Where to stay in Busan? Busan is South Korea’s second-biggest and probably fastest-growing metropolis.
A road trip through South-Korea would not be complete without a stop in this coastal city. Busan has so much to offer that it would be a shame to skip it. From the most beautiful beaches of South Korea to tasty street food and plenty of interesting things to do.
A day trip from Seoul is possible but it is better to spend the night and reserve at least 2 days to explore the city at ease. That leads us to the question of where to stay in this vast city. The different sights are spread out across the whole city so it isn’t easy to choose a base.
That’s why we wrote this complete guide about the best area to stay in Busan.
In this Busan hotel blog post, we cover the 6 most popular areas to stay in Busan. We also explain how you can reach them by public transport. If you have a car all of these neighborhoods are perfectly accessible and as a bonus, most of the hotels in Busan offer free parking.
We hope that our explanation of the districts will help to make your choice taking into account what kind of activities you want to do in Busan and what places you want to see.
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What’s the best area to stay in Busan
Which area should you stay in while you are in Busan?
Let’s start by saying there is no best area to stay in. All areas listed below have their advantages and disadvantages.
The best place to stay in Busan depends on what you want to see and do and where your interests lie.
Below we start off with our quick guide where we list the best districts for specific interests such as first-time travelers or families traveling with kids.
Further on in this guide, we discuss the most famous districts in detail.
If you want to score cheap flights to Busan, click here.
Don’t lose time upon arrival at the airport and order your portable wifi device in advance, so that it’s ready and waiting for you at the airport when you arrive.
If you plan to come to Busan by train, preorder your discounted Korea Rail Pass here.
If you don’t have a lot of time, we would advise you to take a guided Busan city tour.
Below we share a lot of hotels. However, Busan has a lot of nice Airbnb’s too. If this is the first time you will be staying in an Airbnb, you can enjoy a great discount by signing up through this link.
Last but not least, make sure you have travel insurance.
Where to stay in Busan – Quick guide
We created this quick guide for those who don’t want to go through the complete article.
Here we will share some suggestions about the best places to stay in Busan for first-timers, when you’re traveling with your kids, want to go shopping or enjoy some days at the beach.
It will only take a few minutes to read through this quick guide where we cover the above and much more.
Later in the article, we will discuss each neighborhood in detail to give you a good idea of the pros and cons of each of them.
Where to stay in Busan for the first time
If this is your first visit to Busan and you want to discover as much of the city as possible, I would advise staying in Seomyeon.
Seomyeon lies in the center of Busan and offers great public transportation options to a lot of Busan’s highlights.
If this is your first time in Busan and you love to combine shopping and sightseeing, we would advise you to stay in Nampo-dong.
By staying here you are staying in the best shopping district. In Nampo-dong you are also within walking distance of the Jagalchi fish market, Busan Tower and the Lotte department store.
Where to stay in Busan if you want to make use of public transport
When you have to rely on public transportation, we advise you to stay in Seomyeon.
By staying here you are close to the Seomyeon subway station from where you have direct access to subway lines 1 and 2 that take you to a lot of Busan’s main attractions.
The best area to stay in Busan for nightlife
Best neighborhood in Busan for families with children
If your primary goal is sightseeing, I would advise staying in Seomyeon. Although it’s a vibrant neighborhood, it’s also perfectly located for sightseeing.
If you want to combine days at the beach with visits to the city you will lose less time by staying in Gwangan.
Sasang is another lovely family-friendly district. The riverside walk and the park are nice areas to play and relax with your kids. However, if you also plan on doing some sightseeing I would only opt to stay in this area if you have a rental car.
The best area to stay in Busan for the beach
Busan’s beaches are famous so if you’ve come here to spend some lazy days sunbathing while your kids build sandcastles you’ve come to the right place.
The two most popular beaches are Haeundae or Gwangan. Both districts have a wide range of hotels. If you want to pamper yourself in luxury hotels, Haeundae is the place to be.
Gwangan is better if you’re looking for more budget-friendly hotels.
The best place to stay in Busan – the in-depth guide
This is an in-depth guide about the different areas.
Here we share the pros and cons of each area so you can choose the best area to stay in Busan for you based on your own interests and preferences.
Busan where to stay: Haeundae
Haeundae is the holiday destination of South Korea as it’s famous for its beaches. It’s located slightly outside Busan, but if you want to stay near the beach it’s one of the best places to stay in Busan.
If you like to pamper yourself in a 5-star hotel and mingle with South Korea’s rich and famous this is the place to go.
This beach is lined with several top-notch luxury 5-star hotels. But do not worry if you have a less filled wallet as there are also several more budget-friendly options.
Shopaholics can indulge in the world’s largest department store, Shinsegae Centum City. This shopping paradise is only 3 subway stops away.
During sunset, you can join the many couples for a stroll along Dalmaji-gil Road which is famous for its views of the blue ocean, pine trees, and white sand field.
Haeundae is alife day and night. Restaurants offer all types of food from all over the world. Those who prefer a relaxing stay can retreat to the luxury and comfort of the plush hotels and bars. Those looking for a wild and loud party can choose from different bars and clubs where they can go on a spree and mingle with the locals.
Main attractions in and around Haeundae
- Haeundae beach
- Shinsegae Centum City., the world largest department store
- Dongbaekseom Island
- Sea Life Busan Aquarium
How to get here by public transport? Haeundae is located at the end of subway line 2
Pros and cons
- Close to Haeundae beach
- Plenty of restaurant and bars
- In close proximity to some interesting Busan attractions
- Located relatively far on subway line 2
- Far from other main attractions
- The beach can get very crowded from June to September
Haeundae is the best area to stay in Busan if you want to spoil yourself in a 5-star resort and enjoy the perfect sandy beach but maybe less if you want to explore the city. Certainly, if you need to rely on public transport. There is a metro station nearby but it will take quite some time to reach the city center and other popular tourist locations.
Hotels in Haeundae
Here we share some of the best hotels in Busan, South Korea.
The Westin Chosun is located right next to the Dongbaek peninsula and the rooms facing the front have excellent ocean views. All staff members are friendly and helpful. One downside is that some rooms are in need of renovation
Ask for a renovated room
Hotel Park Hyatt Busan
The Park Hyatt Busan is a modern hotel with excellent luxurious rooms. Here you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views over the bay and the Diamond bridge.
The Hotel Park Hyatt Busan is one of the best Busan hotels. It’s a good choice if you want to pamper yourself for a couple of days.
Premium Comfortable Hotel
Shilla Stay Haeundae
We stayed in the Shilla Stay Haeundae. This brand new hotel lies within walking distance from Haeundae Beach and many nice restaurants. You will stay in modern minimalistic but comfortable rooms. Extensive breakfast buffet. The hotel has a great rooftop pool area to hang out.
This is the best location to stay in Busan if you love sunset walks along the beach and nearby Dongbaek Park.
Citadines Haeundae Busan
Citadines Haeundae Busan is a well-located hotel right above the metro and only 5 minutes walk from the beach. Plenty of excellent restaurants are nearby. The hotel has well-equipped rooms with a basic kitchenette and a comfortable bed. The excellent breakfast ensures a good start into the day.
This hotel is the perfect choice if you want a hotel near the beach and close to the metro station.
Industrie Business Hotel
The Industrie Business Hotel is a good mid-range option. Small but comfortable rooms and helpful staff. The location is perfect within walking distance from the beach, the subway station and many restaurants and bars.
If you are looking for a hotel with a good price-quality then this hotel is a good option.
Business Hotel Haeundae S
The Haeundae Business Hotel S lies in a quiet area 200m from the Haeundae metro and train station and 500m from the beach. Clean and comfy rooms. The staff speaks good English.
Great value for money
Where to sleep in Busan- Gwangan
If you are a beach person it may be hard to choose between Haeundae and Gwangan beach. International tourists tend to flock more to Haeundae, locals seem to prefer Gwangan.
The latter may give you a more authentic experience whereas Haeundae may attract more attention-seekers and is sometimes seen as a “m’as-tu-vu” place.
If panoramic views are what you’re after then the clear winner is definitely Gwangan. Once the sun sets you will enjoy impeccable views on the Diamond bridge.
Gwangan offers more budget-friendly hotels and a more laid-back vibe. If you are looking to meet expats and long-term travelers, this is the perfect place for it.
Gwangalli Beach has lots of coffee shops, cafes, and good restaurants. There’s no better place to enjoy a cocktail or a good meal with the beautifully lighted Diamond bridge in the background.
The Gwangan area is also the perfect place to stay if you like to be near some good shopping districts as both Centum City department store and the Kyungsung University area are only 3 subway stops away.
Main attractions in and around Gwangan
- Gwangalli Beach
- The beautiful lighted Diamond bridge offers perfect photo opportunities at night
- Centum City department store
How to get here by public transport? The closest metro station is Gwangan station. From there it’s about a 5-minute walk to reach the beach.
Pros and cons
- Perfect for beach lovers and lots of budget-friendly hotels
- Beautiful views on the Diamond bridge
- Only 8 km from Busan, so easier to visit other attractions
- If you aren’t that fond of the beach, there are better places to stay in Busan
- Less suited if you are a luxury traveler because Gwangan doesn’t have any luxury hotels
Gwangan is the perfect place to stay if you are a beach person who’s looking for a more budget-friendly option. Compared to Haeundae it’s also the better choice to explore other parts of Busan as you’re closer to the other city sights and attractions.
Hotels in Gwangan
Premium Comfortable Hotel
Kent Hotel Gwangali by Kensington
The Kent Hotel Gwangali by Kensington is located in front of the beach and in the vicinity of restaurants. The hotel has clean, spacious rooms and friendly staff which speaks good English. A drawback might be that the subway station is a 10-15 minute walk away.
This is a good option if you are looking for a hotel near the beach.
Gwangan Hound Hotel
The Gwangan Hound Hotel is a great place to stay if you want to be near the beach, bars, coffee shops and close to the subway station. From here you will enjoy fantastic views of the beach and the Diamond Bridge.
Ask for a room on a high floor because
What area to stay in Busan: Seomyeon
Seomyeon is the commercial center and acts as the central transportation hub in Busan.
Seomyeon subway station gives you direct access to both subway lines 1 and 2, the two major lines in Busan’s network.
These metro lines take you directly to popular tourist attractions such as Beomeosa Temple, Haeundae Beach, Jagalchi Market (including the Busan tower and Lotte Department Store) and Gwangalli Beach. Bujeon station, one-stop North on line 1, is the terminal station of the East line, officially the Donghae Nambu Line, operated by Korail.
Trains for Gyeongju leave from this station.
Seomyeon 1 Beonga street is the main street where all the action happens. This lively street is known by many names, some call it Seomyeon 1st street, other Food street or Art street.
It’s a pedestrian street and the place to go for a drink or a meal. The street houses plenty of bars and lots of fairly cheap restaurants.
The street is regularly cheered up with festivals and street performances, especially during the weekends.
The conviviality of this street attracts huge crowds of locals as well as national and international tourists every evening.
Seomyeon started as a hotspot for everybody young and trendy.
The district has evolved over the years but the party scene is still present in the thriving bars and clubs that continue to attract a young crowd.
Shopaholics love the gigantic Lotte Department Store but rave even more about the huge underground Seomyeon shopping complex with many stalls that offer clothes at very affordable prices.
Main attractions in and around Seomyeon
- Seomyeon 1 Beonga street also called food street which lots of restaurants
- Lotte Department Store
- Underground Seomyeon shopping complex
How to get here by public transport? Seomyeon station is centrally located in the district and can be reached with subway line 1 and line 2.
Pros and cons
- Centrally located near public transport. You can easily visit Busan’s most important tourist spots without losing too much time
- Lot’s of budget-friendly hotels
- Plenty to do day and night
- Not so suited for those who want to get a tan at the beach as it requires quite a long subway ride to the best beaches in Haeundae and Gwangan
- A limited selection of luxury hotels, the broadest choice of luxury hotels can be found in Haeundae
Seomyeon might not be as fancy as Haeundae and the views might not be as good as Gwangan but strategically it is very well located to reach many of the city’s sights. Certainly, if you only have a couple of days and you want to visit all of Busan’s highlights this might be the best place to stay in Busan.
Hotels in Seomyeon
Lotte Hotel Busan
The Lotte Hotel Busan is a very nice and elegant hotel which lies close to the Seomyeon subway station. Spacious and well-kept rooms. The friendly staff speaks very well English. The hotel offers direct access to the Lotte department store and there are many other dining options nearby as well.
The Lotte Hotel is one of the best hotels in Busan if you are looking for a 5 star centrally located hotel.
Premium Comfortable Hotel
Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Busan
The Solaria Nishitetsu hotel lies near the Lotte department store and lots of restaurants. The hotel is a 10-minute walk to the Seomyeon subway station. It offers comfortable and well-equipped rooms.
This is a good place to stay if you are looking for a comfortable well-located hotel.
Hotel Kyungsung lies in a good location near the subway station and there are many restaurants and bars in the neighborhood. Clean and comfortable rooms. Friendly and forthcoming staff. Great views from the rooftop bar.
Great value for money
The Arban hotel is located a little south of the Lotte Mall. The hotel is within walking distance of restaurants, the underground shopping mall, and the subway. Spacious and clean rooms. The staff speaks English fluently.
An excellent price for value hotel.
Here you will find everything from high-end designer brands to 5.000 won stores.
If you are looking to buy some souvenirs Nampo-dong is a good place to do so.
Nampo-dong has it all. It draws not only a lot of foreign tourists year-round but also the locals love to come here to indulge in a shopping spree.
It’s also a good place to stay if you want to do some sightseeing because it’s within walking distance of the Jagalchi fish market, the Lotte department store, and the Busan tower.
The Nampo area houses a lot of movie theatres and the Pusan International Film Festival is held here every year.
Nampo-dong is also famous for its street food scene and well-known throughout the rest of Korea.
It’s a foodies paradise and you will find some of the most delicious selections of Korean food such as Kimchi.
Main attractions in and around Nampo-dong
- Jagalchi fish market
- Lotte department store
- Busan tower
How to get here by public transport? Nampo-dong is accessible via Busan Line 1. There’re stops at Nampo (nearby the Lotte Department Store and the Busan Tower) and Jagalchi.
Pros and cons
- The perfect ‘shop till you drop’ district
- Perfect for foodies as the street food scene is fantastic
- Within walking distance of Busan Tower and Jagalchi Fishmarket
- If you are in Busan for the beach, there are better options to stay as it’s quite far from the beaches and you have to change trains in the subway
- If you don’t like seafood, you might consider staying somewhere else as the Jagalchi Fish Market contributes significantly to Nampo-dong’s appeal
- Nampo-dong doesn’t have any luxury hotels
Nampo-dong is the perfect place for you to stay in Busan when you mainly come to Busan for shopping, fancy some sightseeing and love seafood. If you are looking to spoil yourself in a 5-star hotel or if you want to spend some time on the beach, there are better options.
Hotels in Nampo-dong
Premium Comfortable Hotel
Aventree Hotel Busan
The Aventree Hotel is located in the middle of the Nampo shopping street and close to tourist attractions such as the Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan Tower, and Gukje market as well as the subway. Clean rooms with comfortable beds. The hotel staff speaks fluent English.
Very well located
Value Hotel Busan
The Value Hotel Busan lies in a good location close to the Lotte Mall and the fish market. Spacious comfortable rooms with a great view. Breakfast isn’t worth the money, so maybe you should consider having your breakfast elsewhere. The hotel provides a free hotel shuttle to the airport and Busan station. They also provide free laundry service and you can purchase detergent from the front desk.
Nampo Hound Hotel Premier
The Nampo Hound hotel is a brand new hotel. It lies within walking distance to the subway and the Nampo shopping street.
Wonderful rooms with comfy beds and a big bathroom.
Boutique Hotel YTT Nampo
The location of the Boutique Hotel is excellent as it is a short walk to the Nampo subway station and Yongdusan Park where Busan tower is located. Big and comfortable rooms. Kind and helpful staff.
The hotel offers a free laundry area.
Where to stay in Busan: Kyungsung
If you are looking for a non-touristy place to stay in Busan then Kyungsung, named after the local university, might be the place for you.
Here you will find lots of students and expats. It’s also a good place to shop, especially if you love vintage and boutique shops.
The presence of the students and expats have attracted many bars and affordable restaurants and Kyungsung has become a popular nighttime destination.
While it is not particularly well located for any tourist attractions it’s about 30 minutes with either bus or subway to get to Gwangalli Beach.
How to get here by public transport? Subway line 2 stops at Kyungsung University
Pros and cons
- Non-touristy, off-the-beaten-path location
- Opportunities to mingle with locals and expats
- Affordable restaurants and good nightlife
- No sights or touristic attractions nearby except for Gwangali beach which is still 30 minutes away
Staying in Kyungsung is a good choice for those who want to stay off the beaten path and are looking for affordable restaurants and love to meet locals and expats.
Hotels in Kyungsung
Dae Yeon Le idea Hotel
The Dae Yeon Le idea Hotel lies close to the subway station. Clean rooms with a huge bath and shower. There are lots of shops and restaurants nearby.
Where to sleep in Busan: Sasang
Sasang is another non-touristy district in Busan. It’s located in between the Gimhae International Airport, Busan’s main airport, and the city center.
It’s a good location to stay if you have an early upcoming flight or if you need to stay overnight in between two flights.
From Sasang it’s only a 15-20 minute drive to the airport with either the taxi or the Light rail trains.
Right next to the Sasang subway station is Busan’s West Intercity Bus Terminal also known as Busan Seobu Bus Terminal.
Daily different busses leave for Seoul, Gwangju and many other cities in the Southern provinces of South-Korea.
The terminal is smaller than the Central Bus Terminal but is much better located.
Despite its name, the Central Bus Terminal is actually far North of Busan at Nopo, the end station of Subway line 1.
There’re no large department stores of any kind. Instead, there’re plenty of small convenience stores (7-eleven, …) and lots of restaurants and small eateries.
Sasang is not particularly well located for any tourist sights. If you plan on doing sightseeing I would only opt to stay in this area if you have a rental car.
How to get here by public transport? The Sasang subway station is located on line 2. This subway stop is also where you would transfer to the Light rail trains that head to the airport.
Pros and cons
- Close to the airport
- Close to the bus terminal
- Non-touristy, off-the-beaten-path location
- No sights or touristic attractions nearby
- No luxury accommodations
Hotels in Sasang
The Louis Hotel lies right across the bus terminal and close to the Sasang station, only 3 stops from Gimhae International Airport. There are lots of restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Good value for money.
Technically the Hotel AirPort is not in Sasang, it is across the river right next to the airport. The hotel is close to the last stop of the trains before they reach the airport.
A very good choice to stay close to the airport but not ideal for sightseeing Busan.
Premium Ava Hotel
The Premium Ava Hotel is a modern boutique hotel located near the airport and the Sabang metro station. Large modern rooms with a large bathroom. There are lots of restaurants and shops in the neighborhood. Very friendly helpful staff.
The bathroom has a shower and a large bathtub with jets.
If this is your first visit to Busan and you want to discover as much of the city as possible I would advise staying in Seomyeon.
Certainly, if you have to rely on public transportation.
Staying in this area will grant you more time to explore the city’s many highlights.
If you love to combine shopping and sightseeing, Nampo-dong is the perfect place to stay for you.
Affluent travelers and beach lovers certainly need to have a look at Haeundae. Most luxury hotels are concentrated near Haeundae beach, often considered to be the best beach in South-Korea. A drawback of Haeundae is that you might be spending some extra time on the subway bus this is, of course, no problem if you have a (rental) car.
If you fancy spending some days on the beach and want a more laid-back vibe and budget-friendly accommodation the Gwangan area is what you’re looking for.
For a first time visit, I would not consider staying in Kyungsung as it has not a lot of tourist attractions in the neighborhood. The same goes for Sasang although this might be a good option for your last night before your flight heading home or if you visit Busan with your family.
Have you ever visited Busan in South Korea? Do you have tips about other things to do in Busan?
Let us know in the comments.
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