Life in Busan: What It’s Like to Live in Centum City

Looking for an area to live in Busan? Our new series looks at locals in Busan giving the inside scoop on what goes on in their neighborhood.

This month, Andrew Murphy gives us a look at Centum City.

About the area

Built on the former Suyeong Airport site, the upscale Centum City in Haeundae-gu is a multi-purpose commercial and residential area that houses some of the most popular tourist spots in the city.

With Shinsegae Department Store and Lotte Department Store, the area features great shopping, lots of local and foreign restaurants, BEXCO, Busan Cinema Center, parks, commercial businesses, and lots of high-rise apartment buildings.

The basics

Name: Andrew Murphy

Occupation: Educator

Where are you originally from? New Brunswick, Canada

What area do you live in? Centum, Haeundae-gu

How long have you lived there? 9 years.

Why did you choose there? Originally, we moved to the area so my wife could set up a business but ultimately stayed in the area because it is a great place to raise a family.

APEC Naru Park in Centum City

The Scene

What kind of people would you say tend to live in your area? It’s mostly a mix of young and old professional Koreans and their families.

Do you know any of the neighbors or anyone in your building complex? Our family has many friends in on our complex. We have two kids ages 5 and 3 after they started daycare and kindergarten we definitely met a lot more people. A lot of people in our complex also speak English, so that definitely helps.

What are the best local spots in your area? The Centum area has plenty of Busan landmarks, such as Shinsegae, Busan Cinema Center, Naru Riverside Park, and BEXCO. All of these places are less than a 15-minute walk from my door.

What kind of stores are within a 5-minute walk to your front door? Supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, clothing shops, and convenience stores.

What’s the view like from your living room? Our living room looks out on to the 4th floor of our complex, which has playgrounds, walking track, badminton courts, and a half pipe. In the background is the Suyoung River and some mountains.

Are there any restaurants or shops nearby in case you need a taste of home? There are a few pizza and burger shops, but I guess your best bet would be to walk to the department stores.

Any recommendations on local restaurants in your area? On the first floor of the Centum Cube building is a place called Hasookjjib, a Korean BBQ spot with plenty of outdoor seating and great staff.

Are there any grocery shopping places nearby? Yes. There are two grocery stores in our complex.

Where could you pop out for a quick drink? There are a few places but most are food and drink spots. ReOne is a great local spot for beers.

Is it a good area for kids to grow up in? Our complex is fantastic. Playgrounds and parks and even on a rainy day you can head down to the Cinema Center and play outside under the roof.

Any good hangout spots to recommend? Naru Riverside Park is a great spot to relax. The outdoor area at the Cinema Center is great if you are into skateboarding or longboarding.

What are some of the stranger things you’ve seen in the area? It’s always interesting to see some presidential motorcades rolling through the area.

How expensive would you rate the area? Centum is a bit expensive but I think when you factor in everything you get in the area, it doesn’t feel as expensive.

Would you recommend your area to live in? 100%.

If there was any other place I could live in Busan it would be: Anywhere in Haeundae-gu.

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