Busan Transportation for Tourists [2022 & 2023]

Busan is a seaside city of over 3.5 million people, with an undulating coastline with many points, beaches and islands, making Busan transportation more challenging. Busan attractions are spread quite widely from the west to east of the city with many hills, so you will spend more time getting from place to place by public transport as it is rare to take a ‘direct route’. As a result the Busan Metro lines enable you to access many areas, however you will find that you need to use more buses to get around Busan.

In this article we will provide an overview of the Busan transport system, including which train and bus lines to use to access the major attractions, along with hop on hop off bus and day tour options.

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Arriving in Busan

When you arrive in Busan you are likely to arrive at one of the following locations and then need to travel to your Busan accommodation. Here are the public transportation options to get there.

  • Gimhae International Airport. To get from Gimhae International Airport, options include catching the the Light Rail to Ssang Station, then catching a train to your destination, see details below. Alternatively you can book a private transfer through Klook.
  • Busan KTX Station. You can catch either a bus, train or taxi, see details below.
  • Busan Port International Passenger Terminal. You can catch either a bus, train or taxi, see details below.
  • Intercity Bus Terminal near Ssang Station. You can catch either a bus, train or taxi, see details below.
  • Express Bus Terminal near Nopo-dong Station. You can catch either a bus, train or taxi, see details below.

Busan Hop On Hop Off Bus

A great option for tourists to explore the attractions of Busan is to use the local hop on hop off bus, which operates from Wednesday to Sunday each week. There are three different loop options as follows:

  • Red Line goes from Busan Station to Haeundae Beach in a loop. It operates from 10am to 4.40pm, with buses passing every 40-50 minutes.
  • Green Line goes from Busan Station to Taejongdae to Jagalchi Market in a loop. It operates from 9.45am to 4.25pm, with buses passing every 40-50 minutes.
  • Blue Line goes from Haeundae Beach to Yonggungsa Temple to Gijang Market in a loop. It operates from 10.20am to 4.45pm, with buses passing every 50 minutes.

Note that some stops are not currently available. Your one day ticket enables you to hop on and off the Red and Green Line buses on that day. You can transfer to the Blue Line with an additional payment of 5,000 KRW.

Click here to book your Busan City Tour Bus Discount Ticket through Trazy

Busan City Tour Bus Routes
Busan City Tour Bus Routes

Getting Around Busan

You can easily get around Busan using either the local Subway or bus system. For local public transportation options, just use KakaoMap (Google Play Store and Apple App Store) and you will quickly see all public transportation options to travel between places, which can include a combination of subway and bus options, depending on what options are available in that location. Google Maps also works well for public transport options (but not for driving).

Korea Transportation Card

The main local transport card for Busan is the Cashbee card. You can also use the Railplus Transport card or the T-money card to get around in Busan and all for all other local transport within cities throughout South Korea. You can purchase and load credit to your local transport card at any convenience store or train station.

The transport cards are very easy to use, you just tap on and off as you go and recharge your credit as required with cash only. You can easily obtain a refund of your remaining credit before departing from South Korea at convenience stores and train stations.

A great alternative option is to purchase a one day Busan metro ticket, which enables you to use any metro line for the day of purchase, however does not include buses or the light rail. You can purchase this ticket at any Metro station ticket vending machine.

View over Haeundae Beach in Busan
View over Haeundae Beach in Busan

Busan Metro System

The Busan Metro System has four main lines which you can see on the Busan Metro Map. The Busan Metro System is a complex intersecting train network with no single central station. Busan Station is the main KTX station for intercity trains, which is why I use it as the central reference point for getting around Busan.

As a tourist the main Busan subway lines you are likely to use are detailed below.

Busan Metro Line 1

You can use Line 1 (Orange) to access the following destinations, which are almost all located south-west from Busan Station.

  • Express Bus Terminal (via Nopo-dong Station, north from Busan Station)
  • Busan Port (via Jungang Station)
  • Busan Downtown market area, including Jagalchi and Gukje Markets (via Nampo-dong Station and Jagalchi Station)
  • Gamcheon Culture Village (via Toseong Station).
  • Line 1 ends at Dadaepo Beach, which is one of the less well known public beaches in Busan.
Views over Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan
Views over Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan

Busan Metro Line 2

You can use Line 2 (Green) to access the following destinations, which are located east from Busan Station. Note that Line 2 does not pass through Busan Station, the nearest transfer point is on Line 1 to Seomyeon Station, located north from Busan Station.

  • Ssang Station to transfer to the Light Rail to Gimhae International Airport (north west from Busan Station)
  • Intercity Bus Terminal (via Ssang Station) (north west from Busan Station)
  • Gwangalli Beach (via Gwangan Station)
  • Spa Land Centum city (via BEXCO Station)
  • Haeundae Beach (via Dongbaek and Haeundae Stations)
View of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from Gwangalli Beach in Busan
View of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from Gwangalli Beach in Busan

Busan Metro Line 3

You can use Line 3 (Brown) to cross between train and light rail lines in Busan. Note that Line 3 does not pass through Busan Station, the nearest transfer point is on Line 1 to Yeonsan Station, located north from Busan Station.

  • Daejeo Station to transfer to the Light Rail to Gimhae International Airport (north west from Busan Station)
  • Suyeong Station to transfer to Line 2 to Haeundae Beach

Busan Metro Line 4

You can use Line 4 (Dark Blue) to access north east Busan, however as a tourist you are unlikely to use this line.

Donghae Nambu Line (East Line)

You can use the Donghae Nambu Line (or East Line) to travel all the way to Taehwagang near Ulsan. Note that the East Line does not pass through Busan Station, the nearest transfer point is Busan National University of Education Station, located north from Busan Station on Line 1.

This line is also a good option to access the following attractions north east from Busan.

Lotte World Adventure Busan - Giant Digger Rollercoaster. Courtesy of Lotte World
Lotte World Adventure Busan – Giant Digger Rollercoaster. Courtesy of Lotte World

Busan Bus System

Use the KakaoMap app to work out how to get from place to place by public transport. Main bus lines which you are likely to use are detailed below.

Busan Bus 1001/1003

Busan Bus Line 1001/1003 is a great option to explore the eastern part of Busan, both by day and night. It runs roughly every 12 minutes from BIFF Square in downtown Busan to Songjeong Beach, with the total route taking approximately one hour. Attractions to check out along the way include Jagalchi Market, Gukje Market, Busan Station, Gwangalli Beach, Haeundae Beach and Songjeong Beach. Bus 1001 then extends the route to take you to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan

Busan Bus 87/134

Busan Bus Line 87/134 is a great option to explore the western part of Busan. It runs roughly every 7 minutes from Busan Station to Jagalchi Market, Gukje Market and Gamcheon Culture Village, with the total route taking approximately 40 minutes.

Indoor Market at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan
Indoor Market at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan

Busan Light Rail System

Busan has a Light Rail system which enables you to get to Gimhae International Airport from Sasang Station. The Light Rail is the Purple Route on the Busan Metro Map and you can also see the route on the map below. There are also other bus options to get to and from Gimhae Airport, depending on where you are staying.

Busan Tours

Note that there are also several well priced tour options to help you visit the Busan attractions and not have to work out the Busan transport options. Through Klook the following tours are worth checking out and booking:

Klook.com
Busan Transportation

Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.