Have you ever dreamed of visiting Machu Picchu in Peru one day but you are still on a tight budget? If you happen to go to Korea, then don’t miss the opportunity of visiting Gamcheon Culture Village, the country’s version of Machu Picchu in Busan!
About Gamcheon Culture Village
Gamcheon Culture Village (감천 문화마을) is the colorful village in Busan located within the town of Gamcheon-dong, Saha District. It is famous for its cute and colorful houses, artistic streets, steep stairs and, twisting alleys. The village has been a well-known tourist destination in Busan among locals and foreign tourists. Additionally, others call the village as Korea’s Santorini because its similarity with the famous landmark of Greece.
In 1920s to 1930s, the city administration built Gamcheon Village to relocate the poor Korean population into an area secluded from the port yet close enough to provide labor. Then in mid of post-Korean war recovery in 1950s, many families moved to the village which contributed to its growth. Despite many years have passed, the village has retained its heritage and is a part of Korea’s modern history. Hence, in 2009, Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism converted the village into a cultural hub with a public art-themed renovation. They did the renovation with the help of its residents and local artists which resulted to recognitions from people within Korea and from all over the world. Indeed, this village is a must-visit place when you go to Korea.
Attractions, Facilities and Photo Zones
Gamcheon Cultural Village Information Center
This center provides tourist information for visitors to Gamcheon Culture Village. They sell alley tour maps which comes with a challenge to collect stamps scattered all over the village. The map costs 2,000 KRW and it provides recommended routes in touring around. They also offer luggage storage for those who need it.
Gamnae Eoulteo is a community center created by remodeling the old bathhouse building in the village. This center has a café and a small gallery space for villagers and visitors. It also has a guesthouse where visitors can stay comfortably. Its rooftop offers a beautiful view of the village.
Haneulmaru or Skymaru is an observatory where you can view the Busan Port. It also exhibits the different materials used to renovate Gamcheon Culture Village while preserving its original architecture.
While the small museum showcases the old and modern culture of the village by displaying the old photos of Gamcheon Culture Village collected by residents and some household items.
Furthermore, you can purchase souvenirs and other tourism products of the village from the Mini Shop. It sells variety of products such as eco bag, puzzle, bookmark, stationery, pouch and even the Little Prince handkerchief.
Gamnaegol Happy Power Plant
The Gamnaegol Happiness Power Plant is where residents of the Gamcheon Culture Village gather and work together to create income-generating projects and items that they sell in the village. Indeed, it’s a happy place that keeps the villagers happy.
Asteroid B612 Souvenir Shop
If you are a fan of The Little Prince, you will surely enjoy buying cute little items from Asteroid B612 Souvenir Shop. It sells art goods and souvenirs made by local artists and you can enjoy the view of the village through the eyes of the Little Prince.
Gamcheon Culture Village has a lot of photo zones where you can take dozens of great pictures. From its entrance, to its high view areas where you can see panoramic view of the village, down to its alley. Everywhere seems to be Instagramable.
Where to Eat
The ideal time duration for touring around the village is about 3 hours. Of course, within that time you might get hungry and want to grab some food. Don’t worry because there are some restaurants and café in the village where you can eat. Here are some of them:
Gamnae Restaurant is a village company run by the Gamcheon Culture Village Residents’ Council. It sells delicious snacks and other Korean food such as bibimbap, and fish cake. The good thing about eating in this restaurant is that its proceeds are used for local return projects such as resident welfare projects.
Gamnae Café is another business managed by the village Residents’ Council. You can some autographs of Korean celebrities such as the Running Man casts. It is located at the entrance of the alleyway that goes up to Haneulmaru. You can order coffee, juice, tea, and cookies in this café. Similar to Gamnae Restaurant, its proceeds are used for local projects in the village.
Another café in the village that you can visit is the Bluehouse243 Café. Aside from its delicious café, pastries and other beverages, it also offers a great view of the colorful houses in the village. Moreover, its interior is as beautiful as its exterior thus you can also take Instagram-worthy photos inside this café.
Since Gamcheon Culture Village is also a residential area, it is open 24 hours. However, most of the stores and tourist sites are open from 09:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
How To Get There
If you find this article interesting and helpful, share it with your friends. For more Korea travel tips like this, subscribe to KoreabyMe and read my other published articles on the site. You can follow me on Instagram too!