Where to stay in Busan? The complete guide - Wapiti Travel

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.  This city 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 where to stay in Busan.

In this guide we cover the 6 most popular regions 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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The best place to stay in Busan

So which area is the best to stay in Busan? Here we describe Busan’s best areas to stay. 

South Korea - Busan Diamond Bridge - Gwangandaegyo

Dongbaekseom Island

Haeundae

Haeundae is the holiday destination of South Korea’s 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.

Haeundae is also in close proximity to attractions such as Dongbaekseom Island and the 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

Conclusion

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

Luxury Hotel

Here we share some of the best hotels in Busan, South Korea.

Hotel iconWestin Chosun

 

The Westin Chosun Busan South KoreaThe 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

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Hotel Park Hyatt Busan

Park Hyatt Busan South KoreaThe 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.

A good choice if you want to pamper yourself for a couple of days.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Shilla stay Haeundae

Shilla Stay Haeundae Busan, South KoreaWe stayed ourself 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.

 

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 

 

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Citadines Haeundae Busan

Citadines Haeundae Busan Busan South KoreaCitadines 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.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
Comfortable hotel
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Industrie Business Hotel

 

Industrie Business Hotel Busan South KoreaThe 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.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Business Hotel Haeundae S

 

Business Hotel Haeundae S Busan South KoreaThe 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

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA

 

Diamond Bridge Gwangandaegyo Bridge Busan at night

Diamond Bridge

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.

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

Conclusion

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

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Kent Hotel Gwangali by Kensington

Kent Hotel Gwangalli by Kensington Busan South KoreaThe 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.

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
Comfortable Hotel
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Gwangan Hound Hotel

Hound Hotel Gwangan Busan South KoreaThe 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

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA

Lotte Department Store Seomyeon Busan South Korea

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 line 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.

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
  • Limited selection of luxury hotels, the broadest choice of luxury hotels can be found in Haeundae

 

Conclusion

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

Luxury Hotel
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Lotte Hotel Busan

 

Lotte Hotel Busan South KoreaThe 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.

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Busan

 

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Busan South KoreaThe 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.

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
Comfortable Hotel
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Hotel Kyungsung

 

Hotel Kyungsung Busan South KoreaHotel 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

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING 
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Arban hotel 

 

Arban Hotel Busan South KoreaThe 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.

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA

Busan Tower South KoreaNampo-dong

Nampo-dong is Busan’s version of the popular Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul. If you are a shopping addict this might be the place to stay for you in Busan.

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.

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

 

Conclusion

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

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Aventree Hotel Busan

 

Hotel Aventree Busan Busan South KoreaThe 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

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING  AGODA 
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Value Hotel Busan

 

Value Hotel Busan Busan South KoreaThe 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.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
Comfortable Hotel
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Nampo Hound Hotel Premier

 

Hound Hotel Premier Nampo Busan South KoreaThe 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.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Boutique Hotel YTT Nampo 

 

YTT_Boutique_Hotel_Nampo_Busan_South_KoreaThe 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.

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 

Kyungsung University Busan South KoreaKyungsung

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 shopespecially 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

Conclusion

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 

Comfortable
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Dae Yeon Le idea Hotel

 

Dae Yeon Le idea Hotel Busan South KoreaThe 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.

Excellent location

 

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING 

Yachts Sasang Busan South KoreaSasang

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. 

Read also: The best Seoul attractions and a complete Seoul itinerary.

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 lot’s 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

Comfortable
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Louis Hotel

Louis Hotel Busan South Korea

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.

 

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Hotel AirPort

Hotel Airport Busan South Korea

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.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 
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Premium Ava Hotel

Premium Ava Hotel Busan South Korea

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.

Click here to see the latest prices: BOOKING AGODA 

If you aren’t convinced of these hotels, you will find a lot of other hotels in Busan on Booking.com: BOOKING 

Conclusion

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 or Nampo-dong. 

Certainly, if you have to rely on public transportation.

Staying in these areas will grant you more time to explore the city’s many highlights.

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.

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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