Busan has an excellent and varied nightlife scene, spread in uneven clumps across various parts of the city – a single evening can see you sipping soju over raw fish at sunset, rubbing shoulders with Russian sailors near the train station, throwing back beer with students in one of the university areas, then dancing all night at a beachside hip-hop club. To do this, however, you’d be spending plenty of money on taxi fares – best to simply pick an area and root down for the night.
The two main student areas – Busan National University to the north, and Kyungsung University west of Haeundae – are among the most interesting places to go out, and certainly the cheapest. Weekdays can be tame, but on weekends the partying goes on until the wee hours. The same can be said for the two beach areas – Haeundae and Gwangalli – which cater to a more upmarket crowd, and throw a couple of clubs and cocktail bars into the mix; there’s also the option of buying some cans at a convenience store and drinking on the beach. Central Busan is markedly less interesting: Seomyeon has a few clubs, though these can be full of soldiers, with fights breaking out on a regular basis, while the bars around Busan station tend to be populated with Russian prostitutes and men in the market for them.