle and bustle. We must admit that the place reminded us a bit of Stanley Beach in Hong Kong, our favorite getaway for a morning coffee or an early brunch.
Main things to do at Haeundae Beach
Go for a walk on the Dongbaek Island – just behind Westin Josun Hotel. The place is not actually an island, but more of a small peninsula, that will allow you to walk along the sea. We went after sunset and it was still charming and relaxing.
Don’t miss the Sea Life Busan Aquarium – an impressive immersion into sea life. You will learn about hundreds of species of fish and marine animals, and can also take part in the feeding of sharks. Book your ticket here!
Have dinner at one of the restaurants next to the wet market near the small port at Haeundae – here is where we were served silkworms as an appetizer.
Have seafood at the Haeundae Street Food behind the main promenade. We went there for dinner and had a delicious meal with fish soup, fried fish, fried calamari, and other small traditional Korean dishes. Of course, you can also try the many types of food on a stick.
Take the Blue Train or Sky Capsule from Mipo
Take the Blue Train &/or Sky Capsule and admire the coastline from the comfort of your own small and colorful capsule.
The Sky Capsule has a shorter distance, operating on a 2-kilometer section, and it only links Mipo to Cheongsapo. The whole ride takes less than 30 minutes, and the car goes on an average speed of 4 kilometers per hour.
They only allow a maximum of 4 people inside one car, and we realyed our trip. The one-way price for 2 people in a car is of 30.000 won, while 4 people will pay 44.000 won.
Make sure to book in advance, especially if you want to have this experience at a certain time in the day.
Go for a sunset luxury yacht cruise
Finish off your second day in Busan with a sunset yacht cruise. This was by far one of our favorite things to do, and admiring the city as it lights up is a breathtaking experience.
For one hour, you will be sailing along the coastline while admiring some of the most famous landmarks in the city: Gwangalli Beach, Gwangan Bridge, Donbaek Island, and the Marine Center.
Day 3 of your 3 days in Busan
On your third day in Busan, you can choose to go on a day trip to the beautiful historical town of Gyeongju, or set off to see the tea plantations in Boseong.
We have written a comprehensive guide for a day trip from Busan to Gyeongju here, including how to get there, what to do and see, where to eat, and more based on our experience.
If, however, you prefer to explore the tea plantations on the hills north of Yeosu, a day trip to Boseong should be considered.
You can rent a car and drive there by yourself, or you can book an organized tour and forget about having to think about itineraries, schedules, maps, and so on. A tour will take you through the tea plantations in Boseong, but you will also get to see the Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve.
Visiting the Oedo Island Botanical Garden is another fun activity for a day outside of Busan. The island is small and is located in the South Sea, where you will have the chance to admire over 1000 types of subtropical plants in a charming setting.
If, however, you would like to stay in Busan for the day, I suggest you head further east.
Start your day with a coffee at Waveon Coffee (웨이브온커피). The view is stunning and the coffee is great!
It is a popular destination, mainly because it is one of the most picturesque cafes in the region, thus getting there in the morning (or as soon as they open at 10AM) will be a good idea.
After that, make your way to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사(부산).
Even though South Korea has plenty of temples by the sea, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is one of the most popular.
To be honest, we never managed to visit the temple partly because of its location a bit further away from the city.
Visit the temple for sunset, or come here on Buddha’s Day when all Buddhist temples are decorated with colorful lampions. Another time worth visiting is during spring for the cherry blossom season, the temple making it of the top places to see cherry blossom in Busan.
How to get to the temple from Haeundae Beach
Take bus number 100 and ride for 16 stops. The bus ride will take around 50 minutes.
Another option for when you choose to take the Blue Train all the way to Songjeong Beach is to take one of the buses heading towards the temple and ride it for only 4 stops.
No matter which way you choose to go, you will still have to walk for roughly 10 minutes until you reach the temple.
From there, you can enjoy the Osiria Coastal Walk and maybe book a table for lunch or dinner at the fabulous Ananti Hilton Busan 아난티 힐튼 부산.
Alternatively, you can head back towards Busan and stop at Songjeong Beach. The beach is popular with surfers, and it has a more relaxed vibe than Haeundae. The Blue Line Train has its end of the line close to the beach, so you can either take the train back, just in time for sunset or go back by bus.
While you are there, and if you are interested, you can book a surfboard and surfing lessons.
As you can see, there are so many things to do and see in Busan in 3 days. You simply cannot get bored in this vibrant city, and you will fall in love with the place.
Any one of the 3 days can be replaced by a Busan Day & Night Full Day Tour.
It’s a 14.5 hours tour that will take you to see some of the most important attractions in Busan. You can choose from 2 itineraries, and it includes transportation and a guide.
Other South Korea Travel Resources
Your ultimate South Korea bucket list
What to do in Winter in Korea