American Express -- The American Express office is located on the ninth floor of the Busan Jung-ang Building #51, Daechang-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu (tel. 051/461-0098).

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- In general, ATMs are located at the airport, the train station, supermarkets, and at banks. Kookmin Bank, Citibank, Korea Exchange Bank, and Chohung Bank all have international ATMs, and while most of these machines dispense only Korean won, some do dispense American dollars. Most ATMs provide service in Korean and English, but Citibank ATMs provide information in 11 languages. There are eight Citibank locations throughout Busan (tel. 051/621-0222; Most ATMs operate 24 hours.

At banks in Busan, each customer takes a numbered ticket and waits until his or her number is called. If you want to exchange traveler's checks, make sure you have your passport, and if you are exchanging cash, you must visit a bank that is authorized for international exchange. Banks are open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm and are closed on weekends and national holidays.

Cellphones -- KTF cellphones can be rented at Gimhae Airport and Busan's International Ferry Terminal.

Consulates -- Busan doesn't have an American consulate here, but the U.K. honorary consulate (tel. 070/7733-1055) is at 111-2, Suan-dong, Dongnae-gu.

Australia has an honorary consulate (tel. 051/647-1762) in room no. 802 of the Samwhan Officetel, 830-295, Bumil 2-dong, Dong-gu.

Canada has an honorary consulate at the Dongsung Chemical Co. Ltd., 472 Shin Pyung-dong, Saha-gu (tel. 051/204-5581). Take bus no. 2, 11, 98, 113, 138-1, 161, or 338 to the Dongsung Chemical Co. Station. They're open Monday through Friday 8am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm.

Currency Exchange -- You can change money at most Busan banks on weekdays -- just look for the currency exchange desk. The Korean Exchange Bank, 89-1, Jung-ang-dong 4-ga, Jung-gu, is the most convenient place to exchange currency downtown. You'll also find currency exchange bureaus at the airport, at the train station, and in large shopping areas. It is more difficult to exchange traveler's checks, but most banks will accept hard currency, like U.S. dollars and British pounds. Be sure to have your passport and keep the receipt to change back any leftover currency you may have at the end of your trip.

Doctors & Dentists -- Most of the nicer hotels have medical clinics staffed by registered nurses and have doctors on duty during specified hours or on call 24 hours. Otherwise, your concierge or the U.S. consulate in Seoul can refer you to an English-speaking doctor or dentist. In an emergency, dial tel. 999 or call one of the recommendations under "Hospitals," below.

Embassies & Consulates -- The Australian Consul is located at Room 802 Samwhan, Bumil 2-dong, Dong-gu (tel. 051/830-295). The Australian Embassy is at 1434-1, U 1-dong, Haeundae-gu (tel. 051/744-2281 or 051/647-1762; The Canadian Consulate is at the Dongsung Chemical Co., 472 Shin Pyung-dong, Saha-gu or 32-1, 2-ga Daechang-dong, Jung-gu (tel. 051/246-7024 or 051/240-1813). The U.K. Consulate is at 25-2 Jung-ang-dong, Jung-gu (tel. 051/463-4630). The New Zealand Consulate can be found at 84-10, 4-ga, Jung-ang-dong, Jung-gu (tel. 051/464-5055). There is no American or British embassy in Busan.

Hospitals -- Several hospitals in Busan have doctors who speak English fluently. If you need medical help, try the Good Gang-an Hospital, 40-1 Namcheon-song, Suyeong-gu, easy to find if you take the subway to Geumnyeonsan Station (exit 4; tel. 051/625-0900); or the PNU Hospital, 305 Gudeok-lo, Seogu, Ami-dong (tel. 051/240-7890), which you can get to by taking subway line 1 to Tosung-dong Station. There is a special receptionist for English speakers on the sixth floor.

Internet Access -- There are many ways to access the Internet from Busan. Many of the high-end hotels and love motels in the city provide free Internet access in the rooms. There are also thousands of PC bahngs (computer cafes) that offer high-speed connections and charge between W500 and W2,000 per hour. Some also offer printing and scanning services and many are open 24 hours.

Laundry -- Most of the city's hotels have laundry facilities available. There are no coin laundries in the city, but you can find dry cleaners scattered around each neighborhood.

Maps -- Free city maps in English are available at tourist information centers located throughout the city.

Newspapers & Magazines -- The city's newspaper, the Busan Ilbo, stopped its English coverage online, but English print versions of two Korean newspapers, the Korean Herald ( and The Korea Times (, can be found at convenience stores, street stalls, hotels, and bus, train, and subway terminals for W600. News magazines issued abroad can be found in most large hotel bookstores, but for more specialized journals or periodicals, visit the major bookstores.

Pay Phones -- There are three kinds of public telephones in Busan: phones that take only coins, those that accept calling cards, and those that accept both. Charges start at W70 for 3 minutes. Toll and international calls are charged depending on where you're calling and how long you talk. Charges are discounted by 30% on Saturdays and holidays and from 8am to 9pm on weekdays. Calling cards may be purchased at banks, telephone offices, supermarkets, or convenience stores in W3,000, W5,000, or W10,000 denominations.

Pharmacies -- Simple Western remedies like aspirin are most likely to be found in 24-hour convenience stores and the lobbies of high-end hotels. You can find pharmacies in any neighborhood, but none of them is open 24 hours. Most display a large cross symbol (usually green), but all of them have the Korean word for medicine (?) on their windows.

Police -- The emergency number for the police is tel. 112. There are 14 police stations throughout the city of Busan. The Busan Police are under the jurisdiction of the national government, since all of South Korea is under one national police organization.

Post Offices -- There are 145 post offices and 80 postal agencies in the city, so it's not difficult to find one. Just look for the red signs with white text and the flying-bird logo. They're all open 9am to 6pm weekdays, but only a handful are open 9am to 1pm Saturday.

Restrooms -- There are free public restrooms available at most subway stations, bus terminals, train stations, and some tourist attractions. However, some restrooms in South Korea do not provide toilet paper or paper towels. It is best to carry a small packet of tissues with you at all times. You can buy them at any corner store or in vending machines outside some restrooms for W500. American-style fast-food restaurants and large department stores have the best public restrooms.

Safety -- The crime rate is relatively low in all of South Korea. In larger cities like Busan, you should take the usual precautions as you would in any major city in the world. Watch out for pickpockets and purse snatchers on public transportation, and exercise caution when traveling alone at night, especially around the port areas.

Taxes -- A value-added tax (VAT) of 10% is usually added to most goods and services. Most stores and restaurants just include it in their prices. In tourist hotels, the VAT is applied to rooms, meals, and services and is included on the bill. A TAX-FREE SHOPPING sign on a store means that you can get a refund on the VAT when you buy at that store. You must get a receipt, and get a stamp from the Customs officer; be prepared to show him or her the purchased item and the receipt. You can get a refund at the Cash Refund Office at the airport. For more info call Global Refund at tel. 02/776-2170. You must leave South Korea within 3 months from the date of purchase to receive the refund.

Water -- Drinking tap water in Busan is not advised. Most restaurants will offer water from a self-service water dispenser, which is fine to drink. Otherwise, bottled water is recommended. You can buy bottles at any corner store or tourist attraction for about W500.

Weather -- Located in the temperate monsoon zone and influenced by its seaside location, Busan has four distinct seasons. The city is relatively warm year-round and positively steamy in the summer, reaching up to 90°F (32°C) with high humidity. Its average annual temperature is 57°F (14°C), with average winter temperatures around 39°F (4°C). Weather information can be found in the directory at or by dialing tel. 131.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.