The Perfect 1 Day Busan Itinerary

Busan South Korea

Planning a trip to Busan, South Korea’s bustling coastal gem but not sure what to do. Here is my 1-day Busan itinerary that will show you the highlights of this dynamic city, from its iconic beaches to its rich cultural sites full of vibrant culture. Busan is a must visit if you are planning a trip to South Korea.

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When to Visit Busan

Busan can be visited year-round, but it does have distinct seasons. I would highly suggest visiting towards the end of the spring and the beginning of the summer. This will help you beat the busy tourist summers, but also have weather that is nice enough to enjoy Busan.


Spring is a delightful time to visit Busan when the city comes alive with cherry blossoms blooming in parks and along streets. The weather is mild, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking in the picturesque mountains surrounding the city or strolling along the coastline. Plus, you can experience cultural events like the Busan International Film Festival or the Lotus Lantern Festival.


Summer in Busan brings warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it the perfect time to hit the city’s famous beaches like Haeundae and Gwangalli. You can enjoy water sports, beachside cafes, and vibrant nightlife. However, be prepared for higher humidity levels and occasional rainfall during the monsoon season in July and August.


Fall is another fantastic time to visit Busan, with comfortable temperatures and stunning foliage colors blanketing the city’s parks and mountains. It’s an excellent season for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring cultural sites such as Beomeosa Temple and Gamcheon Culture Village. Don’t miss the Busan International Fireworks Festival in October, a dazzling display of lights and colors over Gwangalli Beach.


While winters in Busan are relatively mild compared to other parts of South Korea, the city still experiences cooler temperatures and occasional snowfall. Since Busan is more of a spring and summer destination there are some places that are open only seasonally.

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How to get from Seoul to Busan

There are a few different ways to get to Busan both internationally and domestically. If you are coming from Seoul, the fastest way and most reliable in my opinion is by train. You can also fly, take a bus or even drive if you have a car. I won’t go into detail on this blog post because I have published a full blog post on getting from Seoul to Busan

You can also get to Busan from international destinations such as Thailand and Japan on low-cost carriers pretty cheap. Just be aware of those luggage fees if you are packing heavily. If you are really adventurous you can even take an overnight ferry from Japan to Busan.

Getting Around Busan

If you have read any of my other blog posts (or any other travel bloggers) the first thing we all probably suggest is ditch Google Maps. As much as I love Google Maps, it does not work well in South Korea. Public transportation times will be wrong, there are no walking directions and driving directions make no sense. Instead download KakaoMap, trust me it will make your life easier.

Busan has a pretty decent network of public transportation so make sure to have that T-money (or other metro card) ready. Busan is a little bit more widespread than Seoul, so expect transportation times to be a little longer. This is especially true if you plan on visiting the beaches. While I was able to get around Seoul heavily relying on the subway, I took a lot more buses in Busan.

Of course, if you have a rental car, you can pretty much drive anywhere in Busan. Traffic can get hectic in the early mornings and late afternoons. Parking is easy to find and is either free or cheap.

Bedroom at the Fairfield Inn Busan

Where to Stay in Busan

Here are my suggestions of accommodation in Busan if you are planning on staying the night before your 1 day Busan itinerary.

On a Budget

If you are staying on a budget and trying to keep your price to $20 USD check out the One Way Guesthouse. The staff here speak great English, so it is no problem for foreign visitors. My favorite part of you might ask, the location. It is located right next to Busan Station making it a great central hub.

Mid-range Hotel

If you are looking for a mid-range hotel the best option is going to be the Fairfield Songdo Beach. While this might not be the best location for public transportation the views make up for it. Located right on the edge of Songdo Beach, the Fairfield offers amazing views to wake up to.

Luxury Hotel

Perched majestically atop the bustling Haeundae district in Busan, Signiel Busan stands as an epitome of luxury and sophistication. Offering unparalleled panoramic views of the city skyline and an amazing infinity pool.

Beach located in Busan South Korea. Overlooking the sea

1 Day Busan Itinerary

Jagalchi Fish Market

Start your morning with a trip to the Jagalchi Fish Market to see the local catch of the day. While the market opens around 5:00 am, I recommend getting there between 6:00 am and 7:00 am as this is when the hustle and bustle really starts. Since it is a bit of a touristy area, prices are a little bit more expensive than other areas of South Korea. However, it is some of the freshest seafood you’ll have.

Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village, a vibrant hillside community adorned with a kaleidoscope of colorful houses, murals, and sculptures. Meander through narrow alleyways brimming with artistic flair, discovering hidden galleries, quaint cafes, and charming boutiques. This is definitely an artsy area and is so much fun to visit. I wish I had spent more time here as there is just so much to see.

Songdo Beach

Known as Busan’s oldest beach, Songdo Beach is a must visit on your 1 day Busan itinerary. There is so much to do in the area. Explore the Busan Cloud Trail, a winding pathway that leads to an observation deck offering panoramic views of the coastline. Don’t forget to take a ride on the Songdo Marine Cable Car that offers a great view of the Donghae Nambu Line Bridge. Songdo Beach is a great area to get lunch before the next stop.

Beomeosa Temple

Visiting Beomeosa Temple from Songdo Beach is a bit of a trek, taking just over an hour. However, this was one of my favorite temples in South Korea. It was wonderous to walk through the temple grounds, admiring the intricate architecture, serene pagodas, and vibrant Buddhist artwork. Although it was busy when I visited, everyone was respectful and I did not feel crowded.

Haeundae Beach

The last spot to visit on a 1 day Busan itinerary is Haeundae Beach and the surrounding area. I would suggest starting near the sky capsule cars. These are colorful little cars that run on a track giving you a great overview of the water. There is also a train that runs under this track. If you don’t feel like either of those there is a free walking path around the outside. The area around Haeundae beach also has plenty of great options for food and drinks. It is the perfect way to end the day.

Conclusion: 1 Day Busan Itinerary

Sometimes overshadowed by Seoul, Busan is often forgotten about even though it is the second largest city in South Korea. I think that everyone should plan a 1 day Busan itinerary, if not more. While I wouldn’t say it is a hidden gem, there are usually less tourists and more local touches making it a perfect way to embrace the culture. If you’ve visited Busan let me know your favorite part.

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