One of Busan’s most energetic areas centers on this neighborhood that started a major international film festival. Shop, dine and view celebrity handprints.
BIFF Square is one of Busan’s unique highlights that makes the city popular for international tourism. Starting more than 20 years ago as the home for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), the area has continued development as a center for Korea’s popular film industry as well as shopping, dining, nightlife and eclectic attractions.
The square is actually a street stretching 1,400 feet (430 meters) from Nampo-dong’s Buyeong Theater to an overpass in Chungmu-dong. Lining the street are numerous theaters as well as shops, eating establishments and other leisure spots. Stroll along the street to see the bright lights and feel the electric energy of Busan’s youthful population.
Shops include Korean boutiques and department stores as well as some global brands. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, walk a few blocks north to the Gukje Market, which carries everything from produce to industrial products.
Eating foods from BIFF Square street vendors is a popular pastime. Try one of the local favorites, tteokbokki, or spicy Korean rice cakes. Follow that snack with a dessert of hotteok, a pancake with a sweet filling.
Gaze down at the sidewalk to see handprints of famous motion picture stars. You will see the expected notable Asian actors and directors, but you can also find Western celebrities. Look for Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe and Oliver Stone, among others.
If you want to attend the Busan International Film Festival, come to the city in autumn. Since 2011, much of the festival itself is now held in the Busan Cinema Center in Centum City, a fascinating cantilevered building. However, the area around BIFF Square is still full of lights and action.
To get to BIFF Square, take the Busan Subway to Jagalchi Station in the Nampo-dong, Jung-gu area of the city. The ride will be about 40 minutes from central Busan or an hour from Gimhae International Airport.