Gimhae International Airport Guide

Exterior of Gimhae International Airport in Busan, Korea
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Gimhae International Airport

Address
108 Gonghangjinim-ro, Daejeo 2(i)-dong, Gangseo-gu, Busan 618-142, South Korea
Phone +82 1661-2626

The city of Busan on South Korea’s southern coast is home to Gimhae International Airport, which is the country’s fourth busiest serving over 16 million passengers annually. While it’s nowhere near as sprawling as Incheon Airport, the capital’s ultramodern air hub, Gimhae International Airport’s compact simplicity makes check-in, security, and navigation a breeze.

Though the airport originally dates from 1976, multiple renovations over the years have kept it feeling modern. Add in new runways, technological innovations, high ceilings, and ample natural light, and Gimhae International Airport exudes a fresh, easygoing feel.

While simply making your way through Gimhae International Airport is a straightforward experience, check out our guide on the airport’s most noteworthy features to ensure you get the most bang for your won in Busan from start to finish.

Gimhae International Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information

Know Before You Go

Gimhae International Airport has two separate terminals, domestic and international, which can be accessed via free shuttles or a five-minute walk. You must clear immigration and customs if arriving on an international flight before making your way to the domestic terminal.

Though Gimhae International Airport serves a huge number of passengers per year, the routes flown are relatively limited to East and South Asia; mainly other points in Korea, plus China, Japan, and a few various flights to the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Gimhae International Airport Parking

South Korea’s public transportation system is so safe, efficient, and affordable, most visitors don’t drive. But should you find yourself behind the wheel and in need of airport parking, rest assured there are over 7,000 available parking spaces. Short-term and long-term parking options exist in front of both terminals and are accessible to the terminals by a very short walk.

Parking fees vary depending on the length of time. Discounts are given to the disabled, those driving low-emission vehicles, and in some cases to families with three or more children under age 18.

Driving Directions

Gimhae International Airport is about 13 miles west of downtown Busan. From central Busan, take the Namhae Expressway to the Gimhae International Airport Expressway. Merge onto the Dongseo elevated road then watch for the airport signs clearly marked in English.

Public Transportation and Taxis

Public transportation is the most common way to travel between Gimhae International Airport and central Busan, with prices and travel times to suit every budget and itinerary.

  • Light Rail: Busan’s metro line two connects with the airport light rail at Sasang Station. The journey takes 20 minutes, and the fare is a modest 1,500 won ($1.25).
  • Limousine Buses: Buses run regularly from just outside the arrivals halls to various hotels and major destinations in Busan, and some of the surrounding southern cities. One-way tickets range from 5,000 to 9,000 won, and buses run from approximately 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • City Bus: Public buses depart from Gimhae Airport to various points in and around the cities of Busan and Gimhae. Journey times range from 30 to 60 minutes, and fares are minimal costing around 1,100 won.
  • Taxis: The ride from Busan to Gimhae International Airport takes approximately 30 minutes and generally clocks in at a reasonable 30,000 won.

Where to Eat and Drink

While there are a handful of food and beverage choices at both terminals in Gimhae International Airport, the variety offered is not wide and mostly consists of coffee shops and traditional Korean restaurants. International food isn’t widely available unless a donut counts. It’s worth noting that most restaurants open between 5 and 7 a.m., and close at 9 p.m. (there are no 24-hour eateries).

  • In the public area of the Domestic Terminal, before you go through security, there’s a food court on level 3F offering a variety of Korean dishes in a cafeteria-style environment. The International Terminal has the same style food hall also on level 3F, but after you’ve gone through security.
  • As far as fast food eateries go, both terminals have a Dunkin’ Donuts, and the International Terminal also offers a Krispy Kreme and the popular local fast-food chain Lotteria (Korea’s McDonald's equivalent). Burger King, KFC, Subway, and other iconic options typically found in airports worldwide aren’t available here.
  • Beer and soju are available in the Korean restaurants, but the airport offers no official bars. Canned beer can also be purchased at the airport’s convenience stores and the lounges also serve alcohol.)
  • Coffee shops abound in all airport areas. There’s no Starbucks in sight, but you’ll find big names in the Korean coffee market such as Holly’s, Caffe Bene, and Angel-in-us.

Where to Shop

Shopping is big business in Korea, so of course Gimhae International Airport offers shoppers something to whip out their wallet for.

  • While the airport is on the smaller side, it still manages to provide travelers with two bustling duty free stores in the International Terminal.
  • Throughout the airport are souvenir stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, beauty shops, and bookstores for last minute purchases. There’s even a nail salon in the International Terminal.

How to Spend Your Layover

If your layover is of the shorter variety, it’s best to buckle down with the airport’s complimentary Wi-Fi in one of the various coffee shops, or shell out some cash for a lounge pass.

However if your layover is hours long (at least five to be safe), consider venturing out for a visit into South Korea’s second largest metropolis. Busan is a dynamic port city bursting with restaurants, bars, temples, shopping, museums, beaches, and oh-so-much more, and can be reached within approximately 45 minutes from the airport terminal.

Gimhae International Airport Lounges

Gimhae International Airport offers three airport lounges in the International Terminal and one in the Domestic Terminal, but keep in mind that most close by 10 p.m.

  • International Terminal: The KAL Lounge, Air Busan Lounge, and Sky Hub Lounge all offer refreshments, alcoholic beverages, and other lounge services to business and first class travelers, as well as lounge membership holders such as Priority Pass.
  • Domestic Terminal: The KAL Lounge is the sole airport lounge in the Domestic Terminal.

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

Complimentary and unlimited Wi-Fi is available in all areas, and additional networks are offered in some restaurants, coffee shops, and lounges.

In the departure terminals, there are dedicated charging stations that offer USB ports, plus local 220-volt outlets, which have round pins.

Gimhae International Airport Tips and Tidbits

  • Multiple booths are set up in the arrivals hall of the International Terminal where you can purchase Korean SIM cards or mobile Wi-Fi units to use during your trip.
  • The coffee shops, convenience stores, eateries, and lounges are only open between approximately 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Gimhae International Airport closes overnight and it’s not permitted to stay inside the terminal. The airport has no hotels on the premises, but the closest one, called simply Airport Hotel, offers a free shuttle and is a mere three minutes away.
  • Gimhae International Airport features multiple ATMs and currency exchange booths, as well as a post office, pharmacies, a clinic, and even an International Drivers’ License Permit Center.
  • Water fountains are safe to drink from, and can be found near most of the bathrooms throughout the public areas and terminals.
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Gimhae International Airport Guide