The National Museum of Korea is a museum in communion with its visitors, enjoyed by young or old, together or separately. It is the most well-known and extensive museum in South Korea. There are more than 12,044 pieces of artefacts, sculptures, paintings and national treasures displayed in six permanent exhibitions. Read on to acquire more in-depth insights on what you can expect and enjoy in this user-friendly museum.
Admission Fees and Guided Tour Programs
The admission fees are shown as the table below.
|Permanent Exhibition||Free admission|
|Special Exhibitions||Ticket purchase is required|
(50% discount on Culture Day (Last Wednesday of every month))
You can make reservation for Permanent Exhibition Hall and Children’s Museum online for free. Also, you can find the current and upcoming special exhibitions here. However, note that the museum may be closed temporarily if the COVID-19 situation worsens.
There are three session of guided tours every day (11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm). The one-hour guided tours of the Permanent Exhibition Hall depart from the Information Desk, within the Permanent Exhibition Hall. The museum also offers foreign-language guided tours in English, Japanese and Chinese. Furthermore, you can request for private tours such as “Take a Closer Look at the Exhibits”, “Smart Curator” and sign language guided tours with advanced reservations.
|Bus||Blue bus: 502, 400|
|Subway||Ichon Station (Line 4 or Jungang Line, Exit 2)|
Address: 137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Level 1: Prehistory, Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern History
On the first floor, the Prehistory and Ancient History gallery showcases artifacts that represent the earliest Korean civilization and culture. It outlines the discovery of stone tools of the Paleolithic Age to gold jewelry of the Silla Kingdom and stone monoliths of Balhae era. You can examine Korean history and culture up to the period of North and South States, when the Unified Silla and Balhae kingdoms coexisted.
The pictures below show gold crown and gold waist belt excavated from Geumgwanchong Tomb during Silla Dynasty. It is my first time seeing such majestic and grand ornaments with my own bare eyes!
This sculpture is a cast-iron seated Buddha during the Unified Silla Period. The victory of Buddha Sculpture made in this period is represented by the Principal Buddha of Seokguram (located in Gyeongju) made in the 8th century.
This is a ten-story stone pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple site in Gaepung, Gyeonggi-do Province. It is located near the East Gate on the first floor.
You can also visit the immersive digital gallery in the thematic exhibition. Visitors are invited on an unforgettable journey through some of Korea’s most famous paintings projected on a massive panoramic screen. It is an immersive experience that is unlike anything you have ever felt before!
Level 2: Calligraphy, Painting and Donated Works
In this gallery, you can appreciate the beauty of Korean traditional paintings and calligraphy expressed with brush strokes and colors. In addition, you can explore a variety of outstanding calligraphic works and large Buddhist hanging scrolls used for outdoor rituals.
You can easily understand the history and meaning of each calligraphy and literati paintings by referring to the explanation next to it.
Level 3: Sculpture, Crafts and World Art Gallery
Here, you can appreciate the essence of Korean Buddhist sculpture and crafts in which some of them are in really huge size.
You can also observe one of the most prominent national treasures of Korea, the Pensive Bodhisattvas.
The World Art Gallery features colorful traditions and cultures of the world including Egypt, Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan. It will allow visitors to comprehend universality and diversity of the world cultures.
There are some fun activities that you can enjoy while visiting this museum like the Stamp Tour. You can get your Art Passport by visiting the Immersive Digital Gallery on the first or second floor. You need to upload a picture of the digital gallery on your social media with the hashtag of #실감영상관 and #국립중앙박물관 to get the passport.
These are the places that you need to visit to obtain the stamps.
If you get 5 stamps, you will receive a badge. If you manage to get all 8 stamps, then you will receive a souvenir from the museum. This is the cute little badge that I received for obtaining 5 stamps.
I thought my visit to the National Museum of Korea would be a dull one, but it turns out to be very interesting and fascinating! If you want to get a good glimpse of Korean history and love appreciating artworks, then this museum should be the top priority on your travel list. You can visit this website to obtain more information about the museum.