HOW MANY DAYS IN BUSAN DO YOU NEED TO SEE IT ALL
Wondering how many days in Busan do you need? Well, you’ve landed in the right spot as I have all the insights on travelling to the stunning Busan.
Let’s rewind a bit to my first time touching down in this coastal gem. It was the kickoff to a solo adventure throughout South Korea and Japan and let me tell you it set the bar ridiculously high for the days that followed.
In just a handful of incredible days, I uncovered a city that truly has a bit of everything. Think stunning beaches, a dose of rich culture, historic vibes, mouthwatering cuisine, and the lively buzz of city life – Busan is the whole package.
Spoiler alert! From my personal experience, I found that you need at least 3 to 4 days in Busan to see the sights.
So, in this blog post, I’m sharing with you a carefully crafted 4-day itinerary that’ll let you soak up the absolute best of Busan, just like I did.
Strap in, get ready to feel inspired, and, most importantly, prepare for an awesome journey through this beautiful coastal city.
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
Busan Travel Essentials
- 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 fast and comfortable journey to your accommodation
- Google Maps, Rome 2 Rio and Kakao Maps will be your best friends for getting around South Korea
How Many Days in Busan Do You Need?
Wondering how many days in Busan you need! Based on my own adventure, I’d say carving out at least 3 to 4 days is essential.
I personally stayed in Busan for 3 nights which gave me just enough time to explore the vibrant streets of Seomyeon, savor the fresh catches at Jagalchi Fish Market, relax by Haeunde bach and get lost in the colourful Gamcheon Culture Village.
But here’s the kicker – despite jam-packing my 3-day itinerary I still didn’t get to experience all Oryukdo Skywalk and Songdo Sky Park. Guess I’ve just got to head back to Busan soon then!
There’s truly so much to experience in Busan, from the shores of Haeundae to the cultural richness of temples like Haedong Yonggungsa. I personally found there was a lot more to see in Busan compared with Seoul and that’s saying something!
So, if you’re looking to explore the heart and soul of Busan, a sweet spot of 3 to 4 days should just do the trick. But, let me tell you, I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to stretch that journey a bit longer – there’s always another alley to wander and another sunset to catch!
The Perfect 4 Days in Busan Itinerary
Now that we’ve uncovered that you need at least 3-4 days in Busan, let me take you through my 4 days in Busan itinerary.
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
Touching down in Busan becomes a seamless experience, especially if you’re journeying from Seoul by the KTX train. In just approximately 2.5 hours, this sleek and swift option effortlessly transports you from Seoul’s heart to the vibrant centre of Busan, ushering you right into Busan Station.
When you arrive you’ll need to change from the train station to the subway station. Board Subway Line 1 pointed toward Seomyeon Station, that is if you choose to stay in Seomyeon which I recommend (more on that later), and from there, it’s a short stroll or a swift taxi ride to your accommodation.
For those arriving at Gimhae International Airport, the Gimhae Light Rail is the go-to choice for reaching the city centre. An accessible and budget-friendly option, it seamlessly links to various parts of Busan by integrating into the city’s subway system.
To reach Seomyeon from Gimhae, hop on the Gimhae Light Rail to Sasang Station, then switch to Busan Line 2, heading toward Seomyeon Station.
Settling into Seomyeon
Once settled in Seomyeon, dive straight into wandering the streets to get the lay of the land.
This was my initial move in Busan, providing the perfect introduction to Seomyeon’s trendy vibes. Saunter through bustling streets, uncover hidden gems, and perhaps indulge in a bit of retail therapy (or window shopping like me!).
If the need for a caffeine fix arises, Jeonpo Cafe Street is the place to go with its hip coffee roasters and arty-themed cafes.
And when the hunger strikes, consider Samjung Tower, a modern shopping complex standing tall with 17 impressive floors, offering a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The food court, a paradise for food enthusiasts, presents a range of local and international cuisines, from Korean favourites to fast-food delights.
Next retreat to your accommodation to check in and freshen up for an evening in Seomyeon.
First Evening in Busan
Kick off your first night in Busan with the quintessential Korean BBQ experience. Seomyeon boasts numerous Korean BBQ restaurants where you can grill your own meat at the table.
Places like Matchandeul Wang Sogeum Gui are a safe bet for a mouthwatering barbecue experience.
If you’re up for some nightlife, Seomyeon has you covered with its myriad bars, clubs, and karaoke spots. Whether you’re in the mood for a lively party or a more relaxed evening, Seomyeon has a little something for everyone. Cheers to a fantastic first evening in the dynamic city of Busan!
Busan Itinerary Day 2: Gamcheon Culture Village & Jagalachi Fish Market
Onto day 2!
Gamcheon Culture Village: A Vibrant Adventure Awaits
Kickstart your day with a vibrant journey through Gamcheon Culture Village, easily one of my favourite spots in Busan! Starting from Seomyeon, hop on the Busan Metro Line 1 at Seomyeon Station, headed for Toseong Station.
Take exit 6, clearly marked for Gamcheon Culture Village, and turn right onto the main road.
Follow the road uphill, passing Busan University Hospital, until you spot the first bus stop—a spot usually busy with other tourists. Numerous buses depart from here, but your ticket to Gamcheon Culture Village lies in Bus 2, Bus 2-2, or Bus 1-1. Don’t forget your trusty T Money Card!
Tip: Google Maps might suggest a 1km walk from the station to Gamcheon Culture Village. My advice? Skip it. The terrain is steep, and not worth the energy expenditure. Opt for a quick taxi ride instead.
When you arrive take loads of photos from various viewpoints, wander through the alleys, and seek out stunning murals that paint the village.
Jagalachi Fish Market: Dive into Busan’s Maritime Delights
After your Gamcheon adventure, catch Bus 1-1 back to Toseong Station. Board Busan Metro Line 1 from Toseong Station to Jagalachi Station.
Indulge in Busan’s maritime culture at the lively Jagalachi Fish Market. Revel in the bustling atmosphere, savouring the freshest seafood delights from sashimi to grilled fish. Don’t pass up the chance to try the market’s renowned hoe (raw fish).
Make it a point to explore both the indoor and outdoor sections of this expansive market.
BIFF Square and Busan Tower: Shop, Dine, and Soak in Panoramic Views
From Jagalachi Fish Market, take a short walk to BIFF Square, a hub for shopping and entertainment. Window shop, absorb the lively atmosphere, and delve into the film-themed attractions that characterize the square.
Don’t forget to head towards Busan Tower, a short walk from BIFF Square, offering unparalleled views of Busan. Though a tad on the pricey side, the views are absolutely worth it. See the colourful cultural villages, the expansive ocean, and the uniform city buildings from a birds eye view.
To return to Seomyeon, simply retrace your steps using Busan Metro Line 1. Catch the subway from Nampo Station and journey back to Seomyeon Station, bringing a perfect end to your Busan adventure.
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: Sea Views and Markets.
Day 4, your final day in Busan, is all about breathtaking views, Korean cuisine, and a bit of retail therapy.
Songdo Cable Car and Oryukdo Skywalk: Choose Your Adventure
This morning presents two fantastic options to kick-start your day.
Option 1: Songdo Cable Car
Songdo Cable cars give you unparalleled views of the sea and mountains.
To embark on the Songdo Cable Car adventure, board Busan Metro Line 1 at Seomyeon Station, destined for Jagalachi Station. Transfer to Jagalachi bus station and catch bus 30 to Songdo Beach.
Option 2: Oryukdo Skywalk
For those opting for the Oryukdo Skywalk, a walkway with a glass floor offering views of the sea & Oryukdo island, hop on Subway Line 2 at Seomyeon Station, heading to Kyunsung Univ. Pukyong Nat’l Univ Station. A brief 7-minute taxi ride from there will get you to your destination.
Whether you ascend through the cable car or traverse the transparent glass walkway of the skywalk, both promise stunning beach views. Songdo Cable Car treats you to a scenic ride over the sea, while Oryukdo Skywalk offers a unique perspective of the coastal cliffs.
Bupyeong Kkangtong Market
To reach the lively Bupyeong Kkangtong Market, a 20-30 minute taxi ride from Songdo Cable Car or Oryukdo Skywalk will get you there. If you’re on a tight budget opt for public transport, Google Maps or Rome 2 Rio will guide you to the best options.
When you get there, immerse yourself in this vibrant hub, sampling Busan’s unique dishes and indulging in the rich flavours of the city. Treat your taste buds to local favourites like ssiat hotteok (seed-filled pancakes), tteokbokki (my favourite spicy rice cakes), and bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes).
Ok, now I’m craving Korean food!
Where To Stay In Busan
I’ll be honest; settling on the perfect place to stay in Busan proved to be a bit of a head-scratcher for me. The dilemma between the allure of Haeundae’s beachside charm and the vibrant pulse of Seomyeon in the city centre had me torn. In the end, I personally chose Seomyeon as my home base as it is located right in the heart of all the action, making it an incredibly convenient spot to call home.
One standout advantage of staying in Seomyeon is its unbeatable proximity to public transportation. Seomyeon Station is where Lines 1 and 2 intersect, serving as a major transportation hub. No matter where you’re headed departing from Seomyeon is likely the easiest option.
If you are like me and jam-pack all the attractions into a well-crafted itinerary, Seomyeon is the place to be. And I fell in love with the energy in this part of the city with so many trendy spots to explore on your doorstep!
However, if your Busan trip involves early morning beach strolls or sunset cocktails, then Haundae might be more your speed.
Although a bit farther from the city centre and major cultural attractions, the payoff is just steps away from the renowned sands of Busan’s beloved beach. I recommend Felix by STX Hotel & Suite Haeunde for a great mid-range stay.
Ultimately, choose the vibe that suits your style, and let the Busan adventure begin!
Affordable Hotel in Seomyeon: Shire Hotel (Where I Stayed!)
Let’s talk about where I stayed in Busan – the Shire Hotel in Seomyeon.
Staying at this spot was an absolute steal. This mid-range hotel strikes the perfect balance between comfort, convenience, and affordability, making it a top pick for travellers aiming to get the most out of their Busan adventure without breaking the bank. Picture this: your own private room and bathroom for just AUD 50 per night – a total win!
The Shire Hotel is in a prime spot right in the heart of Seomyeon, surrounded by an array of shops, convenience stores, and restaurants, all within easy walking distance. The cherry on top? Seomyeon station is a mere 10-minute stroll away, adding a significant layer of convenience to your stay.
As for the hotel perks, they’ve got you covered with amenities like bathrobes, slippers, toiletries, and even two complimentary coffee vouchers – a delightful touch. Fair warning, though: the building does show its age upon closer inspection, with a few cracks in the tiles and such.
But when you’re getting such great value, a few minor signs of wear are a small trade-off for the overall fantastic deal.
“Great location, friendly staff, super easy check in & check out.”Samuel
Luxury Hotel in Seomyeon: Lotte Hotel Busan
⭐ 8.6 out of 10 (1287 reviews)
Get ready for a taste of the high life at the glamorous Lotte Hotel Busan, where it’s all about celebrity treatment and excellent service.
Lotte Hotel, just a breezy 5-minute stroll from Seomyeon Subway Station, comes with a unique perk – a direct underground link from Seomyeon Subway Station right into the hotel itself.
Now, let’s talk about all that’s on offer during your stay. Picture this: an on-site duty-free store boasting a jaw-dropping array of over 200 luxury brands, a department store for your shopping desires, and even a movie theatre
And the indulgence doesn’t stop there – dive into the Fitness Club’s indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, and fitness centre for the ultimate relaxation and wellness experience.
As for your abode, the rooms at Busan Lotte Hotel are not just spacious and air-conditioned; they’re also decked out with all the modern comforts you could wish for. Think free WiFi, snuggle-worthy goose-down blankets, and complimentary toiletries to elevate your stay.
Feeling peckish? La Seine has your back with a delightful buffet breakfast, and the hotel’s diverse range of restaurants caters to your cravings, offering Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisines.
And if you fancy some sweet treats and cocktails, don’t forget to swing by The Lounge on the ground floor – your go-to spot for satisfying those dessert and drink cravings.
Cheers to an all-encompassing stay at Lotte Hotel!
“Beautiful hotel with a great location, very close to the subway station. Professional, polite, smiling staff helping you with everything and literally everywhere. Super clean, spacious, clean room with everything you need. Exceptional view! Breakfast at the club lounge was excellent. Luxury hotel, great hospitality, absolutely recommended.”Katalin
Busan Attractions Map
Busan Travel Tips You Need To Know
To ensure you have a hiccup-free trip to Busan, these are the must-know tips that will allow you to blend in like a local.
1. Master Basic Korean Phrases
While many locals in South Korea, including Busan, may understand English, making an effort to learn a few basic Korean phrases can greatly enhance your experience.
Polite greetings, common expressions, and simple questions will not only be appreciated by the locals but also make navigating the city and interacting with people that extra bit more special.
2. Obtain a T-Money Card for Easy Transportation
Simplify your travel around Busan by getting a T-Money card.
This rechargeable smart card can be used for public transportation, including buses, the subway and even taxis.
It eliminates the need for cash and buying single-journey tickets, making commuting more convenient. Purchase and recharge your card at subway stations or convenience stores, ensuring seamless and cost-effective travel throughout the city.
Or you can pre-purchase your T-Money Card and pick it up at Gimhae airport when you arrive!
3. Understand Korean Dining Etiquette
South Korea takes pride in its culinary traditions, and understanding dining etiquette is essential for eating at the local hot spots.
Learn to use chopsticks (trust me it’s about time you conquered them), remove your shoes when entering traditional restaurants (those that require you to sit on the floor), and don’t tip—the service charge is often included.
Embracing these cultural nuances ensures a smoother and more respectful interaction with local establishments.
4. Accommodate to Korean Customs
South Korea has certain cultural norms that visitors should be aware of.
For instance, it’s customary to bow as a sign of respect, especially when meeting someone for the first time.
Additionally, when entering homes or temples, it’s polite to remove your shoes.
In South Korean culture, including Busan, showing respect for elders is deeply ingrained. If you’re on public transport, consider offering your seat to an elderly person as a gesture of respect.
Respecting these customs fosters a positive and culturally enriching experience during your stay.
5. Navigate Seamlessly with Kakao Maps and Taxis
For hassle-free navigation in Busan, download the Kakao Maps app. This app provides real-time directions, transport options, and even language support.
Google Maps is pretty unreliable in South Korea and you will find directions typically aren’t available so switching to Kakeo Maps is a must.
Additionally, when it comes to getting around the city, consider using Kakao Taxis. There are no ubers in South Korea and if like me you find hailing down a taxi a little daunting, ordering your ride on Kakao is the way to go.
Simply input your destination into the Kakao Taxis app, and a cab will be on its way. Like Uber you will agree to a fare before getting in, not that’s anything to worry about metred taxis in South Korea are extremely reliable and honest, still, it’s nice to know the price for you to go.
You will also find taxis in Busan to be pretty affordable so if you trying to get somewhere that’s not easily accessible by the subway, a Kakao taxi is the way to go.
6. Catching The Subway in Busan
Navigating Busan’s subway system is a breeze, but a few tips can make your journey even smoother. I found Google Maps (yes Google despite my comments about directions earlier) and Rome 2 Rio to be a helpful guide to navigating the subway lines. Simply input your destination and it will tell you the subway line you need to catch.
Station signs and announcements are in both Korean and English and subways are very frequent so rarely will you have to wait more than 10 minutes.
Just be prepared for trains can get crowded during rush hours, so plan your travels accordingly. Also, familiarize yourself with the subway’s last train times to ensure a safe trip home after a long night out.
FAQs: How Many Days in Busan
Now let’s dive into the frequently asked questions about the gorgeous city of Busan and how long you should be here.
How long should we spend in Busan?
To truly capture the essence of Busan, I recommend spending at least four to five days here. This timeframe allows you to explore its diverse offerings, from the vibrant energy of the Jagalchi Fish Market and the cultural richness of Gamcheon Culture Village to the serene beauty of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.
Additionally, with a few extra days, you can wander along the beaches, indulge in the city’s renowned seafood cuisine, and delve into the trendy city of Seomyeon.
By dedicating ample time to your Busan adventure, you’ll not only visit the iconic landmarks but also uncover the hidden gems that make this coastal spot a truly memorable destination.
Is 2 days in Busan enough?
Ah, the classic question! While two days can give you a taste of Busan’s beauty, I recommend you try and extend your stay to experience all this coastal gem has to offer.
Two days allow you to explore key attractions such as Gamcheon Culture Village, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and Jagalchi Fish Market. But that really only scrapes the surface of Busan, there is just so much here to explore.
Whilst 2 days is doable I highly recommend extending your stay to at least four days so you can explore Seomyeon, Haeunde Beach, Nampo
Dong and more. Trust me you won’t regret it.
Is Jeju or Busan better?
Choosing between the natural beauty of Jeju Island and the dynamic city of Busan?
Well, it all comes down to your preferences.
Jeju boasts natural wonders and a serene atmosphere, while Busan dazzles with its lively urban energy and cultural allure. If you’re torn between the two, why not experience the best of both worlds? Plan a well-rounded itinerary that includes a few days in each destination to explore all that South Korea has to offer.
How many days do you need in Seoul and Busan?
For a well-rounded experience, allocate at least five days for both cities combined. And this is the bare minimum. Spend the first two days exploring the dynamic streets of Seoul, soaking in the historical sites and vibrant neighbourhoods.
Then, hop on a 2-hour train to Busan for the next three days, to explore the coast of Korea. This way, you; ’ll find the perfect blend of city excitement and seaside serenity.
Of course, if you have more time to spend, go nuts! The more days in Seoul and Busan the merrier. I personally opted for 7 nights in Seoul and Busan and whilst I did jam-packed my itinerary I covered a lot of ground.
The Wrap-Up: How Many Days In Busan
So how many days in Busan do you need? You need at least 3 to 4 days to see the top attractions in Busan! And of course, the more the merrier, if you have more time to spend, don’t be shy there is loads to see and do.
So I shared with my jam-packed 4 days in Buans itinerary. From the shores of stunning beaches to the heart of rich culture, and the taste of traditional cuisine, my itinerary covered it all. I hope this meticulously crafted itinerary becomes your trusty guide, weaving unforgettable moments into your South Korean sojourn.
I am so excited for you to experience Busan, my favourite city in South Korea. Even though I only visited 2 months ago, I’m already itching to get back. That’s when you know it’s the place to be!
Safe travels and happy exploring!
Read more about travelling South Korea:
Is Busan Worth Visiting: The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Busan
Seoul or Busan: Which City Should You Visit?
Seoul or Tokyo: Which City Should You Visit?
Busan 5 Day Itinerary: South Korea for First Timers
Day Trip From Seoul to Busan – 1 Day Itinerary
Is South Korea Safe For Female Travellers? A Complete Travel Guide
The Ultimate South Korea Itinerary 10 Days!