Busan, South Korea

We visited Busan and really enjoyed our stay.
Busan South Korea

Although Seoul is the most well known and arguably best location in Korea for digital nomads, we visited Busan and really enjoyed our stay. Although lacking when compared to Seoul in some categories, Busan might have the best mix of affordability, weather, and other attractions to beat Seoul as the best WanderLawyer location in South Korea. 

Busan is a coastal city in the south of South Korea that is known for its beautiful beaches, temples, and mountains. It is also known for its seafood, as it is home to the largest seafood market in South Korea. The city has a bustling port and is a major transportation hub, making it a popular destination for tourists and business travelers. In addition to its natural beauty and seafood, Busan is also known for its cultural and historical sites, including Beomeosa Temple, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and the Busan Museum. 

The city is also home to the Busan International Film Festival, one of the most well-known film festivals in Asia. The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is an annual film festival held in the city of Busan, South Korea. It is one of the most well-known film festivals in Asia, and has been held every year since 1996. The festival showcases a wide variety of films from around the world, including feature films, documentaries, and short films. In addition to screenings, the festival also hosts workshops, seminars, and other events for filmmakers and film industry professionals. The BIFF is a significant event in the Korean film industry and attracts a large number of attendees from around the world. It is typically held in October.

Here is our WanderLawyer rating for Busan, South Korea 

Accessibility 4/5 stars. 

Delicious food 4/5 stars. 

Affordability 4/5 stars. 

Work remote locations & internet access 3.5/5 stars. 

Weather 4/5 stars 

Friendliness 3.5/5 stars

Nightlife 3/5 stars

Vibe: 3.5/5 stars

Overall Score – 4/5 Stars 

Here are our top recommendations for things to do in Busan: 

  1. Visit Haeundae Beach, the most popular beach in Busan.
  2. Explore the historic Gamcheon Culture Village, a colorful, hillside neighborhood known for its murals and narrow alleys.
  3. Visit Gyeongju, ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom which is a UNESCO heritage site. 
  4. Visit Beomeosa Temple, a beautiful Buddhist temple located in the mountains just outside of the city.
  5. Take a stroll through the Busan Foreign Cemetery, a peaceful and scenic spot that is home to the graves of foreigners who lived and died in the city.
  6. Visit the Busan Museum, which has exhibits on the history and culture of the region.
  7. Enjoy the views from the top of Mount Hwangnyeong, which offers panoramic views of the city.
  8. Try some of the local seafood at the Jagalchi Fish Market, the largest seafood market in South Korea.
  9. Take a day trip to the nearby Geoje Island, which is known for its beautiful beaches and temples.

Food

Here are a few recommendations for restaurants in Busan:

  1. Gogung: This restaurant is known for its bibimbap, a popular Korean dish made with mixed vegetables and rice.
  2. Choryang Kalguksu: This restaurant serves handmade noodles in a variety of soups, including seafood and chicken.
  3. Ssiat Hotteok: This is a popular chain of street food stalls that serve hotteok, a Korean dessert made with sweet, gooey filling inside a fried dough pancake.
  4. Gudeura: This restaurant specializes in grilled eel, a popular Korean dish.
  5. Gudeok: This restaurant serves traditional Korean stews and soups, including the popular spicy stew called kimchi jjigae.
  6. Nampodong Kkakdugi: This is a popular spot for kkakdugi, a Korean dish made with diced radish kimchi.
  7. Gudeokpo: This restaurant is known for its pajeon, a Korean savory pancake made with green onions and seafood.
  8. Dalbit Dongjeong: This restaurant serves a variety of Korean dishes, including grilled meats and stews.

Lodging

  1. Paradise Hotel: This luxury hotel is located in Haeundae Beach and offers views of the ocean. It has a variety of amenities, including multiple restaurants, a spa, and an indoor pool.
  2. Park Hyatt Busan: This upscale hotel is located in the trendy Shinsegae Centum City, the largest shopping center in the world. It offers luxurious rooms and suites, a spa, and multiple dining options.
  3. Haeundae Grand Hotel: This 4-star hotel is located in the Haeundae Beach area and offers a variety of amenities, including an outdoor pool, a sauna, and a fitness center.
  4. Novotel Ambassador Busan City Centre: This mid-range hotel is located in the city center and offers a variety of amenities, including a fitness center and a restaurant.
  5. The Westin Chosun Busan: This luxury hotel is located in the city center and offers a variety of amenities, including a spa, a fitness center, and multiple dining options.
  6. Holiday Inn Busan: This mid-range hotel is located in the Haeundae Beach area and offers a variety of amenities, including a fitness center and a restaurant.
  7. ibis Styles Busan Haeundae: This budget hotel is located in the Haeundae Beach area and offers a variety of amenities, including a fitness center and a restaurant.
  8. Lotte Hotel Busan: This luxury hotel is located in the city center and offers a variety of amenities, including a spa, a fitness center, and multiple dining options.

Cafes and Nightlife

We found that Jeonpo Cafe Street had the best selection for cute, functional cafes. Jeonpo Cafe Street is a street in the neighborhood of Jeonpo-dong in the city of Busan, South Korea. It is known for its many cafes and coffee shops, as well as its attractive, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. The street is lined with trees and has outdoor seating areas, making it a popular spot for people to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. Many of the cafes on Jeonpo Cafe Street serve a variety of specialty coffees and teas, as well as pastries and other light snacks. Some of the cafes also offer live music performances or other events. Jeonpo Cafe Street is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and is known for its cozy, laid-back atmosphere.

There are a few districts in Busan that are known for their nightlife:

  1. Gwangalli Beach: This trendy beach area is known for its bars, clubs, and live music performances.
  2. Seomyeon: This district is known for its bustling nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  3. Haeundae Beach: This popular beach area is home to a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  4. Kyungsung University/Pukyong National University: This area, which is known for its universities, is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  5. Nampodong: This district is known for its shopping and dining options, and also has a variety of bars and clubs.

Coworking options

There are a variety of coworking spaces and options available in Busan:

  1. SparkPlus: This coworking space is located in the Haeundae Beach area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  2. The Factory: This coworking space is located in the Seomyeon area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  3. The Spot: This coworking space is located in the Seomyeon area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  4. CoCo Hub: This coworking space is located in the Seomyeon area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  5. Coworking Space Busan: This coworking space is located in the Haeundae Beach area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  6. CoSpace: This coworking space is located in the Seomyeon area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  7. Co-Up: This coworking space is located in the Seomyeon area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  8. Workyard: This coworking space is located in the Haeundae Beach area and offers a variety of workspace options, including private offices, dedicated desks, and hot desks. It also has a variety of amenities, including a cafe, a fitness center, and meeting rooms.
  9. Finally, there is a WeWork location in Seomyeon near the Lotte Hotel and Jenpo Cafe Street. 

Public Transportation 

Busan has a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses, subway trains, and ferries. The Busan Transportation Corporation (BTC) operates the city’s bus and subway systems, and the Busan Port Authority operates the ferries.

The Busan subway system, known as the Busan Metro, has six lines that serve the city and its suburbs. The subway system is a convenient and efficient way to get around the city, and trains run frequently.

The city also has an extensive bus network that covers most areas of the city and connects to the subway system. Busan’s bus system is operated by the BTC and includes local buses, express buses, and shuttle buses.

Ferries are another option for getting around Busan, and the Busan Port Authority operates ferries to a number of destinations, including Geoje Island and other nearby islands. Ferries are a popular way to travel to these destinations, and they offer scenic views of the coastline.

In addition to these options, Busan also has a number of taxi companies that operate in the city. Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked in advance.

You can also order a ride using the Kakao Ride Sharing App “Kakao T” which works similar to Uber. 

Busan is also very easy to access via rail from other areas of the country. The KTX “Bullet” train runs from Busan to the rest of South Korea and Busan is only a 3 hour train ride from Seoul. 

Bonus category- Day Trips: One of the coolest things about Busan is its proximity to Gyeongju-si. Gyeongju-si is a city located in the southeast of South Korea that is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Silla, which ruled over the Korean Peninsula from the 7th to the 10th centuries. As a result, Gyeongju is home to a number of important historical and cultural sites, including the Royal Tombs of the Kingdom of Silla, the Cheomseongdae Observatory, and the Gyeongju National Museum. 

Gyeongju has been beautifully preserved and is one of the most special towns in South Korea. The entire town boasts many interesting renovated palaces and rich cultural attractions. Gyeongju is located on the KTX line and the entire town is easy to walk and has an efficient bus system. No trip to Busan is complete without spending a day at Gyeongju 

Verdict

Overall, Busan earns two thumbs up from us. Its the right mix of affordability, good weather, and enough entertainment and activities to keep you busy. Our only complaints were the coworking locations and transportation & flight options were not quiet as plentiful and nice as Busan’s big brother city: Seoul. However, Busan has better weather, is more affordable and can be accessed easily from Seoul via a bullet train. Busan receives a top spot on our Asia list for work remote sections 

Authors

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat is a digital nomad attorney and WanderLawyer co-founder. Anthony believes travel unlocks potential and opens minds. He’s been wandering and lawyering since 2014.