View a colorful rainbow of painted pastel façades and rooftops of the homes built up and down the foothills along South Korea’s southeastern coast.
You may think you’re looking at an artist’s palette when you gaze down upon Busan’s Gamcheon Culture Village. Hundreds of homes built in stair-step fashion up and down the hillside of this town are painted in dozens of colors. Climb some of the steps to see the homes as well as murals and sculptures throughout the town.
Make an early stop at the information center to purchase a small brochure to help you find some of the village’s highlights. Follow this map like a scavenger hunt and get stamps at multiple notable spots. If you complete the whole route you can turn in your stamps for a pretty postcard. Buy a few extra cards to send to family back home and take your own photos from several elevated viewpoints in the town.
The village has been called the Machu Picchu of Busan and compared to Santorini and Valparaiso for its colorful homes and artwork. Some compare the delightfully painted block houses to a LEGO village. Residents have created exceptional artworks too. Find The Little Prince and his fox friend overlooking the harbor. Look for a spot where hundreds of visitors have mounted colorful “locks of love.” Notice men at work, only to find they are actually life-like sculptures. Fish arrows will guide you to special spots, including a giant fish made of hundreds of individual painted fish arrows.
The recommended tourist route through the city is a walking path. Be prepared for plenty of stairs. As the village is not a museum, but actually a place where people live and work, you are asked to be respectful and quiet as you make your journey. Visit year-round, but do so only during daylight hours.
Reach Gamcheon Culture Village by taking the subway to Toseong Station and then riding a local mini-bus. You’re likely to be among many other visitors loaded with cameras as this is one of Busan’s most popular attractions. Ask at the visitor center for information on the local museum, cafés, restaurants, art and souvenir shops and hands-on craft workshops.