Busan is South Korea’s second-largest city, set by the ocean, this vibrant place draws millions of tourists for a good reason. Choosing where to stay in Busan shouldn’t be too complicated with the right guidance, and that’s why we are here!
In today’s guide, we will include all the best areas to consider when looking for a place to stay in Busan, depending on your travel style, length of stay, and much more. We will also include the places you chose to stay in, and why we liked them.
No South Korean itinerary would be complete without at least a few days of exploring Busan, the colorful metropolis by the sea.
When choosing where to stay in Busan, you will first learn that the city is long and set along the sea. That means you will need to travel a bit if you want to see most of the important attractions in town.
However, choosing to stay close to the train station or in Seomyeon will place you in the middle of the city. But let’s dive into this complete guide that will help you choose the best accommodation in Busan.
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Table of Contents
- Where to stay in Busan – quick guide
- Yeongdo Island
- Haeundae Beach
- Gwangalli Beach
- Near Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – Songjeong Station
- Kyungsung University area
- Where to stay in Busan for the first time
- The best area to stay in Busan for nightlife
- The best area to stay in Busan for the beach
- The best area to stay in Busan for families with children
Where to stay in Busan – quick guide
This is the area we chose to stay in for our first visit to Busan, mainly because of the hotel that caught our attention.
The island is easily accessible from the airport or from the train station and will set you close to some of the most important tourist attractions in town.
As you might expect, Busan is not a small city, thus choosing the right area to stay in is crucial when you want to make the best out of your time here.
Yeongdo Island is close to Jagalchi Fish Market and the Jeoryeong Coastal Walk. However, you can also easily get to places like the Gamcheon Village or even further away from popular beaches in town, by public transportation.
We really enjoyed staying in the area and it was the perfect choice for our first trip.
What to do in Yeongdo Island, main attractions
The island is small but it still offers plenty of attractions and places to visit, here are the most important ones:
Taejongdae Park -an ocean-side park located on the southern tip of Busan. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views of the sea and nearby islands, as well as plenty of recreational activities to enjoy. The park boasts a variety of attractions such as lively walking paths with plenty of trees and plants along its 1km circumference, numerous observation decks overlooking the ocean from various heights, two ancient lighthouses dating back to 1906, and even a traditional Korean village complete with thatched-roof houses.
Jeoryeong Coastal Trail – Bordered by the sea on one side and a dense forest of trees on the other, the trail is an ideal place to take in some stunning views. The Jeoryeong Coastal Trail is divided into three sections, each offering its own unique experience. The first section takes visitors along the cliffside and offers stunning views of the ocean. The second section is a bit more challenging, with steep slopes and rocky terrain. The third section is quiet and secluded, making it a great spot for a peaceful stroll.
Marine Adventure Park
Jeoryeong Coastal Walk
Here you will be also close to Jagalchi Market and Busan Tower.
Where to stay on Yeongdo Island
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.
Breakfast was good and consistent, however, we were served the same thing every morning for the 3 days we stayed there.
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.
Since check-in is done relatively late in South Korea (after 3 PM), we could leave our luggage in the storage area without any additional fees. Also, the hotel provides a city map and even though the lady at the reception wasn’t proficient in English we managed to go through check-in and check-out smoothly.
This hotel is perfect for couples or friends traveling together, but we have also seen families with toddlers enjoying their stay.
Bay Hound Hotel
Right across the street (or small port) from LaValse Hotel, this is a much more affordable hotel option on Yeongdo Island.
The 3* hotel has a nice and cozy interior design, it is ideally set on the main street close to the bridge that links the city to the island, and certain rooms have a bathtub.
Large windows allow plenty of light inside the room, and previous guests have appreciated the hotel’s cafe where breakfast is served on a daily basis.
In our view, this is a great option and alternative to the more popular LaValse Hotel.
Our second favorite area to stay in is Busan, is suitable especially when you are planning to stay for a longer period and want to take advantage of the beach as well.
Set a bit further away from the city center, yet in a very lively area, this place transforms from day to night and you will feel like you have traveled to some place new.
Plenty of luxury hotels are lined up along the beachfront, but you can choose also from mid-range hotels or apartments with sea views.
During our week-long stay in Busan, we chose to stay here because we wanted to be minutes away from the sea, indulge in delicious and fresh seafood, and still be perfectly connected by bus or subway to all the other main attractions in town.
A stay at Haeundae is great for couples looking for a special destination and luxury hotel, but also for families traveling with kids because they will be happy at the beach.
What to do at Haeundae Beach
Our second favorite area in Busan offers plenty of things to do, here are only a few of them:
Spend time at the beach
Visit SEA LIFE Aquarium Busan, especially if you are traveling with kids
Go on a walk on the Dongbaek Island
Enjoy SPA Land – traditional Korean SPA
Go for a facial at SPA 1899
Go for a sunset cruise from Mipo
Take the Blue Train Line
Where to stay at Haeundae Beach
If you are traveling for a special occasion or simply want to go all-in and choose luxury hotels here are my hotel suggestions:
- 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 looking for a mid-range hotel, located in a great place, only minutes away from the beach, I strongly recommend the hotel we stayed in Hotel Hyggelig.
The hotel has a nice cafe with a stunning rooftop terrace, and rooms are spacious, and come with a balcony, we had a sea view from our room, and we were less than 5 minutes away from the beach.
This is a great option for families as well because they have triple rooms and a 3-bedroom apartment option.
Nearby we had restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, and most of the main attractions of Haeundae.
Because we traveled from Seoul by car, parking was free at the hotel.
If you would rather stay in an apartment, in order to take advantage of access to a kitchen, Felix by STX Hotel & Suite offers great room options.
Rooms are fully furnished, the bathrooms have a bathtub, and the hotel’s location is perfect, right next to a bus stop and walking distance from the beach.
If you are familiar with Korean-style accommodations and you would rather stay in a guesthouse, here is an option close to Haeundae Beach. These are the most economic options, and in many cases, you won’t have a private bathroom in your bedroom.
MAMA Guesthouse Haeundae is a highly appreciated guesthouse with simple yet cozy rooms with a private bathroom. The hostel is located within walking distance from the beach and close to bus and subway stops, but also very close to the street food alley.
Gwangalli is the second most popular beach in Busan, with a mix of cool restaurants and impressive skyscrapers.
A 1.4 kilometers long sandy beach overlooking the famous Gwangandaegyo Bridge, here is where you will find plenty of hip cafes and both traditional and Western-style restaurants.
In our view, Gwangalli has a more youthful vibe than Haeundae, even though both are great destinations for partying and relaxation.
The close-by Millak Waterfront Park is a fun hangout spot for youngsters, set at the northernest point of Gwangalli.
What to do at Gwangalli Beach
Spend time at the beach
Enjoy some of the best cafes in town
Eat your heart out at one of the seafront restaurants
Millak Waterfront Park
See the Gwangandaegyo Bridge light up at night
From there, you will be close to Haeundae Beach.
The best Gwangalli Beach hotels
H Avenue Hotel Gwangalli branch
Set on the waterfront, this hotel offers rooms with stunning views over the ocean and the city’s skyline. Even though the area can be extremely animated, the hotel’s location is very quiet making it the perfect destination for a romantic escape.
The hotel also offers larger rooms that can accommodate up to 4 people, and most guests enjoyed the stunning terrace and its wine bar.
Kent Hotel Gwangalli by Kensington
Set right on the beach, with restaurants and shops at its doorstep, this 4* hotel is another great option to consider at Gwangalli Beach.
Some rooms offer a mountain view while others will sweep you off your feet with their incredible sea view. The Semi-Kitchen Double Inside View is perfect for those that plan to spend a bit more time in Busan and would like to take advantage of a fridge, sink, and microwave.
The Premier Double Room with Ocean View is perfect for a special occasion if you are traveling for your honeymoon or anniversary. What draw my attention, in particular, was the city view you get from your bathtub.
By staying here, you will be 10 minutes away from the subway station and you could enjoy the hotel’s terrace with a view.
Gwangalli Perfect Ocean View APARK
If you are not looking to stay at a hotel, this apartment might tick all your boxes. It has a balcony with a sea view, a big fridge, a microwave, and an induction stove.
The place is perfect for a couple that wants to spend a longer period in Busan.
Seen as the center area of Busan, Seomyeon is where you will find plenty of hotels, but also restaurants and stores. Stay here for the city vibe, because you will definitely feel much different than in the previously mentioned areas.
Similar to Gangnam in Seoul, you’ll find here everything from shopping centers to fish markets or fun clubs. Coffee lovers will have a whole cafe street to explore while shopping addicts will find department stores to get lost in.
Best hotels in Seomyeon
Lotte Hotel Busan
Lotte is one of the largest companies in South Korea, which operates in almost any sector as one of the main players.
Their hotels are among the most luxurious in South Korea, thus a stay at the Lotte Hotel in Busan should be on your list. 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.
Browndot Business Seomyeon
A more affordable option, the hotel offers free private parking and a charming rooftop garden. Only 5 minutes away from the subway station, the hotel’s location is one of its strong points.
Rooms are spacious and come equipped with a bathtub, perfect for relaxation after a long day of exploring the streets of Busan.
Stretching around the Nampo-dong subway station, this area is close to the harbor, the fish market, and also many of Busan’s tourist attractions.
By staying here, you will be close to the sea, Yeongdo Island, but also within walking distance to many of the most traditional markets in Busan. You should come here to taste local food cooked in an authentic manner, but also shop for souvenirs to take back home.
Bupyeong Night Market is your destination for affordable and delicious street food, but in the area, you will also find some of the most popular restaurants in town serving charcoal-grilled pork.
Yongdusan Park is also nearby and in order to get there, you will need to cross Gwangbok-ro Fashion Street, a dream destination for fashionistas and K-Fashion passionate people.
All in all, Nampo-dong is a vibrant area to choose to stay in, that will place you in a convenient location no matter what you choose to do and see around town.
Best Hotels in Nampo
Griffinbay Hotel – 4*
A charming hotel offering harbor view from its rooms, located within walking distance of both Jagalchi Market and Gukje Market.
This hotel might be the perfect choice when staying for a longer period in Busan because rooms come equipped with a kitchenette with a microwave, a fridge, and a kettle.
Aventree Hotel Busan – 3*
Aventree is another South Korean hotel chain you will get familiar with during your visit here.
People chose this hotel because of its location with plenty of things to do and see around, set precisely in the center of Nampo-dong. Unlike in many places, the staff at this hotel speaks English and was highly appreciated by previous guests.
If you are traveling by train, this area is relatively close to Busan Station, but also to Gamcheon Village.
K-Guesthouse Premium Nampo 1
This is the place for you if you looking for really affordable accommodation, that would also offer great value for money.
Rooms are big and clean, with large windows offering lots of natural light. The location is right in front of Nampo station and next to the fashion shopping street.
Guests can enjoy a shared room with a stunning harbor view and most people enjoyed the breakfast served at this guesthouse.
Near Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – Songjeong Station
On our first visit to Busan, as we were searching for the BlueLine Park Train, we ended up on the beach at Seongjeong. This is a very different area than everything we had seen in Busan up to that point: plenty of small houses hosting surfing schools, people walking carefree to the beach, and countless cafes and bars lined up along the seafront.
It is safe to say this is a great area to stay in when you want to spend a vacation under the sun in Busan. You won’t be very close to the city center or main tourist attractions, but you will have public transportation close by to take you anywhere you like.
Further north along the coast, as you move towards the famous Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, you will find also one of the most luxurious resorts in the whole of South Korea.
I would suggest you choose to stay here if this is not your first trip to Busan, or if you want to sit back and relax in nature, by the sea.
Best hotels near Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Eastern Amber Hotel
Located by the sea, minutes away from the beach, this hotel will also place you 4 bus stops away from the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.
With a simple yet stylish interior design, this hotel provides free parking for its guests and has a restaurant where they can enjoy meals by the sea.
Judging by the name you might expect an extensive resort with plenty of rooms, swimming pools, and much more. However, this is a small hotel set by the sea, 12 minutes away from the main beach in the area.
It is practically a Korean guesthouse, with spacious rooms and a nice rooftop terrace with a pool. Some of the rooms have a bathtub by the window, for your ultimate Instagram-worthy picture.
Ananti Hilton Busan – 5*
The ultimate luxury resort in Busan, at Ananti Hilton you will feel like royalty. Remotely set outside of town, close to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, the hotel is built on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
During your stay, you can choose to spend your time at one of the many infinity swimming pools, relax at the hotel’s SPA, and choose between various dining options. As night falls, head to the hotel’s rooftop bar and enjoy a drink with a breathtaking view.
You won’t want to leave this place!
Kyungsung University area
Choose to stay here if you don’t want to be in a tourist area, but still have access to plenty of shops and restaurants.
The area around Kyungsung University is known for its lively nightlife, shopping districts, historic attractions, and delicious food. It’s also conveniently close to the beach! Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or explore new things, there’s something here for everyone.
From traditional markets to modern malls and beautiful temples to unique museums – this district has it all.
By choosing to stay here, you will be relatively close to the beach (30 minutes from Gwangalli Beach), and you will also have easy access to the western part of the city.
The area is easily reached by subway at Kyungsung University subway station.
Where to stay near Kyungsung University
The small problem with this area is you won’t find many hotels, or at least good options. However, you can look for Airbnb options, as there are a few at reasonable prices.
The Sasang district is set further away from the city center, close to Gimhae Airport. While this might be a good option for someone traveling early in the morning, I wouldn’t choose to stay here if I plan to spend only a few days in Busan.
Even though the area is not close to the city center, it is linked to the train station by subway – the green line will take you directly to Haeundae Beach, and you can easily change lines for the other attractions in town.
Another reason for choosing to stay here is if you are traveling by bus, since the Busan West Intercity Bus Terminal is next to the subway station.
Best hotels in Sasang
Sorgente Business Hotel
The hotel is just a 10-minute light rail ride away from Gimhae International Airport. This accommodation boasts a terrace and provides free WiFi access in all its rooms.
The hotel is located 7 km from Seomyeon Medical Street, the center of healthcare in Busan.
Each room at this 2-star accommodation is equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV, and an ensuite bathroom. Rooms come with views of the city, while all rooms are also fitted with a kettle. Guests will find a seating area within their room.
Exit 6 of Sasang Station (Busan Line 2 and Busan-Gimhae Lightrail) is located just 200 m away from the hotel, making it convenient for visitors to travel around the city.
Zam 101 is a hotel located in Busan, just 7.8 km away from Seomyeon Station.
Guests can enjoy a range of amenities such as a shared lounge, free private parking, a restaurant, and a bar.
Travelers can also explore nearby attractions such as Gukje Market (8.9 km), Busan China Town (9.2 km), and Busan Station (10 km).
The hotel offers comfortable guest rooms complete with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries, and a desk.
Where to stay in Busan for the first time
If you are visiting Busan for the first time and you are planning to tick off your bucket list of most of the important tourist attractions, we would recommend staying anywhere close to the city center.
Nampo-Dong or Yeongdo Island would be our top choices for your first time in Busan.
The best area to stay in Busan for nightlife
All-in-all Busan is a pretty vibrant town and you will find areas with great entertainment in most places on this list.
However, by staying close to the beach in Gwangalli or Haeundaea you will also be close to the main nightlife streets.
Nampo-dong has its fair share of nightclubs, restaurants, and night markets, thus you can also look into this area.
The best area to stay in Busan for the beach
If you plan to spend your days at the beach, choose to stay in Haeundae or Seongjeong.
The first one is more vibrant and posh, while the second one is more of a place for hippies and surfers.
The best area to stay in Busan for families with children
All the above locations have hotels that offer family rooms to choose from when you are traveling with your family. That being said, we would always choose to stay in Haeundae with the kids.
The beach is within walking distance, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, the famous Busan Aquarium is on the beach, and the area is perfectly linked to the rest of the city by public transportation.
Additionally, there is a wide array of hotels and apartments to choose from, conveniently located on the beach or nearby.
Which part of Busan is best to stay?
The best part of Busan to stay in depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want to be close to the beach, then Haeundae-gu and Gwangalli are ideal locations.
For those who want to explore cultural sites, Jagalchi or Nampo-dong provides plenty of traditional attractions.
Other great areas include Seomyeon and Dongbaek Island, offering stunning views and lots of things to do.
What is the best way to get around Busan?
In our opinion and experience, the best way to get around Busan is by public transportation. The subway and bus systems are very well connected and will take you almost anywhere in the city.
Is Busan walkable?
Yes, Busan is a very walkable city. It has wide streets and sidewalks, as well as plenty of parks and public areas that make it easy to get around on foot. The city center also offers great views of the ocean, making it a pleasant place to take a stroll.
However, there are many tourist attractions all over the city, thus when you want to see it all you should use public transportation.
Where is the most central place to stay in Busan?
If you want to stay centrally choose Nampo or Seomyeon as your base in Busan.
Is 1 day in Busan enough?
We absolutely loved Busan and went back on several occasions, spending more time in the city. Thus, in our opinion, 1 day in Busan is not enough – you should at least spend the night.
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