Guides

Busan Shopping Guide - Find where and what to shop and buy

Hotel search

Busan is a shopper's heaven, with retailers continually rubbing their hands together as tens of thousands of cashed-up South Koreans arrive in town with holiday money to spend. The central area of Busan is made up of three separate shopping precincts, but they are all so large they have joined together to form one monolithic shopping world.

Alternatively, the seafaring nature of Busan is represented in the finest fish market in South Korea and there are plenty of other hidden street markets selling everything from jade to classic Russian literature, bound in leather and written in Russian.

The shops along the upscale beach areas are strictly for those visitors who don't bother looking at price tags, but in general retail is good value in Busan and the towers of downtown stock virtually everything there is to buy.

Gukye, Gwangbok-dong and Nampo-dong markets

These are the three major Busan retail areas and they have grown so large that they have formed a kind of retail conurbation. Elevated pedestrian walkways link all the shopping malls and department stores and though pretty much everything can be bought here, there's a youth angle to a lot of the merchandise, and the clientele.

Ja-galchi Fish Market

This is one of the things that Busan is famous for. On the ground floor, millions of fish and other sea creatures freshly caught – some are still alive – are on display and this alone is an impressive sight. On the first floor, visitors can choose what they'd like to eat and have it cooked to order. It's on subway line 2, at Ja-Galchi Station. 

Lotte Department Store

A replica of Rome's Trevi Fountain greets visitors to the Lotte Department Store, at the Seomyeon subway stop. A great value food court in the basement disguises the sky high prices of the luxury goods that occupy the many floors above. 

Ggangtong Market

Rich in history and the hub-bub of early morning trade, Ggangtong Market offers a rich slice of Busan history as well as an active market that specializes in fresh produce and seafood. Running off this market is Book Street, which sells countless kinds of exactly what it is named after. 

Busan shopping tips

Visitors don't need to bother with the Choryang Foreigner Shopping Area unless they have their heart set on an overpriced bottle of Russian vodka or other such incongruous item placed here for the benefit of foreigners. Prices in all retail stores and department stores are fixed but at sale times further discounts can be arranged. Credit cards are accepted universally, except at the fish markets where cash is the only game in town. 

Find more information about Busan and hotels in the area:
Busan hotels | Korea hotels