If you’re a first-time traveller to the remarkable coastal city of Busan, you’re in for a treat! Just like my own experience, Busan is the perfect introduction to the magic of South Korea. And to help kick start your trip, here is my Busan 5 day itinerary that includes the best sights, how to get around, where to eat and so much more.
I remember the excitement I felt as I touched down in this coastal gem, not quite knowing what to expect. Busan was my first stop on a week-and-a-half solo adventure, and it set the bar incredibly high for the adventures that followed.
Over a few incredible days, I discovered a city that had me absolutely captivated. From stunning beaches to rich culture, historic sites, delicious cuisine, and the energy of a bustling city, Busan truly offers a little bit of everything. In this blog post, I’ll take you through a meticulously crafted 5-day itinerary that will allow you to soak up the best of Busan, just as I did.
So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to be inspired and, most importantly, prepared for an amazing journey through this beautiful coastal city.
If you’re looking for a taste of South Korea that’ll leave you wanting more, this Busan adventure is the perfect starting point.
Let’s dive in!
DO YOU HAVE THESE ITEMS FOR YOUR TRIP?
✔️ Flights: Book your flights on Skyscanner
➡️ Car rental: Rent your car on Discovercars
✔️ Travel insurance: I recommend World Nomads
➡️ Accommodations: Book your stay at booking.com
✔️ Activities: Arrange your adventure trips and tours
Planning Your Busan 5 Day Itinerary
Planning your Busan 5-day itinerary is an exciting but overwhelming task. Like a kid in a candy store, you can choose from an assortment of attractions, each with its own unique flavour.
To make the most of your time in this incredible city, I recommend starting with a bit of everything.
Begin with the stunning coastal views, let the culture wash over you, savour the local food, and embrace the lively city vibes. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a beach bum, a history buff, a foodie, or just someone who loves to explore new horizons, Busan has something to offer.
And with the right plan in place, you can enjoy it all.
So, let’s roll up our sleeves, dig into the details, and craft an itinerary that will ensure your first visit to Busan is absolutely unforgettable.
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Busan 5 Day Itinerary Summary
Day 1: Arrive in Busan and explore Seomyeon
Day 2: Gamceheon Culture Village, Jagalachi Markets and Busan Tower
Day 3: Haeunde Beach and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Day 4: Songdo Marine Cable Car or Oryukdo Skywalk, Bupyeong Kkangtong Market and Gwangalli Beach
Day 5: Taejongdae and Spa Land
Map of Busan in 5 Days
Busan Travel Essentials
- Grab the Visit Busan Pass, exclusively available for international travellers, and save money! Enjoy free access to 40+ attractions, tour buses/trams, and discounts for tours & restaurants.
- Now, staying connected is a must, right? Pick up a 4G SIM card with unlimited data (KT) or 4G SIM (SKT) at Seoul or Busan airport. But if you prefer to connect multiple devices, rent a 4G Pocket WiFi. Reserve in advance to save time!
- Grab your T Money Card from the airport to make getting around South Korea a breeze. Your T Money card is your ticket to Korea’s subways, buses and taxis. Easily top up your card at the subway station machines.
- Buy a discounted KTX pass for unlimited high-speed train rides. It’ll whisk you from Seoul to Busan in under 2.5 hours. Now, that’s the way to travel!
- Book your airport pickup in advance for a more cost-effective journey. Gimhae Airport is far from the city centre and Uber’s aren’t available, plus a taxi will cost you big bucks.
- Google Maps, Rome 2 Rio and Kakao Maps will be your best friends for getting around South Korea
Busan in Five Days: Where to Stay
Not going to lie, I found deciding on where to stay in Busan quite tricky. It was the battle of staying near the beach in Haeunde or opting for the trendy city centre of Seomyeon that makes getting around a breeze.
I personally opted to make Seomyeon my home base as it is smack-bang in the centre of all attractions making it a convenient place to stay.
One of the top perks of staying in Seomyeon is its unbeatable proximity to public transport. Seomyeon Station, in particular, is a major interchange where Lines 1 and 2 intersect, making it a convenient starting point for your adventures.
So, if you’re anything like me and you’re all about maximizing your exploration with a meticulously crafted itinerary, Seomyeon is where you want to be.
Plus, the vibe in this part of the city is simply off the charts. You’ll find trendy spots around every corner.
That being said if you’re daydreaming of early morning beach strolls or perhaps indulging in cocktails while the sun sets, consider Haundae. It’s a bit further from the city centre and the major cultural attractions, but the trade-off is that you’ll be just steps away from one of Busan’s most famous beaches.
The Busan 5 day itinerary I have designed for you is based on staying in Seomyeon. If you are staying elsewhere you will just need to adjust a few transport routes but the base should stay the same.
Top 3 Recommended Stays in Busan
- Shire Hotel Seomyeon (Where I stayed): The perfect affordable hotel
- HOTEL LENITH Seomyeon: Excellent mid-range hotel in a great location
- Felix by STX Hotel & Suite Haeunde: Mid-range hotel near the beach
Busan Itinerary Day 1: Arrive & Seomyeon
Your Busan adventure begins on Day 1 with your arrival in the city and your stay in Seomyeon.
Arrive in Busan
If you’re travelling from Seoul via the KTX train, you’ll arrive at Busan Station. The KTX is a convenient and swift option, taking you from the heart of Seoul to the centre of Busan in just around 2.5 hours.
When you arrive at Busan Station, switch from the train station to the subway station and hop on Subway Line 1 towards Seomyeon Station. From there you can either walk or jump in a taxi to reach your accommodation.
If you land at Gimhae International Airport, you have several options to reach the city centre. The most common and convenient choice is to hop on the Gimhae Light Rail. It’s an easy and budget-friendly way to reach various parts of Busan, and it connects directly to the city’s subway system.
To reach Seoymyeon from Gimhae, jump on the Gimhae Light Rail to Sasang Station. From there hop on Busan Line 2 towards Seomyeonn Station.
Settling into Seomyeon
Check into your chosen accommodation, or store your bags so you can spend the afternoon exploring Seomyeon!
Get the lay of the land by strolling through the streets of Seomyeon. This was the first thing I did on my trip to Busan and it gave me the perfect first glimpse of the trendy city of Seomyeon.
Take your time strolling through the bustling streets, exploring hidden gems, and perhaps indulging in a little retail therapy.
If you’ve had a long day and are in need of some caffeine, head to Jeonpo Cafe Street for some hip coffee roasters & arty-themed cafes.
Now that you’ve fallen in love with Seomyeon and had your coffee fix, it’s time for a bite to eat.
Samjung Tower For A Bite To Eat
Samjung Tower is an exciting and modern shopping complex. With its impressive 17 floors, it offers a diverse range of opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment.
Samjung Tower’s food court is a paradise for food enthusiasts. You can savour a variety of local and international cuisines, from Korean favourites to fast food and more. It’s the perfect place for a quick bite to eat.
Now, it’s time to head back to your accommodation to check in and freshen up for an evening in Seomyeon.
First Evening in Busan
What better way to get stuck into Korean food than with some Korean BBQ for dinner?
Seomyeon boasts numerous Korean BBQ restaurants where you can grill your own meat at the table.
Try places like Matchandeul Wang Sogeum Gui for a mouthwatering barbecue experience.
And if you’re up for some nightlife, there are plenty of bars, clubs, and karaoke spots to explore. Whether you’re into partying or prefer a more relaxed evening, Seomyeon has something for everyone.
Busan Itinerary Day 2: Gamcheon Culture Village & Jagalachi Fish Market
Onto day 2!
Gamcheon Culture Village
Today you are heading on a colourful journey through the Gamcheon Culture Village, one of my favourite places in Busan!
From Seomyeon, you can take the Busan Metro Line 1 from Seomyeon Station to Toseong Station.
Take exit 6 which is signposted towards Gamcheon Culture Village and then turn right up the main road at the exit.
The road will take you up towards the Busan University Hospital and then you’ll see a bus stop, it’s the first one you come across on this road and you will likely see other tourists there.
There are many buses that leave from here but you need to get either Bus 2, Bus 2-2, or Bus 1-1 to Gamcheon Culture Village. The buses are little green minibuses.
Make sure to have your T Money Card ready!
Tip: Google Maps will tell you to walk 1km from the station to Gamechon Culture Village. I would not recommend it at all. The walk has very steep hills and is not worth wasting your energy conquering.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi for a quicker ride.
When you arrive, spend your time taking photos from the various lookouts, strolling the colourful alleys, and searching for gorgeous murals.
Jagalachi Fish Market
After your Gamcheon adventure take bus 1-1 back to Toseong Station. Hop on Busan Metro Line 1 from Toseong Station to Jagalachi Station.
Dive into Busan’s maritime culture at the Jagalachi Fish Market, savouring fresh seafood and absorbing the bustling atmosphere. Sample Busan’s freshest catches, from sashimi to grilled fish, and don’t miss the iconic hoe (raw fish) that the market is famous for.
Make sure to explore both the indoor and outdoor sections of the market.
BIFF Square and Busan Tower
From Jagalachi Fish Market, BIFF Square is within walking distance.
BIFF Square is a hub for shopping and entertainment. You can window shop enjoy the lively atmosphere, and experience the film-themed attractions that the square is known for.
Don’t miss heading to Busan Tower (walking distance from BIFF Square) for insane views of Busan.
I was hesitant as it is a little on the pricey side, but trust me the views are like no other. You will see the colourful culture villages, the ocean and the uniform city buildings.
To return to Seomyeon, simply retrace your steps using the Busan Metro Line 1. You can catch the subway from Nampo Station and travel back to Seomyeon Station.
Busan Itinerary Day 3: Haeunde Beach & Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Day 3 of your Busan adventure brings a perfect blend of relaxation, culture, and natural beauty as you explore Haeundae Beach and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Here’s how to make the most of your day.
From Seomyeon, you can reach Haeundae Beach by taking the Busan Metro Line 2 from Seomyeon Station to Haeundae Station.
The journey typically takes around 30-40 minutes. Once you exit the station, it’s a short walk to the beach.
Haeunde Beach is the perfect place to unwind, lay in the sun, or take a walk along the shore. You’ll also find beachfront cafes where you can grab a cup of coffee with a view of the sea.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
After your beach time, hop on bus 1001 at Haunde Station. After 20 minutes, get off at Dongbusan Tourist complex and walk 750m uphill to the temple.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is a unique coastal temple perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea.
Explore the temple’s beautiful architecture, visit the pagoda, and take in the breathtaking views of the ocean. Don’t forget to make a wish at the Wishing Pond.
To return to Seomyeon, hop on bus 1001 at the bottom of the hill of the temple. Get off at Haunde Station and walk to the subway station. Then jump on Busan Line 2 to Seomyeon Station.
Busan Itinerary Day 4: Songdo Cable Car / Oryukdo Skywalk, Markets & Gwangalli Beach
Day 4 of your Busan adventure brings you a day filled with breathtaking views, Korean food and some shopping.
Songdo Cable Car and Oryukdo Skywalk
You have two fantastic options this morning.
Option 1 Songdo Cable Car: To reach Songdo Cable Car, hop on Busan Metro Line 1 from Seomyeon Station to Jagalachi Station. Transfer to Jagalachi bus station and catch bus 30 to Songdo Beach.
Option 2 Oryukdo Skywalk: For the Oryukdo Skywalk, jump on Subway Line 2 from Seomyeon Station to Kyunsung Univ. Pukyong Nat’l Univ Station. From there you will need to take a 7-minute taxi.
Whether you choose the cable car or the skywalk, you’re in for stunning beach views. Songdo Cable Car offers a scenic ride over the sea, while Oryukdo Skywalk allows you to walk on a transparent glass walkway, giving you a unique perspective of the coastal cliffs.
Bupyeong Kkangtong Market
To reach Bupyeong Kkangtong Market, you can take a taxi from Songdo Cable Car or Oryukdo Skywalk (20-30 minutes) or if you’re on a tight budget, you can take public transport. I recommend you check Google Maps for your best options.
The market is a lively and colourful hub for local bites.
It’s the perfect place to sample Busan’s unique dishes and explore the rich flavours of the city. Try favourites like ssiat hotteok (seed-filled pancakes), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), and bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes).
As the sun begins to set head to Gwangalli Beach from Bupyeong Kkangtong Market. Walk 800m to Nampodong bus station and hop on bus 1003 towards Gwangan Station. From there walk for about 15 minutes until you reach Gwangalli Beach. The journey should take around 45 minutes.
Gwangalli Beach is known for its beautiful Gwangan Bridge, which is beautifully lit up at night.
Take a nice stroll along the beach and admire the stunning views. This is also a great spot for some last-minute souvenir shopping, and you’ll find various shops and stalls along the beachfront.
Busan Itinerary Day 5: Taejongdae & Spa Land
It’s your final day in Busan, sad face. Here’s how to make the most of your day, along with details on how to get to and from each attraction.
To reach Taejongdae, hop on Subway Line 1 from Seomyeon Station to Jungang Station which is a 13-minute journey. Transfer to Jungang bus station and hop on bus 88 or 66 and after 30 minutes you’ll reach Taejondae.
Taejongdae is known for its picturesque cliffs and breathtaking coastal views. The park is filled with scenic walking trails, lighthouses, and gorgeous landscapes.
Spa Land in Shinsegae Centum City
Next up, what better way to end your busan 5 day itinerary than with a trip to the spa!
To get to Spa Land, you can take a 20-minute taxi from Taejongdae or hop on the bus for a more scenic journey that will take a bit over an hour. Catch bus 1006 from Taejongdae bus station and hop off at Centum city station. From there it’s just a 5-minute walk to the spa.
The spa is located within Shinsegae Centum City, one of the world’s largest department stores, so you can’t miss it.
Spa Land is the perfect place to relax and unwind after your morning exploration. As a renowned jjimjilbang (Korean bathhouse) and hot spring facility, it offers a wide range of thermal baths, saunas, and relaxation areas.
Heading Back to Seomyeon
To return to Seomyeon use the Busan Line 2 from Centum City Station to Seomyeon Station for an easy and quick journey (20 minutes).
FAQs: Busan 5 Day Itinerary
Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about your Busan 5 day itinerary.
Is 5 days in Busan enough?
Absolutely! Spending 5 days in Busan is a fantastic choice.
It allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s diverse offerings, from stunning beaches to vibrant markets, rich cultural experiences, and delicious food.
You’ll have ample time to explore popular attractions, relax, and even have time to explore a few hidden gems.
It’s a sweet spot for first-timers to make the most of Busan without feeling too rushed.
How many days in Busan is enough?
The ideal number of days in Busan can vary depending on your interests and travel pace.
However, I’d recommend at least 3 to 5 days to truly appreciate the city.
In 3 days, you can cover the highlights, but in 5 days, you’ll have the opportunity to dig deeper into its culture, history, and natural sights while allowing for some relaxation.
It’s all about finding the balance that suits your travel style.
Is Busan better than Seoul?
Both Busan and Seoul offer unique experiences, and it’s not about one being better than the other; it’s about what you’re looking for.
Busan is known for its beautiful beaches, coastal charm, and a more relaxed vibe. Seoul, on the other hand, is a bustling capital with a wealth of historical and modern attractions. I’d say that they complement each other.
If you have the time, consider exploring both cities to get a well-rounded taste of South Korea. A day trip from Seoul to Busan is a popular choice for travellers who are short on time.
Check out my detailed comparison guide so you can make the right choice for you: Seoul or Busan: Which City Should You Visit?
Is it worth staying in Busan?
Absolutely, Busan is worth every moment of your stay. With its breathtaking scenery, rich culture, history, and warm hospitality, Busan has a lot to offer.
Whether you’re a beach lover, a foodie, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking a vibrant city atmosphere, Busan has something for everyone.
So, yes, it’s definitely worth it!
How to Get to Busan from Seoul – KTX Train
Wondering how to get to Busan from Seoul or vice versa? The KTX, Korea’s high-speed train is the way to go.
I recommend booking your KTX ticket in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This allows you to choose your preferred class, seat and departure time.
And no need to worry about paying extra for your 30kg bags – just stow them away and relax!
Seoul has two major KTX departure points: Seoul Station and Yongsan Station. Both stations are well-connected to public transport, and your choice depends on your location in the city. I personally left from Seoul Station which is easy to get to via subway from my accommodation in Hongdae.
I recommend arriving at the station at least 20-30 minutes early to ensure a stress-free start to your journey. Boarding of the train begins 10 minutes before departure if you depart from Seoul Station.
The KTX journey from Seoul to Busan takes around 2.5 hours. It’s a smooth and comfortable ride, and you can enjoy the picturesque South Korean countryside as you travel. My advice is to have a good book, some snacks, or perhaps if you’re like me whip out your laptop and get some work done.
When you arrive at Busan Station you will likely need to walk a couple hundred metres to Busan subway station to continue on to your accommodation. Busan’s efficient transport network makes it easy to get around, but I do highly recommend planning your onward journey in advance so you know where to go when you hop off the train.
Tip: Google Maps will be your best friend for transport recommendations including what subway line to get off, how many stops, the cost etc.
The Wrap-Up: Busan 5 Day Itinerary
This Busan 5-day itinerary promises a wonderful mix of cultural exploration, scenic beauty, yummy food, and a touch of beach relaxation.
From the vibrant colours of Gamcheon Culture Village to the serenity at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, from the exhilarating heights of Songdo Cable Car to the sunsets at Gwangalli Beach, your Busan itinerary has been carefully crafted to give you the best that Busan has to offer
Writing this post has me totally hyped to return to Busan!
You’re in for an amazing time, and I’m genuinely stoked for you!
So, whether you’re a solo traveller like me or on holiday with loved ones, your Busan adventure is one you won’t forget!
Safe travels, fellow adventurers!