Where to Stay in Busan [2020• COOLEST Areas!]

Updated - September 7th 2020

Busan is a city full of surprises. A lively nightlife scene, stunning beaches, and delicious food around every turn, it is most definitely one of Asia’s most underrated cities.

But Busan is a really big city and figuring out where to stay can be pretty overwhelming. Which is why we put together this article on where to stay in Busan.

Written by travellers for travellers, our guide breaks down Busan’s best neighbourhoods by interest so you can easily identify which is right for you. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture vulture, a party animal, or are counting your pennies, we’ve got a neighbourhood that’s right for YOU! By the end of this post, you’ll no doubt be able to book with confidence and ease.

Get excited – here is our guide for where to stay in Busan, South Korea.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Busan

  • Where to stay in Busan first time? Nampo
  • Where to stay in Busan on a budget? Gwangalli
  • Where to stay in Busan for nightlife? Haeundae
  • Coolest place to stay in Busan? Seomyeon
  • Best neighbourhood in Busan for families? Sasang

Where to Stay in Busan

Where to Stay in Busan

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Busan.

Cozy Stay
  • Extremely clean
  • Free parking on premises
  • Free Wifi
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Best Air BnB in Busan
Cozy Stay
  • Extremely clean
  • Free parking on premises
  • Free Wifi
Read More

Greeting you with a smile and local tips, your host will make you feel right at home in Busan. These airy and comfortable rooms make for the perfect home away from home. And with all the best sites of Busan nearby, you will never be wanting to leave this BnB!

Ark Blue Hotel Busan
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • BBQ facilities
  • Free WiFi
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Best Budget Hotel in Busan
Ark Blue Hotel Busan
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • BBQ facilities
  • Free WiFi
Read More

The Ark Blue is a stylish and modern hotel – and it gets our vote for the best budget hotel in Busan. Just a 10-minute walk away you’ll find beaches, bars and Busan’s hottest clubs. This hotel has 96 comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs, slippers and a mini-bar, and there’s also an in-house restaurant.

Stanford Inn Busan
  • Family rooms
  • Airport shuttle
  • Free WiFi
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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Busan
Stanford Inn Busan
  • Family rooms
  • Airport shuttle
  • Free WiFi
Read More

The Stanford Inn Busan is our pick for the best mid-range hotel in Busan. This three-star hotel is in a great location and is close to Jagalchi Market, BIFF Square as well as a wide selection of shops and eateries. The rooms are bright and spacious, and breakfast is served every morning.

Lotte Hotel Busan
  • 1 swimming pool
  • Family rooms
  • Non-smoking rooms
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Best Luxury Hotel in Busan
Lotte Hotel Busan
  • 1 swimming pool
  • Family rooms
  • Non-smoking rooms
Read More

Guests of the Lotte Hotel don’t even need to leave the property to enjoy the best of Busan. On-site you’ll find minigolf, a casino, a variety of restaurants and cafes, and an incredible pool. There’s even a fitness centre with outstanding views. It’s no wonder that this is our choice for the best luxury hotel in Busan.

Busan Neighborhood Guide

Efficient and dynamic, vibrant and relaxed; Busan has many faces.

A large port city in South Korea, Busan is famous for its subtropical climate, pristine beaches, exotic cuisine, and bright and lively bars and clubs. It’s a city that seamlessly melds its history and tradition with modern establishments and verdant nature.

Busan is a huge city. It is divided into 16 administrative districts that are each home to many varied neighbourhoods. We recommend that you explore at least three or four neighbourhoods to get a good feel for the city.

Seomyeon is a great place to start. Located at the centre of Busan, Seomyeon is a vivacious and vibrant neighbourhood packed with restaurants, bars, café and shops. Although it can be a bit touristy, this neighbourhood is home to some of Busan’s hippest hangouts.

To the east of the centre are the districts of Gwangalli and Haeundae. These two neighbouring districts are famous for their beautiful beaches and their rowdy bars. It’s here that you’ll find great restaurants, trendy clubs, and incredible views of the ocean.

West of Seomyeon is Sasang. Often overlooked in favour of Haeundae and Seomyeon, Sasang is a neighbourhood that is surprisingly lively. Thanks to its location near the airport, it is bursting with restaurants and motels. It’s also where you’ll find a great selection of nature reserves and hiking trails.

Travel south and you’ll arrive in Nampo. Busy and bustling, Nampo is a neighbourhood packed with tourist highlights, tasty eateries, neon lights and plenty to see. Within this district, you can explore everything from South Korea’s rich history to its sizzling street food scene.

Where to Stay in Busan

Busan’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

If you’re still not sure where to stay in Busan, fear not! In this next section, we’ll break down the top five neighbourhoods by interest. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure you pick the one that is right for you!

Nampo – Where to stay in Busan first time

Nampo is our recommendation for where to stay in Busan if you’re visiting for the first time. This central district is packed with tourist attractions and activities, including BIFF Square, Busan Tower, and the Jagalchi Fish Market, the largest market of its kind in Korea.

Love to eat? Nampo is the place for you! All throughout this bustling district, you’ll find incredible eateries and amazing cafes. For cheap and delicious eats, head to BIFF Square which is packed with street food stalls and snack vendors offering up local delicacies including spicy tteokbokki and ssiat hotteok. You won’t believe the tastes and flavours available throughout this great downtown district.

Nampo, Busan
Photo Credits: Flickr.com

Things to See and Do in Nampo

  • Experience the incredible sights, sounds tastes and smells at the Jagalchi Fish Market.
  • Wander throughout BIFF Square, famous for its street food stalls and colourful snack vendors.
  • Climb to the top of Busan Tower and enjoy incredible views out over the city.
  • Excite your sense at the Gukje Market.
  • Shop for new fashions on the hip and trendy Gwangbokro Culture and Fashion Street.
  • Learn about Busan and South Korea’s history at the Busan Modern History Museum.
  • Eat until your heart’s content at Kong Bat Eh, a Korean buffet offering a plethora of dishes and flavours.

Best Air BnB in Nampo

Jy’s BnB

Jy's BnB
Jy’s BnB is our pick for the best Air BnB in Nampo

With all of the best sites of Busan located around this homey BnB, you will never be wondering what to do next. After a long day of exploring the city, Jy’s apartment’s spacious and cozy bedrooms are perfect for kicking back and relaxing!

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Best Budget Hotel in Nampo: Mini Hotel May Nampo

Enjoy minimalist decor and great views at the Mini Hotel May Nampo. Set at the heart of the neighbourhood, this hotel is close to the subway, restaurants, cafes and shopping. Each room has a relaxing environment and is outfitted with air conditioning, a TV, a mini-bar and slippers.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Nampo: Stanford Inn Busan

The Stanford Inn Busan is our top choice for where to stay in Nampo thanks to its great location and bright rooms. This three-star hotel is close to Jagalchi Market, BIFF Square and a wide selection of shops and eateries. Breakfast is also served each morning.

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Best Luxury Hotel in Nampo: Hotel Foret Premier Nampo

The Hotel Foret Premier Nampo has everything you could ever want from a hotel. It has an incredible location, comfortable and spacious rooms, on-site dining and fantastic amenities. Situated in Nampo, this hotel is close to all of Busan’s top attractions, including Busan Tower and Gukje Market.

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Gwangalli – Where to stay in Busan on a budget

A short subway ride outside the city centre is Gwangalli. A neighbourhood famous for its pristine beach, Gwangalli is where you can enjoy all the perks of a tropical paradise but still feel like you’re in a city. It is a popular hangout for locals and expats alike and is a great destination for anyone who likes craft beer, gorgeous views, arcade games and meeting new people.

Gwangalli is our top pick for where to stay if you’re balling on a budget. Home to many backpacker hostels and budget boutique hotels, Gwangalli Beach is where you can stretch your hard-earned travel dollars a little bit farther.

Gwangalli, Busan

Things to See and Do in Gwangalli

  • Enjoy a night out at Gwangalli Beach where the vibe is good, and the food and drinks are even better.
  • See the iconic Diamond Bridge (or Gwangan Bridge), a 7-kilometre long suspension bridge. Check out the bridge at night when it is beautifully illuminated.
  • Grab a pint at Beached Café.
  • Sip wine and cocktails at Bong G.
  • Eat fresh and delicious Mexican food at Sharky’s Bar an Grill.
  • Dine on cheap and delicious Korean food like bibimbap, bulgogi, kimchi and japchae.
  • Indulge in a delicious drink and incredible views at Angelinus.

Best Air BnB in Gwangalli

Alex’s BnB

Alex's BnB
Alex’s BnB is our pick for the best Air BnB in Gwangalli

Although a bit more of a guest house than a proper BnB, these cozy rooms will have everything you need to feel right at home in the busy city of Busan. Putting you within just a few minutes’ walk of Gwangalli Beach, you won’t have to wander far to take a dip!

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Best Budget Hotel in Gwangalli: Wood House Hotel

The Wood House Hotel is a quaint and charming property in Busan’s Gwangalli neighbourhood. A short walk to the beach, this hotel is close to great restaurants, lively bars and plenty of fun activities. It has comfortable rooms, which are outfitted with modern amenities. The property also boasts a coffee bar and free wifi.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Gwangalli: Hotel 1 Busan

Hotel 1 Busan is our recommendation for where to stay in Gwangalli. Located close to Gwangalli Beach, this three-star hotel is surrounded by restaurants, bar and tourist attractions. It has 167 modern rooms and an on-site café. They even have karaoke, perfect for guests keen to belt out their favourite tunes.

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Best Luxury Hotel in Gwangalli: Gwangan Hound Hotel

Relax and unwind at Gwangan Hound Hotel. Set in Gwangalli, this property is ideally located for exploring the city. Plus, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes nearby – and Haeundae Beach is just a short drive away. It is also home to the incredible popular Hound 908 restaurant.

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Haeundae – Best area to stay in Busan for nightlife

Haeundae is South Korea’s most famous beach. Tucked away in northeastern Busan, tourists and locals flock to Haeundae to enjoy its fine white sand, its oceanfront promenade and its many shops and restaurants.

But Haeundae is most famous as Busan’s dedicated party district. Bursting with lively bars and exciting clubs, Haeundae is our best recommendation if you’re looking to sing, dance and drink the night away.

Visiting in summer? You’re in for a treat! Haeundae beach is packed all summer long with festivals and parties. From the annual Busan Sea Festival to the colourful Holi Hai, all throughout the summer, you can enjoy amazing festivals completely free of charge!

Haeundae, Busan

Things to See and Do in Haeundae

  • Lounge on Haeundae Beach and catch a few rays.
  • See contemporary works of art at the Radium Art Center.
  • Hear the city’s best DJs spin EDM hits at Club Babau.
  • Sample from a great selection of beer and cocktails at The Wolfhound, Haeundae’s only Irish pub.
  • Sip incredible cocktails at Papa’s Bar.
  • Step back in time at The Back Room, a Prohibition-era speakeasy that’s famous for it’s Moscow Mule and champagne cocktails.
  • Stroll through Haeundae Market sampling sweet, treats and unique eats.
  • Enjoy a lively atmosphere and stunning views at the Fuzzy Navel Haeundae.
  • Dance the night away at posh and luxurious Club Kudeta.

Best Air BnB in Haeundae

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach
Haeundae Beach is our pick for the best Air BnB in Haeundae

This spacious modern apartment will have you staying right off of Haeundae beach. With the sea, restaurants, and minimarts located nearby, you could not ask for a better location! Top it off with its cozy rooms, you are sure to feel right at home!

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Best Budget Hotel in Haeundae: Ark Blue Hotel Busan

The Ark Blue is a stylish and modern hotel – and it’s our top pick for where to stay in Haeundae. Just a 10-minute walk away you’ll find beaches, bars and Busan’s hottest clubs. This hotel has 96 comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs, slippers and a mini-bar, and there’s also an in-house restaurant.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Haeundae: Citadines Haeundae Busan

Enjoy incredible views, spacious and relaxing rooms, and a great selection of modern amenities at the Citadines Haeundae Busan. Its features include a fitness centre, an on-site restaurant and free wifi throughout. Set at the centre of vibrant Haeundae, this hotel is a great base for visitors looking to drink, dance and party the night away.

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Best Luxury Hotel in Haeundae: Park Hyatt Busan

The Park Hyatt Busan is a relaxing and refreshing oasis located at the heart of Busan’s entertainment district. It is a short walk to the beach, and there are plenty of bars, restaurants, clubs and cafes nearby. It has a great variety of wellness features, including a swimming pool, sauna and on-site spa.

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Seomyeon – Coolest place to stay in Busan

The coolest neighbourhood in Busan has a great mix of nightlife, shopping, history and culture. Seomyeon is centrally located and boasts bright lights, delicious food, and plenty of landmarks to explore.

Visitors looking to give their credit card a good work out won’t need to travel far. Seomyeon is brimming with everything from high-end boutiques and local shops to the massive 11-storey tall Lotte Mall Busan. Whatever you fancy, you’ll find it in Seomyeon.

Seomyeon is also home to some of Busan’s hippest hangouts, including Jeonpo Café Street and Seomyeon Food Alley. Excite your senses by exploring and eating in Seomyeon.

Seomyeon, Busan

Things to See and Do in Seomyeon

  • Sip, sample and snack your way through Seomyeon Food Alley.
  • Score incredible deals on fashion and beauty products at Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center.
  • Haggle for the fresh catch of the day at the Bujeong Market.
  • Take a stroll through Busan Citizens Park.
  • Visit Shinsegae Centum City, which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest shopping complex in the world!
  • Dance the night away at Club Fix.
  • Eat in a pojangmacha, a tiny, tented restaurant that serves street food and delicious Korean dishes.
  • Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes that line Jeonpo Café Street.

Best Air BnB in Seomyeon

Eco House

Eco House
Eco House is our pick for the best Air BnB in Seomyeon

Putting you right by the metro station and bus stop, you will have all of Busan laid out before your feel every time you leave the apartment! With its boutique-style and homey rooms, this is the kind of BnB you can’t help but fall in love with!

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Best Budget Hotel in Seomyeon: Queens Hotel Busan

The Queens Hotel Busan is a fun and funky property located in Busan’s coolest neighbourhood. Surrounded by shops and cafes, this hotel is a hop, skip, and a jump from great tourist attractions, beaches, bars and markets. It has 40 comfortable rooms, each outfitted with modern amenities.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Seomyeon: Home Hotel Busan

At the heart of Busan is the colourful and contemporary Home Hotel. This three-star hotel comes highly recommended thanks to its central location, large rooms and it’s helpful staff. It has well-equipped rooms, 24-hour room service, and there are a wide variety of bars, cafes and restaurants nearby.

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Best Luxury Hotel in Seomyeon: Lotte Hotel Busan

Guests of the Lotte Hotel don’t even need to leave the property to enjoy the best of Busan. On-site you’ll find minigolf, a casino, a variety of restaurants and cafes and an incredible pool. There’s even a fitness centre with outstanding views. It’s no wonder that this is our recommendation for where to stay in Seomyeon.

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Sasang – Best neighbourhood in Busan for families

On the western edge of Busan is the relaxed and residential neighbourhood of Sasang. Home to a number of parks and nature reserves, Sasang is where you can enjoy peaceful riverside walks, tranquil hikes, and seasonal cherry blossom spotting without the crowds. It boasts a good selection of hotels and restaurants and is our recommendation for where to stay in Busan for families.

Sasang is one of the most well-connected neighbourhoods in the city as it is home to the Seobu Bus Terminal, Busan’s main terminal. Offering destinations throughout the city and country, travellers making their base in Sasang will be amazed at how easily they can travel throughout Busan and South Korea.

Sasang, Busan

Things to See and Do in Sasang

  • Spend a day in Sasang Neighbourhood Park, where you’ll find plenty of cute statues, a playground and a park designed especially for children.
  • Explore Samnak Ecological Park, a popular park and bird habitat with walking paths, sports courts and lush lawns and fields.
  • Aim for a lucky strike at PBA Bowlingjang.
  • Go cherry blossom spotting if visiting in the spring.
  • Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan.
  • Take a day trip down to Dadaepo Beach, with its soft sand and shallow waters, it’s perfect for swimmers of all ages.

Best Air BnB in Sasang

Happy Room

Happy Room
Happy Room is our pick for the best Air BnB in Sasang

With cozy spacious rooms and a location nearby the Busan Airport, you won’t find a better place to rest your head in all of Sasang. Serving you up a delicious breakfast every morning, Happy Room will start every day off on the right foot!

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Best Budget Hotel in Sasang: Sasang Brown Dot Hotel

Stylish, rustic and impossibly cool are just a few of the ways we’d describe this hotel Located in Sasang, the Brown Dot Hotel is a modern two-star property. It is within a 10-minute walk of public transit and there are a variety of eateries, cafes and attractions nearby.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Sasang: LOUIS Hotel Sasang

LOUIS Hotel Sasang is a fashionable and fabulous three-star hotel in Busan. Located in the Sasang district, this hotel is a short subway ride from BIFF Square and Busan’s most famous attractions. It has great amenities, fantastic rooms, and is close to a great range of delicious restaurants.

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Best Luxury Hotel in Sasang: Hotel Paragon

Set in Sasang, the Hotel Paragon is contemporary and comfortable. It has a range of wellness facilities, including a gym, as well as a coffee bar and an on-site restaurant. Guests of the hotel will enjoy air-conditioned rooms, cosy slippers and modern entertainment facilities. I mean, what more could you want from a hotel?!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Busan

Stunning beaches, lively clubs, incredible sights and out-of-this-world food – Busan is an absolutely amazing city! Whether you’re a culture vulture, a history buff, a wild party animal – or all of the above – Busan bursts with fun, excitement and interesting activities for curious travellers of all kinds!

In this guide, we covered the five best neighbourhoods in Busan. While all are amazing, our favourite is Nampo because it has a great mix of history and culture, as well as vibrant nightlife and mouthwatering food. It’s also home to the Stanford Inn Busan, our pick for the best mid-range hotel in the city.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Clair Ricketts
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