Busan is without a doubt one of our favorite cities in South Korea. A place that offers plenty of things to do and attractions, you should spend here not only 2 or 3 days, but as much as you can.
Busan is one of the largest cities in South Korea and a popular tourist destination. Located on the southeastern coast of the Korean peninsula, Busan offers a wealth of attractions for visitors ranging from breathtaking beaches to world-class shopping malls.
It is also home to several traditional temples and shrines that offer insight into the city’s rich culture and history.
In addition, Busan boasts some of South Korea’s best restaurants, nightlife spots, museums, parks and other attractions.
We gathered here everything you need to know about visiting the city and we will answer all your questions if you don’t know what to do in Busan.
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What to do in Busan: 30 incredible activities
Busan Travel Essentials
Before you go, here are some Busan Travel Essentials that will make your trip easier.
Get a SIM Card or a Pocket WIFI and decide which one is better for you and your travel style
Don’t leave without travel insurance – Our go-to travel insurance is EKTA – they offer great deals for people who travel. Everyone between the ages of 3 and 85 can buy it online on their website and save lots of time (and money). Moreover, they have a service for luggage loss insurance.
Getting around by public transportation in South Korea is facilitated by the T-Money Card
Save on train travel with a Korea Rail Passes for 2/3/4/5 days
Choose the best accommodation in Busan
Save on the top attractions in Busan with the Visit Busan Pass – you can also top it up and use it for access to public transportation (only the physical card, not the mobile option)
Naver Maps will help you get around: sometimes, if you don’t find the destination in English it is useful to look for it in Korean
Table of Contents
- What to do in Busan: 30 incredible activities
- Busan Travel Essentials
- The best things to do in Busan
- Take some pictures at the Gamcheon Mural Village (부산 감천문화마을)
- Jagalchi Market (부산 자갈치시장)
- Haeundae Beach
- SEA LIFE Busan
- BlueLine Train and SkyCapsule
- Gwangalli Beach
- Busan Diamond Tower
- Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
- Go on a sunset cruise
- Relax at SPA Land Centum City
- BIFF Square
- Gukje Market
- X the Sky Observatory
- Songdo Sea Cable Car
- Jeoryeong Coastal Walk & Huinnyeoul Culture Village
- Bay 101
- Go shopping
- Have fun at Lotte World Adventure Busan
- Visit Oedo Island and its European Botanical Garden
- Go Surfing at Songjeong Beach
- Go on a Busan Photo Tour
- Go on a Busan Food Tour
- Go for a luxury facial
- Try an afternoon tea set with an ocean view
- Poopoo Land Busan
- Have fun at a Pub Crawl
- Oryukdo Skywalk and Igidae Park
- China Town Busan
- Try an Oriental Medicine Experience
- How to get from Seoul to Busan
- How many days in Busan
- Where to stay in Busan
- Best time to visit Busan
- Busan Day Tours to choose from
- Getting around Busan
- What to eat in Busan
The best things to do in Busan
Take some pictures at the Gamcheon Mural Village (부산 감천문화마을)
Gamcheon is a vibrant and colorful village that has become one of South Korea’s most popular tourist attractions.
It is home to over 200 brightly painted homes which are stacked on top of each other along winding alleyways lined with art galleries, cafes, and souvenir shops.
The unique architecture and lively atmosphere make it an unforgettable experience for visitors who come to explore its many attractions.
Not only does Gamcheon Cultural Village offer incredible views from atop its hillside location but there are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy such as traditional pottery workshops, street performances, temple tours, and more.
We went to the village on each of our visits to Busan, mainly because the view is so lovely, and we liked having coffee there. Stroll through the streets, stop for pastry at the Gamcheon Bakery, take an Instagram picture with the famous Litte Price statue or the book street, and choose to relax at one of the many cafes with a picturesque view.
Getting there is easy by bus or on a full-day tour that will take you to the colorful village up the hill, along with other important Busan attractions such as Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Songdo Skywalk, and others.
Address: 203, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 사하구 감내2로 203
Jagalchi Market (부산 자갈치시장)
Jagalchi Market is the largest seafood market in South Korea, located in close proximity to BIFF Square and the Nampo subway stop.
It has been around for centuries and continues to be a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
The market offers an array of fresh fish, squid, octopus, crabs, shellfish, and more from all over the world. Not only does it provide a unique shopping experience but also provides visitors with an insight into Korean culture as they explore its many shops and stalls.
There are numerous restaurants where you can enjoy freshly prepared local seafood dishes right at the source!
Address: 52, Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
| 부산광역시 중구 자갈치해안로 52 (남포동4가)
Operating hours: 02 – 22
The stunning beach located in Busan’s eastern part is also one of its most vibrant areas.
Here, you can enjoy activities such as sunbathing, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, and more.
Moreover, the area also has numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can enjoy great food or pick up souvenirs to take home with you.
The beach is lined with fancy hotels and impressive skyscrapers that made us think back to our previous home, Hong Kong.
During the peak season, the beach hosts K-Pop concerts, but it’s also a great place for a walk along the sea.
You can eat fresh seafood at one of the stalls lined up on the main street, or go for the fancier restaurants with a sea view. Come here for a sunset cruise, take the BlueLine Train, visit Sea Life, sip a coffee at one of the cafes with a view, go for a facial, and whatnot.
Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan |
부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 264 (우동)
SEA LIFE Busan
The famous Korean aquarium is located at Haeundae Beach and is a great attraction not only for those traveling with kids.
It boasts a huge variety of sea life, ranging from jellyfish and sharks to seahorses and tropical fish.
The facility includes several interactive displays that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the inhabitants of these aquatic habitats.
From touching tanks to virtual reality experiences, Sea Life Busan offers something for everyone interested in learning more about our ocean’s fascinating creatures. Not only does it provide educational opportunities, but also provides fun activities such as feeding shows and a VR experience.
One cool activity anyone should try is the Glass Bottom Boat – board the boat and see sharks and other marine life up close.
Address: 266 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
How to get there: take the subway to the Haeundae stop, and from there walk towards the beach.
BlueLine Train and SkyCapsule
The abandoned railway facility of the East Sea South Line was transformed into an environmentally conscious revitalization project, breathing new life and purpose into the space.
The Blue Line Park and train line rapidly became one of the most popular attractions in Busan. When we visited, the train line had only opened for a few months and there were huge waiting lines at the ticket desk.
On top, many people did not know anything about the train’s stops – we got lost looking for the Songjeong station.
There are 2 great options, and both run along the beautiful blue ocean:
The BlueTrain Line – runs for 4.8 km, from Haeundae Mipo through Cheongsapo to Songjeong.
The Sky Capsule – the small colorful train carts, perfect as a romantic activity for couples, runs from Mipo to Cheongsapo.
Ticket price & Operating Hours
The train leaves from Mipo Station and has 5 stops:
The ride from Mipo to Songjeong Station is 4.8 kilometers long and the running time is of is 50 minutes for a round trip.
Operating hours: last train from Mipo at 7 PM during Winter Season (November, December, January, February); 7:30 PM during Off-Season (March, April, October); 8:30 PM during the High Season (May, June, September); and 9:30 PM during July and August.
Last train from Songjeong at 6:30 PM during Winter Season (November, December, January, February); 7 PM during Off-Season (March, April, October); 8 PM during the High Season (May, June, September); and 9 PM during July and August.
Pass for one-way – 7000 won
Pass for two rides (return or you can get off at any point and take the train again) – 12.000 won
Day pass (you can take the train from any station, once) – 16.000 won
Operating hours: last capsule at 6 PM during Winter Season (November, December, January, February); 6:30 PM during Off-Season (March, April, October); 7:30 PM during the High Season (May, June, September); and 8:30 PM during July and August.
4-person ride each
30 minutes/one way
2 people one way – 30.000 won; 3 people/ one way – 39.000 won; 4 people/one way – 44.000 won
If you want to purchase a return ticket, they are not available, and you must purchase 2 one-way tickets, or take the train back.
Of course, if you don’t want to organize your trip, you can take advantage of the 1-Day Tour. The tour will take you to the Sky Capsule, Cheongsapo Skywalk Observatory, Jukseong Cathedral, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and you will get back to Haeundae Beach with the Blue Line Train.
One of the most popular beaches in South Korea, that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
The beach has crystal-clear blue waters, white sand, and picturesque views that make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy some sunbathing or swimming.
The area around the beach also features many restaurants offering delicious local cuisine as well as bars with live music performances during summertime.
Moreover, Gwangalli is home to some of the most picturesque cafes in town, and the stunning view over Gwangan Bridge (Gwangandaegyo).
Address: 219, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 수영구 광안해변로 219
How to get there: Take the green subway line to Gwangan Station.
Busan Diamond Tower
The 118-meter landmark tower was built in 1973 and stands atop the 120-meter Mt. Yongdusan in Yongdusan Park offering spectacular views of the city below.
The tower is one of the most popular tourist spots in Busan and draws millions of visitors every year from all over the world.
It has become an iconic symbol for both locals and travelers alike as they look out over the stunning landscapes that surround them at its peak.
Come here once the sun sets and climb to the observatory for one of the best views in Busan at night.
Address: 37-55, Yongdusan-gil, Jung-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 중구 용두산길 37-55
How to get there: by subway, get to Jagalchi Station line 1, exit 7, and walk for around 15 minutes to Yongdusan Park.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
The most famous and most important Buddhist temple is situated on the coast of the east sea in Gijang-gun, Busan. It was originally built in 1376 and has been restored several times since its inception.
The temple is surrounded by lush greenery and offers stunning views of the ocean from its many terraces. It also features numerous statues of Buddha, as well as various other Korean Buddhist symbols such as dragons and phoenixes carved into stone walls.
Here, you will be able to experience traditional Korean culture while enjoying the breathtaking scenery at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.
It is worth knowing that in order to get to the temple, you will need to go down 108 stairs. Thus, this might not be a destination suitable for everyone.
Address: 86, Yonggung-gil, Gijang-gun, Busan | 부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 용궁길 86
How to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple from Haeundae Beach: take subway line 2 to Haeundae Beach, from there take bus number 1001/181/100 all the way to the temple.
Other important temples in Busan:
Beomeosa Temple – was built during the Silla Dynasty and is considered to be one of the Three Jewels of Busan.
The temple has a beautiful landscape with lush trees, ponds, and streams that make it an ideal spot for visitors to relax and appreciate its beauty.
Inside the temple compound are several buildings including the main hall which houses Buddha statues, as well as other structures such as pavilions, towers, gates and pagodas.
Address: 250, Beomeosa-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 금정구 범어사로 250
Samgwangsa Temple – originally built in 1986 and has since become one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.
Samgwangsa Temple also offers regular meditation classes for those looking to find inner peace within themselves as well as various cultural activities such as music performances, traditional tea ceremonies, and calligraphy classes throughout the year.
Address: 77, Choeupcheon-ro 43beon-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan| | 부산광역시 부산진구 초읍천로43번길 77
Go on a sunset cruise
Nothing compares to sailing along the coast and admiring the impressive city from the sea. As the sun slowly sets over the horizon, you can take in the city’s vibrant skyline.
With its picturesque oceanfront scenery and tranquil waters, Busan is one of the top destinations for any traveler seeking a unique getaway that combines relaxation with adventure. Yachts and boats usually pass by Haeundae, Gwangalli, and other important places to see in Busan.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or want to explore some of Busan’s most captivating sights from a different perspective, book your sunset cruise.
Relax at SPA Land Centum City
Set on 2 whole floors, in the world’s largest department store, you could easily spend one whole day here: relaxing and shopping.
It offers guests a wide range of services such as aromatherapy, massages, and aquatic therapies. You can choose from a variety of pools (22 bathtubs with thermal water), hot tubs, saunas (13 types of saunas from all over the world), and steam rooms for relaxation.
If that is not enough, inside the SPA you will have access to an entertainment zone, a beauty treatments room, and a DVD room, and you will have plenty of food options at the restaurant, cafe, or snack bar.
Read also: How to spend a day at a jimjilbang
Address: 35, Centumnam-daero, Haeundae-gu | 부산광역시 해운대구 센텀남대로 35 (우동)
Opening hours: 6 AM to 11 PM
How to get there: take the subway to Centum City Station (line 2) and take exit 12
Other hot springs in Busan
Heosimcheong SPA – a unique spa experience that combines traditional Korean culture with modern spa treatments. It offers many different services including hot spring baths (40 baths), massage rooms, and saunas. The facility also has a restaurant and cafe for guests to enjoy while they relax.
BIFF Square is a bustling entertainment and cultural center located in the heart of Busan.
It serves as a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, with its vibrant atmosphere and wide selection of activities.
In addition to hosting the annual Busan International Film Festival, BIFF Square features numerous movie theaters, restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, and more, making it the perfect place to experience Busan’s culture and entertainment.
Address: 4, Nampo-gil, Jung-gu, Busan | 부산광역시 중구 남포길 4
How to get there: take the subway line 1 to Jagalchi Station and take exit 7.
Gukje Market is one of the oldest and most famous markets in South Korea.
Located in Busan, it has been around for more than 60 years and is known as the “Mother of Markets”.
It began as a small market selling goods from Japan that were brought over by traders after World War II, but today there are over 3,000 stalls selling everything from clothes to electronics and even food.
Gukje Market is an iconic part of Korean culture and attracts both locals and tourists alike who come to experience its unique atmosphere.
The market offers a wide variety of products at reasonable prices, making it a great place to go shopping or just explore.
Address: 25 Gukjesijang 2-gil, Jung-gu | 부산광역시 중구 광복로35
How to get there: take the subway line 1 to Jagalchi Station, exit 7.
X the Sky Observatory
Busan X the Sky is a three-story public observatory located on the 98th, 99th, and 100th floors of the Haeundae LCT The Sharp – Landmark Tower in Haeundae, Busan.
The complex is hard to miss as you reach Haeundae Beach, because they are the tallest buildings in the region, and also the 3rd and 4th tallest buildings in South Korea.
Besides the observatory which offers a stunning view or the Shocking Bridge with its glass floor, here you will also find cafes (the highest Starbucks in the world), a restaurant, an art gallery, and a souvenir shop.
Taking the elevator is an experience in itself because it will take you to the 100th floor in only 56 seconds.
Address: 30, Dalmaji-gil, Haeundae-gu | 부산 해운대구 달맞이길 30
Songdo Sea Cable Car
The Songdo Cable Car or Busan Air Cruise is not only a cable car that offers a stunning panoramic view, but a place where you can easily spend half of the day.
Book a Crystal Cruise and see the ocean below your feet, take a picture with the cable cars in the background from the Sky Harbor Observatory Platform, learn about dinosaurs at Dino Park, and admire all the cool statues around the complex.
The cable car links Songdo Sky Park to Songdo Bay Station. At Songdo Bay Station you can visit the famous Songdo Cloud Skywalk and Songlim Park.
Address: 171 Songdohaebyeon-ro, Amnam-dong, Seo-gu
Jeoryeong Coastal Walk & Huinnyeoul Culture Village
Jeoryeong Coastal Walk Busan is a scenic coastal path stretching for 3 kilometers along the shores of Busan, starting from Huinnyeoul (Hynyeoul) Culture Village going along the coastline to Jungni Beach.
It offers stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands, as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs or simply enjoy the scenery.
The walk is lined with benches where visitors can sit and take in the beauty of this part of South Korea’s second-largest city. Alongside the path are numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops that offer snacks or souvenirs.
The stairs leading from Jeoryeong Coastal Trail to Huinnyeoul Culture Village have been painted and are known as one of the most Instagrammable place in Busan.
Cross the Huinnyeoul Coastal Tunnel, step on the photogenic red suspension bridge, admire the ocean from the Tsushima Observatory, and take a picture with the red Jungni Lighthouse. You can easily spend half of day exploring this magical part of Busan.
Address: 52 Haeansanchaek-gil, Yeongdo-gu | 부산 영도구 해안산책길 52
How to get there: from Nampo subway station, take bus 6, 7, 9, 71, 82, 85 or 508
Bay 101 in Busan, South Korea is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. This unique seafront entertainment complex offers something for everyone with its yacht club, range of activities and events, delicious restaurants, cool cafes, shops, and more.
Many come here once night falls because it offers an incredible view over the city’s skyline.
Address: 52, Dongbaek-ro, Haeundae-gu | 부산 해운대구 동백로 52
How to get there: you can either walk from Hongdae Beach, or take subway line 2 to Dongbaek Station exit 1.
From traditional markets to modern malls, Busan has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or just browsing around, there are plenty of options available.
The Jagalchi Market is especially popular with tourists because it offers an array of seafood products as well as souvenirs and other goods.
Other great places to shop include the Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center, Nampodong Street Market, and Gukje Market.
For those who prefer more upscale shopping experiences, luxury stores such as Lotte Mall in Nampo or Shinsegae Centum Citi Department Store offer designer clothes and accessories from some of the world’s top brands.
Gwangbokdong Cultural and Fashion Street is another destination for shopping lovers, easily accessible from the Nampo subway station.
Have fun at Lotte World Adventure Busan
Lotte World Adventure Busan is the perfect destination for an unforgettable day of fun and exploration.
At an impressive size of 158,000 square meters, Lotte World Adventure Busan is significantly larger than its predecessor, Lotte World in Seoul.
The amusement park offers its visitors a variety of exciting experiences with 17 unique rides and attractions across its 6 themed zones, including Underland, Wonder Woods, Royal Garden Zone, Joyful Meadows, River Village of Tinker Falls, and Rainbow Springs.
On top of that, there are 2 daily parades taking place at different times throughout the day.
With its unique blend of rides and attractions, Lotte World Adventure Busan promises a thrilling adventure that will keep you coming back for more.
Address: 42, Dongbusangwangwang-ro, Gijang-eup, Gijang-gun | 부산광역시 기장군 기장읍 동부산관광로 42
How to get there: the easiest way is to take bus number 1001 from Busan Station to Osiria Station.
Visit Oedo Island and its European Botanical Garden
The idyllic island of Oedo, just a ferry ride away from the bustling city of Busan, is a paradise for those seeking a European-style vacation.
Famous for its picturesque marine botanical garden, it is no wonder why the island is such a popular destination.
On the way to the island, you will be treated to a view of Haeguemgang Island’s white cliffs and lush greenery – a beautiful sight that is sure to take your breath away.
Upon arrival, you can explore the many sights such as the Stairway to Heaven or the ornamental flowers throughout the island.
Photographers will find plenty of opportunities for gorgeous shots within this stunning landscape, while romantics can find a blissful paradise among the blooms.
From Windy Hill to Oedo Island, this day tour from Busan promises an unforgettable experience for all.
Go Surfing at Songjeong Beach
The end point for the BlueLine Train is also one of the most popular beaches for surfing. If you still don’t know how to surf, you should not worry – there are plenty of surf lessons available.
If you don’t feel adventurous, you can come here only to enjoy the beach and the more relaxed vibe, as compared to Haeundae or Gwangalli.
Songjeong Beach is 1.2 kilometers long, has separate areas for swimming and surfing, and has plenty of cafes and restaurants along the coast.
Many come here for a picture with the red and white lighthouses, you can find them at the eastern entrance to the beach.
The beach is also popular for watching the sunrise on New Year’s Day. If you visit Busan in winter, you will find plenty of people here waiting for the sun to come up. But also plenty of surfers during the day.
Address: 62, Songjeonghaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu | 부산광역시 해운대구 송정해변로 62
How to get there: you can either take the Blue Line Train, or take bus number 185.
Go on a Busan Photo Tour
Experience the vibrant city of Busan through a unique photo tour!
You can book an exciting tour that will take you to some of the most iconic attractions in Busan, allowing you to capture amazing photos while also learning about this beautiful city.
From stunning beaches and lush parks to traditional markets and bustling nightlife, discover why Busan is one of South Korea’s most popular destinations.
Professional photographers will be on hand to guide you every step of the way as you explore all that Busan has to offer.
You can choose which part of the city to enjoy on your day:
West Busan with Gancheon Cultural Village, Songdo Beach, and Huinnyeoul Culture Village
East Busan with Ahopsan Forest, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and Cheongsapo and the Sky Capsule
Go on a Busan Food Tour
Experience the best of Busan’s culinary delights with a guided food tour! From traditional Korean dishes to seafood delicacies, explore the city while discovering new flavors and tasting tantalizing treats.
The local expert guides will take you on an unforgettable journey through some of Busan’s most iconic eateries, as they share their knowledge and passion for local culture and cuisine.
Enjoy sampling delicious street foods from vendors in markets or restaurants serving up mouth-watering specialties.
Whether it’s fresh fish, spicy kimchi, or savory bibimbap – there is something for everyone on a food tour.
Go for a luxury facial
SPA 1899 Daechi is located at Haeundae Beach and offers a wide variety of face and body treatments that will rejuvenate your body and mind.
They are well-known in Korea for their signature Red Ginseng treatments – the strong anti-aging root.
Try an afternoon tea set with an ocean view
After moving to Hong Kong I started to appreciate a good afternoon tea set. Truth is there are much fewer options in South Korea, but Busan has 2 luxury hotels perfectly located by the ocean, that offer perfect afternoon tea sets.
Park Hyatt Busan organizes afternoon tea in their lounge daily from 2 PM to 5:30 PM on weekdays and 6:30 PM on weekends. They have different collaborations, and you will always find something new to try (for example, at the moment I am writing this, they have a collab with Jimmy Choo).
Signiel Busan is another great option for afternoon tea, hosted in the lounge, prepared by their 3-star Michelin chef Bruno Menard.
Poopoo Land Busan
While this is not something we would visit, Poopoo Land is a popular tourist destination for locals and foreigners alike.
Hosting various photo zones, this place might be fun and interesting for kids, getting to learn about the digestive system in a fun way.
Have fun at a Pub Crawl
Experience the best of Busan nightlife with an unforgettable pub crawl.
Join a tour that will take you on a journey through some of the hottest bars and pubs in Busan, including traditional Korean drinking establishments, craft beer bars, and more.
The experienced guides will show you around and make sure that you have a great time as you explore this incredible city.
Oryukdo Skywalk and Igidae Park
The stunning Oryukdo and Igidae coasts of Namgu district in Busan are made up of volcanic and tuffaceous sedimentary rocks, which were formed around 80 million years ago.
These rocks provide a beautiful natural landscape for visitors to admire, with the picturesque rocky shores contrasting the bright blue waters of the coast. Moreover, along the trails, you will also get stunning city views.
Address: 137, Oryukdo-ro, Nam-gu | 부산 남구 오륙도로 137
China Town Busan
Tucked away across the street from Busan Station, this is the place to explore if you want to try some other type of Asian food. There are plenty of Chinese restaurants, but you will also find shops and restaurants from other parts of Asia.
We came here for our favorite hot pot place, Haidilao.
Try an Oriental Medicine Experience
This is a unique activity tailored for those suffering from chronic pain, muscle tightness, or ongoing fatigue or stress.
Through different traditional actions, like acupuncture, cupping, or chuna manual therapy, they will restore and maintain your energetic balance.
How to get from Seoul to Busan
During our stay in South Korea, we traveled twice from Seoul to Busan and back, and we tried 2 of the available travel options.
Traveling from Seoul to Busan by plane is the fast and cheap(er) option.
While the flight itself only takes around 45 minutes, you will have to take into account the time you need to get to and from the airport.
Internal flights usually depart from Gimpo Airport, which is a bit closer to the city center than Incheon Airport. You can get there with the Airport Express, the airport limousine, or by taxi/private transfer.
Once you get to Busan, the easiest and most affordable way to get to the city center is by subway.
The fastest way to get from Seoul to Busan, but also the most expensive. Taking the train is also more accessible because train stations in both cities are close to the city center.
KTX tickets will sometimes cost more than plane tickets, but you won’t have to worry about what you have in your luggage. Also, if you plan to travel to more places by train, you can save on your ticket by purchasing a Korea Rail Pass for 2/3/4/5 days.
The train departs multiple times every day and a ride takes between 2 hours and 20 minutes and 2 hours and 45 minutes. All rides are direct and you should not worry about having to change trains.
Traveling by car or bus is a good option only if you are planning to spend at least one week in Busan.
Driving from Seoul to Busan took us around 7 hours – it depends a lot on traffic (which can be heavy around Seoul), number of stops, and traffic along the way. That’s why, we wouldn’t recommend driving or taking the bus when you only want to spend a weekend in Busan.
Read also: All you need to know about driving in South Korea
Buses from Seoul to Busan leave from Seoul Gyeongbu Express Bus terminal (경부고속터미널). The terminal is on subway lines 7, 3, and 9, and you need to factor in the time you need to get there.
How many days in Busan
We loved Busan so if you ask us we will tell you to spend as much time as you can. However, we understand your time is limited, so we would say that anything between 3 days and 5 days in Busan would be perfect.
Here is a short potential itinerary for 5 days in Busan (which can be adapted for 3 or 4 days in the city as well):
Day 1: Start your day at Gamcheon Cultural Village, stop for lunch at Jagalchi Fish Market, spend the afternoon around BIFF Square, Yongdusan Park and climb Busan Tower for sunset.
Day 2: explore Yeongdo Island – have a coffee at Hynyeoul Cultural Village, walk along the Jeoryeong Coastal Walk, explore Taejongdae Resort Park. End the day with a shopping session at Lotte Mall.
Day 3: Go on a day trip from Busan – Ahopsan Forest, Oedo Island, Namhae Island – these are all great options for a trip outside of Busan. However, if you only have one day and one option, we would go to Gyeongju from Busan.
Day 4: Explore Busan’s Eastern part: take the Sky Capsule, go visit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple the temple by the sea, come back with the Blue Line Train, eat seafood at Haeundae Beach, go for a sunset cruise with fireworks.
Day 5: Have a coffee at Gwangalli Beach, relax for a few hours at SPA Land, and go on a food tour or cooking class.
Where to stay in Busan
When looking for the best place to stay in Busan, you can choose from traditional Korean guesthouses, modern hotels with all the amenities of home, beachside resorts, and budget-friendly hostels.
For those looking for a more luxurious experience, Busan has some amazing waterfront hotels at Haeundae Beach.
Here are the most popular areas where you can choose to stay in Busan.
Nampo-dong or Yeongdo Island
This is the area we chose to stay in during our first visit to Busan, mainly because it is close to the subway (that will take you to the most important attractions in Busan), but also because the hotel we chose offers “Instagram-worthy” views.
By staying in this area, you will be close to Jagalchi Fish Market, Lotte Department Store, Busan Tower, BIFF Square, and other important attractions.
We chose to stay at LaValse Hotel and we loved the view from our room, but also the rooftop restaurant where they serve breakfast. In addition to the normal hotel rooms, the hotel has Korean-style rooms and rooms with a jacuzzi on the balcony.
Seomyeon is located in the heart of the city, not too far away from Gwangalli Beach or Haeundae Beach. It has all kinds of attractions from shopping malls to nightlife spots and even cultural sites such as museums and temples.
By staying here you will also be relatively close to Busan Station and on the subway line.
Lotte Hotel Busan is a great hotel option in Seomyeon. The 5* hotel is set within walking distance of the subway station and has an on-site duty-free store, an indoor and outdoor pool, a sauna, and a fitness center.
With its crystal clear waters, white sandy shores, and endless entertainment options, it’s no wonder why Haeundae Beach is one of the best places to stay in Busan.
On our second trip to the city, we decided to spend one week in Busan and chose to stay at Haeundae. The beach offers plenty of 5* luxury resorts – Paradise Hotel , Grand Josun Busan, or Shilla Stay are all great options.
However, we chose to stay at a smaller hotel, right at the edge of the beach: Hotel Hyggelig.
For our stay it was perfect: the room was not too big, but we had a balcony and a window facing the ocean. The location is ideal, really close to plenty of restaurants and cafes, 2 convenience stores, and only a few minutes from the beach.
The hotel’s cafe offers a stunning view and it’s famous for it.
On top of that, they have affordable prices.
Best time to visit Busan
The best time to visit Busan is generally during the months of April, May, September, and October.
These months typically boast mild temperatures and lower humidity levels compared to other parts of the year. During this time, you can enjoy experiencing many of Busan’s attractions in comfortable weather conditions.
In April, come for the cherry blossom in Dalmaji Hill, and in October, make sure to take part in the vibrant International Fireworks Festival.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday, consider visiting during the summer months of June through August, or even September. With warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, these months are ideal for soaking up the sun on one of Busan’s many beaches.
Busan Day Tours to choose from
There are many Busan day tour options, but choosing the right one for you is essential when you have limited time.
City tours are a great way to experience the best that a destination has to offer. They are also a great way to learn about the history and culture of a destination.
Not only will you get to hear firsthand accounts from knowledgeable tour guides, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore and visit unique sites that may not be accessible on your own.
On a city tour, you may experience traditional eateries, local markets, historical sites, and much more!
City tours are typically designed to be educational while providing a fun and immersive experience. Tour companies will often provide travelers with audio-guides or printed documents about the area that can help you understand the significance of each stop.
Another benefit of taking city organized tours is that you don’t have to worry about planning your own itinerary. Tour companies are experts in the destination and know which places to visit, when to visit them, and how long to stay at each stop. This makes it easy for you to get the most out of your experience without having to do any of the legwork.
Additionally, city tours often include transportation between destinations so you don’t have to worry about finding your way around.
Here are a few great Busan Day Tour options
A fully customizable tour that can take between 2 – 8 hours. You get to organize your day and tour with your private local guide, based on what you wish to visit in Busan.
It includes hotel pick-up, a walking tour, public transportation, and plenty of insights into local life.
An 8-hour tour that will take you to some of the most important attractions in Busan: Gamcheon Culture Village, Yongdusan Park, Jagalchi Fish Market, Samwang Temple, and Mount Hwangnyeongsan Observatory.
The tour includes entrance tickets, transportation, lunch, and hotel pick-up.
A tour that will take on Busan’s eastern part: from Dalmaji Road, to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Haeundae Beach, Dogbaek Island, Oryukdo Sky Walk, the UN Memorial, and Busan Cinema Center and Centum City Department Store.
The tour is 8 hours long and includes entrance tickets, lunch, and transportation.
A tour that includes a ride with the Sky Capsule and the Blue Line Train, but also a visit to some of the most important things to see in Busan.
Getting around Busan
Getting around in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, is easy and convenient.
The city has an extensive public transportation system which includes buses, subway, and taxis.
Buses are the most popular mode of transport for locals as they are frequent, affordable, and cover most areas of the city.
The subway network is also efficient and covers all major parts of Busan including the airport.
Taxis are available throughout the day but can be hard to come by during peak hours or in remote locations.
Read also: How to get around Busan – a complete guide
What to eat in Busan
Busan has a vibrant culinary scene. From famous seafood dishes to unique local specialties, there are plenty of delicious options for those looking to explore the city’s rich food culture.
Try the fresh seafood at Jagalchi Fish Market, taste milmyeon – another type of naengmyeon, don’t miss the local fish cake – eomuk, and stop by at the pojangmacha (street food) in Haeundae for some really authentic dishes.