Jagalchi Seafood Market is one of the most popular and unique places to explore in Busan City, South Korea. It is a fish and seafood market whose building was built for the sole purpose of promoting that industry.
Being the center and probably the oldest and traditional area for selling seafood makes Jagalchi Market unique for travelers.
The market is famous to both local and international visitors especially those who love seafood products.
Jagalchi Market is located along the shore’s roadside in Jung-gu (District) in Busan. It is the largest seafood market in the nation.
WITNESSED: I saw one ‘ajussi’ picked out one of the fishes from the fish tank and kissed it to show off to two ‘foreign’ ladies showing various reactions and invited one to kiss the fish.
Since I love seafood (but not every alien-looking animals), I decided to explore the market but not the whole building. It is huge!
If you have been to such places, you will get excited to see your favorite seafood including fishes of every kind (e.g., mackerel), sea squirts, clams, seashells, and more.
I decided not to order any of those moving creatures to be cooked since I was traveling alone (although at the back of my mind I really wanted to try the tempting products swimming and squirming inside the glass fish tanks.
It would be expensive if you eat alone. Usually, they serve food for at least a couple of customers or a group with some local drinks alongside the fresh products.
Although you will notice that most sellers are ‘ajummas’ (women in their middle-ages or married women), you can also see men (ajussis) calling out curious or starving visitors to take a look at their products.
Jagalchi Market sells both raw fish and dried fish. Some, until now, are still selling whale meat which is sometimes caught by ‘accident’ in their nets.
The sea animals are being sold at this market on the first floor (or ground floor).
After you pointed and selected your product, the fishmonger will point you to the second floor of the building where the restaurants are located.
Upstairs, you will hear the thudding sound of knives cutting and slicing through the seafood in preparation to be either cooked or eaten raw.
Of course, the whole place is clean and well-arranged. But if you don’t have a strong tolerance towards strong fish smells, better go somewhere else where the smell is tolerable.
The most favorite seafood among Busan people is eels and crabs. These two can be prepared in various dishes such as soups, fresh dishes, among others.
Due to the popularity, and to promote this industry and area, the authorities hold an annual Jagalchi Cultural Tourism Festival on October.
Jagalchi Seafood Market can tell you something about the daily toils and lifestyles of Busan people.
Usually, the festival runs not only for a day but four days. The responsible authorities organize programmes and participants for daily events.
The daily events are very exciting. But what is more impressive is that visitors (and tourists or travelers) can participate in some activities.
As a usual practice during these days, the schedule would general look like the following…
*Main Programme: parade at Jaggalchi Street, grand opening, fireworks, free food (seaweed soup, abalone, sushi, etc), Jagalchi Cruise, Squid and Octopus Running Competition, Jagalchi Song Festival, Singers Parody Show, Romantic Autumn Night, etc
*Experience and Participative Events: fish paste-making, sushi-making, sea candle-making, creating shrinkles, catching goldfish, key rings and soap-making, and more.
*Exhibitions and Special Events. Exhibitions vary annually according to relevant items related to seafood. You can see such exhibitions at the Jagalchi Exhibition Hall. Also, awards will be given to those who took the best photos during the events.
As I already mentioned, the above items are not fixed but could generally have the same flow of programme and events every year. But certainly, each year is unique and exciting to witness!
You can find out more here.
Jagalchi Seafood Market business people start working from 5 AM up to 10 PM almost every day.
The Hoe Center (restaurants at the 2nd Floor) opens from 9 AM up until at least an hour before the business closes.
Jagalchi is closed during the First and Third Tuesday every month. (Please, confirm this yourself in case they change the days.)
To discover more about this market, which includes the whole building itself, let me describe a little the floors with their specific functions related to seafood.
The following are the details of functions per floor of this market building…
Basements 1 & 2: Parking Areas
First Floor (Ground Floor in Brit. English): Fresh seafood products market (live fish, eels, crabs, abalone, fresh fish, crabs, shrimps, and prawns, etc.)
Second Floor: Hoe Center (Restaurant/eating area, Dried Fish area)
Third Floor: Soribada, Noraebang (or Karaoke), Exhibition Room
Fourth Floor: Dadohae Korean Restaurant
Fifth Floor: Seafood Buffet Restaurants
Sixth Floor: Convention Center
Seventh Floor: Terrace Guesthouse, Jagalchi Seafood Market Sky Observation Rooftop
It would be helpful if you know the following facilities exist…
Credit cards are acceptable to some shops but not to all.
Now, if you are getting interested or even excited to visit the place, let me show you how I got there. It is super easy!
Jagalchi Market was one of my intended destinations. At first, I was sort of doubtful to visit as I have heard that the place is a little bit pricey. Anyhow, I did visit.
Busan Subway Line 1
Coming from Haeundae Beach area where I stayed at my hotel for three days, I went to Haeundae Subway Station and reached Jagalchi Station (Subway Line 1).
You will already know that you are in the right area because of the fish smell and seafood shops along the sides of the street leading towards the market.
Certainly, some buses travel along the main road close to the market. Depending on your point of departure, you may find the following bus numbers that come nearby the market…
6, 9, 11, 27, 30, 61, 66, 71, and 113.
Jagalchi Market’s Useful Information
Address: 52, Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan (부산광역시 중구 자갈치해안로 52 (남포동4가))
Phone: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Website: jagalchimarket.bisco.or.kr (Korean only)
After you’re done with whatever you want to do at this market, feel free to explore nearby attractions.
You can find and explore the special places, sites, and other cultural structures in the area (example: Nampo District where Jagalchi is located).
The closest places and some nearby attractions are listed below…
See more best Busan travel destinations that need you to take the public transports. They are not so far from Jagalchi Market—usually less than an hour travel time, but no more than an hour.
If you want to see more of Busan, please see my other articles at best Busan destinations.
I especially selected the accommodation below which are located close to Jagalchi Fish Market area. Of course, they are also close to the best places in the area. See photos, rates, facilities...
Aside from the above hotels, please feel free to check out more hotels near this most famous fish market in the country.
I hope this has been useful to your search regarding this famous seafood market in Busan City.
Thanks and safe travels!
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