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Busan, South Korea

Busan (부산(釜山)) (formerly romanized as Pusan) is a city located in the south-eastern province of South Gyeongsang, South Korea. It is the second-largest city in South Korea, and has the largest port in the country (5th largest in the world), the biggest department store in the world, beautiful beaches and mountains, spas, and tasty seafood dishes.

Busan's many unique beaches attract tourists from all over South Korea, especially in the summer. But the beach is not the only thing to see in Busan. The vibrant seafood market in Jagalchi is the most famous seafood market in Korea, and walking through the old part of the city such as the Gamcheon offers a cozy atmosphere. It is also home to many events and festivals, such as the Busan International Film Festival, one of the most famous film festivals in Asia.


Busan... Read more

Busan, South Korea


Busan (부산(釜山)) (formerly romanized as Pusan) is a city located in the south-eastern province of South Gyeongsang, South Korea. It is the second-largest city in South Korea, and has the largest port in the country (5th largest in the world), the biggest department store in the world, beautiful beaches and mountains, spas, and tasty seafood dishes.

Busan's many unique beaches attract tourists from all over South Korea, especially in the summer. But the beach is not the only thing to see in Busan. The vibrant seafood market in Jagalchi is the most famous seafood market in Korea, and walking through the old part of the city such as the Gamcheon offers a cozy atmosphere. It is also home to many events and festivals, such as the Busan International Film Festival, one of the most famous film festivals in Asia.


Busan has a sub-tropical climate with a hot, humid summer and autumn along with a mild winter. Busan typically doesn't experience snow.


Busan sits roughly 450 km (280 miles) southeast of Seoul and about 150 km (93 miles) northwest of Japan's main islands.


to the south is Busan's shopping and entertainment downtown, while central Seomyeon at the intersection of metro 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 accessible area for foreigners, and many of Busan's attractions can be found here making it a good base to start exploring the city.

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Busan, South Korea: Port Information

Cruise ships arrive at Busan Port International Cruise Terminal.
It takes 30 minutes to get to downtown from the port on shuttles (free). Metro station and train station are in a 10-minute walk from the terminal.

Get around Busan, South Korea

Hanaro Card

The Busan Hanaro Card (하나로카드) is a very useful travel card system that can be used on:

  • Metro
  • Light rail (such as to the airport)
  • Taxis
  • Local buses
  • Local road toll ways (Such as Gwangallli Bridge)

By metro

The four lines of the Busan Metro—Red (1), Green (2), Brown (3), and Blue (4) can connect you to most places of interest in Busan. Both signage and announcements are in English so finding your way is easy. 
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.
Metro cars have specially designated seats (with obvious green stickers) 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 it.
If you are staying for a bit, then consider buying a Hanaro card (하나로카드). T-money cards and some other metro cards for other cities also work for the Busan metro.
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 metro.

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. The light rail ticketing is not integrated with the Busan Metro, and therefore a separate ticket is required to change between them. The Hanaro card can still be used to pay for tickets.

By train

There are dedicated train stations around the city of Busan however the locations are not great and the frequency of trains is low. It is almost always preferable to take the metro or bus. For example you could take a train from Busan station to Haeundae station, however, it would be more convenient to take the metro.

By taxi

There are plenty of taxis prowling the streets of Busan. Fares increase by 20% between midnight and 4 AM.
If you look like a foreigner, then you are liable to be directed towards a black "mobeom" at a popular taxi rank. There is no problem however to use a cheaper 'plain' taxi instead.
You can use the Hanaro 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.

By bus

Busan has a good, efficient and comprehensive city bus system, although unlike the metro system it is only in Korean which makes it very challenging for foreigners to use. The front of the bus has the destination displayed in Korean, English, and Japanese. Inside the bus, the route maps are only in Korean, and the bus driver is unlikely to be able to speak English. If you plan to spend a long time in Busan then it is definitely worth learning how to use since it will open up locations to you that are not seen by most tourists.
It is worth using a Hanaro card (see Metro Section) since these can be used for transfers between buses and metro trains: just swipe your card when leaving the bus.
The front seats of the bus have yellow seat covers, which mean they are designated for elderly, pregnant or disabled people. You are allowed to sit as long as you give it up when a more deserving person boards.
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 and swaying about the whole time!
The Busan municipal government publish a smartphone application for Android - 부산버스 (Busan Bus) - that makes planning your bus journey very easy (provided you can read basic Korean). You can enter your origin and destination in Busan, and it will provide the fastest route with real-time updates on the location of the bus.

By bike

South Korean cities do not have a bicycle culture and the streets of Busan are not particularly safe for cyclists (Drivers are not used to them). The only options for this are in the touristic Haeundae district.

On foot

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, turn right and walk around Dongbaek island and then explore the town.
  • Romantic Road: Start at

    Haeundae beach

    , turn left and walk to the start of Dalmaji Hill, and then walk along the MoonTan road at the top.
  • Jungang: Explore the old town around the '40 steps', and then walk to Yongdusan park and

    Busan Tower

  • Centum City: Bexco, Shinsigae Shopping Mall, Busan Cinema Center and the Busan Museum of Modern Art are all located around the Centum City metro station on the Green Line (Line 2).

What to see in Busan, South Korea

East Busan

  • The Haeundae area in East Busan is the main tourist destination of the city.
  • The Suyeong (Gwangalli) area in East Busan is another noteworthy destination of the city.

Central Busan

This is the old town of Busan with a lot of post-war buildings, large docks, and atmosphere. This is the place to see the heritage of the city.

North Busan

Easy to overlook, the north part of the city has few tourist attractions. Nevertheless, it offers excellent hiking opportunities, the famous Beomeosa Temple as well as vibrant student life around the PNU university.

West Busan

The western part of the city is full of industrial parks leading to docks and the airport. There are however some nature areas preserved, such as the Nakdong River Estuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Taejongdae Park.

  • 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 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, and tourists on weekends. Take exit five from the station and make a U-turn, turn left up to the one-way street and take bus 90 from the station a few hundred meters up. Or you can take a taxi for 5-10 minutes from the subway station and get off at Beomosa temple. Beomeosa offers temple stay for men and women if you fancy monks' diet. It's well worth going up the signposted valley to the left of the top of the temple to the fortifications, a lovely walk though as so often in Korea of a strong uphill tendency. Persevere! take water; allow time. When you reach the old fortifications (about 45 minutes), there is a complete circuit available, or you can head right and uphill and reach (20 minutes plus) a viewing point with an absolutely spectacular view over the city. Worth the effort.
  • Yonggungsa Temple. The name means Dragon Palace Temple. This fine and extremely popular Buddhist temple complex spreads along the shoreline, decidedly unusual in Korea where most temples are at the top of a darn steep hill. It’s also famous because of its beauty of Buddhist statues and sculptures such as Hakeupul Buddha statue who is known for his blessing for success. The sound of the ocean and beautiful architecture create a magical effect. Go down the temple you will find a subterranean medicinal spring (yak suh toh 약수터). Try to visit Yonggungsa Temple in April when they are celebrating the Birth of Buddha with a festival and when the cherry blossom is in full bloom. It will be the best time to visit Yonggungsa. It is free to enter. It is hugely popular with the locals who come to pray and has multiple car parks and restaurants and a complete tourist market selling valuable souvenirs, edibles, and outright tat. To get there take bus 181 from outside Centum City or Haeundae subway stations. At Haeundae station the bus to Yonggungsa Temple is on the opposite side of the road to the station, it is 19 stops from the station and takes approximately 20 minutes. You will pass a large stone sign for the Temple right before the stop to get off at.
  • 40 Steps (40 Gyedan), (Line 1, Jungang station). A few streets of this 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. It’s also quite near to Yongdusan Park. Get out through Jungang station exit 11, a cafe-lined street is on your right leading to the 40 Steps.
  • Yongdusan Park - Busan Tower, (Line 1, Nampo station). This pleasant little park is home to Busan's one true tourist attraction, the 118 meters tall Busan Tower. 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 or take the hillside escalator up to the tower.
  • Gamcheon Cultural Village. Gamcheon Cultural Village is called the “Santorini of the East” or the “Lego village. During the Korean war, Gamcheon used to be a place for refugees and has long been home for the city’s poorest residents. But now it has received cultural excellence award from Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Explore the colorful and historic alleyways of Gamcheon, bring your camera and take pictures from every corner because you will find a different view every time you take pictures. There is no entrance fee, but if you want to participate in stamp scavenger hunt, you can buy the Gamcheon Map. Bring your children to enjoy this cultural village but it’s better for not taking the elders here, the stairs are too much. It is open from 9 am-5 pm. To get there, take line 1 to Toseong station, exit 8. Walk straight to bus shelter in front of PNU Cancer Center and take mini-bus 2 or 2-2 to Gamcheon Elementary School.
  • 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. At the top, there are many viewing areas, as well as an amphitheater, pleasant cafes and spa facilities nearby. Along the way there are many galleries. This is a great place for them who came to relax and enjoy their free time. Come on days with clear skies, and you can see Japan’s Daema island from the observatory. one more thing tip. Dalmaji Hill is a ramp. When you climb the hill, put on the heels low shoes. Hill so the slope, hard to climb high heels. So, recommend comfortable shoes.
  • MoonTan Road ( 문탠로드 ), Haeundae (Halfway 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 (Get off at Line1 - Jungang or Nampo), ☎ 051 253-3845. 09:00 - 20:00 last admission is one hour before closing. Closed at national holiday, the entrance fee is not charged. 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 Centre 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 fascinating background to modern Busan, and you could probably spend two to three hours here. Foreign language interpretation services are also available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
  • Busan Museum, (Line 2 - Daeyeon), ☎ 051-610-7111. Entrance time 09:00 - 19:00, Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00. Discover the history of Busan from the Prehistoric period to the present day.Visit History Experience Room where you can experience Touching Relics, Printing a Rubbed Copy, Erecting Stone Pagoda and Wooden Brackets, and Trying Folk Crafts. Also, you can try Korean traditional clothes; Hanbok here. Free.
  • Busan Museum of Art, 40 APEC Road, Haeundae-Gu, Busan (Line 2, Busan Museum of Art station), ☎ 0517402602. Operating hour is from 10 AM to 8 PM. Contains three art galleries of modern art (one being for children). Features mostly artists from the Busan area. 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 & Pukyong National University Station). Operating hour is at 09:00 -18:00, last admission 1 hour before closing. Free admission. 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 a 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 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 pleasant and short coastal walk, and the APEC Conference Center (with great views of Busan) can be visited here as well. Look out for the mermaid statue. The nearest subway station is Dongbaek station, line 2, exit 1.
  • 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 hereafter 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. Taejongdae is a big area and the walk distance from the entrance to the white lighthouse is quite long, so you can take a tour course or buy a ticket for a mini-train “Danubi train.” This train can take you to many sites inside taejongdae including the lighthouse. Free Entry.
  • Busan Cinema Center, 1467 Woo-Dong, Haeundae-Gu, Busan 612-020 (Line 2 - Centum City Station (behind Shinsegae Centum City). It is the official, exclusive venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), where its opening and closing ceremonies take place. The Busan International Film Festival has had this impressive open cinema built for the October 2011 festival. It is said to be the first culture complex worldwide to combine movie theaters and a performing arts center in one building. The architecture is awesome, and The Big Roof is the longest cantilever roof certified by Guinness World Records. Go at night time to appreciate the light show displayed on the ceiling.
  • Pusan National University, (Line 1 - Pusan National University Station). The area around the PNU is very lively. It is full of students, bars, cafes and fashion shops. You can try not only Korean student food specialties, such as Don Katsu and Croquette (Goroke - 고로케), toast, tteokbokki (Koran traditional rice cake) but also cheap bars and Korean BBQ Restaurants. A good place to spend an evening.
  • Chungryeolsa (Shrine) (Line 1, Myeongnyun Station) First take Station Line 1 and get down on, Myeongnyun Station and then get out from the station then take bus number. 29,29-1,89 or 129 and walk for five minutes. If you transit and take the bus this is the fare that will be added to your Transportation Card. Located in Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do, this shrine was established to embody the spirit of Admiral “Chungmugong” (honorific title in the military) Yi Sun-Sin. He was a great national hero who led the Korean navy to victory in many naval battles using innovative ‘turtle ships’ against the Japanese during their failed invasion of Korea during the 25th year of King Seonjo of the Joseon Dynasty (1592).
  • Lotte Aquatique Show (Lotte Department Store, Line 1, Nampo Station) (Lotte Department Store, Line 1, Nampo Station) The Nampo-dong outlet hosts roughly 10 minutes long cascading musical fountain show each hour, 11 times per day. The waterfalls from the ceiling 4 floors up and even used to draw pictures and display words. So, it's quite interesting to watch. Supposedly the largest cascading musical fountain in the world. And also you can sit there because there is some bench. You may rest your lag after hours of shopping
  • Seokbulsa Temple, Mandeokgogae-gil, Mandeok-Dong, Buk-gu Busan. The nearest station is Mandeok station, line 3, exit 2. However, you still have a long way to go. Taking a taxi to the west end of the GuMandeok tunnel might be the best idea. Mandeokgogae road starts from there. Once you get there, it's a 30-minute hike from the parking area where there are toilets and restaurants. No entry fee, horrible smelly toilet, water available. Google maps and I-maps don’t work well here. This fine but quite modern temple is not much rated by the locals, but esteemed by foreigners - possibly because it's so different from most Korean temples. Behind the conventional front temple is a large recess in the hillside from which a second temple has been created. It has fine stone carvings, figures in niches, a superb view over Busan. There's a non-Buddhist shrine to a venerable bearded personage with a tiger by his side. Even pray, if inclined; it cannot harm. The (steep) walk up is through peaceful woods.
  • Radium Art Center, Haeundae-gu, Busan (Line 2, Haeundae Station). From Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. Established in 1992 and newly located across the street from Paradise Hotel and Casino and a minute’s walk away from Haeundae Beach, Radium Art Center offers permanent and temporary contemporary art exhibitions. Visit the permanent exhibitions of a selection of l’École de Nice artists: Arman, Boisgontier, César, Mas, Moya and Sosno, and André Villers’ photographs of Picasso, followed by a cup of coffee at their Café Marie Curie. Radium Art Center also offers an educational art program for children of all ages, as well as for art enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
  • Lotte Department Store, Jungangdong 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan ("35°05'52.4"N). From the observation deck on the 15th floor of this Lotte Department Store, you will have a great view of the harbor and the southern Busan.

What to do in Busan, South Korea


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 although some Western bands do appear.
  • Sea Art Festival 2013, Songdo Beach. An art festival held on the beach every year from mid-September to mid-October.


The mountains around Busan have some good hiking trails. It should be noted that hiking trails are not well marked in Korea, even if you can read the Korean script. 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 metro 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). Another impressive temple about 90 minutes hikes from the cable car station. It is often overlooked but has magnificent 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 but these are 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.


Busan has a strong reputation for film, holding the Busan International Film Festival every year. There are cinemas in every area of the city, although unfortunately, it is hard to find Korean films with English subtitles. The film festival is an exception to this.

Please note that it is really hard to get tickets to the Busan International Film Festival. People wait for outside festival ticket offices for hours hoping to get something, so do some planning before traveling to Busan just for this. Haeundae beach has a public red carpet event at the beginning of the festival where you can see Korean film stars and hear them being interviewed.


  • Baseball Busan is home to the 'Lotte Giants' team, and home games are held at Sajik Baseball Stadium.
  • Basketball The Busan KT Sonicboom team is based at Sajik Arena.
  • Football (Soccer)
    K-League: The Busan I'Park football (soccer) team is based in the Asiad Main Stadium.
    N-League: The Busan Transportation Corporation football team is based at the Gudeok Stadium in Dongdaesin. They have a dedicated and regular foreigner following.
  • 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 (dumbbells up to 100lbs) and machines as well as golf practice facilities. It is located on the 5th floor of the Milligore Shopping Center in Seomyeon.
  • Busan Bandits Rugby Football Club is an expat rugby club open to all residents of Busan and surrounding provinces who want to play rugby and join in on the club's activities. We play mainly 10's rugby and compete in the Korean Expat Rugby League (KERA). Please follow the link to our site and get in touch with us. No previous experience required.


Busan is famous in Korea for its beaches. The water quality is good, and during the summer season, the jet ski equipped lifeguards 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 far less than in nearby Japan.
  • Haeundae Beach (해운대), ☎. 051-749-7611 (264, Haeundae Beach Road, Haeundae, Busan, Korea). Deck chairs and parasols are available to rent. Haeundae Beach is near Haeundae Station. One of the most popular summer destinations in South Korea. Haeundae beach attracts tourists from all around the country and gets overcrowded in late July and early August. There are numerous hotels including International chains nearby. The Busan Aquarium is on the beachfront. 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 beachfront boulevard. The Haeundae Tourist Infomation Center is directly on the beach. Surfing and jetskiing are available, although most people seem happy to float in yellow inflatable rings (These can be rented).
  • Songjeong Beach (송정해수욕장) ☎. 051-749-7611 (Haeundae-gu, Busan, 712-2 Songjeong) 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. Songjeong Beach is open during the warmest months, and it closes for swimming during the day (between 16:00 and 18:00). There are many hotels and motels directly on the beach or within an easy walk. 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.
  • Gwangalli Beach (광안리 Gwangalli), ☎.051.622.4251 (100, Namcheondong road, Suyounggu, Busan, Korea) 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 the scale. There are some interesting restaurants, bars, and shops in the area. You should try visiting one of the hotels on the beach which they have a nice sauna.

What to eat and drink in Busan, South Korea


Korea is justly renowned for its great seafood tradition, and Busan as Korea's main coastal city provides possibly the best opportunity to try fresh seafood caught locally.
Jagalchi fish market where most of the seafood is landed. You can turn up at 07:00 for delicious grilled fish and a variation of Korean 'hangover soup', although many experiences at both the high and low end are available to you throughout the day.
International market where everything is available at very cheap prices. You can eat Spicy Glass Noodles, Chungmu-style Gimbap and Ssiat hotteok(sweet Korean pancake stuffed with seeds), etc.
Note that restaurants in Korea can open and close frequently, although if an establishment listed below has closed then another good option is likely to be found close by. Korean restaurants also usually serve only a few specialty dishes, so check with your party beforehand. Vegetarians, as elsewhere in Korea, should be mindful that there are limited options in Busan.

Busan as a coastal city is well known for fresh seafood. Note that restaurants 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 specialty dish, so check with your party beforehand. Vegetarians should select a restaurant with suitable dishes since the 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 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 restaurants for this on the east side of Haeundae beach.

Bokguk is a soup made with pufferfish, the type of which is extremely 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.

Local Specialties

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 restaurants for this on the east side of Haeundae beach.
  • Bokguk is a soup made with pufferfish, the type of which is extremely poisonous. It is 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. 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.
  • Seoul Kakkduggi, Nampo-dong. Specializes in beef soups and kakkduggi side dish.
  • 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. In-Jung runs the bar and is a great hostess.
  • Gaya milmyoen, ☎ 051-747-9404. It's a 10-minute walk from Jungdong Station. Main dish is wheat noodles. It opens from 9:30a.m.-9:00p.m. It has a large parking space. 051-747-9404
  • Dong-nae halmae pa-jeon, Subway station Su-an (line 4), exit 3 (Cross the street to bab-d0-dook 1bun ji and walk down about 5 minutes (2blocks), and turn left at the Busan bank, and walk down about 1 minute, then you can see on your left.), ☎ 051-552-0792. 12:00-22:00. Except every Monday, holiday. The menu is a pancake. Get into the seafood and mushrooms. Dong-nae is the old name "Busan". it was made in ​Joseon dynasty and it served at the king's table. It differs from other original pa-jeons. It has a lot of chives and a small quantity of dough. Also, it made with various kinds of seafood.
  • Wolfhound Irish Pub & Restaurant, Haeundae ("(Walk), ☎ 051-746-7913. From 5 pm on weekdays, 11 am 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.
  • 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, the restaurant is on the right, basement level.), ☎ 051-746-1946, 070-8282-6645. Solid Indian fare in a stylish environment.
  • 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. 11 AM-10 PM. Authentic Indian restaurant owned by Indian.
  • Hello Thai, a good Thai restaurant located near Haeundae Beach, on an alleyway across from Aqua Beach Hotel or down the alley (away from the beach) from Miami, ☎ 051-731-5033. 11:30-23:00, last order time 22:30.
Famous food pork soup in Korea
  • WonJo-halmae-daeJigukbab is famous restaurants in Korea. Menu is pork soup, suyuk (boiled meat) Haeundae subway exit 1, 3 minutes walk along the main road. Phone 051-731-2866.
  • YOUNG-DO SAMJIN FISH CAKE, It is located at Bongnae-dong 2-ga, Yeongdo-gu, Busan. It is open from 9:00 to 20:00. Use bus: Busan Station field: 190,101 (bongnae market get off), Jagalchi, Nampodong field 8,113, 30, 66,135,186 (Yeongdo Post Office stepping off)
  • Seomyeon-Songjeong three generations of soup is located in Busan, Bujeon 2-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, 255 - 15 / 051- 806 - 7181/ to Exit 1 five minutes and walk. 24 hours a day.
  • Gaegeum Busan Metropolitan Gaegeum-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan, a push, 171 34 051 892 3466 business hours to 9:30 am pm 20:00 /holiday Gaegeum Wheat noodle is closing/out line 2 and upward into the market Gaegeum into the road between shoes and TRY


  • 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. Restaurants of Around Coastline are usually expensive. Just head to Private Japanese Restaurants in Down Town for better quality.
  • 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. Business hour 11:00 am to 12:00 pm and Sunday at 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Sephia style interior design, cozy atmosphere, and ocean view. You should book to have a good table as soon as possible.
  • The king, Typical food of this restaurant sell crabs you can eat king crab and snow crab with diverse sauce. Located in haeundae gu jaesongdong 1212. ☎ 051-781-3543 business time 11:30 am~11 pm.
  • Oryukdo gawon, ☎ 051-635-0707 Yongho-dong Nam-gu 894-55 business hour 11:30 am to 10 pm. This is a barbecue restaurant. the restaurant building was awarded Busan Architectural awards in 2011.
  • Ming Ju, this is a fusion Chinese restaurant.☎ 051-747-1849 they have a luxurious interior. 11:30 am to 10 pm this is located on haeunae udon 1509 Centum Marcus building second floor. after the meal you can go on foot nearby parks(APEC Naru park, BEXCO, Olympics park).
  • The Party. ‘The Party’ restaurant is very famous buffet restaurant. There are meats, Roll, Sushi, Fry food and dt cetera. ‘The Party’ restaurant is located in Busan Hea-un-dea Centum-Science-park building B1F. If you want to go there, take the subway and get off at Centum station. and And the walk for 10 minutes. Please refer, the weekend is more expensive. And children' price is half of the adult. Open time is Daily 12:00 and Closing time is Daily 21:30. If you want to go there, Would be better to book in advance. Tel number is 051-711-7770. 
  • Mitaki. Mitaki is located in Busan Haeundae Dalmaji-gil 139 JS building 4,5 floor. this restaurant is a Japanese restaurant. also they have a bar. this restaurant’s hour of operation divided by time. Lunch: 11:30 ~ 15:00 (L.O 14:00) Dinner: 17:30 ~ 22:00 (L.O 21:00) Bar: 17:30 ~ 23:30.
  • Busan Westin Chosun Hotel Camellia(BUFFET). Location: Westin Chosun Busan Lobby Tel: 82-51-749-7434

Street Food

  • Seeat hotdduck (Seed Korean pancake), This is one of the famous Korean street food. It is made of flour, brown sugar, margarine, and assorted seeds. This seed hotdduck is sweet, salty and nutty. It is located left side from Seo-myeon Lotte Department Store back gate. Seo-myeon(Subway Line1, Line2) station exit 7
  • Gwangbokdong food street, Gwangbokdong is the name of the street. It opened in May 1950. There are lots of people selling street food. Ddokbokki(spice rice cake), soondea, kimbab, etc. You can enjoy lots of street food. But the best one is bibimdangmyun. This made cellophane noodles, vegetables, and spicy sauce. If you want to try a unique noodle dish, you should try this one. It located Jagalchi station (subway Line 1), exit 7. go for 225M towards Daecheng-dong


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. It is easy to find Western chain cafes such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean. Along with Western chain cafes, there are many Korean chains such as Cafe Bene, 'Angel in us', Tom and Toms and Hollyscoffee which serve quite OK coffee. Small cafes run by an individual are also good and sometimes cozier.

Chain cafes & Direction: Starbucks, Coffeebean, Hollyscoffee,
Note on Wi-Fi: Most chain cafes and normal cafes run by individual provide free Wi-Fi service. Sometimes, there can be a password for Wi-Fi use. You can ask password to the employee or refer your receipt.
  • 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 baked pastries, along with a really great ambiance. Coffee is a little expensive. (free wi-fi and laptop ower points) open time: 9:00 / close time:24:00
  • Coffee factory, Sister to the two located in Nampo-dong, Coffee Factory prides itself on the in house blends and barista skills. They have a range of blends, all made in house. Those with Korean skills or a Korean friend can take Barista training on the ground floor. For those less inclined to put the effort into their delicious coffees, the coffee shop is on the first floor. Open time: 10:00/ Close time: 23:00. directions: Take exit 2 Seomyeon station. Walk straight, turn left at Tom and Tom’s café, turn right at the fork by Ella’s Café, and it is 200m on your left.
  • Sulbing (Korean Dessert Café), Sulbing is cozy and comfortable, but always bustling and busy, and for good reason. It’s the traditional Korean dessert of bingsoo (빙수), but with shaved milk instead of shaved ice and generous heapings of injeomi (인절미), sticky rice cake with sweet bean powder over it. Service is fast. You can also order sweet toast with injeolmi and any number of drinks, ranging from standard coffees and lattes to special traditional Korean teas. Monday to Thursday: 10:30~22:30, Friday: 10:30~23:00, Saturday: 10:30~23:00. Directions: The original Sulbing is located at the midpoint of Nampo Station and Jagalchi Station in the lively Nampo shopping district. From Nampo Station (남포역) exit 7, turn left and head up the street. When the road splits at a three-way intersection, bear left and you’ll see Sulbing on the second floor, above a Lacoste shop. There are many other locations in Busan (Seomyeon, Haeundae, PNU)
  • Café 301, Café 301 is very famous around Kyunsung Univ. & Pukyong Nat’l Univ station for vintage café. The concept is vintage and homey. With a dim lighting here and there, soft blanket, and a ton of magazine. All menus are serving with small flower decoration. And drinks and cakes, waffles are very delicious and decorated with ingredients (fruits). Here has many fruit drinks and all kind of coffees as well. Usually, after lunchtime, there’s no seat. Because café 301 don’t have big space. But if u go other time, you can feel the comfortable and cozy atmosphere. Open: 11:00-23:00. Directions: 58-11 Daeyeon-dong (15 Yongso-ro), Nam-gu, Busan, South Korea. From around Kyunsung Univ. & Pukyong Nat’l Univ station exit 3, turn right and keep going down 3 blocks. The cafe located in a building next to "Innisfree" store (beauty/cosmetic store) and it's on the 3rd floor.
  • Coffeesmith in Gwangalli Beach, Located just in front of the Gwangalli Beach. And there’s interior is very simple and have big open space with glass wall and terrace. (there are many cafes in front of the beach but here is the best place for a nice view. The front wall is all with glass.) So you can enjoy the Gwangalli Beach with coffee. Open: 9:00-17:00. Directions: From gwangalli Station, exit 5 or 3, follow the road to the beach. When u get the beach, turn left and walk around 150m. Just next to the ‘Angel in us’ you can see Coffeesmith.
  • Pat zzii cafe ‘팥찌’.
The Goejeong station Metro line 1 goes from EXIT 6. Gamchun2dong sahagu in Busan. This cafe has various traditional beverages, desserts. Rice cake,  Pumpkin Porridge, red bean Porridge. Owner is very friendly and helps with information for Gam-Chune (감천) Country. In summer TRY adzuki-bean ice dessert (팥빙수), In winter Try red bean Porridge(단팥죽). Open time - 10 am close time - 6 pm. you can see Gam-Chun country (감천마을) view in this cafe rooftop after order. T. 070-8777-3358

Try to go Jeun Po (전포) Cafe Street and On Cheun Cheun (온천천) Cafe Street. You can find many hidden cafes.


Busan has thousands if not tens of thousands of drinking places scattered throughout the city and popular spots include Nampodong and the area around Busan National University.
Just look around, and look up, on most streets if you are looking for a bar. Any tall commercial building is likely to have a few inside, usually with English words displayed and often the German word 'Hof' that indicated a place for eating and drinking.
The Kyungsung University area has the most selections in terms of density and sheer numbers of drinking establishments of any area in Busan.
Gwangalli beach in Suyeong is a great place for a drink, especially at night time with the Gwangan bridge lit up over the bay.
In Haeundae, most of the bars that appeal to westerners are on the main street (Gunam-ro) between Haeundae metro station (exit 5) and the beach. 

  • Ghetto, Probably the cheapest drinks in Busan. A dancing club with very loud music.
  • Foxy, A dancing club with live DJs. Sometimes there are live performances of locals. You will want a private room to escape the crowd, prepare to pay for that as well.
  • Ol'55, A western-style bar with a free billiards table and dartboard. Hosts an open mic every Wednesday and also sometimes has live music on weekends. Popular with local expat EFL teachers. Very comfortable and clean.
  • Club Realize, walk straight out of Kyungsung/Pukyeong Station (Exit 1) 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). Open on Fridays and Saturdays and sometimes throughout the week (available for rental during the week/Sundays). 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.
  • Kino-Eye, 051-628-4733. A big bar, occasionally there's dancing and darts. Look for the creepy rabbit with the red eye. Party starts after 1 AM. Movies are shown every night.
  • Thursday Party 051-612-6621. From the Kyungsung/Pukyeong Station exit 3, get to the road beside KT outlet, then walk around 2 blocks on the right. Very popular for foreigners, and perfect to meet locals too. Provides a lot of drinking games.
  • Jeonseonsaeng (전선생), ☎ 051-626-8808. Recommended place for you who wants to try Korean traditional alcohol and beer. Their drinking snacks are delicious. 
  • Cappuccino Café. Closed at 1 AM. Very comfortable and has many private rooms so it’s rather quiet with slow music. Perfect for working or studying, they even have a small private study room.
  • Cat Café, ☎ 070-8725-4567. Opens from 1 PM~10:30 PM. Closed on Sundays. Different from any other cafes, in Cat Café you pay an entry fee, then you get unlimited drinks and snacks. There is a total of 12 fat, cute cats that you can actually play with! 

In Haeundae:

  • A'de Choi, 89, Songjeong Gwangeogol-ro, Haeundae-gu (Songjeong-dong) (Walk out exit 1 from Haeundae Stn and transfer to bus 100 and get off at the stop Songjeong Beac), ☎ 82-51-701-1357. From 9 AM to 11 PM open year around. Here you can enjoy hot teas, soft and sweet desserts, and coffee and well-made brunches in a comfortable climate while looking over a premium view of the Songjeong Beach. 
  • Fuzzy Navel, 43-1, Gunam-ro, Haeundae-gu (Jung-dong) (Walk out exit 5 from Haeundae Stn for about 300 meters and it's on your right), ☎ 82-51-746-6349. From 11 AM to next 6 AM. Best Menu: A variety of beer, cocktail, coffee, whiskey. Without taking profit-making the only purpose of its services, this restaurant provides its own unique atmosphere that is loved by people, especially foreigners. 
  • Cafe Van, 171, No.65-gil, Moontan Road, Haeundae-gu (Jung-dong) (Walk out exit 5 from Haeundae Stn and transfer to bus 39 and get off at the stop Youngnam apt and walk 10minutes), ☎ 82-51-746-8853. From 10 AM to next 1 AM open year around. This cafe is a space where you can find the perfect harmony of the sea, the sky, and coffee fragrance. You can experience Korean traditional tea and dessert. There you can feel the senses of nature, culture, and freedom.
  • Club Hive (하이브), 217, Haeundae hebyun-ro , Haeundae-gu (U-dong) (Walk out exit 7 from Haeundae Stn and It is located in the basement of the Grand Hotel and you can be found to be walking on the Haeundae beach.), ☎ 82-010-5499-3893. From 7 PM to next 6 am Monday closed every 2 weeks. Club hive as a large club of 800 square meters scale, ROOM and second-floor VIP booth the first floor and are prepared. On the second floor, there is a sky booth high quality. The famous DJ and party every week. You may enjoy the DJ play and you can enjoy the best hot club in Busan.
  • Bibibi dang (비비당), 239-16, Dalmajigil,Haeundae-gu (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), ☎ 051-746-0705. 11:00-23:00. Korean traditional tea (green tee, yellow tea, flower tea). 
  • Crossroads, A chilled out sit-down bar with an excellent music selection
  • 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.
  • Party - Home Style Pub, A western-style pub with various games, including beer pong, darts, and a blackJack table with a dealer. Sometimes live music. Staff speaks English. (100m N of Pusan Bank)
In Gwangalli:
  • 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.
  • Galmegi Brewery, Very nice brewpub with a dozen on-site-brewed beers and also guest taps with western craft beers. Reasonably priced with sampler sets available.
  • Wild Waves Brewing, Down the street from Galmegi, Wild Waves is slightly smaller and specializes in sour beers. Their adventurous takes on classic beers (ie IPA with lactobacillus, brettanomyces stout) are especially delicious.
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. 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)
  • 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 cozy, 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.
  • Munster (먼스터), Nampo-Dong (Get off at Nampo-Dong subway station exit 7 and then take the third right turn on your right, go straight and you will find it on your left.). Munster is an Irish Pub located in the heart of Gwangbok-ro, Nampo-Dong. Serving a large variety of beers, cocktails, and many kinds of food for the main course and side dishes.
  • Korean Dessert Cafe (설빙), Gwangbok-ro, Nampo-Dong (Get out from exit 7 Nampo-Dong subway station line 1, take a left turn on your left and one more left on the main street. Keep walking until you see a statue and on the left, you will find the Korean Dessert Cafe.), ☎ 1661-1150. 10:30 AM - 10:30 PM. Korean Dessert Cafe Sulbing serves a wide variety of Korean shaved ice dessert or widely known as patbingsoo.
  • Bupyeong Market (부평시장 / 깡통시장), (Get off at Jagalchi subway station line 1 exit 7, turn left on the main street and take a left after 6 blocks. You will find the market right away.). 6 pm-dawn. Bupyeong Market or locally known as Kkangtong (Can) Market, has many eomuk (fish cakes), danpatjuk (sweet red bean porridge) and yubu (fried tofu) stew stalls in it. Many tourists flock to this market to taste the local delicacies. This market is a night market. Section 2 of Bupyeong Market, has a shopping arcade and 30 vendor stalls. The area is composed of an eating zone (eomuk and yubu), sintoburi (domestic farm products are the best) zone, multicultural zone, hot zone (coffee, pasta) and merchandise zone.
  • Josun kalguksu, 72-3daeyeondong Nam-gu, Busan (Kyungsung University Station), ☎ 051-622-5150. 24hours. Josun kalguksu is Korean traditional pub. This place is located nearby the Kyungsung university station which is Line 2 subway. It takes 3mins from the subway station. Josun Kalguksu has managed for 18 years since it has been in business. Also, there are many branches in Busan. Even, there are a variety of traditional Korean foods. You can enjoy Korean delicious food with traditional atmosphere as well. The pub can accept people around 80 persons.
  • Club Grid, 534-2 Bujjeon-dong, Busanjin-gu, Busan (Go to Seomyeon subway station, go out exit 7, turn left, go straight for 10 minutes and you can find it.), ☎ 051-807-1661. 11 PM-6 AM. A nightclub with live DJs. there are usually live performances in there with dancers.

Shopping in Busan, South Korea

Currency exchange is possible near Nampo-dong and Hauendae at banks such as KB (Korea Bank of Exchange), BS Bank (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) 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.
  • Can market (깡통시장) is an old market near Jagalchi Market in Nampo dong. People don't easily notice it since it is located in a deep corner. Since Busan has a big harbor, therefore many foreigners had visited Busan, so that it was quite early when citizens of Busan began to accept exotic culture and products. Ggangtong Market is one of the evidence of that history. At the end of the Ggangtong market, there is a narrow street which somehow represents 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 The three major shopping districts which are connected to each other are 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.
Shopping Centers
  • Choryang Foreign Shopping Area, opposite Busan Station. (Take the subway to Busan Station Exit 3.). It has a 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, although the area is notorious for ripoffs and even the occasional robbery at night. 
  • Seomyeon Shopping Center, (Subway Line 1 or 2 - Seomyeon). Seomyeon Shopping Center is Busan’s most vibrant central shopping and entertainment area. Ladies especially will enjoy the shopping opportunities galore throughout the underground Daehyeon Primall as well as at the Mini Mall and on the streets above. It has become Busan’s largest commercial district as it has department stores. Discount stores and traditional markets. Apart from shopping. You can also enjoy a variety of Korean foods on the street. 
  • Busan University Shopping Center, (Subway Line 1 – Busan National University Exit 3). It is one of the major hangout areas in Busan and located around Busan Natl' university. You can go shopping at a variety of prices. Not only there are many shops, but there are also thousands of restaurants, bars, shops aimed at young people.
  • Kyungsung University/Pukyong University Shopping Center, (Subway Line 2 – Kyungsung University/Pukyong National University Exit 3 or 5). The area around Kyungsung University and Pukyong University has bars, restaurants. Add to this some good boutiques, cheap vintage shops, awesome cafes, and you have yourself a 7-nights-a-week play-place. Also, you can taste foreign cuisine. 

Department Stores

  • Lotte Department Store, (Subway Line 1 or 2 - Seomyeon Exit 7), ☎ (+82)51-810-2500. 10.30~20.00. Lotte Department Store is a Korean retail company which offers retail consumer goods and services and is one of 8 business units of Lotte Shopping. 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. The basement has good food court/delicatessen/supermarket section. 
  • Shinsegae Department Store, (Subway Line 2 - Centum City), ☎ 1588-1234. Mon-Thu 10.30~20.00, Fri-Sun 10.30~21.00. Shinsegae (신세계) is a department store built in Centum City and has an interesting (albeit expensive) food hall in the basement. The Kyobo book store 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 Guinness World Book of Records. 
  • Hyundai Department Store, (Subway Line 1 - Beomil-dong Exit 7), ☎ (+82)51-667-2233. Mon-Thu 10.30~20.00, Fri-Sun 10.30~20.30. Hyundai Department Store provides an elegant shopping experience, offering international luxury goods while blending both modern and classic fashion, and providing high-class service. Hyundai department has a goal of the expansion of the store’s young corner. It has a cultural center, a community lounge, restaurants, and other convenient facilities. Enjoy the wind and the green shades trees while relaxing at Sky Park (하늘공원) on the top of the building.


Grocery shopping in Busan may be a shocking experience at first. It sets out differently than any other country, and also each vendor sells their goods by calling out loudly people who pass by. It’s quite noisy. But, there are some big marts, listed below, that offer similar western shopping experience. It is quite difficult to find imported goods in a Korean supermarket. Korean companies usually produce their kind of goods, which some foreigners can’t trust the taste or quality. Even, sometimes they can’t find what they look for indeed in the Korean supermarket. Mind well your timing for shopping to these big marts. They are closed every the 2nd and the 4th week of a month due to government rules. Listings below are sorted by having the most to the least imported goods.
  • Costco Busan (코스트코 홀세일 부산점), (Take subway line 2 to Suyeong St. (exit 5), take the taxi for around 7 minutes), ☎ (+82)1899-9900. 9 am~10 pm. You have to buy a one-year membership card.
  • Homeplus Haeundae (홈플러스 해운대점), (Take subway line 2 to Dongbaek St. (exit 1), walk straight about 3 minutes.), ☎ (+82)51-532-2080. 10 am~ midnight. 
  • Homeplus Sasang (홈플러스 서부산점), (Take subway line 2 to Sasang St., transit to Busan Gimhae Light Rail to Gwaebeop Renecite St. (괘법르네시떼역 – exit 1), walk a while then turn right for around 12 meters.), ☎ (+82)51-319-8000. 8 am~12 am. 
  • E-Marts Haeundae, (Take subway line 2 to Jung-dong St. (exit 7 or 9), you’ll directly find it in front of you.). 10 am~ midnight. 
  • Megamart Munhyeon, (Take subway line 2 to Jigegol St. (exit 4), walk straight then you can find it on your right side.). 10 am~12 am.
  • Lotte Mart Busan, (Take subway line 2 to Buam St. (exit 6), walk straight toward Jinyang Saegori for around 8 minutes.). 10 am~ midnight. 
  • Asian Marts, (Take subway line 2 to Sasang Station (exit 3). Walk straight towards the river and E-Mart/Homeplus. Turn right at the first street. These Asian Marts are on your left before the next corner). 10.30 am~11.30 pm every day. Sasang is the perfect place to find Southeast Asian foods and Halal foods. There are around 5 stores, which sell Southeast Asian, or typical Indian spices not usually found in local supermarkets. 
  • Seomyeon Medical Street, (Subway Line 1 - Busanjin). Seomyeon Medical Street (서면메디컬스트리트) is an area with around 160 medical clinics providing all types of medical procedures and is popular with foreigners who want to take advantage of low-cost medical procedures. You can get cosmetic surgery, go to dermatology, ophthalmology, and dentists. 
  • Paradise Duty-Free, Heaundae Beach - Paradise Hotel. Buy food, handicrafts, inseam (ginseng), leather goods, accessories, sporting goods at duty-free prices at this store. Typically you make your selection, provide your passport and indicate the flight with which you will depart Korea. You will then be given a receipt and can be picked up from the airport (either BusanGimhae or Seoul Incheon). You can use Korean Won, US Dollar, and Japanese Yen as the currency. 
  • Bosudong Bookstore Alley (보수동책골목), Bosudong 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan. If you are interested in reading a book or maybe want to look for some Korean version books, go to Bosudong Bookstore Alley. A small alley starts from the opposite side of the Daecheongro intersection at the gate of Busan International Market, and it runs towards Bosudong (It is located behind the kukje (international) market). There are many bookstores stand close together. You can buy new or secondhand books in the Korean or English version here. Find some street food market here and take pictures with bookstore alley as the background. 
  • Artbox. Artbox is located everywhere in Korea, but in Busan, you can find it in seomyon (subway exit no. 2 then walking straight until dongbo plaza and turn left, behind TGI restaurant and near siripbujon library), Nampodong, Haundae, etc. Find everything from stationery, toiletries, bags, and even furniture all with the unique style you have never seen. 
  • Daiso (다이소). Daiso is a large $1 store chain from Japan. It has locations everywhere in Korea, and it is known for the large variety of items sold (at it's larger locations). It mostly sells household items, but it also sells many useful items for travelers such as electronics connectors/chargers, sewing kits, note pads, plastic protectors, folding bags, and many other utilitarian products. When traveling, the smaller quantities of many items (such as laundry soap) also makes this store very useful. Additionally, even small stores will have some snack items, so it can be an even more inexpensive alternative to convenience stores to fill up your bag before a long train ride or a hike through one of the mountain temples. If you're traveling from the west, it can also be a good place to buy some cheap (and unique) souvenir items.

Safety in Busan, South Korea

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 3 AM. 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 metro late at night, you may encounter elderly men who are rather vocal, and under the influence of alcohol, who may be unpleasant towards you. This is however unlikely to be dangerous, and you should move to another metro car.
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 zebra crossing without traffic lights since they are effectively ignored. Korean women driving large SUVs 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 sidewalk and road as it suits.

At the beach

Beaches in Busan do experience riptides, and lifeguard cover outside summer is limited.
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 is issued for Busan or the South Korean coastline, head to the top of a tall building or higher ground. Higher ground not being easily accessible on Haeundae Beach.
Every summer the local press gets very concerned about foreigners behaving badly on Busan beaches, usually by photographing Korean girls wearing bikinis, although the same press publishes similar photos of foreign women on Busan beaches. Since it can be a police matter, be careful what pictures you take on the beach.

Language spoken in Busan, South Korea

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 are unlikely to have much English knowledge, although there is a translation service the taxi driver can call up if needed. Owing to the sizable number of Japanese tourists visiting Busan, knowing even limited Japanese may be useful since this is often understood by people working in hotels, restaurants, and taxis.
Busan has a strong and distinct dialect that may be a little hard to understand if you have been studying Korean in Seoul. However, everyone in Busan will be able to understand a Seoul accent.


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