Busan: Wikis


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—  Metropolitan City  —
Busan Metropolitan City
 - Hangul 부산광역시
 - Hanja 釜山廣域市
 - Revised Romanization Busan Gwangyeoksi
 - McCune-Reischauer Pusan Kwangyŏksi
From top left: Skyscrapers on Haeundae Beach, Gwangan Bridge, Night view of Busan, Skyline of Centum City, Busan Asiad Stadium, and Shinsegae Centum City department store


Emblem of Busan
Map of South Korea with Busan highlighted
Country  South Korea
Region Yeongnam
Districts 15
 - Mayor Hur Nam-sik
Area [1]
 - Total 765.94 km2 (295.7 sq mi)
Population (2008)[1]
 - Total 3,596,063
 - Density 4,695/km2 (12,160/sq mi)
 - Dialect Gyeongsang
Flower Camellia flower
Tree Camellia
Bird Seagull
Website busan.go.kr (English)

Busan Metropolitan City, also known as Pusan[2] (Korean pronunciation: [pusan]) is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million.[1] It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world.[3] The city is located on the Southeasternmost tip of the Korean Peninsula and faces the Korea Strait. The most densely built up areas of the city are situated in a number of narrow valleys between the Nakdong River and Suyeong River, with mountains separating some of the districts. Administratively, it is designated as a Metropolitan City. The Busan metropolitan area is divided into 15 major administrative districts and a single county.

Busan was the host city of the 2002 Asian Games and APEC 2005 Korea. It was also one of the host cities for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and is a center for international conventions in Korea. On November 14, 2005, the city officially announced its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics Games.[4]

Busan is home to the world's largest department store, the Shinsegae Centum City[5] and is pursuing a large number of multi-skyscraper projects, including the 110-floor, 510m-supertall Lotte Super Tower, which is slated to become the world's third tallest building in 2013, after Burj Khalifa in Dubai and 1 World Trade Center in New York City.[6]



Geochilsan-guk existed in the second and third and fourth centuries as a chiefdom of Jinhan. It was absorbed by Silla and renamed Geochilsan-gun. The word Geochilsan means rough mountain, probably referring to Hwangnyeongsan, located at the center of the city.

The grave goods excavated from mounded burials at Bokcheon-dong indicate that a complex chiefdom ruled by powerful individuals was present in the Busan area just as the Three Kingdoms of Korea were forming, c. A.D. 300-400. The mounded burials of Bokcheon-dong were built along the top of a ridge that overlooks a wide area that makes up parts of modern-day Dongnae-gu and Yeonje-gu. Archaeologists excavated more than 250 iron weapons and ingots from Burial No. 38, a wooden chamber tomb at Bokcheon-dong.

In 757, Geochilsan-gun was again renamed Dongnae, which it is still called.

From the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Korean government designated Busan as a trading port with the Japanese and allowed their settlement. Other Japanese settlements in Ulsan and Jinhae diminished later, but the Busan settlement, called Waegwan at the time, continued until Japan invaded Korea in 1592. After the war, diplomatic relations with the new shogunate in Japan were established in 1607, and Busan Waegwan was permitted to be reconstructed. The Japanese settlement, though relocated into Choryang later, continued to exist until Korea was exposed to modern diplomacy in 1876. In 1876, Busan became the first international port in Korea.

Busan seen from Spot satellite

During the Japanese rule, Busan (Fusan) developed into a hub trading port with Japan. Busan was the only city in Korea to adopt the steam tramway before electrification was introduced in 1924. Busan, is one of only two cities on the Korea peninsula, Daegu being the other that was never captured by the North Korean Communists during the Korean War. As a result the city was a refugee camp site for Koreans during the war. Jeju City, the capital of Jeju Island was the other South Korean city not to be captured by the North Koreans during the Korean War.

Busan was one of the few areas in Korea that remained under the control of South Korea throughout the Korean War and for some time it served as a temporary capital of the Republic of Korea. UN troops established a defensive perimeter around the city known as the Pusan Perimeter in the summer and autumn of 1950. Since then, like Seoul, the city has been a self-governing metropolis and has built a strong urban character.


Busan is located on the Southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula. It is located on the coast, which determined the development of the whole city itself.



Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: climate-charts.com

Located on the Southeasternmost tip of the Korean Peninsula, Busan has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). Extremely high or low temperatures are rare. May to July, Late Springs and Early Summers, are usually cooler than inland region because of the ocean effect. Late Summer and Early Autumn, August and September, are generally hot and humid and the city may experience typhoons at that time and be generally rainy. On September 15, 1959, Super Typhoon Sarah passed by the coast of the city and caused catastrophic damage. An unusually severe storm on September 12, 2003, Typhoon Maemi, also caused damage to ships and buildings and resulted in over 48 fatalities.

October and November are generally the most comfortable, with clear skies and pleasant temperatures. Winters are cold and dry with high winds, but much milder than other parts of Korea except Jeju-do and several islands of the southern coast. Busan and the nearby area has the least amount of snow compared to other regions of Korea due to its location. Snow falls on an average of only about 6 days per year. Even a little accumulation of snow can effectively shut down this seaport city because of the hilly terrain and unfamiliarity of motorists with driving on snow.

Weather data for Busan, South Korea (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.0
Average low °C (°F) -0.7
Precipitation mm (inches) 37.8
Sunshine hours 198.0 180.8 192.9 208.0 227.0 173.7 171.9 203.9 169.6 203.2 190.2 203.3 2,322.4
% Humidity 51.0 53.6 59.1 64.6 69.6 79.3 84.8 80.8 74.3 65.2 59.5 52.9 66.2
Source: [7] 2009-06-11

Administrative divisions

In 1957 Busan adopted a division system with the creation of 6 gu: Busanjin-gu, Dong-gu, Dongnae-gu, Jung-gu, Seo-gu, and Yeongdo-gu.

Today, Busan is divided into 15 gu (districts) and 1 gun (county).

Administrative divisions of Busan.



Busan is the fifth busiest seaport in the world,[3] with transportation and shipping among the most high profile aspects of the local economy. Since 1978, Busan has opened three container ports including Jaseungdae, Shinsundae, and Gamman. Busan is renowned as one of the world's largest ports and can handle up to 13.2 million TEU shipping containers per year.

The Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone Authority, one of two such administrations (the other in the harbor of Incheon), was created to reassert Busan's status as a traditional international trading centre. The port attracts ships from all over the globe and the surrounding area aspires to become a regional financial centre.

Shopping and Commerce

Commercial areas are dispersed through the city near busy intersections and adjacent to university campuses, but the two largest central business districts in Busan are Seomyeon and Gwangbok-dong/Nampo-dong. There are also four substantial shopping areas of note: Seomyeon, Gwangbok-dong, Busan Dae Hakap in Jangjeon-dong, and Haeundae.

Seomyeon is the crossroads of Busan. The local subway station serves two lines and is one of the busiest in the city. The local head offices of Korean and international banks are located in Seomyeon. It is recognized as the ascendant shopping and entertainment district. Directly adjacent to Seomyeon is Bujeon Market, the largest traditional market in the city. Other companies with offices here include Yeolmae Food.

The Gwangbok-dong, Nampo-dong, and Jungang-dong areas form the old central business district. Some of the restaurants in this district are locally famous with family recipes passed down the generations. Jagalchi Market (near part of the very active port) is an area of narrow street stalls and is well known for its fish market. The Gukje Market is also located nearby. Jungang-dong is the home of many international law offices, the old Immigation Office, and the international ferry terminal serving Japanese routes. Lotte World II is currently under construction along the water between Jungang-dong 7-Ga and 8-Ga.[8]


Universities with graduate schools

Other institutes of higher education


Parks, Beaches, and Resorts

Beomeosa Temple
Busan Tower
APEC Nurimaru

Geumjeongsan to the west is a popular weekend hiking spot for Busan residents. To the north, the neighborhoods around Pusan National University (also known as PNU, which is one of the most highly recognized national institutes of high education in Korea) have student theaters, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as open-air cultural street performances on weekend nights. Nearby is Beomeosa, the city's main Korean Buddhist temple.

Dongnae-gu is a wealthy and traditional residential area. Dongnae Oncheon is a natural spa area with many baths, tourist hotels, restaurants, clubs and shopping areas. Many restaurants in the area are famous for their family recipes. Chungnyeolsa is a Confucian shrine for soldiers who died during the sixteenth century battle against the Japanese at Dongnae Fortress.

Busan is called the summer capital of Korea since it attracts tourists from all over the country to its six beaches. Luxury hotels and a carnival boardwalk line the beach at Haeundae. Gwangalli Beach is famous for its cafes, bars, and restaurants along the beach, and the Grand Gwangan Bridge. The area around Pukyong National University and Kyungsung University has many cafes, bars and restaurants attracting college students and youth.

Taejongdae, is a natural park with magnificent cliffs facing the open sea on the island of Yeongdo.

The area known as the "Foreigners' Shopping Street", but commonly referred to as "Texas Street" near part of the Port of Busan, has many businesses that cater to the local Russian population, as well as the crews of foreign ships. The area was originally the location of the local Chinatown and still contains a Chinese school. Because of the Chinese presence, the area was designated to serve as the commercial and entertainment needs of American soldiers, and businesses were set up there during the 1940s and 1950s to cater to them.

Temples, Shrines and other Historical sites

Professional sports

Since 1982, the city has been home to the Lotte Giants, who play in the Korean baseball league. In Korea, Busan is known as the capital of baseball and has a reputation for very enthusiastic baseball fans. For the first few years, Lotte Giants utilized Gudeok Stadium as their home. In the mid-1980s, they moved to Sajik Stadium, which was built as part of a sports complex for the 1986 Asian Games.

The city is home to K-League soccer team Busan I'Park. They were formerly known as the Daewoo Royals and were a strong team during the 1990s in the K-league. It is also home to National League soccer club Busan Transportation Corporation.

Busan also has a basketball team (KTF Magic Wings) that plays in the Sajik Sports Complex area of the city.


a booth for PIFF

Busan is also famous for the Pusan International Film Festival, or PIFF, a large and well-known international film festival in Asia that attracts film-loving tourists from all over East Asia and the world. It is also the home of the Busan Biennale, a well renowned international contemporary art biennale which takes place every two years.


  • Busan Museum
  • Bokcheon Museum
  • Busan Modern History Museum
  • Dongsam-dong Shell Midden Museum
  • Temporary Capital Commemoration Hall
  • Busan Museum of Modern Art
  • Pusan National University Museum
  • Dong-A University Museum
  • Kyungsung University Museum
  • Dong-eui University Museum


A plate of a colorful pancake made with green scallions, sliced red chili pepper and chopped seafood
Dongnae pajeon

Busan was once a center of military affairs in the southern region of the peninsula and therefore was an important site for diplomatic relationships with Japan; high-ranking officers and officials from the court frequently visited the city. Special foods were prepared for the officers such as Dongnae pajeon (동래파전), a variant of pajeon (Korean savory pancakes), made with whole scallions, sliced chili peppers, and various kinds of seafood in a thick batter of wheat flour, glutinous rice flour, eggs, salt and water.[10][11]

During the Korean War, Busan was the biggest refugee destination on the peninsula; people from all regions of Korea came to Busan. Some of these refugees stayed and adapted and adjusted the recipes of their local specialties. One of these foods is milmyeon (밀면) (lit. 'wheat noodle') a version of naengmyeon, cold buckwheat noodle soup, but using wheat flour instead. Naemyeon is originally a specialty food of Hamhung and Pyongyang, the northern regions of the Korean peninsula, now part of North Korea.[12][13] Dwaeji gukbap (돼지국밥) (lit. 'pork/pig soup rice') is also a result of Korean War. It is a hearty pork soup and is becoming more popular nation-wide.[14]



Major express bus lines link Busan with other cities in Korea at two primary bus terminals, Nopodong Bus Terminal (at the northern terminus of Subway Line 1) and Seobu Bus Terminal at Sasang Station on Subway Line 2.

134 routes of urban buses service whole part of Busan Metropolitan City. (Busan Urban Bus)


Busan Harbour Pier 1 with the International Ferry Terminal (3 docked ferries shown).

The Coastal Ferry Terminal serves ferry services to many locations on Geoje Island as well as to Jeju City in Jeju-do.[15]

Ferries leaving from the International Ferry Terminal on Busan Harbour Pier 1 connect Busan to the Japanese ports of Izuhara and Hitakatsu on Tsushima Island, as well as the cities of Shimonoseki, Fukuoka, and Osaka on Japan's mainland.[16]

  • PanStar[17] operates the PanStar Ferry between Busan and Osaka.
  • The Seaflower 2, the ferry to Tsushima operated by Dae-a Express Shipping,[18] carries passengers only between Busan and Hitakatsu in 1 hour 40 minutes and between Busan and Izuhara in 2 hours 40 minutes.
  • The Seonghee, operated by Pukwan Ferry,[19] links Busan to Shimonoseki.
  • One of the ferries to Fukuoka is the Camellia, operated by Camellia Line.[20] The Camellia make the trip to Fukuoka over-night in 7 hours 30 minutes, and trip back in the afternoon in 5 hours 30 minutes.
  • The other ferry service to Fukuoka is assumed by the Beetles and the Kobees, 2 fleets of high-speed hydrofoils operated by Mirajet.[21] About five departures from each city are scheduled every day. By hydrofoil it only takes 2 hours 55 minutes to cross the Korea Strait to Fukuoka. The Beetles are owned by JR Kyushu.


Busan lies on a number of rail lines, of which the most important is the Gyeongbu Line which connects it to other major cities such as Seoul, Daejeon, and Daegu. All classes of trains run along the Gyeongbu Line, including the KTX trains which provide service to Seoul in approximately 150 minutes. The Gyeongbu Line terminates at Busan Station. Other lines include the Donghae Nambu Line.

The Busan Subway network contains three lines: 1, 2, and 3. The network is operated by the Busan Transportation Corporation. The Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit line is under construction for completion in 2010.


Busan is served by Gimhae International Airport to the west in Gangseo-gu.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Busan shares the title of sister city with several coastal cities or provinces around the world.[22]

Sister ports

The Port of Busan also has 6 sister ports.[24]

Independent cities in South Korea

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c "Busan: Population and area of Administrative units". Dynamic Busan: Busan Metropolitan City. http://english.busan.go.kr/01_about/03_02.jsp. Retrieved 2009-09-11.  
  2. ^ This romanization of the city's name is in McCune-Reischauer. It was used prior to the official adoption of the Revised Romanization by the South Korean Government in 2000.
  3. ^ a b http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ah2Znx0vQ580 Empty Containers Clog Busan Port as Trade Slumps, bloomberg.com - March 3, 2009 02:12 EST
  4. ^ People's Daily Online (2005-11-14). "Pusan to declare bid to host 2020 Olympic Games". http://english.people.com.cn/200511/14/eng20051114_221062.html. Retrieved December 8, 2006.  
  5. ^ http://community.guinnessworldrecords.com/_Largest-Department-Store/blog/411871/7691.html
  6. ^ See List of tallest buildings in the world
  7. ^ "평년값(30년 평균) 자료". Korea Meteorological Administration. http://www.kma.go.kr/sfc/sfc_03_05.jsp.  
  8. ^ http://www.worldtourismsummit.com/Travel/KoreaTips/tabid/83/Default.aspx
  9. ^ United Nations Memorial Cemetery
  10. ^ http://www.hankooki.com/special/summer/200206/special20020630135751L7210.htm
  11. ^ http://www.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20090511010021&spage=1
  12. ^ Kim Gi-hyeon (김기현) (2009-05-13) 동래파전·돼지국밥…음식도 관광자원으로 (in Korean) Munhwa Ilbo
  13. ^ Lee Gyeong-taek (이경택) (2002-09-26) 부산AG 장외 음식열전 (in Korean) Munhwa Ilbo
  14. ^ Noh, Ju-Seok (노주석) (2009-07-29) (씨줄날줄) 영도다리/노주석 논설위원] (in Korean) Seoul Sinmun
  15. ^ Busan Port Coastal Passenger Terminal
  16. ^ International Ferry Terminal
  17. ^ PanStar Ferry, Korean operator of the ferry linking to Osaka, Japan.
  18. ^ (Korean) Dae-a Express Shipping, operator of the ferry linking to Tsushima Island, Japan.
  19. ^ Pukwan Ferry, operator of the ferry linking to Shimonoseki, Japan.
  20. ^ (Japanese) Camellia Line, (Korean) Korea Ferry
  21. ^ Kobee and Beetle, ferries linking to Fukuoka, Japan.
  22. ^ List of Busan's sister cities, Busan Metropolitan City; (English) [1], (Korean) [2]
  23. ^ "Barcelona internacional - Ciutats agermanades" (in Spanish). © 2006-2009 Ajuntament de Barcelona. http://w3.bcn.es/XMLServeis/XMLHomeLinkPl/0,4022,229724149_257215678_1,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-13.  
  24. ^ Port of Busan, Sister Ports, Busan

External links

Coordinates: 35°06′N 129°02′E / 35.1°N 129.033°E / 35.1; 129.033

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Busan (부산, 釜山, [1]), formerly romanized as Pusan, is a city located in the south-eastern province of South Gyeongsang, South Korea.

The bustling port of Busan
The bustling port of Busan


With over 3.6 million people, Busan is South Korea's second largest city and the country's largest seaport (a few years back, the government made the official English-language spelling "Busan" rather than the outdated "Pusan" as the former sounds more like the native pronunciation). Although the city does have some historical cultural sites to see--such as Geumjeong Fortress--these sites pale in comparison to other attractions Busan is known for, including beaches, hot springs, and nature reserves in addition to the city's international film festival held each fall. The locals have also made strides in hoping to secure a possible 2020 Summer Olympics bid. For those who might be intimidated by Seoul's size or perhaps wanting a more laid back, somewhat natural scene, Busan's culture is entrenched with coastal culture and might also be a good choice for families or those on a tighter budget as prices a bit cheaper than in the capital city. Resting at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula as South Korea's most vital port, this gives the city an international flair, with sailors from around the world trooping through and, these days, more than a few tourists (mostly from Japan, China and Russia).


Busan sits roughly 450 km southeast of the South Korean capital,Seoul, and about 150 km northeast of some of Japan's main islands.

Nampodong to the south is Busan's shopping and entertainment downtown, while central Seomyeon at the intersection of subway lines 1 and 2 is where the office buildings are. Seomyeon also has an active night life with lots of street food. 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, and Gimhae Airport occupies the last compass point in the west.

Get in

By plane

Busan's Gimhae Airport [2] (IATA: PUS) fields flights around the country and some international flights as well, mostly to Japan and China but also to Manila, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. The airport is quite old and very small for a city of Busan's size, though an international terminal has been constructed next to the domestic terminal. You are not allowed to take pictures of the airport (both from the plane and outside) because it also serves as an air force base.

Airport limousine buses connect to various points in the city for a flat ₩6000. The trip takes 30-40 min (in good traffic) and there are departures on all lines every 20-30 min. City buses leave for downtown quite regularly. They are even cheaper, around ₩1000. Be sure to visit the information desk at the international arrival terminal if your Korean is not very good. It is one of the few places that has English-speaking assistance.

A taxi to the city center will set you back about ₩15000 (daytime) including tolls.

By train

Space-age Busan Station looks like a UFO that has accidentally landed in the somewhat grubby stretch between the bright lights of Nampodong and Seomyeon. Still, it's easy enough to get in or away with Subway Line 1, and there are lots of cheap motels and eating places in the vicinity (although sadly if you're looking for Korean food, Busan Station may not be the best option).

Gupo Station is also in Busan. It's a 1-min walk from the Gupo stop on Subway Line 3. It's much smaller than Busan Station and usually uncrowded. A ticket from Gupo to Seoul is a thousand won cheaper than a ticket from Busan Station to Seoul. Gupo Station is ideal if you are coming or going from a place far away from Busan Station, such as Hwamyeongdong.

KTX [3] trains connect Seoul to Busan via Daegu and Daejeon in about 175 min (₩51700). Tickets can be purchased at the counter but automated English-language machines are available to make purchases with too. Passengers tend to be extremely quiet so it's best to avoid making excess noise if possible. Snacks can be purchased on the trains using the vending machines or from an attendant. Other trains, such as Saemaeul and Mugunghwa, connect Busan with other major cities as well. They're cheaper but slower than KTX. Head to the First Class car for a free-of-charge water vending machine.

  1. Gyeongbu Highway: connecting Busan with Seoul via Daejeon and Daegu.
  2. Gumi Highway: alternative highway to Daegu.
  3. Namhae Highway: connecting to Gwangju via Jinju and Sacheon.

By bus

Almost all cities and counties in South Korea have an express bus to Busan. There are two major bus stations:

  • Dongbu Intercity Bus Terminal (동부시외버스터미널), Nopodong Station (Line 1). For points north and east (eg. Daegu, Gyeongju, Seoul, Ulsan).
  • Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal (서부시외버스터미널), Sasang Station (Line 2). For points west (e.g., Jinju, Masan).

By boat

Befitting Busan's status as a major port, there are regular international ferry services to Osaka and Shimonoseki, and especially Kyushu island. Kanpu Ferry's [4] daily overnight runs to Shimonoseki are the cheapest, but JR Kyushu's Beetle [5] hydrofoils to Fukuoka run five times a day and take just under 3 hr. There are also domestic ferries to Jeju which take about 11 hr and run daily.

Busan Subway
Busan Subway

By subway

The three lines of the Busan Subway [6] --Red (1), Green (2) and Brown (3)-- connect with the bus terminals and nearly all sights of interest together. Rides are ₩1100 or ₩1300 depending on distance (hang onto your ticket until you exit), and both signage and announcements are in English so finding your way is easy. Travelers who've visted Seoul will likely be happily surprised to find automatic ticket machines available to make purchases from--and these are much easier to use than those in the capital. Also, the cars tend to be a bit cleaner and less crowded than Seoul's. One-day ticket costs ₩3500.

By taxi

There are plenty of taxis prowling the streets of Busan. Regular taxi flag drop is ₩2200 for the first two kilometers, then the meter starts ticking at ₩100 for each 143 m or every 34 seconds if the taxi is going under 15 kph. Deluxe "mobeom" taxis (black and red) charge ₩4500 for the first 3 km and then ₩200 for each 160 m or 38 seconds. Fares increase 20% between midnight and 4AM.

Especially at Busan Port, some unscrupulous taxis may attempt to charge much higher fixed fares, as much as ₩20000. Insist on the meter, and take a different taxi if your driver refuses to use it.

On foot

Busan as a whole is far too large to walk around, but some districts like Haeundae Beach, Dongbaek Island, and Yongdusan Park can be comfortably covered on foot.

The serenity of Beomeosa
The serenity of Beomeosa
  • Beomeo-sa Temple, subway Beomeosa. One of Korea's Great 5 Temples, this large temple complex is located up in the mountains, seemingly much further away from the big city than the few kilometers it is. Founded in 678, the buildings have been destroyed and rebuilt many times, but they're still atmospheric. Watch out though, as the temple gets packed with worshippers, hikers (see Do) and tourists on weekends. To get there, take exit 5 from the station, make a U-turn, turn left and take bus 90 from the station a few hundred meters up (₩900, 20 min, every 15 min). Entry ₩1000.
  • Yonggungsa. This Buddhist temple complex is situated on top of a large rock along the ocean. To get there, take bus 181.
  • 40 Steps (40 Gyedan), subway Jungang-dong. A few streets of a 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.
  • Yongdusan Park, subway Nampodong (take the hillside escalator up). This pleasant little park is home to Busan's one true tourist trap, the creaky 118 m Busan Tower (₩3000). 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.
  • Busan Museum of Modern Art (aka Busan Municipal Art Museum) (Line 2, Art Museum stn) has 2 full floors (one exhibit on the basement level) of modern art. You can probably feel pretty good about spending 2-3 hours here and feel like you've seen it all. A few minutes walk from Busan Youth Hostel Arpina. ₩7000. Closes at 8PM.
  • Chungryeolsa (Shrine) (Line 1, Myeongnyun-dong Stn) Take a bus no. 29/29-1/89/129 and walk 5 min. ₩200 adults, ₩100 children.
  • UN Memorial Cemetery (Line 2, Kyungsung Univ. & Fukyong Nat'l Univ. Stn). Take bus from in front of Memorial Park after subway exit.
  • Nakdong River Estuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Line 1, Hadan Stn)
Haeundae beach at dawn
Haeundae beach at dawn
Entrance to the Hurshimchung Spa
Entrance to the Hurshimchung Spa
  • Busan Aquarium, Heaundae Beach (Line 1-Haeundae station), +82 051-740-1700, [7]. The largest aquarium in Korea. Great facility with excellent displays. There is also a 3D ride that is worth checking out. Foreigners get at 20% off discount also. ₩16000.  edit

Beaches and hot springs

Busan is above all famous for its seven beaches and three hot springs.

  • Haeundae Beach (해운대), near subway/KNR Haeundae. One of the most popular summer destinations in South Korea. Haeundae attracts tourists from all around the country, and gets overcrowded in late July and early August. There are numerous hotels nearby. The Busan Aquarium--South Korea's largest at 13,000 sq m--is beside the beach (₩16000 for adults). Besides the beach, there are some excellent restaurants, both Korean and non, in the area, and a wide variety of shops, although many are hidden away. Explore the streets behind the beachfront boulevard. Many showings and events for the Pusan International Film Festival (Pusan, not Busan) are in this area which typically runs the first 10 days in Oct. Haeundae Tourist Info. Center is a good place to get a lot of info. about the area. If you're interested in sailing [8], Haeundae has the biggest leisure marina in Korea located about 10 min from the beach walking in the direction of Chosun Beach Hotel.
  • Hur Shim Chung Spa (허심청 Heosimcheong), subway Oncheonjang (exit 1, cross the street and make a beeline for Hotel Nong Shim; it's connected by a walkway), [9]. This massive hot spring complex claims to be the largest in Asia: Noboribetsu might disagree, but it certainly is huge, with hot, tepid, cold and strawberry milk-filled baths, saunas, pools, and an outdoor section. On the 3rd floor is a large jjimjilbang resting area, containing (among other things) a restaurant, a beauty salon, an oxygen room, and three 'igloos' heated to 81°C, 51°C and 0°C. You'll get a key when you come in, use it to open your shoe and clothes lockers and pay for any purchases inside. Men's and women's spas are segregated but the resting area is shared, so pick up a robe before you head downstairs. There's also some signage in English to guide you around. Entry to the spa is ₩8000, plus ₩1000 for the jjimjilbang on Sunday/holidays only. You can stay as long as you want, but it gets quite crowded and noisy on weekends.
  • Gwangalli Beach (광안리 Gwangalli), near subway Geumnyeonsan (exit 1). Best experienced at night when the massive Gwangan Grand Bridge behind it is illuminated. Overall, similar to Haeundae but smaller and less upscale. Nevertheless, some interesting restaurants, bars and shops in the area. Also, you should try visiting one of the the tall, newly built hotels on the beach. They have really nice Sauna and Jjim Jil Bangs overlooking the bridge. ₩8000.
  • Busan City Tour All-day ticket available for double-decker tour buses. Popular pick-up from Busan Station. Kids ₩5000, adults ₩10000.
  • Taejongdae (Busan Monument #28) The park was named for King Taejong Muyul (654-661) of the Silla Dynasty who practiced archery here after 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 one of the famous tourist attractions in Pusan, 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, Daema Island 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. The walk from the entrance to the lighthouse is quite long. However, a shuttle bus runs from the shops. lifeinkorea.com
  • Yongdusan Park - Busan Tower This is a park located at the heart of Busan. If you go up the Busan Tower, you will get to see an awesome, if not, the best panorama of the entire city.
  • Indoor skiing. In Mt. Hwangryung you can enjoy skiing any time, any season. This facility has recently closed, due to lack of demand. It's not known if it will open again in the future.


The mountains around Busan have some good hiking trails. Probably the most popular route is from the South Gate (Nammun) of Geumjeong Fortress, reachable by cable car from Oncheongjang, through the North Gate (Bukmun) and down to Beomeosa Temple, a distance of 8.8 km (3-4 hr).


Positions teaching English are available in Busan. See the main South Korea article for details.

Underground entrance to the Lotte Department Store
Underground entrance to the Lotte Department Store
  • Ja-galchi Fish Market (Line 2, Jagalchi stn) If you're in Busan, then you must visit Jagalchi Fish Market, which the city is famous for. This market displays freshly caught fish and various other sea creatures that are still alive. 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.
  • Can market(Ggangtong market) is an old market near Jagalchi Market in Nampo dong. People can’t easily notice there since it is located in a deep corner. There is nothing this market doesn’t serve. Since Busan has a big harbor, many foreigners have visited, so that it was quite early when citizens of Busan began to accept exotic culture and products. Ggangtong Market is a kind of evidence of that history. At the end of the Ggangtong market, there is a narrow street which reminds us of 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 Three major shopping districts connected to each other. 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 will be able to bargain with the people who are selling on the streets or underground.
  • Lotte Department Store, subway Seomyeon. An over-the-top temple to consumerism (check out the fountains and statues at the basement entrance), this is Busan's largest department store and the place to pick up some ₩500,000 ginseng or perhaps a Spam gift set for the folks back home. The basement has good food court/delicatessen/supermarket section.
  • Choryang Foreigner Shopping Area, opposite Busan station. This is a strange duck indeed, namely a combined China-and-Russiatown 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 though, as the area is notorious for ripoffs and even the occasional robbery at night.


An affordable and popular Busan treat is dong-nae pajeon (동래파전), a seafood and green onion pancake.
Being located in the seaside, Busan is well-known for fresh fish and sashimi. If you love fish, you definitely should try one of the local seafood restaurants.
Food and eating out in general is quite affordable and the city offers you a variety of tastes.

  • Gimbap Cheonha (김밥천하), a block to the north of Busan station (orange-yellow-white sign). Serves up gimbap from W1000 and all sorts of noodles for ₩2500-4000. 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. Meals from ₩5000.
  • Seoul Kakkduggi, Nampo-dong. Specializes in beef soups and kakkduggi side dish. Meals around ₩6000.
  • Seamen's Club; located on the port side of Busan Station, walk through the parking lot above the train tracks then head down the stairs and take a left. This is a western style restaurant that caters to homesick sailors, with your typical family restaurant/ diner kind of menu, along with some special treats like pumpkin pie. It's cheap and very delicious. You can also drink at the bar with a bottle of Guiness. They also have a store that sells some basic essentials like deodorant and shampoo, along with Reeses cups, a very rare find in Korea. May need a U.S. Military ID to get in, as a sign on the door specifies a 100% ID check policy in place.
  • 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 and over-priced selection of dust-covered western goods is located in the front.  edit
  • Dave's Fish and Chips, (Jangsan Stn, exit 3, walk straight up the hill for approx 150 m. Dave's is on the left side of the street, 2nd floor of a building with an orange banner in front). M-F 7-10PM, Sa Su 9AM-10:30PM. The menu covers more than you'd think from the name, including tacos, burritos, nachos, Chicken and Beef burgers, Indian curry sauce, all homemade, plus many imported beers, including Newcastle Brown Ale. Run by Dave from Manchester. Full English breakfast ₩6000 (Sa Su 9 AM-1:30PM only).  edit
  • 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. Thursday is lady’s bottomless drinks for ₩15000. In-Jung runs the bar and is a great hostess.


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 the Millak Town Raw Fish Center, 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.

  • Four Season Raw Fish (Sakyeocheol Hoetjip), Millak Raw Fish Center 2F. The owner, Mr. Jun, speaks English, and ordering here is easy: it's either set A, B or C at ₩30/40/50000 per head. Even Set A is huge, while C will feed a family of North Koreans for a year. Be warned: this is as real as it gets and dishes will include still-moving octopus tentacles and other stuff most Westerners would not readily categorize as "food".
  • Ventanas Grill Steak and Seafood, Novotel Ambassador, Haeundae, tel. +82 051-743 1234. Steak, fresh seafood, premier wine. Sephia style interior design, cozy atmosphere, and ocean view.
Nampodong by night
Nampodong by night

Busan has thousands if not tens of thousands of drinking places scattered throughout the city. Popular spots include Nampodong and the area around Dave's Fish and Chips. M-F 7PM-10PM, Sa Su 9AM-10:30PM. Sadly, Dave's is no longer open.  editPusan National University. Drinking spots popular with the foreign community include:

Kyungsung University area: Currently this area has the most selections in terms of density and sheer numbers of drinking establishments of any area in Busan.

  • Ghetto, Probably the cheapest drinks in Busan. ₩1000 shots of your preferred liquor. The music is loud and sometimes obnoxious, but this place always draws a dancing crowd.
  • Vinyl Underground, A good place to meet Korean girls and act like a total douche bag. Sometimes cover. Has become more clubby lately, as opposed to pubby. [10]
  • Foxy, Plays hip-hop, caters more to the college crowd. Sometimes there are live performances of locals. Cover varies nightly, can be as high as ₩15000. You will want a private room to escape the crowd, prepare to pay for that as well.
  • Ol'55, A usually quiet western style bar with a free to use billiards table and dart board. Sometimes live music. [11]
  • Kino-Eye, Darts and a big bar, occasionally there's dancing. Look for the creepy rabbit with the red eye. Party starts after 1am or so. Movies shown nightly.
  • 302, Small, but there's (pretty good) live jazz on the weekends.
  • Thursday Party Much akin to the other Thursday Parties in town, one of the most popular places for Koreans and Westerners to intermingle. If you've been to one, you've been to them all.
  • O'Brien's The an excellent 'dive' bar in Busan. Very relaxed atmosphere. Pat owns the place now and is a great bartender. Slammin' burgers and Western chow. Live Music on occasion. Just past Seomyeon on the #2 subway line, Gaya station exit #2.
  • Rock 'n' Roll Bar . ₩3000 cocktails, ₩6000 for high-end drinks. 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)

In Haeundae:

  • Elune In the basement of Paradise Hotel. This is the newest club in Busan and by far the most worthy of being considered a club. Elune is sizeable, attracts international DJs, and has a good sound and light system. Expect to pay a cover.
  • MURPII, Novotel Ambassador Busan, entirely renovated, the trendiest night entertainment on Haeundae Beach [12]
  • U2 Bar, across from the Novotel Ambassador Busan.
  • Starface Bar, Dalmaji Hill. Pool table and cool Americans aplenty.
  • Maktum, A bit of a flashy dance club that brings in Foreign DJs http://maktum.co.kr/.
  • Boracay In between Haeundae and the Apec Center. In the basement of a hotel. This is a Korean style booking club. It's expensive and offers the potential to meet Korean women, which are customers not employees.
  • Thursday Party Much akin to the other Thursday Parties in town, one of the most popular places for Koreans and Westerners to intermingle.


  • Crossroads, A chilled out sit-down bar with an excellent music selection
  • Moe's, A funkier atmosphere, sometimes live music
  • Soultrane, A dancey, loud place.
  • 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.

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.

Seomyeon also has a lot to offer:

  • O'Briens Irish Bar and Restaurant, A variety of Beers, Live Sports, & sometimes Live Music together with Good Western food available til late. [13]
  • 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.



All sorts of love motels can be found throughout the city, for instance near Sasang and Western Cross-Country Bus Termninal. Some are noted as some of the best bargains in all of Busan. Most will cost you ₩30000-50000/night.

  • Actor & Tourist Guest-house, (Choose exit (2) when exiting the Namcheon subway station, go up the stairs and walk for 25 meters, the Guesthouse will be on the left. There will be a small yellow sign (in the shape of a fish) pointing to a courtyard which is the entrance to the Guesthouse. Go to the 4th floor to check-in.), +82 70-7528-9069 (), [14]. Owned by Mr Lee, a friendly and well-traveled backpacker. Amenities include: free Internet, free tea, a spacious kitchen, travel books, photo albums, western toilets, two clean showers and one bath. There is also a very large balcony with tables and chairs that overlook the city. It's only Ten minutes walk to Gwangalli beach and a few minutes further by subway to a host of other popular destinations. ₩15000.  edit
  • Busan Youth Hostel Arpina, [15]
  • Blue Backpackers, [16]
  • Indy House, [17] Dormbeds start at 20,000 WON per night. This is the best place to stay in Busan. Owned by Indy and he is such a nice guy. He will help you with everything and it's also fun to hang out with him. 150 m away from "Kyungsung University & Pukyong National University" subway station. There are tons of restaurant, cafes, coffee shops, supermarkets, bars within walking distance. Well equipped with small pool table, free Internet, free movies and free laundry. Booking & Contact No. Phone (+82) 070-8615-6442 , mobile (+82) 010-8910-6442, email=hakee2@nate.com
  • Kumran Hotel (Gumran) (금란), Telephone: 0518038800. ₩25000 or ₩30000/double per night. Seomyeon Station Exit 9 (5 min walk from the station). Once you take the Station Exit 9, you will face the Family Mart and a dumpling(Mandoo), Gumran Hotel is in the alley to the right of Family Mart, an not the same alley Family Mart is on. Located near the Younggwan Library (영관 도서관), ask someone, they'll know. It is about 100 m into the alley. Free parking.
  • Vesta Sauna. 15-min walk from Haeundae beach, travelers can stay for 7,900 WON a night. This is a jjimjilbang and sleeping is on a large communal floor with only a limited supply of mats and pillows. The entrance fee includes access to good saunas and baths, a variety of hot rooms and a small PC room. Facilities are mostly mediocre, but the view over Haeundae beach from the sleeping floor and baths is stunning.
  • Zen Backpackers, 1530 Neospot, Seomyeon, +82 051-806-1530 (), [18]. checkin: 10AM~2AM; checkout: 11 AM. 5 min to city center, Seomyeon. Free oriental fortunetelling. ₩22000 dorm/₩30000 twin, private).  edit
  • The Planet Guesthouse, Crystal Beach Officetel room 311, Haeundae, +82 70-8201-6350 (), [19]. checkin: 14:00~20:00; checkout: 12 PM. one min to the Haeundae beach, 5 min walk to the Haeundae station. Beautiful natural scenery. Woman only. ₩30000 dorm).  edit
  • Gwangjang Tourist Hotel (광장관광호텔), 1200-17, Choryang 3-dong, Dong-gu (north side of Busan Station Plaza), +82 051-464-3141. Centrally located no-frills two-star hotel. Rooms have bathrooms, air-con and TV. Singles/doubles from ₩43000/48000.  edit


There are plenty of luxury hotels along Haeundae Beach.

  • Novotel Ambassador Busan, [20]
  • Paradise Hotel
  • Westin Chosun Beach

A few luxury hotels are more centrally located.

  • Commodore Hotel, Jung-an-dong. Within walking distance of Nampo-dong.
  • Lotte Hotel, Seomyeon. In the heart of Pusan. The basement level and first floor are attached to one of the largest shopping centers in Busan. All of the staff speak very good English, and the rooms are quite large with great views of the city surrounding it. The hotel also offers a casino on the second floor, an Irish-style pub, and an expensive restaurant. The shopping center has a grocery store and a variety of restaurants at reasonable prices, and a movie theater on the top level. The shopping center itself is like any typical western-style mall, with name-brand and high-end consumer items and clothing for sale.


Emergency Numbers:
Police 112
Fire + Ambulance 119

Stay safe

Busan, like Seoul, is very safe to roam around freely at night. Be a little bit cautious when most bars close at around 3AM, as this is when drunks leave, and some (though very few) are aggressive. Just stay away from them and nothing should happen. 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.

  • Gyeongju - arguably Korea's cultural capital, just over an hour away by bus
  • Jinju - a quiet city known for its fortress, 1.5 hours away by bus
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

Busan scenery from Busan Tower

Busan (Pusan) is a major port city in South Korea and is the second-largest city in the country. The population is over 3.7 million. When the Korean War happened, Busan was the capital for a short time.


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