40 Step Culture and Tourism Theme Street (40계단 문화관광테마거리)

The 40-step stairway, located in Jung-gu, Busan, was a hub of transportation and administration during the Korean War. Those who were displaced by the war gathered around the area and made makeshift housing out of sticks and tarps. The place also functioned as a marketplace where residents traded aid goods that were delivered at the nearby port. It was a place to meet family members separated during the war and a place that has since then come to symbolize the sorrow and grief of those living during the Korean War. The place has the deepest significance for the over 100,000 people that were displaced during the war and were subsequently scattered throughout Yeongju-dong Hill, Donggwang-dong and Bosu-dong.

After the Korean War, the area came to be more famous for illegal dealing in dollars. After a song that begins with the line 「A wanderer sitting on 40 steps………」 became popular, thus boosting the popularity of the location. The song described the sorrows of refugee life. During the Korean War, Yeongdo Bridge could be seen from the「40 Steps」. Refugees used to soothe their sorrows by leaning against the steps and look at the bridge in the daytime and the glittering lights of ships anchored at the North Port and think of their hometowns. Such sorrows of refugee life were expressed by a popular song whose background was the「40 Steps」.


  • Junggu Toursim Office: http://etour.bsjunggu.go.kr/01/index.php?code=0101&bcode=view&idx=7400046 ;

  • Visit Korea Website, : http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1000428

1. Getting There

Take line 1 from Busan subway station and alight at Jungang Station.

The 40 Step cultural and Tourism street (40SCTS) is just a walk away from the Jungang Station. If you are the type who enjoys starting a walk with pastry and coffee, then do start from exit 13 and 15. You will find a few cafes at this end of the 40SCTS.

2. Area Information

3. Moving Around

There are 3 main areas for photography moments (A, B, C). This area, like most parts of Busan is built on inclined lane, so you may wish to consider if you prefer a upslope walk or downslope. I have chosen the above route, where I do a fun walk up a spiral staircase before making a downward trip along the streets. Here's an album I collated in 2014.

Historical information were collated from a few sources and supplemented with what I picked up when I visited the locations. You will find that the synopsis of the sculptures at 40SCTTS.

With thanks to references from:

  • Junggu Toursim Office: http://etour.bsjunggu.go.kr/01/index.php?code=0101&bcode=view&idx=7400046 ;

  • Visit Korea Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1000428

  • Trip advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/ShowUserReviews-g297884-d3805377-r201145876-40_step_Culture_Tourism_Theme_Street-Busan.html

4. Meal Options

Eat the Jagachi Market or Gukje Market, which are just 1-2 stations away. If you must sit in for tea, goto Ediya Coffee or Paris Baguette. Refer to the links given below.

Related links

5. Contact me!

If you have question, you may contact me via online form.

Remember to subscribe to my mailing list to receive key updates on this website.

If you are a disqus user, you may also drop your comments here.

#Busan #CultureImmersionLocalMarketCommnunities

You Might Also Like: