You might have heard of the prestigious Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) before, but what exactly is BIFF Square? I couldn’t really wrap my head around the idea of this being a tourist destination, and it took some searching from KTO to find out:
Busan’s modern movie district was originally little more than a pair of cinemas that were built following Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule over half a century ago. However, major renovations took place ahead of the first Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), and the newly transformed district was named BIFF Square on August 14, 1996.
Having been remade into a cultural tourist attraction promoting the advancement of Korea’s film industry, BIFF Square has contributed to Busan’s newfound status as an international cultural tourist city.
The 428 meter-long street… was divided into “Star Street” and “Festival Street,” and on the eve of the festival each year the “BIFF Square Ground Opening” is held on the street. During the ceremony, events such as the hand printing of famous movie celebrities and Nunggot Jeomdeung (snow-flower lighting) take place.
So basically an area that is used to promote Korea’s film industry (btw, if you haven’t watched any Korean movies before, I totally recommend that you catch one someday).
Strangely enough, most of what you find here in BIFF Square has nothing much to do with the movies, but has evolved into a shopping and eating paradise for young people and tourists. Here, you will find what is arguably the most famous hotteok in Busan, and probably the whole of Korea: Ssiat Hotteok. I forgot to take a photo of the stall, but here’s one that a helpful traveller uploaded on TripAdvisor:
So here’s the food:
I think it cost us 2000 won per hotteok? This particular hotteok stall is really very famous, and you can easily spot it from afar thanks to the long queues that never seem to end – even the locals love this.
We also got ourselves a < 1 liter cup of tea from 1 Liter Coffee (so ironic, I know) to eat & drink while we walked around BIFF.
Most of the shops around this area are F&B establishments: for example, we headed to Hong Kong Banjeom 0410+ and King Kong Budae here for lunch and dinner respectively. There is also a cute shop that has a lot of gacha machines, and we got ourselves miniature jumping pirates!! Yes, the kind that they always play on variety shows like Running Man!
Some other shops you can find in BIFF are mostly just fashion (shoes, clothes) that you can also find in other parts of Busan, and certainly Seoul.
Of course, you can’t forget to look out for these:
A lot of them are scattered all over the grounds of BIFF Square, so you may spot a few from famous directors, actors, and your idols!
Address: 20, BIFF Gwangjang-ro, Jung-gu, Busan