What people from Busan think of Seoul

This is bound to get interesting. Whenever you compare to cities, you run the risk of stereotyping and oversimplification.  It’s complicated, we know. We asked a bunch of people living in Busan to give us their opinion of Seoul. Some people might have gone a little overboard, but you’ll get the idea…


Seoul is too busy! Busan has fresh air and the sun reflects off the cold, blue water. Nature is accessible and feels like it’s just… closer. I feel like I can breathe here.

2. You mean, there are no waves?

Sure, the water isn’t too far from Seoul… but you won’t find a beach with waves like the ones we have in Haeundae. This definitely increases my quality of life in Busan.

Winters in Seoul

Winters in Seoul

3. That’s the cost???

The cost of living is way lower in Busan! Seoul is very class-based. Clubs and bars in certain areas (Gangnam, Apgujeong, Itaewon) can be pretty expensive.

4. Too cold!

Busan is the warmest city during Korea’s freezing winters. Seoul is too cold for me.



5. Wait, I can actually speak English here?

It’s always crazy how many people speak English in Seoul. The people are generally more conservative and English is not as widely spoken in Busan.

Seoul Subway Map

Seoul Subway Map

6. How am I  suppose to read this subway map?

Busan isn’t as big as Seoul, so it’s a lot easier to get around here. The subway in Seoul is huge – I’m sure people living there get used to all the different transfers, but it’s just more simple down here.

7. Too many people!

Sure the beaches get pretty crazy during the summer down here, but Seoul is crowded all the time. There are just too many people for me.


Here’s more on what people from Busan think of Seoul: what would YOU add?

6 replies
  1. Lisa Kande
    Lisa Kande says:

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  2. eslinsider
    eslinsider says:

    #5. “Conservative” is referring to Busan or Seoul? Like the weather I always heard people aren’t as friendly there. My Korean friend who is from Busan says all the women look the same in Seoul. He was referring to plastic surgery.

  3. Gedas
    Gedas says:

    For those who are considering teaching job in Asia and could say that it is a really great experience. I was English Teacher in China and I was able to earn really good money, even though I am not native speaker or professional teacher. Also, it is really great way to learn about the new culture and travel in the same time. [link removed]

  4. Ace
    Ace says:

    Great Post! I am leaving for the Busan area in a few weeks to teach in the public school system. Many of your points were part of my decision to choose this area vs. Seoul. Not going to South Korea for the nightclubs and would love to be in the mild section of country. I will have to bookmark your site and read a lot more. I am sure you will answer some of my endless questions in your posts.

  5. James
    James says:

    It’s funny that they have such different opinions of each other when aside from a few things, they are really so similar. Would be interesting to see what those from smaller towns thought of those from Seoul. Or ever to see the older generation’s view of the younger generation.


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