Korean City Guides: Busan (Pusan)
Busan (Pusan) 부산
- Busan's population 3.9 million.
- blessed with a pleasant coastal location and climate.
- Korea's second city and largest port is ringed by mountains and makes for a pleasant base to explore the south.
- there's a good mix of modern and traditional culture, lively markets and a variety of sea-scapes including a bird sanctuary at Tadaepo and an up-market beach resort at Haeundae.
- a quieter, fresher alternative to Seoul and a good staging post for travel to Ulsan, Daegu, Gwangju and on Jeju Island (Seogwipo).
- the traffic can be horrendous but the cheap, efficient and easy-to use metro runs to most places of interest.
Dadaepo bird sanctuary, Haeundae beach, Sea Cruise.
Busan is a huge sprawling city but its center is in the Jung-gu area from Busan railway station to the Jagalchi Fish Market. Shanghai Street and Texas Street are both cosmopolitan areas close to the train station with Chinese and Russians eateries respectively. The Busan Modern History Museum (Tel: 051 253 3845) is located in this area in a converted Japanese colonial-era building.
The Nam-gu district has the Busan Museum (Tel: 051 610 7111), a 10-minute walk from Daeyeon subway station and the nearby UN Cemetery with the graves of allied soldiers who fell in the Korean War.
Beomeosa (Pomosa), located to the north of the city, is Busan's most interesting temple. Originally built in the 7th century Shilla Period, much of the temple was destroyed by the invading Japanese army in 1592-3. What can be seen today dates from the 17th century. Take the subway to Beomeosa Station and then local bus #90 or taxi.
Geumjeong (Kumjongsansong) Fortress, south of Beomeosa is Korea's largest walled fortress of its type. Located in the hills, Kumjongsansong was built in the 18th century and has 17km of walls and four impressive gates. The area is a popular place for hikers. If you are coming from downtown Busan, the nearest access point is Myongnyun-dong Subway Station, then the cable car (or steep hike!) from Oncheongjang.
Haeundae Beach & Busan Aquarium
Hurshimchung Spa, Busan, South Korea
There are hot springs at Dongnae not far from the cable car station to the fortress. Take subway Line 1 to Oncheonjang Station.
The 118m high Busan Tower is in the pleasant Yongdusan Park and has good views from the top. Take Subway Line 1 to Nampodong Station and then a short walk.
Haeundae Beach is an upmarket beach resort area to the east of downtown Busan about 30 minutes away by subway. There are a number of five-star hotels here including: the Commodore Hotel, The Lotte Hotel and the The Paradise Hotel. The beach is good for swimming and has the Busan Aquarium (Tel: 051 740 1700) with 250 species and up to 35,000 marine animals on display and the pleasant Dongbaek Park on a small promotery to the west of the beach. Haeundae hosts the annual Busan International Film Festival in October, one of the biggest film festivals in Asia. The Busan Museum of Modern Art (Tel: 051 740 2602) is one subway stop east of Haeundae.
Busan Fish Market, Jagalchi
Busan night view
Downtown street-life at Nampodong, upmarket restaurants at Somyon, downmarket Russian and Chinese Choryang Foreigner Shopping Area near Busan Station. Beach front seafood at Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach and the huge Busan Fish Market at Jagalchi Subway Station.
Gimhae Airport is 15km west of the city and has both international and domestic connections including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, Qingdao and Manila. There are domestic flights to Seoul and Jeju. Shuttle bus #2 links the airport to Haeundae.
The KTX high-speed train connects Busan to Seoul in around 2 hours, 40 minutes.
There are international ferries to Fukuoka, the Beetle ferry to Shimonoseki and boats to Osaka in Japan as well as domestic ferries to Jeju and Geojedo (1 hour). The ferry terminals are close to Jungang-dong subway station.
Busan's subway system connects all the main sights as well as Busan Station and the two bus stations. There are 3 lines: Line 1 (orange), Line 2 (green) and Line 3 (brown). 1-day passes are available. Trains run from around 5am-12.30am.
Busan Subway Map
Buses in Busan
Busan's bus network of regular and deluxe buses covers the whole city and bus destinations are shown in English on the front of the buses. There are two inter-city bus terminals at Dongbu Intercity Bus Terminal (Nopodong subway station Line 1) and Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal (Sasang subway station Line 2)
Tel: (051) 888 3541 more Busan stadium info
Elegant 55,982 arena reached by new Subway Line 3 or 35 bus from the station.