Gukje Market in Busan City is one of the most popular places to shop for anything. Although not literally an international market ('gukje' means international), it offers various items to all including foreign residents and travelers in Busan.
Gukje Market offers you a specific area where people interact not only to exchange goods but also to experience Busan's cultural features and historical value of the place.
For example, you can explore the Gukje Market Food Street and try their traditional food with roots of over 50 years back.
During the Korean War, many people from various provinces in the country find a safer ground in Busan. These people established the first makeshift market when they came to earn a meager income to survive.
This area was the only place in Busan that was not ravaged by the war. Their basic and temporary stalls are their only means of living.
No one has imagined that it would turn out like this today--an extensive and various market place selling all sorts of products you can think of.
You can buy almost anything you need. Many shops accept credit cards, which I find more convenient as I don't bring around cash but plastics. Besides, it is more sanitary than paper money.
As mentioned above, Gukje Market is enormous in terms of the number of items and products being displayed. You can purchase from the smallest to the largest product, such as a needle to a refrigerator.
Although it sounds a bit disorganized due to its size, Gukje Market is, in fact, very organized. It is set up in zones, just like most similar places in the country. So, if you are looking for something specific, just ask anybody in the market.
So, in case you want to get some ideas on the products you will see, below are the available items...
And more products that you probably have never seen before.
At Gukje Market, you can also find foodstuffs, as mentioned above. You can try from any small food stalls that offer some specialized or all-of-the-above menus.
If you love kimchi, then you are ready to try almost anything they offer. As an experienced shopper, you know that you do the shopping exploration first then finally stop to rest and eat something refreshing.
The Food Street, located at Arirang Street, itself is over 60 years old. You can relish the spicy and tasty Korean cuisine and side dishes, including kimbap (rice wrapped in seaweed), jjigae (spicy soup with kimchi, fish, or meat slices), ramyeon (noodles), pajeon (cakes mixed with veggies).
You will enjoy and be sweating out while consuming the hot dishes over a simple table and chair in an open-air street dining area.
Gukje Market is open almost daily except on special holidays. Also, it is closed twice a month: the first and third Sundays each month.
The business starts at 9 AM and closes at 10 PM.
The perfect time to visit or explore the market is in the morning. That's because everything is clean and tidy. Besides, you still have lots of choices and fresh products. That is before others get there before you.
The late afternoon could be your second best choice, as fewer people are crisscrossing the market.
If you are exploring the attractions and most frequented places in Nampodong area, the quick and easy tip below can help you.
Start from BIFF Square → Gukje Market Food Street → Gwangbokro Fashion Street → Yongdusan Park → (Lotte Department Store) → and finishes at Jagalchi Seafood Market.
Alright, you can easily find Gukje Market as it is strategically located in the heart of Busan City. The full address, if you need one, is this:
Address: Sinchang-dong 4-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
부산광역시 중구 광복로35 | 35 Gwangbok-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
To get there, you have to take Busan Subway Line 1 and get off at Jagalchi Station (where the famous Jagalchi Fish Market is located). Then come out from Exit 7...
On foot, go straight, passing the first road, and then turn left at the Second road (Gwangjang-ro) to BIFF Square. Continue walking for around 150 meters to reach the food street. It takes about five minutes from the station to the destination.
Thanks. Please, enjoy your exploration and shopping spree!