Busan or Pusan is Korea’s second-largest city after the capital of Seoul, South Korea, is one of the largest port cities in the world. With a long trip in South Korea besides Seoul and Jeju, you can add Busan to your itinerary, because of traveling in South Korea is very convenient, it take only 3 hours by train from Seoul to this southern city. Let’s explore this vibrant port city through our Busan blog (Busan travel blog): The fullest Busan travel guide and suggested Busan itinerary on how to spend 3 days in Busan (Busan 3 days itinerary). Now, let’s check it out!
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Unlike Seoul, which is always noisy and crowded, although Busan is very developed with many high rise buildings and seaports that always are bustling with business trading, but the life is so gentle and peaceful. The city has mountains, stretch beach, streets are always overflowing with food, along with crowded fish markets full of sellers and buyers, and especially Gamcheon Culture Village – the village with the characteristic blue roofs is called “Santorini of Asia”!
Busan blog: When is the best time to visit Busan?
The climate in Busan is influenced by the ocean, so humid climate all year round, the average temperature of the city is about 15 to 22 degrees Celsius. The climate in Busan is divided into 4 distinct seasons of the year.
Spring is from April to May, humid weather, this is also the beautiful cherry blossoms, lavender and chrysanthemum season. You can participate in cherry blossoms festival in April, very interesting.
Summer is from June to September, the weather at this time is hot and humid, not suitable for tourism activities.
Autumn is from September to November, at this time the climate is cool and pleasant. This is the best time to visit Busan. Traveling in Busan in this season, you can walk on red foliage paved roads or admire the mountains covered with yellow and red leaves.
The winter season lasts from December to March, the weather is quite dry and cold but it attracts crowds of visitors to Busan. Coming to Busan in the winter, you will be able to see snowflakes falling, watch birds migrate here, especially to participate in many winter attractive sports.
Busan blog: How to get to Busan?
From Vietnam also has flights from Hanoi or Saigon to Busan. If the time you plan to go to Seoul but the airfare too expensive you can fly directly to Busan first and then visit Seoul later. Both of Vietjet Air or Vietnam Airlines are operating flights from Vietnam to Busan.
Transportation in South Korea grows in the same way as in Western European countries. Here, moving between cities you can go by train or plane. Domestic airfares are reasonable with some airlines such as Busan Air, Eastar Jet and T’Way Air, which are much cheaper than domestic flights in Vietnam. But to choose the most convenient means of transport I like to go by train more, in addition you do not have to check in or check out procedures at the airport that takes a lot of time. Not to mention traveling from the center to airports like Gimpo in Seoul or Gimhae in Busan is far, hardship and expensive. Travel by KTX train is take only 3 hours from Seoul and Busan.
There are two types of train for moving between Seoul and Busan: Normal train and KTX Express train, you can either booking online through Letskorail or go directly to the station to buy tickets. I still recommend that you book in advance, because although you are not worry about tickets were sold out, but may be out of seat, so if buy standing tickets for the whole journey is … painful! If you take the KTX Express takes only 2.5-3 hours and seats, interior beautiful, comfortable, but the ticket price quite expensive is 59.800KRW. Normal train will takes about 5 hours, and of course the interior is mediocre, the ticket price lower than KTX Express is 28,600 KRW.
After booking online, you will receive a ticket code and before 30 minutes run time of train, you should be at the station, go to the ticket counters and get in the train. Remember to come to the station early because the train in Korea is extremely accurate about the time, a bit late will miss the trip.
From Jeju to Busan
If you are in Jeju and want to go to Busan? It’s OK, because these are two places located in southern of South Korea, from Jeju to Busan you can fly, or take a ferry. If fly, you can access the websites of the airlines (such as Jeju Air, Eastar Jet or T’Way Air) to booking online tickets, while ferry you can refer to SeoKyung Ferry, fares in public areas do not require a bed is 47.000-50.000KRW.
You can book tickets online directly through the company’s website or by telephone, The ferry from Busan to Jeju go on every Mon, Wed, Fri, and the opposite direction from Jeju to Busan on every Tue, Thu, Sat on every week. The ferry runs in both directions from 7 pm last night and arrives port at 7 am the next morning.
Busan travel blog: Getting around Busan
Most of the attractions of Busan are located in the city center, and here the subway system is very well developed, which is everywhere, so you can travel all over the places by this very convenient means of transport. Just a few points of interest such as Gamcheon Cultural Village you will need to combine a short bus ride.
Busan’s Subway system has four main lines, numbered 1-4, Red (1), Green (2), Brown (3) and Blue (4). Visitors will usually stay in two main areas, also referred to as central of Busan are Central Station area (where you can take the train to Seoul) and Biff Square area bustling day and night. Around the two areas are quite close to other tourist attractions, convenient transportation, only take 1-2 train trip.
T-Money Card can be used for both Bus and Subway in Busan. Also, when visiting Busan you can refer to another card, the Busan Hanaro Card, which is similar to the T-money which costs 6,000KRW. It can be used for most Busan vehicles such as:
- Light rail (to the airport)
- Taxi, Bus
- Bridge fee, ferries, ..
With Hanaro Card, the cost of paying for each trip of Bus or Subway will be cheaper than usual, example the retail Subway price ₩1.100/trip, the payment through Hanaro is only ₩990, the retail Bus price ₩ 1.200/trip with Hanaro will only be ₩1.080.
The cheapest ways to travel
The retail ticket price for a trip is about 1.300-1.400KRW depending on the distance, but if you decide to go all day and visit more than one place, you should not buy a retail ticket, but buy all day ticket. The price for all day ticket – 1 day pass – only 4.500KRW and unlimited travel throughout the day. Note that the day ticket is made in the form of a rectangular hardcover, which is quite small, so you notice that the durability of it is not high, should be careful when use, do not let it crumpled when put into the machine will can not pass scan through the port.
In addition to the four main lines and also has another subway line is Purple, with private fare and this line connects the Western area to the Gimhae Airport (Gimhae Light Railway).
In addition, you can refer to some bus routes if there are places where Metro can not be reach. Especially, when you want to go to Gamcheon Village, you will have to climb a very long ramp from the subway station to come here, of course the subway can not take you to the mountain.
If walking will be very tiring and takes about 30-45 minutes, instead you take a bus that will take you up to the top of the hill and to the village of Gamcheon. However, the climb also has its good, you will go through each house here, communicate with a lot of indigenous people, chat, learn about their daily life.
Busan blog: Where to stay?
If you come to Busan to enjoy the stretching beaches here, definitely you can not miss the hotels with beautiful sea view as Hotel Park Hyatt Busan, this hotel is luxurious and quality but extremely worthy. From here, the view of Busan Marina and the bridge over the sea is very beautiful, especially at night.
If you want to stay in the city center near places of interest, you can choose the area near Busan Station. When you take the train from Seoul, it is only takes a short walk to your hotel. My hostel is Orange Guesthouse quite clean, affordable, with the big fat owner but super cute, and upgrade room for me when the room is not available. In addition, you can refer to Hound Hotel is located in the center of Seomyeon, beautiful interior, including swimming pool and many other facilities.
Moreover, you can also refer to the following hotels:
Budget hotels, fully equipped
Samwonjang Motel – 58-1, Nampo-dong 5ga, Jung-gu, Jung-gu / KTX Busan Station, Busan – rates from $23.
Busan Jang Yeokwan – 11-19, Dongkwang-dong,Jung-gu, Jung-gu / KTX Busan Station, Busan – rates from $25.
Grand Motel – 4F, Buhueng Building, 21, 1Ga, Kwangbok-dong,Jung- gu, Jung-gu / KTX Busan Station – rates from $26.
Medium hotels, good services, nice rooms
Goodstay Songdo Beach Queen motel (Goodstay Queen MOTEL Seogu) – 11,82Bun-gil, Chungmudae-ro, Seo-gu, Jung-gu – rates from $28.
K2 Motel – 870-26, Bumchun-dong, Soemyeon / Busanjin-gu, Busan – rates from $29.
Hansung Motel – 12-9, Jungan-daero 180 Bengil, Dong-gu, Jung-gu / KTX Busan Station – rates from $30.
Luxury hotels, good locations and good services
Pale De CZ Condo – 1124-2, Jung-dong, Haewundae-gu, Haeundae Beach / BEXCO, Busan – rates from $78.
Hotel Illua – 1509-2, Joong-dong, Haeundae Beach / BEXCO, Busan – rates from $92.
Marine Residence – 1435-3, Woo-dong, Haeundae-gu (37,Marine City 3ro), Haeundae Beach/ BEXCO, Busan – rates from $99.
Busan blog: Best places to visit and top things to do in Busan
Situated on the slopes of Geumjeongsan Mountain, the Beomeosa Temple was built by Ui Sang monk under the reign of King Munmu, Silla Dynasty. It is an ancient temple of approximately 1.300 years old and is home to a large number of artifacts of high cultural value. In addition, at Beomeosa temple there are many interesting things to explore such as three-storeyed pagoda relic, Daeungjeon Great Hall … So this is also considered one of the great destinations can not miss when traveling Busan.
Address: 250 Beomeosa-ro, Cheongnyongnopo-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, South Korea
Phone: +82 51-508-3122
Opening hours: All weekdays from 8:30 am – 17:30 pm.
Getting there: Beomeosa Station (Busan Subway Line No.1), Exit 5 or 7.
The famous tourist attraction in Busan that you must visit is Gwangalli beach. The beach is famous for its smooth white sand, stretching and blue clear water. When you come here besides playing, bathing you also enjoy delicious and traditional foods of Busan, made from seafood is extremely attractive. In addition, there is the giant Gwangan Bridge attracts a lot of attention of visitors by modern lighting system, with more than 100,000 different colors.
Address: 219, Gwanganhaebyeon-ro, Suyeong-gu, Busan
Operating hours: 09:00-18:00. Extended hours (July 20 – August 5): 09:00-18:30
Getting there: [Subway] – Geumryeon Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 1 or 3.
Taejongdae Resort Park
Taejongdae is a natural park and a well-known tourist attraction in Busan, that attracting large numbers of visitors because of its beautiful natural surroundings with magnificent cliffs trying to reach the sea.
Address: 24, Jeonmang-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
Ticket price: Adults 1,600 won / Youths 1,200 won / Children 800 won
Opening hours: All weekdays from 4am – 10pm.
Getting there: [Bus] From Busan Station, take Bus 88 or 101 and get off at Taejongdae Cliff Bus Stop.
One of South Korea’s most popular beaches, not only attracts visitors by its natural scenery and blue waters, but also by its unique restaurants, bars,… located around the beach to serve all needs of visitors.
Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Getting there: Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 5, 7. Walk straight for about 500m.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
The place you should explore when visiting Busan is the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, an ancient temple was built in 1376 from the Goryeo dynasty and located on the northeastern coast of Busan. With unique beauty, harmonious combination of land, sky, Buddhism and local beliefs, this place has become one of the most famous tourist destinations in Busan.
Address: 86 Yonggung-gil, Gijang-eup, Gijang, Busan, South Korea
Phone: +82 51-722-7744
Opening hours: Everyday from 4am – 7pm.
Sea Life Busan Aquarium
Located at the entrance to Haneundae Beach, the Sea Life Busan Aquarium is considered as a giant fish tank with nearly 35,000 species from fish, reptiles, to algae… Especially, at here there are also penguins, piranha otter, which makes Sea Life Busan Aquarium become more diversified and abundance. If you travel to Busan with your family with your children, we ensure that they will enjoy this place.
Address: 266 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Jung-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:00-17:00 / Friday-Sunday, National Holidays 09:00-21:00
Entrance fee: Individual – Adults 29,000 won / Children 23,000 won
Getting there: [Subway] Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 5. Walk 600m towards Haeundae Beach.
For a complete and perfect journey in Busan, you should come to Heosimcheong Spa, even only once. This is the oldest spa in Korea, when you come here you will experience a lot of services such as strawberry milk bath, sauna, outdoor swimming pool … and many other excellent services.
Address: 23 Geumganggongwon-ro 20beon-gil, Oncheon 1(il)-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Phone: +82 51-550-2200
Operating Hours: 05:30-24:00 (* Last admission is until 23:30.)
Entrance fee: Monday-Friday: Adults: 8,000 won / Students (ages 8-13): 6,000 won / Children (ages 1-7): 4,000 won
Getting there: [Subway] Oncheonjang Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
Changseondong Meokja Golmok
This alley has many famous foods of Busan such as: Chungmu kimbab (a kind of seaweed rice roll), bibimbab (rice mixed with chili, vegetables and beef), pajeon (a kind of Korean pizza) …
Address: 2-ga Changseon-dong Joonggu-dong, Busan, Korea
Getting there: By Train, Jagalchi MRT Station exit 7