Busan (부산, 釜山, ) (formerly romanized as Pusan) is a city located in the south-eastern province of South Gyeongsang, South Korea.
A view over Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli bridge in Busan
With over 3.6 million people, Busan is South Korea's second largest city and largest seaport. Busan is known for its beaches, hot springs, nature reserves and events such as the city's renowned international film festival held each fall. Busan is a good destination for those seeking a more laid back atmosphere than Seoul. Located at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, Busan's important port gives the city an international flair, with sailors from around the world trooping through and a growing number of tourists.
Busan has a sub-tropical climate with a hot humid summer and autumn along with a mild winter. Busan almost never experiences snow.
Busan sits roughly 450 km (280 miles) southeast of Seoul and about 150 km (93 miles) northwest of Japan's main islands.
Nampodong to the south is Busan's shopping and entertainment downtown, while central Seomyeon at the intersection of subway lines 1 and 2 is the main office building area. Between them are Busan's train station and its international ferry terminals. The beaches of Gwangalli, Haeundae and Songjeong lie to the east, the ruins of mountain fortress Geumjeong guard the north. To the west is Gimhae town where the Busan Airport is located.
The eastern district of Haeundae is the most accesible area for foreigners, and many of Busan's attractions can be found here making it a good base to start exploring the city.
Busan is divided into 16 districts (구 gu).
- Buk-gu (북구) is in the north.
- Busanjin-gu (부산진구)is a central district, and contains the area of Seomyeon which has an active night life with lots of street food.
- Dong-gu (동구)
- Dongnae-gu (동래구) in the north is famous for the Heosimcheong spa, reputed to be Asia's largest.
- Gangseo-gu (강서구) is in the west, and contains Busan's airport (Gimhae) as well as the Eulsukdo bird sanctuary.
- Geumjeong-gu (금정구) is a sparsely populated district in the north, home to the Beomeosa temple.
- Haeundae-gu (해운대구) in the east is an affluent, beach front community that attracts tens of thousands of Korean tourists and foreigners to what many consider to be Korea's best beach. It has been subject to considerable commercial development. This area is also the location where most westerners like to live and many of Busan's tourist attractions are located.
- Jung-gu (중구)
- Nam-gu (남구) is in the south and contains the Oryukdo islets.
- Saha-gu (사하구)
- Sasang-gu (사상구) in central Busan is the location of the Seobu intercity bus station.
- Seo-gu (서구)
- Suyeong-gu (수영구) is a central district is the location of Gwangalli Beach and the impressive Gwangan Bridge.
- Yeongdo-gu (영도구) is located in the south.
- Yeonje-gu (연제구)
- Gijang-gun (기장군)
Busan's International Gimhae Airport  (IATA: PUS) is situated outside Busan and is the third most important airport in Korea. Gimhae airport is somewhat old compared to the gleaming Incheon airport in Seoul. It is however an active airport with many scheduled flights. There are seperate Domestic and International terminals next to each other, each with basic facilities and food outlets.
- Domestic flights are from Seoul Gimpo (IATA: GMP), Seoul Incheon Airport (IATA: ICN) and from Jeju Island (IATA: CJU). Most flights from Seoul come from Gimpo Airport, however if you are making an international connection then there are a select few scheduled flights that fly directly from Incheon Airport to Gimhae with Korean Air and Asiana. They are slightly more expensive but much more convenient. (Note that you still need to claim your baggage when landing at Incheon, take it through customs and then check it in again with this option)
- International flights are from major cities in Japan, China, the Philippines and Vietnam. In addition there are flights to Vladivostok, Bangkok, Taipei, Saipan and Hong Kong. There is also a Lufthansa service from Munich via Seoul. 'Limited period' flights are sometimes scheduled from other airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Delta.
There are also budget airlines operating from Gimhae including Air Busan and Jeju Air that fly to both domestic and international destinations, sometimes for a very low price. (Although you will need to book well in advance of your flight to get a cheap ticket)
- Light Rail The Busan Gimhae Light Rail recently opened as a new way to get into the city, and connects to Metro lines 2 (green) and 3 (brown). It takes about an hour to get to the city center and about 90 minutes to Haeundae. If you arrive at rush hour (Morning or early evening) then this may be the fastest way in.
- Limousine Bus The Airport limousine buses leave from both the International and Domestic terminals and connect to various locations in the city for a flat ₩6000. Tickets are purchased eigher on the bus, or in the bus office at the Domestic Terminal. (Note that the bus driver may have difficulty accepting notes greater than ₩10000 in value)
- Limousine Bus for City Departs every 20-30 minutes, stops at: Gimhae Airport ↔ Seomyeon, Lotte Hotel ↔ Hyundai Department Store ↔ Busanjin Station ↔ Busan Station ↔ Jungang Dong ↔ Passenger Terminal ↔ Nampo Dong ↔ Chungmu Dong (Seogu office)
- Limousine Bus for Haeundae Departs every 20 minutes, stops at: Gimhae Airport ↔ Daenam Junction ↔ Geumnyeonsan Station ↔ Suyeong Junction ↔ BEXCO ↔ Olympic yacht Stadium ↔ The Westin Chosun Hotel ↔ Haeundae(Five-star Hotel) ↔ Novotel ↔ Paradise Hotel ↔ Jangsan Station ↔ Haeundae New Town
- Local Bus City buses leave for downtown regularly. Tickets are cheap at around ₩1000. The information desk at the International Terminal (Arrivals) can provide English speaking assistance for this.
- Intercity Bus Long distances buses operate to and from the airport (see 'By Bus' below)
- Taxi A taxi to the city center will set you back about ₩15,000 (daytime) including tolls. A taxi to Haeundae will cost ₩25,000 when there is no traffic.
- Connect from Seoul Incheon An alternative to flying into Gimhae airport is to just fly to Seoul Incheon, take the fast airport train to Seoul station and then take the high speed KTX train directly to Busan station. (Tickets all the way to Busan can be purchased in the Arrivals area of Incheon airport) This will take about four to five hours in total. (For comparison, changing by train or limosine to Gimpo domestic airport, waiting, flying to Gimhae and then getting into Busan city will take the same ammount of time)
- Connect from Seoul Gimpo is the same as Seoul Incheon except that the train journey to Seoul Station is shorter. KTX tickets would have to be purchased in Seoul Station.
Busan is very well connected on the Korean rail network and a main hub for the fast and efficient KTX trains.
KTX  trains connect Seoul to Busan via Daegu and Daejeon. Journey times vary between 120 to 150 min (₩55,500). Tickets can be purchased at the counter but automated English-language machines are available to make purchases with too. Tickets can also be purchased on the Internet Korail  site with an international credit card and picked up at the station. (This is very useful when planning to travel at peak times, when all tickets can quickly sell out)
KTX passengers are expected to be quiet but this is not always the case. First-class provides a more comfortable seat and the upgrade can be purchased en route. Snacks can be purchased on the trains using the vending machines or from an attendant. Each car has a free wi-fi connection that is fast but cuts out in tunnels.
Other trains, such as Saemaeul and Mugunghwa, connect Busan with other major cities as well. They're cheaper but slower than KTX.
- Busan Station looks like a UFO that has accidentally landed in the somewhat grubby stretch between the bright lights of Nampodong and Seomyeon. The Busan 'China Town' is next to it, and chinese dumplings are easially available. It's easy enough to get in or away on Subway Line 1, and there are lots of cheap motels and eating places in the vicinity. There are a limited number lockers in the station, but these can become occupied quickly on busy days, so don't rely on them. Note that this area could be considered dangerous by Busan (very safe) standards at night time.
- Gupo Station is also in Busan. It's a 1 minute walk from the Gupo Subway Station on Subway Line 3. It's much smaller than Busan Station and usually uncrowded. A ticket from Gupo to Seoul is a thousand won cheaper than a ticket from Busan Station to Seoul. Gupo Station is ideal if you are coming or going from a place far away from Busan Station, such as Hwamyeongdong. This is also the closest KTX station to Busan Airport.
- Haeundae Station is next to the subway station in Haeundae. It is very quiet and does not serve KTX, but has a few useful train connections to other cities. There are trains to Gyeongju, Pohang, Miryang, Seoul and other destinations. If you are staying in Haeundae this may be a better option than travelling over the city to Busan or Gupo Station.
- Songjeong Station is further east than Haeundae, and right next to Songjeong beach. Trains to Busan station and Pohang.
Driving and parking in Busan can be difficult, so if you just want to look around the city then public transportation will be easier. However if you are coming to explore the area around Busan (such as going down to Geoje) then the flexibility of driving yourself will help you enjoy it more.
Note that you can use the Hanero Card to pay toll gates in the city.
Busan is connected by three main highways:
- Gyeongbu Highway connects Busan with Seoul via Daejeon and Daegu.
- Gumi Highway is an alternative highway to Daegu.
- Namhae Highway connects Gwangju via Jinju and Sacheon.
Almost all cities and counties in South Korea have an express bus to Busan.
There are two major bus stations:
- Dongbu Intercity Bus Terminal (동부시외버스터미널), Nopodong Station (Line 1). For points north and east (eg. Daegu, Gyeongju, Seoul, Ulsan).
- Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal (서부시외버스터미널), Sasang Station (Line 2). For points west (e.g., Jinju, Masan, Geoje Island).
- Busan Airport Long distances buses operate from directly outside the terminals of Gimhae (Busan) Airport to the cities of Changwon, Masan, Jangyu, Geoje, Tongyeong, Gyeongju, Pohang, Deagu, Gumi and Ulsan.
Busan has regular international ferry services to Japan and domestic ferries to Jeju island. Go to the International Ferry Terminal (Subway Line 1: Jungang-dong. Go right from exit 10) where you can book tickets to Japan (And even purchase Japan Rail tickets). Note that domestic ferries to Geoje island appears to be no longer operated.
- Tsushima island is the only part of Japan (sometimes) visible from Busan. Ferries operated by Dae-a Express Shipping, carries passengers between Busan and Hitakatsu in 1 hour 40 minutes and between Busan and Izuhara in 2 hours 40 minutes.
- Fukuoka JR Kyushu's Beetle  hydrofoils run five times a day and take just under 3 hours. Alternativally a normal ferry takes 7 hours.
- Osaka is even further, at 19 hours total journey time.
- Jeju island (Korea) ferries take about 11 hours and run daily with an overnight option.
The Busan Hanero Card (하나로카드) is a very useful travel card system that can be used on:
- Light rail (e.g. to the airport)
- Local buses
- Local road toll ways (Such as Gwangallli Bridge)
The physical card itself costs ₩6000, and then you can buy and put money on the card using kiosks in almost every subway station.
Some convienience stores also allow you to recharge a card.
You can also buy "cell phone jewelry" which has the exact same RFID as the Hanaro card, and can be used the same way. Prices for these vary, and they come in innumerable designs.
Using the Hanaro card will save you some money. The minimum subway fare is reduced from ₩1100 to ₩990 (you will still pay the ₩200 difference for length of travel). A local bus is reduced from ₩1200 to ₩1080.
When leaving a bus you can 'scan out' in order to have a discounted fare when you board another bus if within 20 minutes.
Furthermore, when you "scan out" from a subway and "scan in" to a bus within 20 minutes then the bus fare is reduced to ₩250.
The four lines of the Busan Subway  -- Red (1), Green (2), Brown (3), and Blue (4) can connect you to most places of interest in Busan. Rides are ₩1200 or ₩1400 depending on distance (hang onto your ticket until you exit), and both signage and announcements are in English so finding your way is easy. One-day ticket costs ₩4000.
There is an additional Purple line (Gimhae Light Railway) that connects the Airport and the West of Busan to the subway network. The fares are not integrated.
Check carefully the direction you want to go, since once you go through the gate it may not be possible to change platforms in many stations. For example, the Green line (2) goes between Jangsan and Yangsan which is confusing to begin with.
Subway cars have specially designated seats for elderly, disabled and pregnant passengers. You can sit in them as long as you are prepared to give up your seat to someone who needs.
If you are staying for a bit then consider buying a Hanaro card (하나로카드).
Note that T-money cards and some other subway cards for other cities also work for the Busan subway.
Also note that the journey times can be quite long compared to overland travel. For example Haeundae to Busan station is less than 30 minutes by taxi but over an hour by subway.
By light rail
The Busan Gimhae Light Rail (Purple) line meets up with both the Brown (3) and Green (2) Metro lines. The light rail provides a convenient way for transiting to Gimhae International Airport.
Apart from the airport and Gimhae town, there are not many places of interest on this line.
Note that the light rail ticketing is not integrated with the Busan Metro, and therefore a seperate ticket is required to change between them. (The Hanaro card can still be used to pay for tickets)
There are plenty of taxis prowling the streets of Busan. Regular taxi flag drop is ₩2200 for the first two kilometers, then the meter starts ticking at ₩100 for each 143 m or every 34 seconds if the taxi is going under 15 kph. Deluxe "mobeom" taxis (black and red) charge ₩4500 for the first 3 km and then ₩200 for each 160 m or 38 seconds. Fares increase 20% between midnight and 4AM.
You can use the Hanero public transport card to pay for taxis as well. There is however no discount.
Most taxi drivers do not speak English (although some may speak Japanese), so if you can show the name in Korean of your destination it will help a lot. In Busan almost all taxi drivers are friendly towards foreigners, although they often assume that a foreigner wants to go a long distance (such as to the airport).
Finding and catching a taxi in good weather is easy. When it is raining then you will be waiting a very long time before an available taxi stops for you!
There are some unscrupulous taxis that may attempt to charge much higher fixed fares (as much as ₩20,000) in some areas such as around Busan Port. Insist on the meter and take a different taxi if your driver refuses to use it.
Busan has a good and comprehensive bus system. It is worth using a Hanero card (see 'Subway Section') since these can be used from transfers (just swipe your card when leaving the bus).
Note that the ride on the bus can be very bumpy on Busan's hills, therefore at rush hour you may find yourself standing up for a long journey swaying about the whole time!
Also note that the front seats of the bus have yellow seat covers, which mean they are designated for elderly people. You are allowed to sit as long as you give it up when an elderly person boards.
The front of the bus has the destination displayed in Korean, English and Japanese, although on the bus there will be no English route maps whatsoever.
Bus fares are ₩1,200 (1,080 with a Hanero card) for local buses (blue or green colored), and ₩1,800 (1,700 with a transportation card) for chwaseok (seated) or express buses.
Biking is possible in Busan, although it is somewhat dangerous in most of the city due to the driving style found here. In Haeundae there are dedicated bike lanes on many pavements (used by scooters for the most part) which are relativally safe.
- Haeundae Beach (Tourist office and SeaCloud hotel) has a free bike rental scheme between 09:00 and 18:00 for foreigners (with a passport, id card and accomodation voucher!). If you do not have insurance then a 2000 won fee is required.
- Haeundae New Town (The Jangsan area) has a new bike rental scheme which is cheap although you will need to read Korean to use it. 500 won for 30 minutes or 3000 won for a monthly menmbership. It is fully electronic, therefore there are no time limits and you can pick up and drop your bike at different designated locations around the area. This is a nice residential area, although it doesn't really have any notable tourist attractions to bike between. (You could bike to Haeundae beach though)
Due to the mountains and valleys, Busan lacks a natural city center and is very much spread out in every direction. This means that walking around the city is impractical.
However certain sights are clustered together in a way that makes walking around them possible.
- Haeundae: Start at the beach, walk around Dongbaek island and then explore the town.
- Jungang: Explore the old town around the '40 steps', and then walk to Yongdusan park and Busan Tower.
The bustling port of Busan
- Beomeosa Temple (Line 1, Beomeosa station). One of Korea's great temples, this large complex is located up in the mountains and feels further away from the city than the few kilometers it really is. The buildings have been destroyed and rebuilt many times since they were founded in 678, yet they are still atmospheric. The temple does get packed with worshippers, hikers (see Do) and tourists on weekends. Take exit 5 from the station and make a U-turn, turn left and take bus 90 from the station a few hundred meters up (₩900, 20 minute, every 15 minutes). Entry ₩1000.
- Yonggungsa Temple. This Buddhist temple complex is situated on top of a large rock along the ocean making it rather unique in Korea. To get there take bus 181 from outside Centum City or Haeundae subway stations.
- 40 Steps (40 Gyedan), (Line 1, Jungang station). A few streets of a grubby district have been 'restored' to their condition in the post-Korean War 1960s, with wooden lamppost and bronze figures illustrating scenes of hardscrabble street life. Also easy walking distance to Yongdusan Park.
- Yongdusan Park - Busan Tower, (Line 1, Nampo station). This pleasant little park is home to Busan's one true tourist attraction, the 118 meter tall Busan Tower (₩4000). This is the fourth tallest tower in South Korea, although it is over 100 m shorter than the Namsan Tower in Seoul. There are some decent views even without going up the tower, and you can buy some corn to feed the resident population of ravenous pigeons. The fences surrounding Busan Tower are adorned with love padlocks, which can be purchased in the souvenir shop. If you go up the Busan Tower you will get to see an awesome panorama of the entire city. You can walk ot take the hillside escalator up to the tower.
- Dalmaji Hill, Haeundae (From Haeundae station (Line 2) it is probably easiest to take a short taxi ride. Otherwise you can walk to the eastern end of Haeundae Beach (Mipo) and climb the small hill to arrive at the start of Dalmaji), . This is regarded as Busan's 'romantic road', and climbs a hill overlooking the sea. Along the way there are many galleries. At the top there are many viewing areas, as well as an amphitheater and pleasent cafes
- MoonTan Road ( 문탠로드 ), Haeundae (Half way up Dalmaji Hill (above)), . This is a great forested walk along the sea coast. At night time it is lit up.
- Busan Modern History Museum, 42-2, 2Ga Daecheong-dong Jung-gu, Busan, Korea, 600-092 (Line1 - Jungang or Nampo), ☎ 051 253-3845, . 09:00 - 20:00. This building housing the Busan Modern History Museum was used as the Busan Branch of the Oriental Development Company during the Japanese occupation and as the Busan USIS Cultural Center following the Korean war. The exhibition consists of the modern history of Busan during the Japanese occupation, Busan's role in the Korean war and the history of the relationship between Korea and the United States. Although not very impartial, this museum nevertheless provides a facinating background to modern Busan and you could probably spend two to three hours here.
- Busan Museum, (Line 2 - Daeyeon), . 09:00 - 20:00. Discover the history of Busan from the Prehistoric period to the present day. Free.
- Busan Museum of Art, 40 APEC Road, Haeundae-Gu, Busan (Line 2, Busan Museum of Art station), ☎ 0517402602, . 10AM to 8PM. Contains three art galleries of modern art (one being for children). You can probably feel pretty good about spending 2-3 hours here and feel like you've seen it all. Closed every Monday and January 1st. In case Monday is a national holiday then the museum is closed on the next day instead. Free.
- UN Memorial Cemetery (Line 2, Kyungsung University & Fukyong Natational University Station). This is the only cemetery managed by the United Nations in the world. Soldiers from many countries who contributed to the United Nations during the Korean War are buried here. Take bus from in front of the Memorial Park after subway exit. Please note that proper attire is required since guards will prohibit entry if you are wearing flip-flops, miniskirts, or shorts.
- Nakdong River Estuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary, (Line 1 - Hadan Station), . 08:00 - 20:00. The spot where the Nakdong River meets the South Sea has been declared a natural monument since 1966. Where the large mouth of the river forms, there are sand dunes and deltas and many small islands (including Ilung-do). It is now a bird sanctuary for migrating species that visit between October and March. There are over 150 different species (including many rare birds like white-naped cranes, black-faced spoonbills, and white-tailed eagles) that stop here on their migratory routes. It's difficult to reach by land, so it's best to take a boat from Myeongji-dong harbor. The best times to see the birds is early in the day, before it gets too hot.
- Dongbaek Island (Dongbaekseom), Haeundae Beach, next to Westin Hotel (At Haeundae Beach turn right and walk to the Westin Hotel. The walk around the island starts from there.). Dongbaekseom is not a real island, but a forested area with Camellia and pine trees past the Westin hotel. It offers a pleasent and short costal walk, and the APEC Conference Center (with great views of Busan) can be visted here as well.
- Taejongdae Park, Busan-si Yeongdo-gu Dongsam-dong San 29-1 (From Busan Station, take city bus number 88 or 101 and get off at Taejongdae Park (10 min interval / 40 min ride)), . Named after King Taejong Muyul (654-661) of the Silla Dynasty who practiced archery here after unifying the Three Kingdoms. During the Joseon period, King Taejong (1400-1418) is reputed to have visited here for recreation and pleasure. The magistrate of Dongnae also came here during a major drought to offer prayers for rain. Taejongdae is a famous tourist attraction in Busan, with its white lighthouse overlooking the green sea. Many people enjoy eating fresh raw fish on the rocky shore, taking a boat around the Olyuk ('five or six') Islands, and seeing the famous 'Suicide Rock.' When the weather is nice, the Japanese island of Tsushima can be seen in the distance, 56 km away. The scene from the observation deck is beautiful and the white lighthouse together with the green sea looks very exotic. The walk from the entrance to the lighthouse is quite long, although a shuttle bus runs from the shops. Free Entry.
- Busan Cinema Center, 1467 Woo-Dong, Haeundae-Gu, Busan 612-020 (Line 2 - Centum City Station.), . The Busan International Film Festival has had this impressive open cinema built for the October 2011 festival. Go at night time to appreciate the light show displayed on the ceiling. To get there take the subway/bus to Centum City. The building is behind Shinsigae Centum City.
- Pusan National University, (Line 1 - Pusan National Univesity Station). The area around the PNU is very lively. It is full of students, bars, cafes and fashion shops. You can try Korean student food specialities, such as Don Katsu and Croquette (Goroke - 고로케). A good place to spend an evening.
- Chungryeolsa (Shrine) (Line 1, Myeongnyun Station) Take bus number. 29,29-1,89 or 129 and walk for five minutes. ₩200 adults, ₩100 children.
- Lotte Aquatique Show (Lotte Department Store, Line 1, Nampo Station) Yet another of Lotte's shrine to consumerism, the Nampo-dong outlet hosts a roughly 10 minute long cascading musical fountain show on the hour, 11 times per day. The water falls from the celing 4 floors up and is even used to draw pictures and display words so it's quite the interesting watch. Supposodly the largest cascading musical fountain in the world. Technically free to view, but naturally the goal is to sucker you into loosening your purse strings nearby.
Entrance to the Hurshimchung Spa
- Busan Aquarium, Heaundae Beach (Line 2 - Haeundae station. Walk directly to the beach from the station.), ☎ +82 051-740-1700, . This is the largest aquarium in Korea with great facilities and excellent displays. There is also a 3D ride that is worth checking out. ₩17,000.
- Jagalchi Fish Market, Jagalchi (Line 1-Jagalchi station). This a huge fish market, and there is lots of great fish and other seafood there, and you'll have to opportunity to eat squid that is still wriggling when you eat it! Try and come very early to see the activity around the fish being landed. It is walking distance from the Nampo Lotte Department store or Jagalchi station on the Busan Metro Line 1.
- Spaland Centum City, Busan-si Haeundae-gu U2-dong Shinsegae Centum City 1F-3F (Take subway to Centum City), . 06:00 - 24:00. Part of the Shinsigae mall, this spa is probably the most friendly/accessible spa for foreigners in Busan. It is directly on the Centum City subway station, making it very easy to get to. Signs and an Instruction leaflet are also provided in English. It should be noted that unlike many other spas, there is a time limit of 4 hours here after which you would need to pay again. The quality of the spa facilities as well as the hot rooms are very high (which helps explain the relative high price to other spas), and the Korean restaurant inside serves good food. Entry price is cheaper before 8AM. Please note that children age 12 and under are not permitted, and under the age of 18 must be under parental supervision after 22:00. 12,000 Won (Weekdays), 14,000 Won (Weekends) (Discount for students). (35.16830,129.12914)
- Hur Shim Chung Spa (허심청 Heoshimcheong), subway Oncheonjang (exit 1, cross the street and make a beeline for Hotel Nong Shim; it's connected by a walkway), . This massive hot spring complex claims to be the largest in Asia: Noboribetsu might disagree, but it certainly is huge, with hot, tepid, cold and strawberry milk-filled baths, saunas, pools, and an outdoor section. On the 3rd floor is a large jjimjilbang resting area, containing (among other things) a restaurant, a beauty salon, an oxygen room, and three 'igloos' heated to 81°C, 51°C and 0°C. You'll get a key when you come in, use it to open your shoe and clothes lockers and pay for any purchases inside. Men's and women's spas are segregated but the resting area is shared, so pick up a robe before you head downstairs. There's also some signage in English to guide you around. Entry to the spa is ₩7,900, plus ₩1,000 for the jjimjilbang on Sunday/holidays only. You can stay as long as you want, but it gets quite crowded and noisy on weekends. The spa is closed in May for vacation and re-opens in June.
- Busan City Tour All-day ticket available for double-decker tour buses. Popular pick-up from Busan Station. Kids ₩5000, adults ₩10,000.
- Haeundae Cruise Boat, Haeundae (Line 2-Haeundae station. Walk to Haeundae beach, turn left and walk to the end), . 09:00 ~ 22:00. This boat trip starts off at Haeundae’s Mipo Ferry Terminal and heads towards Oryuk-do Islets and the Igidae area. The shores of Igidae are composed of breathtaking views of fantastically-shaped cliffs. This 1-hour boat trip offers great views of Busan Harbor. 18,000 won.
- BEXCO, Subway Line 2 - Centum City, . BEXCO is a large exhibition center with many halls, and although most of the events are rather dry there may be something of interest whilst you're in town. Check out the schedule on the website. Many cafes in Busan have promotional leaflets for upcoming events held in BEXCO, sometimes with a discount.
As Korea's second largest city, there are a large number of events. The online Busan Haps magazine has a listing of new events in English.
- The Busan International Film Festival, . Typically runs the first 10 days every year in October. It takes place all across Busan showcasing many international films and often some significant premieres of new Korean films. Most of the events are held on Haeundae beach where there are many tents promoting the industry as well as public interviews with stars. The Busan Cinema Center opened in 2011 to support this event. Tickets sell out quickly, and very long queues can be seen outside cinemas in the early morning for people wanting to catch the most anticipated films. (In previous years, this has been called the Pusan International Film Festival)
- Polar Bear Swim, Haeundae Beach, . A famous beach swim in the first week of January when the temperature is around 0°C. Hundreds of participants brave the cold to compete in the sea. This event has run annually at the Choseon Beach Hotel since 1988.
- Busan International Rock Festival, Samrak Park, . Busan has been holding an annual Rock festival for 12 years now in August. Mostly Korean and Asian rock bands, but some Western bands do appear.
Busan is famous in Korea for its Beaches. The water quality is good, and during the summer season the jet ski equipped life guards are very paranoid so you are unlikely to get into trouble. Note that the beaches have a Tsunami warning system (information signs are displayed) although the risk of one happening is actually far less than in nearby Japan.
- Haeundae Beach (해운대), near Haeundae Station. One of the most popular summer destinations in South Korea. Haeundae beach attracts tourists from all around the country and gets really overcrowded in late July and early August. Deck chairs and parasols are available to rent for ₩10,000. There are numerous hotels including International chains nearby. The Busan Aquarium is on the beach front. On a clear day, Tsushima Island (Japan) can be seen. In winter the beach is much more quiet, although various events such as the Pusan Film Festival and the new year Polar Bear Swim are held here. Away from the beach in Haeundae town there are some excellent restaurants and a wide variety of shops, although many are hidden away. Explore the streets behind the beach front boulevard. The Haeundae Tourist Infomation Center is directly on the beach. Surfing and jetskiing is available, although most people seem happy to float in yellow inflatable rings (These can be rented).
- Songjeong Beach(송정해수욕장) This smaller beach is accessible from Line 2 at Haeundae Station via bus (take bus 100, 100-1, 139, 142, or 181 to Songjeong Station, with 181 taking one directly to the main street section and just meters away from the beach) or Jangsan Station via a short cab ride. This beach is also connected to KORAIL at Songjeong Station (not to be confused with Songjeong-ri Station). Despite the station being very close, it is not visible from the beach or most of the surrounding areas.
Songjeong is a sandy cove-beach that is about 1.2 km long. You can rent the umbrellas for around ₩10,000. Songjeong Beach is open during the warmest months and it closes for swimming very early during the day (between 16:00 and 18:00). There are many hotels and motels directly on the beach or within an easy walk. You can find towels, sandals, ATMs and fireworks between the motel and beach. Beer, soju and food vendors are also at the edge of the beach, with plenty of Korean, foreign and seafood restaurants. This beach is a better option than Haeundae beach in summer, since it is less crowded.
At night, Songjeong Beach serves as a date-spot and hangout. Drinking on the beach is legal and fireworks are tolerated.
- Gwangalli Beach (광안리 Gwangalli), near Gwangan Station (subway line number 2, exit 3 or 5) and walk 5 minutes. From Busan Station, take city bus No. 41, 42, 140, 239, 240, 139 and get off at Gwanganlli Beach. Best experienced at night when the impressive Gwangan Grand Bridge is illuminated. The area is similar to Haeundae but smaller and less up scale. There are some interesting restaurants, bars and shops in the area. You should try visiting one of the the tall newly built hotels on the beach where they have really nice Sauna and Jjim Jil Bangs overlooking the bridge for around ₩8000.
The remote temple of Seokbulsa (석불사)
View of Busan, from the top of Jangsan mountain
The mountains around Busan have some good hiking trails. It should be noted that hiking trails are not really well marked in Korea, even if you can read Korean script. Definitely do your research before you hike.
Hiking clothes are a must have fashion item in Korea these days, even if they only get used in the local mall. Prices are extremely high, so you should purchase what you need before coming to Korea.
- Geumjeong Fortress. A popular route is to take the subway to Oncheongjang, and then a short taxi ride to the cable car station. At the top of the mountain head towards the South Gate (Nammun) of Geumjeong Fortress and then through the North Gate (Bukmun) and down to Beomeosa Temple. This has a distance of 9 km (Taking between 3 to 4 hours).
- Seokbulsa temple ( 석불사 ) is another impressive temple about 90 minutes hike from the cable car station. It is often overlooked, but has magnificant statues carved into the mountain itself. Great views over Busan and very peaceful. From the South Gate (남문), the path indicated by the Mandeokchon (만덕촌) sign leads to a collection of restaurants and volleyball courts in Namman Village (남만 마을). At one point, the path stops at a court; walk right and pick up the trail on the other side. About 500m down the trail look for a sign that reads in Korean 석불사 입구 (Seokbulsa entrance). You will come to a steep mountain road. Turn right and walk the road 600m uphill to the temple.
- Jangsan Mountain. If you are near Haeundae, then Jangsan mountain can provide a good day's hiking. There are military bases at the summit complete with minefields (Clearly marked and fenced off), and great views over Busan and on a clear day to Japan. A good starting point is Daecheon Park in Jangsan. A hike to the summit and back should take 3-4 hours.
- Baseball Busan is home to the 'Lotte Giants' team, and home games are held at Sajik Baseball Stadium.
- Busan Sailing  Haeundae has the largest leisure marina in Korea located about 10 minutes away from the beach walking in the direction of the Chosun Beach Hotel.
- Chicago Fitness Club  is a great place to train. It has a wide range of cardio equipment, free weights (dumbells upto 100lbs) and machines as well as golf practice facilities. It is located on the 5th floor of the Milligore Shopping Center in Seomyeon.
- KLIFF provides flexible Korean lessons in Haeundae (near the beach) and in the PNU university area. (in the north of the city)
Positions teaching English are available in Busan. See the main South Korea article for details.
The Busan municipal government decided in early 2012 to phase out foreign teachers from English teaching positions in public schools. This means that English teaching opportunities will be mostly limited to the privately run Hagwons.
The online Busan Haps magazine has classified adds for such positions in Busan. The majority of positions are in the Haeundae district in the east, and many ESL teachers can be seen on the street around here.
Underground entrance to the Lotte Department Store
Currency exchange is possible near Nampo-dong and Hauendae at banks such as KB (Korea Bank of Exchange), Busan Bank and NH Bank. Withdrawing cash at an ATM with your foreign MasterCard or Visa is usually simple, with most cash machines have an English language option. American Express cards are more difficult to use.
- Jagalchi Fish Market (Line 1, Jagalchi station) Busan is famous for the Jagalchi Fish Market. This market displays freshly caught fish and various live sea creatures. Better yet you can visit restaurants on the 2nd floor of the main multi-storied fishing complex and eat fish you've picked out from the first floor. Go as early in the morning as you can to experience the landing of fish and the selling activity.
- Can market (Ggangtong market) is an old market near Jagalchi Market in Nampo dong. People can’t easily notice there since it is located in a deep corner. There is nothing this market doesn’t serve. Since Busan has a big harbor, many foreigners have visited, so that it was quite early when citizens of Busan began to accept exotic culture and products. Ggangtong Market is a kind of evidence of that history. At the end of the Ggangtong market, there is a narrow street which reminds of the period from 1960-70. That is the Book Street of Bosudong, which contains many secondhand books.
- Gukje Market, Gwangbok-dong Market, and Nampo-dong Market Three major shopping districts connected to each other. Very much similar to Seoul's Namdaemun Market and MyeongDong shopping district. Various shops geared towards young and old people with many brand name stores and underground stores. You can bargain with the sellers.
- Lotte Department Store, subway Seomyeon. An over-the-top temple to consumerism (check out the fountains and statues at the basement entrance), this is Busan's second largest department store. It is the place to pick up some ₩500,000 ginseng or perhaps a Spam gift set for the folks back home. The basement has good food court/delicatessen/supermarket section.
- Choryang Foreigner Shopping Area, opposite Busan station. It has strange combination of a China town and a Russian town with ornate Chinese gates and Russian shops selling pickles and vodka. The overall feeling is distinctly downmarket, and if you want to take the name literally there are ladies of many nationalities enticing sailors and other customers in the doorways. You may get more than you bargained for though, as the area is notorious for ripoffs and even the occasional robbery at night.
- Shinsegae Department Store, Subway Line 2 - Centum City, ☎ 1588-1234, . 10:30~20:00. Shinsegae (신세계) is a new department store built in Centum City, and has an interesting (albeit expensive) food hall in the basement. The Kyobo book store is large and has a large variety of Korean and foreign books. It has two cinemas, an icerink and a large public spa. It is also the biggest department store in the world according to the Guiness World Book of Records.
Busan as a costal city is well known for fresh seafood. Note that restaurant in Korea can open and close frequently, although if an establishment below has closed then another good option is likely to be found close by. Korean restaurants also usually serve only a variation on a speciality dish, so check with your party beforehand. Vegatarians should select a restuarant with suitible dishes since customization of orders almost never happens.
There are dishes you should try in Busan that are not typically available in other parts of Korea.
- Dong-nae pajeon (동래파전) is a seafood and green onion pancake, an affordable and popular Busan dish.
- Daegu Tang (대구탕) is a delicious flaky cod soup with vegetables. You will find dedicated restuarents for this at the east side of Haeundae beach.
- Bokguk is a soup made with pufferfish, the type of which is extreemly poisonous. (The same as Japanese Fugu) There are many places in Busan licensed to prepare pufferfish, but you may want to know what you are getting into! Typically there are cartoon pictures of a fish looking like a balloon outside, so should be easy to spot.
- Gimbap Cheongook (김밥천국), a block to the north of Busan station (orange-yellow-white sign). Serves up gimbap from W2000 and all sorts of noodles for ₩2500-4000. No English menu or sign, but if you can say it they'll make it, and it's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- welly&, Busan station 3F. This food court serves all the usual Korean favorites, with plastic food and English menus making ordering a snap. Meals from ₩5000.
- Seoul Kakkduggi, Nampo-dong. Specializes in beef soups and kakkduggi side dish. Meals around ₩6000.
- Amby's, Texas St (Russia Town). European, N. American, Russian, and S.E. Asian dishes; try the borscht stew. Popular with sailors and their lady companions, the best time to go is after midnight. A small shop offering a limited selection of dust-covered western goods is located in the front.
- Eva's near Kyeongseong University (경성대) turns into a bar, but they serve excellent Western food, and American-style breakfast until the afternoon. Open air bar. Thursday is lady’s bottomless drinks for ₩15000. In-Jung runs the bar and is a great hostess.
- Wolfhound Irish Pub & Restaurant, Haeundae ((Walk out exit 5 from Haeundae Stn for about 300 meters and its on your right on the second floor just inside the fifth alley.)), ☎ 051-746-7913, . from 5pm on weekdays, 11AM weekends. A recently opened proper pub serving a variety of premium draft beers and hearty western food at reasonable prices. Great place for a mid week dinner and pint or to party on the weekends. Check out the reviews of the place online. from 4900won.
- Hello Thai, good Thai restaurant located near Haeunda Beach, on an alleyway across from Aqua Beach Hotel or down the alley (away from the beach) from Miami 88. Prices range from ₩9000 for simple meals to ₩60000 won for set menus.
- Namaste, Haeundae (Subway Station no 203. Exit 3. Walk down the main street towards the beach. Take 5th Right (first diagonal street). Just before BMW dealership, restaurant is on the right, basement level.). Solid Indian fare in a stylish environment. Starters 3,000 - 6,000 won; Main Courses 12,000 - 20,000 Won. (35.160054,129.160646)
- Shabana Indian Restaurant, 56-1 3rd Flr Deyon-dong Namgu (Subway Station no 212 Kyungsung University and From the Century 21 building across from Kyungsung University, either take a left at Pizza Hut, and then your first left, walk to the end of the block it is on the 3rd floor across from the Seven Eleven. Or walking from Vinyl to the subway, it is the second street on your right, across from Buy the Way), ☎ 051-621-4821, . 11AM-10AM. Authentic Indian restaurant.Owned by Indian. US$10-20.
- Millak Town Raw Fish Center, Gwangalli Beach. Busan is famous for raw fish ('회 Hway'), which the Koreans eat in the same style as bulgogi, namely topped with kimchi and gochujang and wrapped in a lettuce leaf. One of the best places to sample this is in a large brown building at the northern end of Gwangalli Beach. The first floor is the actual fish market and the floors above are packed with nothing but restaurants serving it up. This can get expensive, so order a set or specify your budget to avoid surprises.
- Four Season Raw Fish (Sakyeocheol Hoetjip), Millak Raw Fish Center 2F. The owner, Mr. Jun, speaks English, and ordering here is easy: it's either set A, B or C at ₩30/40/50000 per head. Even Set A is huge, while C is extreemly large. Be warned: this is as real as it gets and dishes will include still-moving octopus tentacles and other stuff most Westerners would not be familier with.
- Jagalchi market is the biggest traditional fish market in Busan. There are many attractive places near Jagalchi market. Gukje market, Can market(Ggangtong market), Nampodong & Gwangbok-dong shopping district, food street, PIFF plaza are all within walking distance.
- Ventanas Grill Steak and Seafood, Novotel Ambassador, Haeundae, tel. +82 051-743 1234. Steak, fresh seafood, premier wine. Sephia style interior design, cozy atmosphere, and ocean view.
Korea's coffee culture has improved a great deal in the past few years. So much so that the quality often exceeds that in Western countries. Along with Starbucks there are many Korean chains such as Cafe Bene and 'Angel in us' which serve OK coffee.
Note on Wi-Fi: 'Cafe Bene' seems to provide free and decent wi-fi in all its stores, whereas other chains (Such as Starbucks) tend not to provide this service. Independant coffee shops often provide free wi-fi.
- Cafe Aslan, Jangsan. Leave Jangsan station (Line 1) exit 13, walk for about a minute or so, then turn left. It's kinda tucked away to the left side. Fantastic tasting coffee and backed pastries, along with a really great ambience. Coffee is a little expensive at 5,500 Won a cup. (free wi-fi and laptop ower points)
Busan has thousands if not tens of thousands of drinking places scattered throughout the city. Popular spots include Nampodong and the area around Pusan National University. Drinking spots popular with the foreign community include:
Kyungsung University area:
Currently this area has the most selections in terms of density and sheer numbers of drinking establishments of any area in Busan.
- Ghetto, Probably the cheapest drinks in Busan. ₩1000 shots of your preferred liquor. The music is loud and sometimes obnoxious, but this place always draws a dancing crowd.
- Foxy, Plays hip-hop, caters more to the college crowd. Sometimes there are live performances of locals. Cover varies nightly, can be as high as ₩15000. You will want a private room to escape the crowd, prepare to pay for that as well.
- Ol'55, A usually quiet western style bar with a free to use billiards table and dart board. Sometimes live music. 
- Club Realize, Metal/Punk/Rock club in Kyungsung, around the corner from exit 1. (directions-walk straight out of exit one for a few meters and take the first right, walk to the end of that block and take the next right at the long tea bar. its 2 bars over on the right, above bar king king on the 5th floor) Usually open on fridays and saturdays and sometimes throughout the week (although it has been available for rental during the week/sundays). Its the ONLY place to see regular metal, punk and rock in Busan. A modest amount of beer and booze at the bar is complemented by a selection of in house cocktails. Good place to go and let it all out, scream shout and get wasted and not care how you look.
- Kino-Eye, Darts and a big bar, occasionally there's dancing. Look for the creepy rabbit with the red eye. Party starts after 1am or so. Movies shown nightly.
- 302, Small, but there's (pretty good) live jazz on the weekends.
- Thursday Party Much akin to the other Thursday Parties in town, one of the most popular places for Koreans and Westerners to intermingle. If you've been to one, you've been to them all.
- Wolfhound Irish Pub & Restaurant, Haeundae (Walk out exit 5 from Haeundae Stn for about 300 meters and its on your right on the second floor just inside the fifth alley.), ☎ 051-746-7913, . From 5PM weekdays, 11AM weekends. A recently opened proper pub serving a large variety of premium draft beers and western food at reasonable prices. Great place for a mid week dinner and pint or to party on the weekends. Good mix of Koreans and westerners. Check out the reviews of the place online. from 4900.
- Elune In the basement of Paradise Hotel. This is the "newest" club in HaeUndae and by far the most worthy of being considered a club. Elune is sizeable, attracts international DJs, and has a good sound and light system. Expect to pay a cover.
- MURPII, Novotel Ambassador Busan, entirely renovated, unfortunately it is pretty dead 99% of the time: including weekends.  "As of May 20, 2012, there was tape covering the sign of the club outside the hotel, so it appears to have closed down."
- U2 Bar, across from the Novotel Ambassador Busan. Has live DJs and occasional live bands on weekends. Plays requests during the weekdays. Darts, pool and Hookahs available. Though not busy on most weeknights, there are usually a good mix of foreigners and koreans inside.
- Starface Bar, Dalmaji Hill. Pool table and cool Americans aplenty on the weekends. Pretty sleepy during most weeknights.
- Maktum, A bit of a flashy dance club that brings in Foreign DJs http://maktum.co.kr/. Very busy on weekends. Expect to pay a cover.
- Boracay In between Haeundae and the Apec Center. In the basement of a hotel. This is a Korean style booking club. It's expensive and offers the potential to meet Korean women, which are customers not employees.
- Thursday Party Much akin to the other Thursday Parties in town, one of the most popular places for Koreans and Westerners to intermingle. Not as good as the one in KSU.
- Crossroads, A chilled out sit-down bar with an excellent music selection
- Moe's, A funkier atmosphere, sometimes live music
- Soultrane, A dancey, loud place.
- The Basement, An ultra smokey bar with pool tables and plenty of expats and food.
- Camel Bar, Miniature billiards and rarely a second customer in the place.
- Hollywood Star, Pool table and darts available. Talk to Jun, he's friendly and knowledgeable and speaks great English. Usually has sexy girls working there.
- Fuzzy Navel, A lot of fun in summer but dead in winter. Beware of the Long Island Ice Tea, famous for its blackout-inducing potential.
- Beach Bikini
- Thursday Party, Gwangalli classic. On a good night the foosball table area becomes a dancefloor and in summer the party spills onto the beach.
Seomyeon also has a lot to offer:
* Foxy's, Formerly Hollywood Star. There are two floors, three bars, and a balcony.
- Cowboy Bar, There's a cheesy wild west theme going on, but it has a good selection of drinks.
- Miller Time, Order pitchers of Miller Genuine Draft and eat some HOF style snacks.
- Thursday Party Much akin to the other Thursday Parties in town, one of the most popular places for Koreans and Westerners to intermingle.
- Rock 'n' Roll Bar . ₩3000 cocktails, ₩6000 for high-end drinks. Occasional live music and a laid back atmosphere. E-dart board and Pool Table. Across the street from the Lotte Hotel (look for the large sign with Kurt Cobain down the small street perpendicular to Lotte).</drink>
- Idea/Adela (Hair Cafe), Idea/Adela 2nd floor, 831-15 Mang-Mi 1Dong, Su-Young Gu. If you are sick of Starbucks coffee and bad "Americano" Coffee from Paris Baguette then you can come to this cosy, little european style cafe situated in a residential area in Mangmidong. This place has the best coffees in Busan i could find and some self-made patisseries. The place got a nice atmosphere so you can kick-back and enjoy your time there. The place is situated on the first level.
All sorts of love motels can be found throughout the city, for instance near Sasang and Western Cross-Country Bus Termninal. Some are noted as some of the best bargains in all of Busan. Most will cost you ₩30,000-50,000/night.
- Pusan[Busan] Hostel,  Offers Korean lessons for their guests. they have dinner with their guests and party together. The hostel near the Kyungsung-Pukyong University area also features a gorgeous ocean view. ₩20000 per person/night. [email protected] // +82 (0)70-4132-4003
- Samwonjang Motel (삼원장) (三原荘). Samwonjang Motel provides private bedrooms and Korean style rooms. The price is 30,000~35,000won per one night.
☎ +82 10 6760 0158 // http://www.samwonjang.com // [email protected]
- Pusan Inn Motel, 1200-14 Choryang-dong Jung gu, Busan 601-010. (Take metro line 1 to Busan station (#113)), ☎ +82 16 500 3866 ([email protected]), . checkin: 12pm; checkout: 12pm. The rooms are very clean and all private. Website is in Japanese and Korean. For English reservation, please contact by e-mail 1-2 person private room ₩35,000.
- Busan[Pusan] Chan Guesthouse, Chan GuestHosue , Middle of Haeundae Market Busan Korea., ☎ +82 10 2844 0295 ([email protected]), . Busan Chan Guesthouse is in the Haeundae Local Market near the beach area. Oriental & Indian style interior. Free breakfast & internet. Male/Female Dorm ₩25,000.
- Actor & Tourist Guest-house, (Choose exit (2) when exiting the Namcheon subway station, go up the stairs and walk for 75 meters, the Guesthouse will be on the left. There will be a small yellow sign (in the shape of a fish) pointing to a courtyard which is the entrance to the Guesthouse. Go to the 4th floor to check-in.), ☎ +82 70-7528-9069 ([email protected]ail.com), . Owned by Mr. Lee, a friendly and well-traveled backpacker. Amenities include: free internet, free tea, a spacious kitchen, travel books, photo albums, western toilets, two clean showers and one bath. There is also a very large balcony with tables and chairs that overlook the city. It's ten minutes' walk to Gwangalli beach. ₩20000.
- Busan Youth Hostel Arpina,  is located close to the Haeundae attractions.
- Blue Backpackers, 82-10-5019-3962('010-5019-3962'(08:30-22:00)[email protected] Clean and cozy hostel with a reasonable price. Jin, the owner is very friendly and helpful with a lot of informations for your trip.The hostel is in the center of Busan,Seomyeon, 5-10mins.walk to lots of shoppings,restaurants around. Blue Backpackers is very good location for the transportation to get around Busan. Breakfast free (toast,coffe,tea,jam,butter,egg,juice etc.),free wifi are also very good option for travellers. Dorm bed 20,000won per person, private rooms 45,000won for 2people.Family room for 90,000won.All rooms with a bathroom,air-con. They also have other options for your need. They have a big common room with a big scrren TV, computers,tables,chairs and nice kitchen on the roof is awsome. In a busy season, you better book in advance because they booked out easily.
- Indy House,  Dormbeds start at 20,000 WON per night. Owned by Indy, who is a nice guy and very helpful. 150 m away from "Kyungsung University & Pukyong National University" subway station. Well equipped with small pool table, free internet, free movies and free laundry. Booking & Contact No. Phone (+82) 070-8615-6442 , mobile (+82) 010-8910-6442, [email protected]
- Kumran Hotel (Gumran) (금란), Telephone: 0518038800. ₩25000 or ₩30000/double per night. Seomyeon Station Exit 9 (5 min walk from the station). Once you take the Station Exit 9, you will face the Family Mart and a dumpling(Mandoo). Gumran Hotel is in the alley to the right of Family Mart, not the same alley Family Mart is on. Located near the Younggwan Library (영관 도서관); ask someone, they'll know. It is about 100 m into the alley. Free parking.
- Motel Elysee (엘리제), Yongdusan Park, Nampo-dong, ☎ +82-11-264-8048, . excellent central location in Nampo-dong, two subway stops (line 1) from the Busan train station and a few minutes from Yongdusan Park. Spacious rooms are spotless, with TV, fridge, water cooler/heater, a/c, fan, dvd and free movies. Owner is very helpful and speaks very good English. [email protected] ₩40000-₩50000.
- Vesta Sauna, (On Moontan Road. From Haeundae Beach, walk east up the cliffside road towards the Jangsan area. Vesta has a bright neon sign and is 3 doors up from an iconic hotel shaped like a Japanese castle. Alternately, a taxi from Haeundae station will run about 3000 won.), ☎ 051-743-5705, . 15-min walk from Haeundae beach, sauna entry alone costs 5,000 won, but travelers can stay for 8,000 won a night. This is a jjimjilbang and sleeping is on a large communal floor with only a limited supply of mats and pillows. It is locally famed and can get crowded on weekends. The entrance fee includes access to good saunas and baths, a variety of hot rooms and a small PC room. Facilities are mostly mediocre, but the view over Haeundae beach from the sleeping floor and baths is stunning. ₩8000.
- Zen Backpackers, 1530 Neospot, Seomyeon, ☎ +82 051-806-1530 ([email protected]), . checkin: 10AM~2AM; checkout: 11 AM. Relatively well-located in the Seomyeon area, but by far the best part about this place is June, the dude who runs it. Not only is he totally chilled out, but he gives fantastic travel advice along with free fortune telling. He also cleans the place every morning, which is an anomaly for hostel-owners. Spotless, spacious, and just plain awesome. ₩22000 dorm/₩30000 twin, private).
- The Planet Guesthouse, Crystal Beach Officetel room 311, Haeundae, ☎ +82 70-8201-6350 ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00~20:00; checkout: 12 PM. One min to the Haeundae beach, 5 min walk to the Haeundae station. Beautiful natural scenery. Women only. ₩30000 dorm).
- Pusan Hostel, 18-4 Toseong-Dong 4th street, Seo-gu (2 minute walk from Jagalchi Station exit 1), ☎ +82 10 9354 0003 or +82 70 4132 4003 ([email protected]), . Dorm ₩16,000-20,000.
- Pobi Hostel & Guesthouse,  Perfact location. KRW 20,000 - 40,000 per night. 3 minutes' walk to Haeundae Beach, 7 minutes to subway station. FREE breakfast, FREE internet, FREE International phone call. Good chance to meet new people. Very friendly staff. The guest house consists of twin rooms, couple rooms, dorms for 3, 4, 6, and 10 people, and a living room. Phone (+82) 51-746-7990, mobile (+82) 11-703-7992 email : [email protected] 2F, 1394-328, Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan,Korea
- Marubee Guesthouse, No.801, 8F, LG harbour town, 627-1, U 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, ☎ +82 10 4229 7048 ([email protected]), . checkin: noon; checkout: 12:30PM. ₩25,000 shared.
- Cinnamon Tree Guest House, [[email protected]] A new, clean, and quaint guesthouse near ME World and Gwangalli Beach.
₩27000 per person/night. Includes a delicious breakfast at the coffee shop downstairs. Be sure to try the cheesecake and the red velvet cake. They are to die for! // +82 (0)10-2553-6047
- Gwangjang Tourist Hotel (광장관광호텔), 1200-17, Choryang 3-dong, Dong-gu (north side of Busan Station Plaza), ☎ +82 051-464-3141. Centrally located no-frills two-star hotel. Rooms have bathrooms, air-con and TV. Singles/doubles from ₩43000/48000.
- Sunset Business Hotel (선셋호텔), 1391-66 Joong-Dong Haeundae-gu, Busan (a few minutes walking distance from Haeundae Beach, closest to Haunedae aquarium), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Business class hotel as the name suggests. Rooms could be bigger but in room mod cons pretty nice. Some English spoken. (35.1597682,129.16084005)
Most of Busan's luxury hotels are along Haeundae Beach. The hotels listed below all offer ocean view and city view rooms, but be prepared to pay extra for the ocean view rooms. Weekend rates are always more expensive than weekday rates, and rates go sky high during the summer peak season (varies by hotel, but roughly July to August). Rates can also go up during special events (e.g. Pusan International Film Festival).
- Novotel Busan Ambassador,  An upscale hotel on the boardwalk of Haeundae beach. Has excellent hot spring facilities with a view directly over the beach. (This was the Marriot hotel until 2005, in case you were looking for that)
- Paradise Hotel  This hotel has an extensive range of facilities including duty free shops in the basement, one (rather small) outdoor pool (closed until June 1st 2012 for renovation), a full service spa, gym, outdoor hot spring (recently renovated and expanded with a view of the ocean), sauna, as well as a casino inside the hotel (Identification proving that you have foreign citizenship is required). All seaview rooms have a balcony.
- Westin Chosun Beach  A luxury hotel located at the end of Haeundae beach, next to Dongbaek Island. It's set a bit further away from the downtown Haeundae area compared to the Novotel and Paradise hotels.
- Haeundae Grand Hotel  Unlike the three hotels named above which are located on the boardwalk or on the beach itself, this one is located off the boardwalk, however still very close to the beach (about five minutes walk). Good amenities but each (swimming pool, gym, etc.) charges separately, therefore add 15000-20000 Won for each of them that you want to use.
A few luxury hotels are more centrally located.
- Commodore Hotel, Jung-an-dong. Within walking distance of Nampo-dong.
- Lotte Hotel, * Seomyeon.  In the heart of Busan. The basement level and first floor are attached to one of the largest shopping centers in Busan. All of the staff speak very good English, and the rooms are quite large with great views of the city surrounding it. The hotel also offers a casino on the second floor, an Irish-style pub, and an expensive restaurant. The shopping center has a grocery store and a variety of restaurants at reasonable prices, and a movie theater on the top level. The shopping center itself is like any typical western-style mall, with name-brand and high-end consumer items and clothing for sale.
- Police: ☎ 112
- Fire Department: ☎119
- Tourist information Center: 051-253-8253 or 1330
- Gimhae International Airport: 051-463-9457
- Busan Station: 1544-7788
- KTX Reservations: 1544-8545
- Busan Ferry Terminal: 051-465-3471
- Busan Coastal Ferry Terminal: 051-400-3399
- Busan Express Bus Terminal: 051-508-9955
Tsunami warning sign on Haeundae beach
Generally speaking Busan is as safe as most places in South Korea, which is to say very safe.
Busan is very safe to roam around freely at night. Be a little bit cautious when most bars close at around 3AM. Do note that some bars stay open until the business dies down and in many cases this may not be until sunrise. Also take care in the area around Busan Station. If any place could be deemed seedy in Busan (which would be a stretch) this area could be considered so.
On the subway late at night, you may encounter elderly men who are rather vocal (and under the influence of alcohol) who may be unpleasent towards you. This is however unlikely to be dangerous, and you should just move to another subway car.
There is a Tsunami warning system and signs on the beaches, although the risk of a Tsunami is far less than in nearby Japan. In the unlikely event a Tsunami warning occours, then head for the top of a tall building or higher ground. (Higher ground not being easially accessible on Haeundae Beach)
There are occasionally sand storms from China covering Busan. You should avoid going outside if one passes through.
Driving standards are rather erratic in Busan, even by general Korean standards. Be careful of zebrea crossing without traffic lights since they are effectivally ignored. Korean women driving large SUV's with mobile phones glued to their ears are a common sight, as are the in-car TV entertainment systems running in many vehicles. Also be wary of scooters/mopeds, since they tend to follow even fewer road rules and are often trying to deliver something very quickly. (switching between side walk and road as it suits)
Every summer the local press gets very concerned about foreigners behaving badly on Busan beaches, usually by photographing Korean girls wearing bikinis. (Interestingly, the same press has no problem publishing corresponding photos of foreign women on Busan beaches) Since it can be a police matter, be careful what pictures you take on the beach.
English in Busan is not quite as widely understood as it is in Seoul although still people should know enough to help you out. Taxi drivers will be unlikely to have much English knowledge, although there is a translation service the taxi driver can call up if needed. Knowing even limited Japanese may be useful since this is often understood by people working in hotels, restuarents and taxis. (Due to the sizable number of Japanese tourists visiting Busan)
- Japan, 1147-11 Choryang-3 dong, Dong-gu, ☎ +82 051-465-5101 (fax: +82 (0)51-464-1630), .
- Taiwan, 9F Dongbang B/D, 25, 4-Ga, Jungang-Dong, Jung-Gu, ☎ +82 (0)51-463-7965 ([email protected], fax: +82 (0)51-463-6981).
- United States, 6F Rm 12, Lotte Gold Rose Bldg, #150-3, Yangjung-dong, Busan jin-gu, ☎ +82 (0)51-863-0731 ([email protected], fax: +82 (0)51-863-0734), . 08:30 - 12:30, 13:00 - 17:00 Monday - Friday.
- United Kingdom, ☎ (+82) (0) 51 463 4630 (fax: (+82) (0) 51 462 5933), .
- New Zealand, ☎ +82 (0)51-250-0630.
- Indonesia, ☎ +82 (0)51-806-5676.
The Busan government websites often provide useful tourist information in English, but then neglect to maintain them. For example the now discontinued ferry to Geoje island is still listed as a current destination and many links to to other English language pages are frequently broken. Therefore you should double check before planning your itinary.
- Gyeongju - arguably Korea's cultural capital, just over an hour away by bus
- Geoje - Korea's second largest resort island, now directly accessible by bridge and slightly over an hour away by expressway bus
- Jinju - a quiet city known for its fortress, 1.5 hours away by bus
- Miryang - a peaceful country town and location for many Korean films, 1 hour away by bus
- Tsushima island (Japan) makes for a good day trip from Busan.
- Fukuoka (Japan) is the closest major Japanese city, just three hours away by hydrofoil.
- Japan by rail. You can sail to Fukuoka or Osaka and then use the Japanese Rail network. You can also purchase a Japan Rail Pass at the the International Ferry Terminal.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!