If at any point you feel like you want to experience the culture of Korea in a more controlled setting, the National Museum of Korea is the perfect place to expand your understanding of both Korea and its neighboring countries. Feel free to take your time exploring the museum grounds, as there is lots to see and you won’t want to miss a single moment.
The National Museum of Korea is located 2.7 km from Chung-Ang University’s Seoul campus and about 1.5 km from Yongsan station. It is the largest museum in Korea with galleries showcasing artifacts from ancient to modern times. Near the museum is Yongsan Family Park, which is a natural habitat for various species of birds. There’s 80 different kinds of trees and a small pond that I think would be a great focus for any aspiring painters who are in need of some inspiration. The War Memorial of Korea is also nearby and located next to Samgakji station.
The museum is home to approximately 15,000 display pieces in addition to many cultural and educational events that can be appreciated by visitors of all ages.
The third floor gallery consists of various sculptures and crafts as well as pieces from all over Asia:
- Buddhist sculpture, Metal arts, White Porcelain, etc.
- Indonesian art, Central Asian art, Chinese art, Nangnang remains, Sinan Seabed relics, and Japanese art
The second floor contains the Calligraphy and Painting Gallery along with the Donations Gallery. These galleries include:
- Calligraphy, Buddhist paintings, Woodworking
- Invaluable cultural assets and items donated by various contributors such as Yi Hong-Geun, Bak Byeong-Rye, and other generous donors
The first floor contains the Prehistoric and Ancient History Gallery and the Medieval and Early Modern History Gallery. If you explore these galleries, you can learn about:
- Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Early Iron Age, Proto-Three Kingdoms, Unified Silla, and Balhae
- Hangul, Prints, Documents, Kings and their reign, traditional thought, and foreign relations
There are handicapped facilities such as wheelchair ramps, and free wheelchair rental. There is also sign language interpretation services along with video and audio guide rentals. Braille maps are readily available for those that need them, and foreign language interpretation services are available in English, French, Japanese, and Chinese.
Admission is free for all permanent exhibitions, the children’s museum, and other free planned exhibitions. There are paid special exhibitions that you can purchase tickets for at the museum ticket booth. Last call for admission is one hour before the museum closes.
Operating hours are as follows:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10:00-18:00
Wednesday & Saturday 10:00-21:00
Sunday & Public Holidays 10:00-19:00
* Children’s Museum – Opens until night time only on last Wednesday of the month (First-come, first-served basis after 18:00. Up to 300 tickets will be sold at 18:00 and 19:30 each)
*The museum regularly closes for New Year’s Day (January 1st), Seollal, and Chuseok.
More information on guided tours for foreigners can be found on the museum’s official website: