Gamcheon Village Busan

Gamcheon Culture Village South Korea

The quirky and artful looking Gamcheon Culture Village is at the southernmost tip of the South Korean peninsular and built on a steep mountainside overlooking the port city of Busan.

Gamcheon Culture Village has a landscape that gives it the nickname ‘Machu Picchu of Korea’ and is so colourful and enchanting that it’s hard to believe it was once a dark and dismal slum inhabited by poor refugees of the Korean War.

In 2009, the local government and residents initiated a project to revitalize the area through art.

The village underwent a transformation, with houses painted in vibrant colours and various artworks installed throughout the area. Gamcheon’s alleys are connected by a series of stairways. The stairways themselves are often decorated with colourful patterns and artworks, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of the village.

Today Gamcheon Culture Village is a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gamcheon Culture Village is built on a steep mountainside overlooking the port city of Busan South Korea

The combination of the vibrant colours of the village and the scenic backdrop makes it a unique and picturesque location.

Gamcheon Culture Village has colourful streets and alleys
Gamcheon Culture Village has colourful streets and alleys connected by stairs

Gamcheon Culture Village has become such a popular tourist destination that it attracts visitors from both South Korea and around the world. In addition to exploring the art-filled streets, visitors can participate in various cultural activities and workshops offered by local artists. Visitors can explore these narrow alleyways adorned with street art, making it a popular destination for those interested in art and culture.

I visited the village with my own family and my Korean family, too. One of my sons has lived in South Korea for the past ten years, so South Korea is now a place I know well, having visited many times and at different times of the year.

When I’m in South Korea I stay with family but I would recommend to you to use BOOKING DOTCOM

You might be interested in reading my post on Korean Wedding Culture and wearing the Korean Hanbok at my son’s wedding.

The Backpacking Housewife exploring Gamcheon Culture Village Busan South Korea
The Backpacking Housewife exploring Gamcheon Culture Village

The Little Prince and Fox statue

One of the iconic landmarks in Gamcheon Village is the Little Prince and Fox statue, inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s famous French novella “The Little Prince.” This statue sits on a ledge and overlooks the city and has become a symbol of the village. It is a popular spot for visitors to take photos.

Gamcheon Village has the Little Prince and Fox statue sitting on a ledge looking over the city
Little Prince and Fox Statue

CAFE STREET Gamcheon Culture Village

The village also features a “Cafe Street” where visitors can find quaint cafes offering a place to rest and enjoy scenic views of the surroundings and due to its elevated location, Gamcheon Culture Village offers panoramic views of the sea and the city of Busan.

When visiting the culture village, it’s advisable to wear comfortable shoes, as the village is built on steep terrain with many stairs. Additionally, the village has become a model for community-driven art projects, showcasing the positive impact that art and creativity can have on urban spaces.

Gamcheon Culture Village Busan

The houses are built in a step formation and painted in pretty pastel colours. The streets are a maze of tiny winding alleys and steep worn staircases. Everywhere you look you’ll find interesting wall murals, wood carvings, and graffiti style paintings created by local artisans.

Gamcheon Culture Village South Korea has interesting wall murals

Walking around this charming village and residential area is akin to exploring a living breathing art gallery but as you rise through the streets, if you can take your eyes off the art for a moment, you’ll also see that the view from the top of South Korea’s second largest city and ‘summer capital’, Busan, is quite breath-taking.

The view from the top of South Korea’s second largest city and ‘summer capital’ of Busan is quite breath-taking.

BEST TIME TO VISIT Gamcheon Culture Village?

There is no bad time to visit but as the culture village as it is extremely popular with visitors the best time to visit would be in the morning or close to sunset and during a weekday rather than a weekend.

As for the time of year, the best time to visit is during the Spring and Autumn months as it is warm and sunny but not too hot. If you want to catch the cherry blossoms, then plan your travel between late March and mid-April.

I visited Gamcheon Culture Village in the summer month of June. It was incredibly hot, which made walking up the streets and steps quite challenging, but that perhaps made it a less-busy time of year for properly exploring the culture village!

HOW TO Go TO Gamcheon Culture Village

Most visitors keen to experience all that South Korea has to offer will fly into Incheon Airport and head straight to the capital city of Seoul. But it’s so easy to get to Busan – at the southernmost tip of the Korean Peninsular – from Seoul using the high-speed KTX train.

Busan boasts the freshest seafood, spectacular scenery and fabulous beaches and is a rising coffee shop culture. Busan is also one of South Korea’s five regional tourism hubs designated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

As a suggested itinerary, while travelling from Seoul to Busan – I would also encourage you to stop over for a few days en-route to explore colourful Daegu – South Korea’s fourth-largest city after Seoul, Incheon, and Busan.

The city of Daegu has so much to offer the visitor (see the post on My Top Ten Things To Do In Daegu) before heading down to the coast to enjoy Gamcheon Culture Village and Busan’s laid-back ambience.

Walking around this charming village and residential area is akin to exploring a living breathing art gallery

Have you ever visited South Korea?

Did you take the train down from Seoul to Busan?

Did you get to explore Gamcheon Culture Village?

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