15 October 2019 Off By Florian Polycarpe

Last year, we got the fabulous opportunity to visit Busan, South Korea’s second busiest city, and its 3.6 million inhabitants. Located 450 km away from the capital city, Seoul, Busan is playing first roles in world trade thanks to its seaport, the largest of South Korea, and the fifth worldwide. From the cultural Gamcheon village to its skyscrapers side beaches, Busan is offering a large cultural diversity, interesting, and even disturbing sometimes.


Direct to the Gamcheon Culture Village after our arrival in Busan.

On the heights of Busan, the Gamcheon Culture Village is in fact, the street artist district of Busan. Reminding us of Rio de Janeiro, without the misery of Cariocas’ favelas.

A small historic point is needed: It turns out that Gamcheon and the favelas are not so far in spirit. For a long time, Gamcheon village welcomed war refugees and was a real slum, which explains its architecture. In 2009, a restoration project has been launched by the Korean Government enabling artists to color Gamcheon village and turn it to an outdoor piece of art, building a new village with the participation of locals.

Korean government favored the gentrification of Gamcheon, contrary to the Brasilian government which decided to empty the favelas for World Cup and Olympics games.

While we are strolling into Gamcheon village, we can discover multiple artistic productions, through the alleys and stairs. Feel free to put on your best walking shoes, the numerous stairs and rising streets will test your physical condition…

Small shops illuminating the alleys while leaving Gamcheon Culture village.

We recommend you to get lunch on the road from Gamcheon Village to Busan Market, many typical restaurants will be available, but you at least once have to try a Korean BBQ. You can also enjoy multiple street food and taste typical Korean dishes.


After our lunch, we took the direction of the Bupyeong Kkangtong Market and Jagalchi market, both of the numerous Busan’s typical markets.

The first market offers a large variety of products from clothes, to food, as a traditional occidental supermarket. Bupyeong Kkangtong gets an external part and an inside part where locals doing their shopping.

In the second part, we went to the Jagalchi market, exclusively dedicated to food and particularly to sea products. Strolling in the market’s alleys is a good idea to discover Korean Sea products, as the “dick fish”, although the smells can become a little disturbing at some point. This market is a must-go place if you want to discover and taste Korean fishes.

If you do not want to visit the market, you can also discover the very lively surroundings of sightseeing in the Gamcheon Culture Village.

After the markets, we went to Haeundae beach with an uncommon background for Europeans.


Indeed, the beach runs along with the buildings, and many others are under construction. This place is a little bit away from the city center.

More of that, we could enjoy a nice sunset on the beach. The latter runs for 3 to 5 kilometers and along Busan cornice and its skyscrapers.

After that, we decided to take a light dinner at the Starbucks coffee – that you have to try for the local macha coffee – after our BBQ lunch, just in front of the beach.

When the natural light turns off, it’s a good thing to discover Busan by night and its nightlife. We advise you to enjoy the night spirit while strolling on the city streets, you should visit the different shops and bars open late at night. We would recommend to enjoy the view of the famous Diamond Beach from Gwangali beach and savor the lights of Busan.

Finally, Busan gives a very good mood and is offering a large cultural diversity. Contrary to Seoul City, Busan is offering a quieter and more relaxing life than the capital cit. If you want to get unplugged of Seoul’s frenzy, Busan is a good alternative to get the party or discover the most discreet part of Korean life and enjoy the sea.

So what are our recommendations for the visit of the second biggest city in South Korea? Here is our ToDo list:

  • The Gamcheon Culture Village: A must to understand an important cultural part of Busan City, but also to enjoy nice sightseeing and to disconnect yourself from the modern aspect of the Korean life.

  • Busan markets: As for us, we decided to visit Bupyeong Kkangtong Market and Jagalchi Market but only for the practical side, all Busanese markets will offer you the same sensation and will permit you to immerse yourself in the Korean culture.

  • Busan by Night: Enjoy the Busanese night with the different bars and shops open very late, we were unfortunately not able to experience them but Busan’s nightlife is vell known in Asia.