Subdivided by mountains and islands, Busan can seem like not just one city but a dozen. What ties them all together is the energy that flows from the bustling markets, docks and factories. The vitality doesn’t subside with nightfall – that’s when meat starts to sizzle at barbecue restaurants, the first rounds of shots are poured at drinking tents and the monumental landmarks light up. Don’t stand on ceremony –follow the locals and dive right in.
When to go
Busan is temperate for most of March to November but gets wickedly hot and muggy in July and August, with monsoon rains. The mercury hits freezing in December and January but this makes escaping to one of Busan’s many delightful cafes even more enjoyable during these winter months.
How to get around
The city metro and bus systems are wide-ranging and efficient; taxis are common and affordable, but brace yourself for a white-knuckle ride. Rechargeable Cashbee cards – available at metro stations and major convenience stores – work for all three modes of transportation. Cycling is only advisable in the beachfront Haeundae district and on riverside paths.