Central Busan consists of the districts of Dong-gu, Jung-gu, Seo-gu, Nam-gu and Busanjin-gu in Busan. This is the old town of Busan with a lot of post-war buildings, large docks and atmosphere. The place to go see the heritage of the city.
- Busan Station is the easiest way in from outside of the city, with KTX services to Seoul and connections to other cities as well.
- The Metro Line 1 runs all the way through this area.
- The ferry terminals near Jungang station will bring you in from Japan and Jeju island.
- There are direct Limousine buses from Busan's Gimhae International Airport to various locations in this area (See airport page for schedule).
- 1 40 Steps (40 Gyedan) (Line 1, Jungang station). 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. Also easy walking distance to Yongdusan Park.
- 2 [dead link] Yongdusan Park - Busan Tower (Line 1, Nampo station). This pleasant little park is home to Busan's one true tourist attraction, the 118-meter-tall Busan Tower. This is the fourth tallest tower in South Korea, although it is over 100 meters shorter than the Namsan Tower in Seoul. 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. The fences surrounding Busan Tower are adorned with love padlocks, which can be purchased in the souvenir shop. If you go up the Busan Tower you will get to see an awesome panorama of the entire city. You can walk or take the hillside escalator up to the tower. ₩4,000.
- 3 Jagalchi Fish Market, Jagalchi (Line 1, Jagalchi station). This is possibly Korea's most famous fish market with a large selection of seafood there. You will have to opportunity to eat squid that is still wriggling when you eat it! Try and come very early to see the activity around the fish being landed. It is walking distance from the Nampo Lotte Department store or the Jagalchi station on the Busan Metro Line 1.
- 4 China Town (Near Busan Station). Home of Busan's Chinese community with cheap and delicious dumplings
- 5 Busan Modern History Museum, 42-2, 2Ga Daecheong-dong Jung-gu, Busan, Korea, 600-092 (Line1 - Jungang or Nampo), ☏ . 09:00-20:00. This building housing the Busan Modern History Museum was used as the Busan Branch of the Oriental Development Company during the Japanese occupation and as the Busan USIS Cultural Center (a CIA post) following the Korean war. The exhibition consists of the modern history of Busan during the Japanese occupation, Busan's role in the Korean war and the history of the relationship between Korea and the United States. Although not at all impartial, this museum nevertheless provides a fascinating background to modern Busan and you could probably spend two to three hours here.
- 6 Busan Museum (Line 2 - Daeyeon). 09:00-20:00. Discover the history of Busan from the Prehistoric period to the present day. Free.
- 7 Lotte Antique Show (Lotte Department Store, Line 1, Nampo Station). Yet another of Lotte's shrine to consumerism, the Nampo-dong outlet hosts a roughly 10-minute-long cascading musical fountain show on the hour, 11 times per day. The water falls from the ceiling 4 floors up and is even used to draw pictures and display words so it's quite the interesting watch. Supposedly the largest cascading musical fountain in the world. It is free to view, but naturally the goal is to sucker you into loosening your purse strings nearby.
- 8 United Nations Memorial Cemetery (UNMCK), 93 UN Pyeonghwa-ro, Nam-gu, Busan, 608-812 (Line 2, Kyungsung University & Fukyong National University Station), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Oct–Apr: 09:00–17:00; May–Sep: 09:00–18:00. This is the only United Nations cemetery in the world. Soldiers from many countries who contributed to the United Nations during the Korean War are buried here. Take bus from in front of the Memorial Park after subway exit. Please note that proper attire is required since guards will prohibit entry if you are wearing flip-flops, miniskirts, or shorts. Free.
- 9 Songdo Beach, Gamcheon-ro, Seo-gu (Busan Station (Busan Subway Line 1), Exit 7. Take Bus 17, 26 or 61 and get off at the entrance of Songdo (송도입구).). Songdo beach was apparently the first official beach in Korea and the main attraction in Busan for many years until Haeundae became the main tourist center. Today the beach is small (450 meters) and quiet with some charm, surrounded by low key restaurants and cafes. It is also in easy reach of Jagalchi fish market. (Jagalchi Station - Subway Line 1, Exit 2. Turn left at the corner, go straight 50m and cross the street to the bus stop. From the bus stop (충무동교차로), take Bus 7, 26, 71, or 96 to Songdo Beach)
- 10 Gamcheon Cultural Village (감천문화마을) (take Metro line 1 to Toseong Station, leave exit 6 and turn right at the intersection directly in front of you. Walk a few minutes to the 'Busan Cancer Center' hospital and take the number 2 bus (Blue/Orange) outside. Get off about 10 minutes later at the top of the hill, marked 'Gamcheon Culture Village'). Gamcheon village was a former Korean war refugee camp, and backwater outside of the city center. In 2008 it attracted the attention of local university students who began painting murals throughout the village as part of their social service activities. Today it has become a cultural center with photography and graffiti galleries, small museums, cafés and restaurants.
- 11 Taejongdae Park (태종대 유원지), Busan-si Yeongdo-gu Dongsam-dong San 29-1 (from Busan Station, take city bus number 88 or 101 and get off at Taejongdae Park (10-min interval, 40-min ride)). Named after 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 a famous tourist attraction in Busan, 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, the Japanese island of Tsushima 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, although a shuttle bus runs from the shops. There is no entrance fee, though there is a small paid trolley that circles the park. Free.
- 1 Busan Port Boat Tour, Jungang (walk to the Busan Port Authority (BPA) from exit number 2 of Jungang subway station (Line 1)), ☏ . If you are interested in the industrial side of Busan then the Port tour is hard to beat. Passengers on board can see the port facilities of Busan Port, including the passenger terminal, general piers, and container terminals. You will learn about the port facilities, and their role as a transshipment hub. Specifically you will see: Coastal Passenger Terminal → International Passenger Terminal → Jasungdae Container Terminal → UamContainer Terminal → New Gamman Container Terminal → Gamman Container Terminal → Shinsundae Container Terminal → Jo Islands → Hanjin Heavy Industry → Coastal Passenger Terminal
- 2 Busan City Tour (popular pick-up from Busan Station). All-day ticket available for double decker tour buses. Children ₩5,000, adults ₩10,000.
- 3 Samjung 'The Park' Zoo, Choeup-dong (you can take a taxi from Seomyong station). In 2014 a new zoo opened in Busan, with a variety of animals (tigers, lions, bears, elephants, monkeys, etc.) It is very much targeted at children, and there is a very good activity center at the end, with climbing ropes and other activities. Adults ₩19,000, teenagers ₩17,000, children ₩15,000.
- 1 Ggangtong market (깡통시장). 9am~8pm. An old market near Jagalchi Market in Nampo dong. People can’t easily notice it since it is 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 of the 1960s. That is the Book Street of Bosudong, which contains many secondhand books.
- 2 The markets of Gukje, Gwangbok-dong and Nampo-dong (국제시장), ☏ . 7am-10pm. 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 can bargain with the sellers.
- 3 Lotte Department Store (롯데백화점), 부산광역시 부산진구 부전2동 신천대로78번길 61 (subway Seomyeon). An over-the-top temple to consumerism (check out the fountains and statues at the basement entrance), this is Busan's second largest department store. It is 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.
- 4 Choryang Foreigner Shopping Area (Opposite Busan station). A strange combination of a Chinatown and a Russian town 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.
- 5 Seomyeon Medical Street, Subway Line 1 - Busanjin. Seomyeon Medical Street (서면메디컬스트리트) is an area with around 160 medical clinics providing all types of medical procedures, and is popular with foreigners who want to take advantage of low cost medical procedures. You can buy cosmetic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology and dentistry procedures.
- Gimbap Cheongook (김밥천국) (a block to the north of Busan station, has a orange-yellow-white sign). Serves up gimbap from ₩2000 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..
- Amby's, Texas St (Russia Town). European, North American, Russian, and SE 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 selection of dust-covered western goods is located in the front.
- 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 ladies' bottomless drinks for ₩15000. In-Jung runs the bar and is a great hostess.
- [dead link] Shabana Indian Restaurant, 56-1 3rd Flr Deyon-dong Namgu (Subway Station no 212 Kyungsung University and From the Century 21 building across from Kyungsung University, either take a left at Pizza Hut, and then your first left, walk to the end of the block it is on the 3rd floor across from the Seven Eleven. Or walking from Vinyl to the subway, it is the second street on your right, across from Buy the Way), ☏ . 11:09-23:00. Authentic Indian restaurant owned by Indians. US$10-20.
- Rock 'n' Roll Bar (Across the street from the Lotte Hotel, Seomyeon). Occasional live music and a laid back atmosphere. E-dart board and pool table. ₩3,000 cocktails, ₩6,000 for high-end drinks.
- Club Realize (at Kyungsung station walk straight out of exit 1 for a few meters and take the first right, walk to the end of that block and take the next right at the long tea bar. its 2 bars over on the right, above bar king king on the 5th floor). Usually open on Fridays and Saturdays and sometimes throughout the week (although it has been available for rental during the week/Sundays). Its the only place to see regular metal, punk and rock in Busan. A modest amount of beer and booze at the bar is complemented by a selection of in house cocktails. Good place to go and let it all out, scream shout and get wasted and not care how you look.
- 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.
- Pusan Hostel, 18-4 Toseong-Dong 4th street, Seo-gu (2-minute walk from Jagalchi Station exit 1), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Dorm ₩16,000-20,000.
- 1 Apple Guest House (애플게스트하우스), 5F, 6-1 4ga nampodong jung-gu (1-minute walk from Nampodong station exit 2 (between the Nampo and Jagalchi subway stations, on the fifth floor)), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Friendly atmosphere, staff speak excellent English and know their way around town. There are many restaurants, shops, and bars near the guesthouse. No curfew. They have 6-, 4-person dormitory room and twin, double bed room. ₩18,000 per person/night.
- 2 [dead link] Guesthouse Korea Jagalchi (Line 1, Jagalchi Station.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Guesthouse Korea Jagalchi has facilities and location inside the famous Jagalchi Market Building. Has spectacular views. ₩25,000-30,000.
- 3 Kyungsung Hostel, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Offers Korean lessons for their guests. They have dinner with their guests. The hostel near the Kyungsung-Pukyong University area also features a gorgeous ocean view. ₩20,000 per person/night.
- [dead link] Samwonjang Motel (삼원장), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. (三原荘). Samwonjang Motel provides private bedrooms and Korean style rooms. ₩35,000 per night.
- [dead link] Pusan Inn Motel, 1200-14 Choryang-dong Jung gu, Busan 601-010. (take metro line 1 to Busan station (#113). Exit Busan Metro station from exit number 8 and walk towards the Busan KTX train station's entrance number 5. When facing the #5 sign walk directly to the left and go down about half a block. Pusan Inn Motel is on your left. Less than 3-minute walk), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. The rooms are very clean and all private. Website is in Japanese and Korean. For English reservation, please contact by e-mail 1-2 person private room ₩35,000.
- 4 Blue Backpackers, Bujeon 2dong 454-1 Busan Jingu 614-830 Korea, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Clean and cozy hostel with a reasonable price. Jin, the owner is very friendly and helpful with a lot of information for your trip. The hostel is in the center of Busan in Seomyeon, 5-10 minutes walk to lots of shops and restaurants. Blue Backpackers is very good location for the transportation to get around Busan. Breakfast free, free wifi. Dorm bed ₩20,000 per person, private rooms ₩50,000 for 2 people. Family room for ₩90,000. All rooms with a bathroom and air-con. They also have other options for your need. They have a big common room with a big screen TV, computers, tables, chairs and nice kitchen on the roof is awesome.
- Kumran Hotel (Gumran), ☏ . (금란). ₩25,000 or ₩30,000/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, not the same alley Family Mart is on near the Younggwan Library (영관 도서관); ask someone, they'll know. It is about 100 m into the alley. Free parking.
- [dead link] Motel Elysee (엘리제), Yongdusan Park, Nampo-dong, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Excellent central location in Nampo-dong, two subway stops (line 1) from the Busan train station and a few minutes from Yongdusan Park. Spacious rooms are spotless, with TV, fridge, water cooler/heater, a/c, fan, DVD and free movies. Owner is very helpful and speaks very good English. ₩40000-50000.
- [formerly dead link] Zen Backpackers, 1530 Neospot, Seomyeon, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 10:00-02:00, check-out: 11:00. Relatively well-located in the Seomyeon area, but by far the best part about this place is June, the dude who runs it. Not only is he totally chilled out, but he gives fantastic travel advice along with free fortune telling. He also cleans the place every morning, which is an anomaly for hostel-owners. Spotless, spacious, and just plain awesome. ₩22000 dorm/₩30000 twin, private).
- Gwangjang Tourist Hotel (광장관광호텔), 1200-17, Choryang 3-dong, Dong-gu (north side of Busan Station Plaza), ☏ . Centrally located no-frills two-star hotel. Rooms have bathrooms, air-con and TV. Singles/doubles from ₩43,000/₩48,000.
Most of Busan's luxury hotels are in Haeundae, however there are a couple centrally located:
- 5 Commodore Hotel, 743-80, Youngju-dong, Jung-gu, Busan (within walking distance of Nampo-dong), ✉ email@example.com.
- 6 Lotte Hotel. 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 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 is like any typical western-style mall, with name-brand and high-end consumer items and clothing for sale.