Probably blue is the color that people think of about Busan thanks to its amazing beaches and breathtaking ocean views. However, Busan boasts many more colors than blue, and you will understand what I am saying as soon as you step into Gamcheon Culture Village (감천문화마을). Korea Tourism Organization has selected this colorful village as one of the 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea for five consecutive times and Gamcheon Culture Village definitely deserves it.
In This Post
- General Information
- History of Gamcheon Culture Village
- Artistic Photo Spots and Artwork
- What to Eat and Shop at Gamcheon Culture Village
- Wooin Cafe
- Things To Do in Gamcheon Culture Village
- Other Useful Information
- Where to Stay in Gamcheon Culture Village
- Other Attractions Nearby
General Information about Gamcheon Culture Village
Address of Gamcheon Culture Village
203, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan, South Korea
The village is open 24/7, but each store and facility has its own hours.
How to Get to Gamcheon Culture Village
Take the subway line 1 (Orange Line) and get off at Toseong Station (토성/109) > Exit 6 > Transfer to local bus Saha 1-1, Seogu 2 or Seogu 2-2 > Get off at Gamcheon Elementary School/Gamcheon Culture Village (감천초등학교/감천문화마을) bus stop.
Busan Day & Night Full Day Tour by Trazy
If you are looking for the most convenient way to visit Gamcheon Culture Village, Trazy offers a great local tour that includes Gamcheon Culture Village and other essential points of interest in Busan. Visit its page and find out more information about the tour including reviews from previous guests.
Public parking lot (paid)
- Call: +82-51-204-1444
- Website: www.gamcheon.or.kr (Google Translation available)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. If you use these links to purchase a tour or other items, I may earn a commission.
History of Gamcheon Culture Village
With waves of colorful roofs and a maze of artistic alleys, Gamcheon Culture Village is one of the most popular destinations in Busan. However, how this village was born carries a sad story.
The village was formed due to a sad part of Korea’s modern history, The Korean War. Refugees started to live in the area of Gamcheon Culture Village to survive the war and carried on hard lives. The village had to confront poverty and poor living conditions for a long time. The village reached a turning point in 2009, when the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism launched a project to renovate the village into an art-themed cultural hub. Now painted with all different colors and covered with beautiful murals, all the efforts by local residents and artists finally have borne fruits in the shape of not only domestically but also a globally popular destination.
Gamcheon Culture Village has attracted attention as a model of urban renewal, and the millions of annual visitors prove the village deserves praise. In addition, the village is a recipient of the President’s Award at 2016 The Good Place Award and the winner of the first Educating Cities Award by the International Association of Education Cities (IAEC).
Artistic Photo Spots and Artwork at Gamcheon Culture Village
The Little Prince and The Fox spot
If I have to choose one word for Gamcheon Culture Village, ‘colorful’ would be the perfect one. Whenever you turn around corners, you will find interesting murals and cute wall paintings. It’s like a street art gallery without a roof.
Thanks to these colors and artistic touches, this village would be the perfect spot for your camera, Instagram feed, TikTok, you name it. Be ready to take lots of pictures and videos. At some popular photo zones like the famous The Little Prince and The Fox spot, you may need to wait in line – see the video below.
Haneul Maru Observatory (하늘마루)
For more pictures and videos, or just to get yourself in awe, don’t miss Haneul Maru Observatory (하늘마루). At the observatory, you can look at the impressive view of the entire village. When the sky is clear, you can see the South Port of Busan (부산남항).
To understand the village more, I borrow a part of the sign at Haneul Maru: “…the fact that it was built on terraced fields means none of the houses block their neighboring house’s view…it plays a highly educative role in the community by approaching and solving problems through active interaction and collaboration between the local government and residents….”
Some people say this neighborhood looks like the one built with Lego blocks and I think they are right.
Popular Art Works
Busan Gamcheon Culture Village is a creation of the residents in the area and many local artists. Thus, the village is full of artworks, especially colorful street art. The artists create more artwork in the village every year so people who visit the village more than one time still can be awed. I don’t think one can find all these impressive artworks in one visit, but I tried to take pictures of them as many as possible to introduce them to you.
This picture of the stairs right above is the street art, “Star and Flowers Road (별꽃길)” by Kim Lyangkyung and Tak Youngwoo. But, it is also called ‘Stairs to See Stars (별 보러 가는 계단).” The name may sound romantic but it means actually the opposite. The stairway has a total of 148 steps and they are very steep so people got dizzy and saw stars (yes, this is a metaphor) in their eyes when they climbed up these stairs while carrying heavy loads.
Other Popular Photo Zones
One of the most recommended ways to enjoy Gamcheon Culture Village is getting lost. There are many photo zones besides above mentioned artwork including colorful stairs, interesting murals, and more. Many places that are not specifically designated photo zones will get you to stop, and you can’t pass those without pushing the button on your phone a few times.
You will see many visitors wearing Hanbok, the traditional Korean clothing, in Gamcheon Culture Village.
Wherever you walk into the alleys, you will see beautiful murals.
Two photogenic postboxes. The yellow one is a postbox for regular mail and postcards, and the red one is a slow postbox. The recipients will receive your mail or postcard a year later.
What to Eat and Shop at Gamcheon Culture Village
Tasting Korean street food is absolutely one of the fun experiences in the village: Tteokbokki (떡볶이), Eomuk (어묵/fishcake), Dakgangjeong (닭강정/glazed fried chicken bites), Hweori Gamja (회오리감자/Tornado Potato – no worries. It’s safe.) and too many to list all of them. If you want to take a seat and have some time to relax, there are restaurants and cafes as well.
From small souvenirs to quite high-priced artworks created by local artists, you can enjoy a wide variety of shopping here based on your budget. Items include Busan and Gamcheon Culture Village-themed souvenirs like cellphone cases with The Little Prince and The Fox illustration on them, lamps with traditional Korean designs, Korean Beauty accessories, and so many more.
Wooin Cafe in Gamcheon Culture Village
There are more than a dozen of cafes in Gamcheon Culture Village and chances are that these cafes have great views of this Busan’s colorful village. Among them, I stopped by Wooin (우인) Cafe.
- Address: 172, Gamnae 2-ro, Saha-gu, Busan, South Korea
- Call: +82-507-1310-5789
- Hours: 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (every day)
As I expected, the cafe offers such wide and breathtaking views. You can take in those views from inside the cafe, especially when the weather is not so agreeable. Go up to the rooftop and take all those colorful pictures of Gamcheon Culture Village that you may have not taken at other photo spots because of the shoulders or fingers of other visitors. And, the owner is very kind. I’m not sure if she speaks any foreign language, but I am quite sure if you ask her for directions, information, or any help, she would be very willing to help you out.
The cafe offers a variety of coffee including cappuccino, latte, and cafe mocha. You can also order teas and smoothies as well. If you want to grab a bite, you can have muffins, bagels, and cheesecake here. The prices are between ₩3,500 (about $3 USD) and ₩5,000 (about $4.2 USD) so I don’t think it’s too expensive.
A cup of coffee and a piece of cheesecake with this view. Can’t get better than this!
The interior of Wooin Cafe is reminiscent of Korean classrooms in the 60s and 70s.
Visitors write what they wish (or whatever they want to say) and tie them on the ropes above, which have become another addition to the cafe’s interior.
Things To Do in Gamcheon Culture Village
In addition to popular activities in Gamcheon Culture Village like walking in the alleys, enjoying a cup of coffee while looking over the colorful village, or taking a picture or shooting a video at photo spots, you can choose other fun things to do as well.
Grand Budapest Doll Hotel is home to a large number of vintage dolls, especially from the 1910s to 1940s. It has an entrance fee of 4,000 KRW.
If you are interested in horoscopes or zodiac signs, this machine will tell your fortune. Believe it or not, it’s up to you. One thing is for sure: things like the movie, Big, never happen. You can find your Chinese Zodiac sign here.
Other Useful Information
Busan Gamcheon Culture Village Tourist Information Center
- Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Phone: +82-51-204-1444
The information center offers lockers, the village map (KRW ₩2,000) with a stamp tour, and a tour guide service (reservation required).
Because Gamcheon Culture Village is quite a maze and it’s not a small place, the local map can be handy. Also, the stamp tour with the map could be fun as it leads to popular points of interest. For your information, the profit goes to the maintenance of the village and other welfare of residents.
If your budget is tight, find the map online and save it on your phone. Besides, don’t worry about getting lost. In this village, wherever you turn your head, there will be unique art pieces and colorful murals. And, that’s how you find your own hidden gems.
Do People Live in Gamcheon Culture Village?
The residents are living here, which makes this neighborhood more authentic and lively. Considering that, please, respect their privacy when you visit the place, so more visitors can appreciate this colorful village with heartfelt hospitality from the people of Busan Gamcheon Culture Village.
In addition, drones are not so welcome here due to the privacy of residents. I would suggest contacting the local authority (www.gamcheon.or.kr) for its permission if you need to use them.
One more tip: As I mentioned above, the village is quite large and has many ups and downs. Do you remember that ‘Stairs to See Stars’ has another name ‘148 Stairs’? And it’s just one of many stairs. So, wear a pair of comfortable shoes.
Where to Stay in Gamcheon Culture Village
There are a few guesthouses in the village. You can find more information about the accommodations on the village’s website. If you want to hotels or other places to stay near Gamcheon Culture Village, you can find them through the links below (once you visit its site, use the map for specific areas).
Other Attractions near Gamcheon Culture Village
Ami-dong Tombstone Culture Village is right across from Gamcheon Culture Village. The area got its name because the refugees during the Korean War settled in this area which was a Japanese cemetery during the Japanese Occupation period. Here you can see the houses and building that uses the actual tombstones for their parts like stairs and foundations.
Wondosim Area (the original downtown of Busan) is not very far from the village, where you can visit BIFF Square, Jagalchi Market (Korea’s largest seafood market), Gukje Market, and more. If you want to see Busan’s beach, head to Songdo Beach. There you can walk on the beach, ride a cable car, or walk over Yonggung Suspension Bridge.