By the early 2000s, this traditional market in the city centre was nearly shuttered. As part of the 2008 Gwangju Biennale, artists added colourful murals, giving people a new reason to visit. Today, more than 50 artists also have their studios here, and there are cafes and galleries along with the traditional stalls.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gwangju attractions

1. Asian Culture Complex


This arts complex houses galleries, performance spaces, a library and plazas – all designed to boost Gwangju's capital in the art world. It's located on…

2. Mudeungsan National Park

2.55 MILES

Overlooking Gwangju, Mudeungsan National Park is a gorgeous green mountain range with a spiderweb of well-signed trails leading to the peak, Cheonwang…

3. Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall

2.61 MILES

Located in the Jung-oe Park Culture Center, this 8100-sq-metre exhibition hall is the setting for the Gwangju Biennale (and in odd-numbered years, the…

4. Gwangju Folk Museum

2.73 MILES

Learn about traditional life in Jeollanam-do through the somewhat retro-looking dioramas and models here, which cover everything from kimchi and clothing…

5. Gwangju Museum of Art

2.76 MILES

Managed by the same folks who put on the Gwangju Biennale, this art museum shows up-and-coming Korean artists along with more established local names,…

6. Gwangju National Museum

3.11 MILES

The Gwangju National Museum’s collection traces the region’s cultural history, from its prehistorical beginnings through the Joseon period (1392–1897),…

7. May 18th National Cemetery

5.86 MILES

Opened in 1997, this is the final burial place for victims of the May 18 Democratic Uprising of 1980, one of the most tragic incidents in modern Korean…

8. Changpyeong Slow City

8.03 MILES

South Korea may have developed at a breakneck speed, but it was also the first Asian country to sign on to the international cittaslow, or 'slow city'…