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BIFF Square and Nampo, Busan – 21 Things to do

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Busan is world famous for its annual Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), held every October. BIFF Square in Nampo-dong has become the epicenter of this cinematic celebration and this is one of the most popular things to do in Busan.

Busan BIFF Square

As well as movie theaters, this is the place to see golden handprints of worldwide movie stars and directors who visited the Busan International Film Festival previously like Jeremy Irons.

From shopping to street food, megastores to markets, here is our guide to the best things to do in Busan’s iconic BIFF Square in Nampo:

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Getting to BIFF Square in Busan

The nearest train / Metro station to BIFF Square is Jagalchi Station, on line 1 of the Metro (exit 7). The walk to BIFF Square is less than 5 minutes.

Busan’s hop-on hop-off bus also stops at BIFF Square (stop 12 – Jagalchi / BIFF Square / Yongdusan Park) on the green line route.

Busan’s hop-on hop-off bus

You can use money to buy your Busan subway tickets or Busan bus tickets but we’d recommend getting a T-Money card from a station or convenience store and topping it up.

T-Money cards initially cost 5,000 Korean Won but last indefinitely and are very convenient to hop on and off public transport in Busan and South Korea.

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History of BIFF Square

BIFF Square was termed in August 1996 after the inaugural Busan International Film Festival in 1996 that gave its name to the square.

Formerly, the area prior to BIFF Square’s launch mainly comprised of two very old cinemas but was transformed to launch the festival and has been one of the most famous places in Busan ever since.

Jung-nu was also home to Korea’s very first cinema and the first Korean film production company, Chosun Kinema Corporation.

Busan BIFF Square

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BIFF Square Overview

The area around BIFF Square is divided into two – Festival Street and Star Street. Also close by is Jagalchi fish market.

Most days, as well as being famous for the film festival and cinemas, you’ll find an array of street food traders here selling everything from dumplings to noodles.

The food stalls and market at BIFF Square are very much aimed at tourists though.

Busan BIFF Square

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Things to do in BIFF Square Busan

1. Busan’s Best Hotteok – Ssiat Hotteok

The famous Busan seed hotteok (‘Ssiat hotteok’) stall has queues around the block and is filled full of seedy goodness.

The sticky sweet pancake contains crushed sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, almonds and peanuts and is absolutely delicious and worthy of its best hotteok title.

Hotteok Biff Square Busan

If you haven’t tried one before, hotteoks are a sweet and sticky Korean dessert pancake that come in various flavours like honey, brown sugar or chocolate.

The seed hotteoks in BIFF Square cost 2,000 KRW for a seed hotteok or 3,000 KRW for a sweet honey hotteok.

Hotteok Biff Square Busan

The BIFF Square seed hotteok stall is the best known dish in BIFF Square and has featured on such famous Korean TV shows like ‘Infinite Challenge’ and ‘Running Man’.

Like hotteoks and Korean street food? Check out our guide to Busan’s Haeundae Traditional Market >

2. BIFF Square Golden Handprints

One of the best things to do in BIFF Square is look for the handprints and signatures of famous South Korean actors and directors (plus the odd international star) that have been imprinted at previous BIFF premieres or celebrations.

Biff Square Busan golden handprints
Biff Square Busan golden handprints

Like South Korea’s very own Walk of Fame (or Avenue of Stars), dozens of handprints can be seen on the ground by well known attendees of Busan International Film Festivals of yesteryear.

Some of the BIFF Square golden handprints and signatures we spotted included the actor Jeremy Irons plus acclaimed US Film Directors Oliver Stone and Spike Lee.

Also look out for the film strip pavements that line the square.

Biff Square Busan golden handprints
Biff Square Busan

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3. BIFF Square food market / Busan street food

As well as its film history, BIFF Square is known for its street food markets and snack vendors which take up most of the square.

The stalls sell many local specialities such as octopus skewers, yubu bottan (stew with fried tofu), walnut cake (Hodu-gwaja) and candied fruit (Ddalgi Satang).

Biff Square Busan street food market

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4. Busan International Film Festival

The main Busan International Film Festival usually takes place every October and is jointly held across BIFF Square and the Busan Cinema Center near Haeundae.

The 28th BIFF festival was held in October 2023 with many cinematic events taking place across the city like red carpet screenings.

The Community BIFF program takes place at the BIFF Square every year, and is a local celebration of films and South Korea cinema.

Fun film screenings take place like Sing Along musical screenings and ‘Request Cinema’ where the audience gets to choose what is shown.

Visit the official BIFF site for more information >

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5. Youngpoong Bookstore, Busan Nampo

Busan’s best bookshop, Youngpoong Bookstore Nampo is a short walk from BIFF Square and has several stories of fiction and non-fiction books.

Youngpoong Bookstore, Busan Nampo

The store’s aesthetics are awesome and as well as books and stationery, there is a small coffee shop inside, plus English language books are available to read or browse.

A popular place for students to swot, this is a great place to pick up an old school travel guide for your next destination.

Youngpoong Bookstore, Busan Nampo
Youngpoong Bookstore, Busan Nampo

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6. Nampo-dong Pojangmacha stalls

Head to BIFF Square in Busan at night and enjoy an epicurean experience in colourful street-tents, open until the wee small hours (even in the winter months).

All manner of South Korean street food is served in these Nampo-dong Pojangmacha food stalls plus alcoholic beverages like soju and beer.

Nampo-dong Pojangmacha stalls Busan

Given Busan’s proximity to the coast, seafood pojangmacha stalls are popular – chicken and pork trotters are other typical Korean dishes available.

Such is their popularity, these late night Busan stalls (popular in Seomyeon and Haeundae too) often appear in Korean dramas and TV programmes. They also regularly pop-up in Seoul.

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7. Olive Young Gwangbok

Nampo and BIFF Square are a super shopping destination if you are looking for some skincare products and the newest K-beauty, trends.

Olive Young Gwangbok Busan BIFF Square

There are several flagship K-beauty shops to check out in the neighbourhood but perhaps the best known is Olive Young, whose Gwangbok store overlooks the food stalls on BIFF Square.

From beauty masks to chemical peels, bath bombs to hair dye, Olive Young is your one stop K-beauty shop.

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8. Goraesa Fishcake Eomuk

One of the most famous food shops around BIFF Square, Goraesa Fishcakes have been popular for their fine fish style cake (eomuk) since the early 1960s.

Goraesa Fishcake Eomuk Busan BIFF Square

Fishcakes and other fishy products can be bought in large frozen packets here, or they have a fishy pick and mix of takeaway fish and other foods on skewers that you can eat on the go. When we visited in late 2023, prices started from 3,300 KRW per skewer.

Korean fish cakes are a very popular Korean street food snack during the winter months and are made from minced white fish and flour on a skewer, boiled in a fish broth.

There are four Goraesa Fishcake shop locations in Busan – two near BIFF Square and Jagalchi Market, one in Haeundae and one at Bujeon Market.

Goraesa Fishcake Eomuk Busan BIFF Square

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9. Korean Photo Booths

One of the most fun things to do in BIFF Square at night (or any time of day really), Korean selfie booth stores are dotted all around the local area, including Photogray in BIFF Square itself.

Photogray BIFF Square

Selfie kiosks are brightly coloured stores in Busan where you can borrow clothes and fun props (like vegetable hats, big sunglasses, animal paw gloves etc) and then pose for selfies or take photos in booths for a small fee.

Often these Korean selfie photo booths allow you to print out stickers as a lasting reminder – some of the most popular Korean selfie photo booths in addition to BIFF Square are in Seomyeon / Jongpo, Gwangalli and Haeundae.

Read more in our guide to Korean photo booths >

10. BIFF Square Sock stalls

South Korea is known for its incredible sock stalls (particularly in tourist areas like Myeongdong in Seoul).

We’ve scoured market stalls all over South Korea like Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market and we honestly think we’ve found the cheapest sock stalls here in Busan BIFF Square.

sock stall Busan BIFF Square

Whilst most pairs of character socks go for 1,500 to 2,500 KRW a pair depending on where you shop, the stalls here sell cute and colourful cartoon socks for just 1,000 KRW a pair (that is like £0.60 / $0.75 USD).

Socks we spotted included Totoro, Super Mario, Rilakkuma plus Korean instant noodle branded socks. Although none are likely ‘official’ merchandise – the prices will still knock your socks’ off.

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11. Games Centers and Arcades

BIFF Square in Busan is bustling with games arcades like VAMS Family Games Centre.

A very ‘amusing’ thing to do with kids in Busan, most arcades here have at least two floors of amusement arcade games, from air hockey to video games, claw machines to driving simulators.

VAMS Family Games Centre Arcade Busan Biff Square

Open until the early hours, the arcades around BIFF Square are free admission with games charged individually.

There are usually carnival style fairground games where kids (or adults!) can win cuddly toys or plushies by knocking down tins or similar fun games.

VAMS Family Games Centre Arcade Busan
VAMS Family Games Centre Arcade Busan Biff Square

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12. Busan Museum of Movies

A short walk from BIFF Square brings you to the Busan Museum of Movies (BOM), the first ever film exhibition and experience in South Korea.

As the Busan International Film Festival is only held for several weeks a year, this is a year round cultural centre that allows locals and tourists the chance to experience the magic of movie making and K-dramas.

From a time travel train to a chance to edit your own footage, this is ultimate crash course in movie making and enjoy Korean films.

Next door, the Trick Eye Museum is probably more fun for kids, full of immersive and mind boggling optical illusions and photo opportunities.

Book tickets to the Trick Eye Museum and Museum of Movies here with Klook >

13. ARTBOX Busan Gwangbok 1st store

Busan has lots of cool shops and shopping malls but one of our favorite chains, ARTBOX, has a HUGE stall in BIFF Square.

ARTBOX Busan South Korea

ARTBOX is a super cute stationery and gift store stocking all manner of South Korean and Japanese goodies, from Japanese gachapon toys to building block sets, Tomica to Tomy.

ARTBOX is always great to browse or buy in but this one in BIFF Square is particularly good – just make sure you have enough room in your suitcases for all your purchases!

ARTBOX Busan South Korea
ARTBOX Busan South Korea

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14. Arirang Street Food Street (Gukje Market Food Street)

We discovered Gukje Market Food Street quite by chance but it is a Busan institution, with outdoor food stalls operating here for over 50 years.

It is essentially a street of pop-up food stalls manned by old ladies who make delicious dishes like knife-cut noodles (kalguksu), dumplings (mandu), kimbap and Pajeon (Korean pancake).

As you walk down Arirang Street next to Gukje Market, the old ladies beckon you over and frantically wave menus at you (but in a nice way), trying to entice you to their alfresco seating areas – competition is fierce.

15. Gukje Market AKA Nampodong International Market

This market is well known to locals in Busan not only as one of the best markets but also as the star of the eponymous K-movie ‘Gukje Market’.

Gukje Market AKA Nampodong International Market Busan
Gukje Market AKA Nampodong International Market Busan

Open daily from 9am to 7pm, Gukje market is a warren of fabric, hardware and homeware shops and stalls (watch out for the odd errant moped too that zoom through making deliveries).

Gukje Market AKA Nampodong International Market Busan

16. Bupyeong Kkangtong Market AKA Tin Can Alley

Bupyeong Kkangtong Market is located right next to Gukje Market so they are easy to visit together.

Bupyeong Kkangtong Market is more about the food and here you’ll find many Korean snacks, plus seafood, fruit, vegetables and side dishes.

Bupyeong Kkangtong Market AKA Tin Can Alley Busan

The market is open at night for eating and drinking with plastic tables and chairs and multiple mini cart bars set up down the alleys.

Bupyeong Kkangtong Market is also known as Tin Can Alley – ‘Kkangtong’ means ‘tin can’ in Korean and originates from many years ago when the market used to sell canned food from the US Army during the Vietnam War.

Bupyeong Kkangtong Market AKA Tin Can Alley Busan
Bupyeong Kkangtong Market AKA Tin Can Alley Busan

17. Gwangbokdong Food Street

This evening market is located along a long narrow street called Gwangbok-ro 49beon and is chock full of food vendors selling Korean street food, plus new and second-hand clothing stalls.

Korean foods you must try from here include Gun Mandoo (fried dumplings) and Jjukkumi (grilled, stuffed octopus).

Gwangbokdong Food Street Busan
Gwangbokdong Food Street Busan
Gwangbokdong Food Street Busan

18. Galmegi Brewing Nampo

A Busan brewery born and bred, Galmegi Brewing started life almost 10 years ago in 2014 as a small microbrewery pub.

Galmegi Brewing now has several taproom and craft beer bar locations in Busan including Nampo, Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach, and Seomyeon.

Tasting flights of all the Galmegi Brewing craft beers were available – we opted for the Galmegi Brewing stout and IPA; both were impeccable!

Galmegi Brewing is open from 4pm to 1am most days. Detroit style pizza is also available to enjoy in most of the Galmegi Brewery bars dotted around Busan.

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Other things to do in Nampo near BIFF Square, Busan

19. Jagalchi Fish Market

No trip to Busan is complete without a walk around Jagalchi Fish Market, South Korea’s biggest seafood market.

There are dozens of stalls outside all with their own seating areas, vying for your attention and custom – and we are talking seriously fresh (so fresh, you can eat dishes like octopus whilst the tentacles are still wriggling).

Jagalchi Fish Market also allows you to purchase your own fresh fish on the ground floor (or via the stalls outside) and then have it cooked by one of the restaurants on the upper levels.

It is open from 5am until 10pm (closed first and third Tuesday of every month) but individuals stalls opening times may vary.

Tip – there is an incredible roof terrace at Jagalchi Fish Market that is free to visit and offers stunning views of Busan port and the hillside towns and villages.

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20. Busan Diamond Tower and Yongdusan Park

Whilst now dwarfed by the likes of newer skyscrapers like BUSAN X The SKY, one of Busan’s most beloved viewing towers is Busan Diamond Tower, found in Yongdusan Park.

20 meters high and built in the 1970s with extensive renovations in 2021, Busan Diamond Tower is open until 10pm every evening meaning you can get sublime sunset views of Busan port and the nearby hills.

Yongdusan Park is also a nice, quiet place to relax, with ample shade amongst the trees, a small Buddhist temple and a huge flower clock.

Busan Tower tickets are included as part of the Visit Busan Pass.

Our final thing to do in Nampo, Busan

21. Kakao Friends Store

Whilst in the area near to Busan’s BIFF Square, make sure you visit the cute Kakao Friends store at Gwangbok-ro Fashion Street, chock full of charming cartoon character merchandise.

Along with Line Friends, Kakao Friends are the most popular chain of cartoon character stores in South Korea.

You can even visit Ryan Holiday, a dedicated Kakao Friends attraction and mini-theme park at nearby Haeundae Beach; entry is ‘free’ as part of the Visit Busan Pass.

You’ll find all the Kakao Friends across mucho merchandise, both in terms of huge cartoon models or rows upon rows of branded products – everything from phone chargers to kids clothes and even super cute humidifiers.

The two Kakao Friends stores to visit in Busan are at Gwangbok-ro Fashion Street (near BIFF Square) or in the mall at Busan Station.

Nampo Busan accommodation near BIFF Square

Hotel Foret Premier Nampo
Highly rated hotel with modern guest rooms, located minutes walk from Jagalchi Market and BIFF Square. Facilities include an on-site restaurant and massage chairs. Check rates and availabilty for Hotel Foret Premier Nampo >

Nampo Ocean2Heaven Hotel & Spa
Boutique hotel that offers rooms with a patio and sea view. Located around a 5-minute walk from BIFF Square. Check rates and availabilty for Nampo Ocean2Heaven Hotel & Spa >

BIFF Square Opening Hours

Busan’s BIFF Square is open 24 hours and is free to visit – although most shops and stalls close late in the evening.

BIFF Square Address

58-1 Gudeok-ro, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea

Visit Busan Pass

Save money on Busan attractions with the Visit Busan Pass!

Newly launched in 2023 and very similar to the highly successful Discover Seoul pass, the Visit Busan pass provides ‘free’ access to a selection of 30 tourism attractions in Busan for 24/48 hours.

Visit Busan tourist attractions included on the pass include Lotte World Busan, Busan Tower, Skyline Luge Busan, Busan X the Sky, Songdo Cable Car and free hanbok rental.

Incredibly good value for money, read our guide to using the Visit Busan Pass >

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