Many ways to have happy holidays in Busan
Gwangbok-ro is already a very popular destination throughout the year. Come Christmas time, however, it becomes even more busy as the Busan Christmas Tree Culture Festival brings throngs of visitors.
While snowfall any time of year is rare in our southern city, that does not mean Busan does not get into the proper Christmas spirit. A number of fun events will jingle all the way to Dec. 25 and beyond, including the annual Christmas Tree festivals held along Gwangbok-ro in Nampo-dong (neighborhood), in Haeundae and more. Oh, what fun it is to be in Busan in December!
■ Busan Christmas Tree Culture Festival (Dec. 1-Jan. 6)
Perhaps the biggest of Busan's Christmas celebrations is its annual Christmas Tree Culture Festival, held along Gwangbok-ro, which links Nampo-dong to Gukje Market. Three sections of fabulous Christmas tree decorations will shine along the busy road, starting from exit 7 of Nampo Station. Additional Christmas lights will be installed at Yongdusan Park.
The centerpiece of the event every year is absolutely the 20-meter Christmas tree located in the center of the three-way Gwangbok-ro intersection. An evening performance will be held every night in front of it during the festival. A variety of photo areas, magic and music performances will also be available to provide additional entertainment.
-How to get there: Nampo Station (Metro line 1), exit 7.
■ Haeundae Lighting Festival (Dec. 1-Jan. 31)
People walk through a light tunnel in Haeundae.
The big tree in Nampo-dong isn't the only place where Christmas will be celebrated in Busan. Haeundae Beach will be decorated with a massive Christmas tree of its own as part of the fifth-annual Haeundae Lighting Festival. It all begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 with the special lighting ceremony on Gunam-ro.
More than a kilometer of spectacular holiday lights will stretch along Gunam-ro, the wide road leading from the metro station to Haeundae Beach. A special light show will feature 10 different themes including "milky way," "light waves," "moon sculptures" and more.
An 18-meter Christmas tree will be set up at the event square on Hae-undae Beach. Three performance areas along Gunam-ro will entertain everyday with acoustic and indie jazz, break dancers, magic shows and more.
-How to get there: Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exits 1, 3 or 5.
■ Illumia Light Festival (through Dec. 31)
Let's Run Park, known primarily for its horse racing events, will hold the "Illumia Light Festival" through the end of the year at its western Busan location. Various horse-related themes will be featured in conjunction with lovely light sculptures that will provide entertainment for families as well as couples looking to get into the holiday spirit.
-Festival hours: 6 p.m. to midnight; last entry at 10:30 p.m.
-Tickets: 11,000 won Monday through Thursday, 12,000 won Friday through Sunday
-How to get there: Hadan Station (Metro line 1), exit 3. Take bus 220 and get off at the Let's Run Park entrance bus stop.
-Extra note: There will also be a massive Christmas tree event in front of Youngkwang book store (near Seomyeon Station, exit 9 on Metro lines 1 and 2), Busanjin-gu (district) throughout December. Splendid performances will be presented every night to celebrate the Christmas sea-son.