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Museums - Seoul

Museums - Seoul

Museums abound in Seoul and are generally inexpensive. Some of them are private, while many others are public and offer free or nearly free admission. The private museums feature items belonging to personnal collectors. More and more of them have information in languages other than Korean, including English, Chinese and Japanese. Some of the following museums also offer e-tours from their websites.

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Bank of Korean Monetary Museum is all about money. Visitors can use the money checking machine to make sure that not of their cash is counterfeit.  Admission is free. Open from 10 to 5, Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Getting there: Take Subway line 4 to Heohyeon Station (Stop 425) and go out Exit 7. Tel: 02-759-4881 

Baekje Museum focuses on Seoul's period as capital of the Baekje kingdom, between 18BC and 475AD. The museum introduces objects from Baekje, as well as Goguryeo and Silla, other kingdoms that later occupied the hotly contested Hangang River basin. The striking new museum building both echoes the contours of the Baekje-era Mongchontoseong Earthen Fortress and resembles a seaborne ship---a reference to the importance to Baekje of trade with neighboring China and Japan. Free admission except for some special exhibitions. Open from 9AM to 9PM weekdays/9AM to 7PM weekends & holidays. Closed Mondays. Address :71 Wiryeseongdaero(88-20, Bangi-dong), Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea,138-050. Getting there: Mongchontoseong Station, Line 8, Stop 813, Exit 1. Walk 650 m (10-15 min). Or, take Line 5 to Olympic Park station, Stop P550. Go out Exit 3, and walk down about 1000m towards Olympic Park 2nd South Gate (15-20 min walk). Tel: 02-2152-5800 or 5811. 

Bukchon Museum Old Fragrance  displays items that have been collected from Bukchon, a historical village that was once home to the nation’s nobility. Visitors are allowed to touch items on display to better be able to imagine life in Korea before industrialization. Groups of 10-15 people may be able to make old-fashioned toys or take part in making ssukgaetteok (mugwort rice cake). Admission: Adults W5,000/Teens W3,000/Children Free. Info/Group Reservations: 02-736-3957, 3968 (Korean only – same with website). Directions:  Anguk Station, Seoul Subway line 3, Stop 328, Exit #1. Turn left at Pungmun Women\'s High School. Walk towards Jeongdok Library .Walk along the Silkroad Museum . Or from Gyeongbokgung Station, Seoul Subway line 3, Stop 327, Exit #5. Get on local bus #11 and get off at Samcheong-dong Office. You can also take bus #11 at Gwanghwamun Station, Seoul Subway line 5, Stop 533, Exit #2.

Cheong Wa Dae Sarangchae (Presidential Museum) opened to the public in January 2010. On the first floor of the ‘Cheong Wa Dae Sarangchae,’ are the National Public Information Hall and the Seoul Public Information Hall. Among the facilities on the second floor are the Presidential Hall, the National Administration Public Information Hall and G20 Rest Stop. Address: Hyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea. Hours of operation: 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. (closed Mondays). Info: 02-723-0300 (may be Korean-only speaker).

Funique House (Museum)  offers exhibitions visitors (children and adults) can touch and also guess at the science behind objects. Funique House has two locations: Seoul and Paju (Gyeonggi-do) Hours: Seoul 10:00-18:00 Tues-Sunday and in Paju 10:00-18:00 Weekdays and 9:30-18:00 Weekends. Last admission 17:00 in both locations.  Closed Mondays. Info: 02-792-8500 (Seoul) and 031-956-2211 (Paju). Ask for English speaker. Website in Korean only. Admission: (Seoul) over 8 y-o-a W8,000 / 3-7 y-o-a W7,000 / under 36 months free – must be accompanied by an adult. (Paju) over 8 W6,000/ 5-7 W5,000 / under 4 free. Directions: (Seoul) Samgakji Station, Lines 4 & 6, Stops 428 & 628, Exit #12. Funique house is on the grounds of the Korea War Memorial. (Paju) Funique House is located in the Paju Camp, Gyueonggi English Village. To get there, you can catch a bus at either Hapjeong Station (Stop 238 or 622). Bus #200 (comes ~ every 40 minutes) or #2200 (comes every ~60 minutes). Get off at Paju English Village. Another option is bus #900 from Juyeop Station, Stop 311 (comes ~ every 15 minutes).

Kimchi Field Museum is all about kimchi and is located not far from the COEX Mall. The Kimchi Museum has reference rooms, kimchi-tasting rooms (two different kinds of kimchi each month), and a store where visitors can purchase quality kimchi.  Hours: 10:00-18:00. Closed every Monday, Seollal, Chuseok, Christmas, New Year's Day. Admission: W3,000 Adults / W1,000 Children. Directions: Seoul Subway Line 2, Samseong Station, Stop 219, Exit #6, connected to COEX Mall. Walk through the mall towards COEX Aquarium and MegaBox Movie Theater, then take the escalator next to the ASEM Pharmacy down to the second basement level.

Museum of Natural History is located in Soedaemun-gu. The museum offers English Tours Saturday evenings - meet at 6:30 for one-hour tour beginning at 7PM - as well as other special programs for visitors and foreign residents. Hours: Mar - Oct 09:00 - 18:00/Nov - Feb 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mondays - if Monday is a holiday, closed the next day. Also closed 1 January , Chuseok and Seollal. Admission: W3,000 Adults /W1,000 Children. Directions: From Sinchon Station, Line 2, Stop 240, Exit 1 (Donggyo-dong Direction); take Bus #110 or #7720 or  Exit #3 (In front of Sincheon Rotary): take Seodaemun Bus #03. From Hongje Station, Line 3, Stop 324, Exit 3; take Bus # 7738 or #7739 and get off at Daelim APT.

National Folk Museum located inside Gyeongbbok Palace, the museum offers examples of the different periods of Korean history, from pre-history through the Japanese occupation. In addition to actual relics, replicas and paintings show various aspects of traditional life, including many ceremonies and festivals. Tours: A Volunteer's Your Guide for Visitors program has an English speaking guide available for tours every Thursday and Saturday at 10:00-11:10, 11:30-12:30, 14:00-15:10, and 15:40-16:50. Tape recorded guided tour can be rented for W2,000. 
Hours: March - April and September-October : 09:00-18:00 / November - February: 09:00-17:00. Last admission one hour before closing. As of 01 October 2016, open 7 days a week (until then closed Tuesdays and 1 January).  Free admission (for admission to Gyeongok Palace tickets at the Palace ticket booth). Parking available only at Gyeongokgung (Palace) parking lot. Getting there: Subway line 3, Anguk Station, Stop 328, Exit 1. More directions. Address: 37 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

National Museum of Korea is located at 137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 140-026 and provides information on Korea's 5000 years of history. The museum offers some guided tours in English. Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Tue-Thur-Fri) 9:00-21:00 (Wed-Sat) 9:00-17:00 (Sun). As of 01 October 2016, open 7 days a week (until then, closed Mondays except holidays).  Admission free to main exhibition hall. Admission fee may be charged for some special exhibitions. Children's Museum, free admission, but ticket required. Directions:  Ichon Station (Seoul Subway Line 4, Stop 430 and Gyeongui-Jungang Line, Stop K111), Exit 2. Take the underpass - Bakmulgwan Nadeul-gil or Moving Museum.

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National Museum of Korean Contemporary History is located in downtown Seoul, next to the US Embassy - Sejong-ro 82-1 Jongno-gu, Seoul. Opened on 26 December 2012, this museum is the first national museum dedicated exclusively to Korea's contemporary history. It covers the period from the year 1876, when the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) opened its doors to the outer world, to present day. Visitors can view about 1,500 items that can give a glimpse of Korea's history of development in the political, social, economic and cultural fields. There are six exhibition rooms, storage facilities, a seminar room, a lecture room, a cafe and a shop in the eight-story museum building constructed through the remodeling of the former Culture Ministry building. Hours:9:00–18:00 (Last admission 17:00). Closed Mondays. Free admission.  Tour guide system in 20 different languages, starting Jan 2019. Groups of 5 or more should reserve in advance by calling 02-3703-9250. Directions: Gwanghwamun Subway Station (Line 5, Stop 533), 250m from exit 2 - walk about 5 min. Website has information in English.

National Palace Museum of Korea is  a royal museum exhibiting royal artifacts and related materials of the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910). Hours: Weekdays 9:00-18:00 (Final admission at 17:00). Weekends & Holidays 9:00-19:00 (Final admission at 18:00). Closed on Mondays. English guided tours at 15:00 start at the Information Desk on the 2nd Floor.  Free admission. Directions: Exit No. 5 of Gyeongbokgung Station, Line3, Stop 327 or Exit No. 1 of Gwanghwamun Station, Line 5, Stop 533.

Paper Museum - Jong Ie Nara offers visitors a glimpse into the history of paper art in Korea through its collection of works ranging from traditional artifacts made with rice paper to modern paper art. The Small Exhibition Hall features paper sculptures for children and students.The museum also runs various art programs for all age groups, such as the “origami class for children” and “rice paper craft,” and teacher training programs in various genres related to paper art.Getting there: Dongguk University, line 3, stop 332, exit 3. Info: 02-2264-4560. Hours: Mon. ~ Sat.: 9:30-18:00 (No admittance after 17:30). Closed Sundays and national holidays. Free admission except for some special exhibitions.

Seodaemun Prison History Hall is located near Dongnimmun (Independence Gate) and was created in the mid 1990's to pay tribute to those who gave their lives fighting for Independence during the Japanese Colonial period (1910-1945). Seodaemun Prison is one of the places where independence fighters were held, tortured and executed. Location: Dongnimmun subway station (Line 3, Stop 326). Hours: 9:30 to 18:00 March to Oct / 9:30 to 17:00 Nov. to Feb. Admission: W1500 Adults/ W1000 Youth / W500 chldren 7-12 / Free for seniors and children under 7. Events to mark the anniversaries of the March 1, 1919 Independence Movement are held here. 

Seoul City Wall Museum  (Hanyangdoseong Museum) is located inside Dongdaemun City Wall Park. It's focus is on the history of Seoul and on Seoul City Wall (Hanyangdoseong) Address: 283 Yulgok-ro, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Jongno-gu. Hours: 9-19:00 weekdays / weekends - National holidays 9-19:00 March-October or 8-18:00 Nov-Feb. Tel: 02-724-0243. Directions: Dongdaemun Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 and 4), Exit 1.

Seoul Museum of History displays exhibits from  the prehistoric era to modern Seoul. The landscape of Seoul is recreated when it was the capital of the Joseon Dynasty while another exhibit showcases the daily life of Seoulites.The 1st floor offers a Kids Corner playroom. Hours:  (Mar - Oct) Tue - Fri: 09:00 - 21:00 and Weekend & Holidays: 09:00 - 19:00 / ( Nov - Feb) Tue - Fri: 09:00 - 21:00, Weekend & Holidays: 09:00 - 18:00.  Last admission is 1 hour before closing. Closed Jan 1st and Mondays. U-Exhibit rental in English available. Free admission. Directions: Take subway Line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station, Stop 533. Go out Exit 7 and walk 7 min. The museum is on the opposite corner from the Man with Hammer sculpture. It is the building with the Streetcar with Mother and Children. Map. 

Seoul National Science Museum is a an interesting place to visit for both adults and children. It offers regular programs for students and special exhibitions tailored for a wide range of age groups. It is located near exit 4 of Hyehwa Station on subway line 4. Tel: 02-3668-2200. Map on website.  The website offers information in English.
Green Science Experience Zone - Open from 10:00-16:00/Closed 12:00-13:00. Free of charge - participation by order of arrival. Activity:  Making Rubber balls, Pinwheels, Toy ducks, Toy monkeys and Walking toys with easily found materials like papercups, wood chopsticks and straws.

Tea Museum (Beautiful Tea Museum) exhibits porcelain artwork by young ceramists. It also offers a large variety of world tea from Korea, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, India, Europe and more, totaling 130 types of tea. The museum not only exhibits tea, but it also provides a café for visitors to relax and enjoy the taste of their selected tea. Free admission. Hours 10:00 to 22:00. Info: 02-735-6678 (ask for English speaker). Directions: Jonggak Station, Line 1, Stop 131,Exit #3. Walk along Insadong. Right before the Insa crossroads, turn left at Yechon and walk towards Lee Cho Pil Bang (About a 10-minute walk). Website Korean only.

Totoman offers adults and children a view of life in Korea from the 1960’s and 1970’s. The museum focuses on objects of every day life that have gone out of fashion and/or been forgotten. Hours: 10:00-21:00. Admission W1,000. Info: 02-725-1756 (Korean). Directions: From Jonggak Station, subway line 1, Stop 131, Exit #3, walk down straight in the direction of Geumgang Shoes towards Insadong. Walk straight along Insadong . Totoman is across from Ssamzzigil on the 2nd Floor, a little before reaching the Foreign Tourists Information Center.

War & Women's Human Rights Museum is located in Mapo-gu. Opened in 2012, the museum exhibits the history of Korean Comfort Women who suffered during WWII. A display on sexual slavery in Africa and Asia is organized on the first floor as well.  Directions: Exit 7 from Sinchon Station (green line 2, stop 240) and cross the street.  Walk for 10 minutes and the museum is on your right on the second floor. Address: 20, World cup buk-ro 11 gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, 121-843. Tel: 02-365-4016/ 02-392-5252. Hours: Tues-Thu-Fri-Sat 1pm-6pm and Wed 3pm-6pm (opens after protest in front of Japanese Embassy). Closed Sun/Mon. Admission: Adults W3,000 / Teens W2,000 / Children and Over 65 W1,000. There are audio tours available in English.  

War Memorial of Korea located near Itaewon offers something of interest for everyone. This is the world’s largest war memorial displaying more than 8,000 war relic and weapons. Hours: 9:00 to 18:00. Closed Mondays (if Monday is a holiday, the museum will close the following day). Admission: free.  Directions: 10 minutes walk from Namyong Station, Line 1, Stop 134 or 5 minute walk from Samgakji Station, Line 4-6, Stop 428-628, Exit 12. Address: 29 Itaewon-ro  Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Tel: 02-709-3139.

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Image: National Folk Museum 



Last Updated on 2022-02-25

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