Bucheon is the second most densely populated city in South Korea after Seoul, and as a result, administrative districts were abolished in July 2016 in favor of providing greater public service in community centers.
Major manufacturing operations are located in the northern areas of the city, while the areas in the south where Seoul Subway Line 7 and Seoul Subway Line 1 pass are dense commercial and residential areas.
In 1914, outer areas of Incheon City (including former city centre of Gwangyo-dong of old Incheon) and Bupyeong County were joined together under the name Bucheon. In 1931, Gyenam township (myeon, 계남면) was renamed Sosa township (myeon, 소사면). In 1936, the westernmost part of Bucheon which were part of old Incheon (including the former Incheon city centre of Gwangyo-dong) was incorporated in Incheon City and in 1940 some other part of old Incheon belonging to Bucheon Country was incorporated in Incheon again while part of old Bupyeong was annexed to Incheon at the same time. In 1941, Sosa township promoted to eup (town) status.
January 1, 1963, when the great expansion of Seoul was implemented, several districts were combined to Yeongdeungpo-gu (영등포구) of Seoul Metropolitan City as below.
In 1988, two districts were established. Bucheon was divided into Nam-gu ("south", 남구) and Jung-gu ("central", 중구) along the Seoul-Incheon trainline. Present day Sosa-gu was formerly called Nam-gu.
In 1993, Bucheon's Jung-gu was separated into two further districts, forming Wonmi (원미구) and Ojeong (오정구) Districts.
The three districts were abolished in July 2016 as Bucheon decided to become a unified city without any administrative districts.
Bucheon promotes itself as the cultural centre of the Seoul Metropolitan Area. The Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra is located there, an annual international film festival is held in July called the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival or BiFan, and an annual international bboy competition called Bucheon Bboy International Championship (BBIC) held by Jinjo Crew since 2016.
Bucheon's institutions of higher education include: Bucheon College, Yuhan College, Catholic University of Korea Bucheon campus, and Seoul Theological University.
There are a number of markets in Bucheon, including the traditional market that runs along the south side of Bucheon Station, and a smaller traditional market that is located between Songnae Station and Jungdong Station. Bucheon Station has an underground shopping center, a small Starbucks, and an E-Mart with a small Kyobo Book store on the top floor.
There are many department stores. In the Jung Dong area there is a Lotte Department store (formally GS Square) with a HomePlus located just across the street. On the Jung Dong and Sang Dong cusp there are a number of shopping places including the Hyundai Department Store, E-mart, and UPLEX (formally known as "The Mall"). UPLEX has a CGV movie cinema. The main Bucheon intercity bus terminal is attached to a shopping center called Newcore and it has a grocery store called Kim's Club located on the ground floor. There is also a movie cinema called Primus (프리머스) located in Newcore. There is also a large HomePlus located beside Newcore with a Save Zone shopping center opposite it.
Songnae Station has a Toona Shopping Mall, which mostly sells clothing. Yeokgok Station has a Homeplus. There is also a Homeplus in Northern Bucheon, nearer to Bucheon Stadium.
The busiest areas for bars and restaurants are located by Bucheon Station, Lotte Department Store (formally GS Square), and Hyundai Department Store.
There are a few foreign food restaurants and bars in Bucheon such as Nicolia (located in Jung Dong) and 2 bars near Hyundai department store called The Park and Rhythm and Booze. Both bars are popular with the local expat community and both have events to celebrate various foreign holidays. They both have pool tables and dart boards, live music, DJs, and sports events on TV.
There are also three Indian and Nepalese restaurants; Masala and Tandoor are located in Jung Dong near Hyundai Department Store and Annapurna located near Bucheon Station. And there are several restaurants which serve steaks, pasta and different kinds of western food in Jung Dong area. There are Ashley, Outback steak house, VIPs (located in the Uplex mall.) and seafood restaurant (near Newcore).
There are few local cafe or restaurants providing English menu, or clerks who can speak English. one of them is Cafe Mosaic, located near Bucheon University, famous with hand-made pizza and burgers with various drinks.
Bucheon has an extensive bus network of local and area buses that connect the city to Seoul, Incheon and other surrounding cities. Bucheon Bus Terminal has buses connecting to different cities and provinces throughout the country. The Seoul Subway System Line 1 and Line 7 runs through Bucheon. There are currently five stations in Seoul Subway Line Line 1 within Bucheon City, including Bucheon Station and Songnae Station, and seven stations in the Line 7, including Kkachiul, Bucheon Stadium, Chunui, Sinjung-dong, Bucheon City Hall, and Sang-dong, which continues through Incheon ending at Bupyeong Station.
Bucheon has currently two subway lines under construction. The Sosa-Wonsi Line will open in 2018, connecting Bucheon's Sosa Station of the Line 1 with Ansan's Choji Station of Seoul Subway Line 4. The Daegok-Sosa Line will open in 2021, connecting with the Sosa-Wonsi Line as a single line. It will provide subway service in the northern area of Bucheon and connect the city to Gimpo International Airport Station where transfers to Seoul Subway Line 5, Seoul Subway Line 9, AREX and Gimpo Goldline will be available. The line terminates at Daegok Station in Goyang, which offers a transfer to Seoul Subway Line 3 and Gyeongui-Jungang Line.
In addition, the city is getting a completely new subway line in the future which will connect Bucheon's northern Wonjeong area to Hongik University Station.
There are a number of churches in Bucheon, including a Full Gospel Church near Lotte Department Store and the English-language "Bucheon Onnuri English Ministry" (BOEM) in Sang Dong. There is also a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located a short ways north of Bucheon Station. Evangelism and mission is a key expression of Christianity in the Bucheon churches.Choi Sang-hyun, illustrator and character designer, was born and resides in Bucheon.
Byun Baek-hyun, singer and actor (EXO)
Kim Seol-hyun, singer and actress (AOA)
Lee Ha-yi, singer
Kim Hee-jung, actress
Ryu Soo-young, actor
Go Min-soo, singer (Up10tion)
Moonbyul, singer/rapper (Mamamoo)
Kim Yuna; Figure Skater (2010 Olympic Gold medalist for Ladies Single at Vancouver)(2014 Olympic Silver medalist for Ladies Single at Sochi)
Bucheon is home to the K League Challenge football team Bucheon FC 1995.
Bucheon Bboy International Championships (BBIC) is an annual bboy competition held by the famous Bucheon-based crew named Jinjo Crew.
BBIC 2016 was held in July 22–24, 2016.
Crews in bold won their respective battles.
BBIC 2017 will be held in September 22–24, 2017. The guests are: Squadron
Red Bull BC One All Stars
Okayama, Japan; since 1981.
Harbin, China; since 1995.
Kawasaki, Japan; since 1996.
Khabarovsk, Russia; since 2002.
Valenzuela City, Philippines; since 2006.
Bakersfield, United States; since 2007.