With ultra-modern skyrises alongside small one-story hanoks (conventional Korean houses), Seoul is usually described as a metropolis of previous and new, and this description applies to the vary of museums as a lot as the town’s structure.
The South Korean capital isn’t notably recognized for museums, however a number of have opened up to now 20 years with their reveals starting from conventional to the area of interest. Listed below are our favourite museums for studying about South Korean historical past, considering fashionable art work and having a little bit of enjoyable.
Nationwide Museum of Korea
Greatest museum for all issues Korean
The museum to go to if in case you have time for just one, the Nationwide Museum of Korea has a variety of artifacts, paperwork and artworks detailing Korean historical past and artwork. This enormous museum is the scale of 56 soccer fields, and it’s break up throughout three fundamental flooring that cowl all of it, from historical and pre-history to sculpture and humanities. Don’t miss the monumental jar coffins from the Baekje interval (18 BCE–660 CE), the Tigers in Moonlight and Pine Grove portray from the Joseon dynasty and the 10-story stone pagoda from Gyeongcheonsa Temple – a stately marvel situated prominently close to the museum’s entrance.
The premises additionally embrace an immersive digital gallery, a kids’s museum stuffed with interactive experiences and expansive outside grounds with a botanical backyard, small waterfall and a number of other ponds. The Nationwide Hangeul Museum, dedicated to the schooling of hangeul (Korean alphabet), is subsequent door and value visiting if a particular exhibition is happening.
Battle and Ladies’s Human Rights Museum
Greatest museum for a transferring expertise
A small however memorable museum, the Battle and Ladies’s Human Rights Museum makes use of artwork and audio to coach guests on the historical past of consolation ladies (ladies used as sexual slaves throughout World Battle II). Every customer is given an audio information that gives extra context to the gadgets on show.
Listening to the survivors’ voices and studying their names is a robust expertise. The data is usually a lot to soak up, however the museum does a terrific job of emphasizing hope and life after trauma. Though historical past museums in Korea are hesitant to be important of its personal participation in struggle crimes, this museum is exclusive in its recounts of wrongs accomplished by the Korean authorities.
Seoul Museum of Historical past
Greatest museum to get to know the town
Over time, Seoul has been recognized by a number of names, and the town has undergone radical adjustments, even up to now century. The Seoul Museum of Historical past examines these shifts via artifacts, artwork, maps and pictures.
The everlasting exhibition begins with Seoul’s origin because the Joseon capital in 1392 and extends via predictions about Seoul’s future; it additionally hosts particular exhibitions on style, pictures and historic city planning. Plan for somewhat additional time on the “Interval of Fast Progress Seoul” part to check pictures of the town from now and 50 years in the past for a greater grasp of simply how rapidly the town has developed. A spotlight is “Suite No. 9-xxx of Seocho Samho House,” a mannequin of an house complicated in Gangnam within the Seventies.
Korea Furnishings Museum
Greatest museum for sudden luxurious
How does a furnishings museum turn out to be a must-see spot for celebrities, influencers and necessary overseas officers? It doesn’t make sense till you’ve really visited the Korea Furnishings Museum, which requires a guided tour to see.
This museum incorporates director Chyung Mi-sook’s private assortment of roughly 2500 conventional wood items which can be laid out over 10 hanoks. You get an actual sense of how the higher class lived in the course of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897), and the tour offers context to how gadgets like fastidiously crafted soban (small moveable tables), e book storage chests and jewellery packing containers with intricate designs had been created and used.
Seeing the fragile items up shut with none glass instances really differentiates this museum go to from others, and the guides’ tales are wonderful. The museum solely runs a handful of excursions to a restricted variety of guests per day; guided excursions should be reserved upfront on the museum’s web site and are sometimes booked out months forward.
Nationwide Museum of Trendy and Up to date Artwork
Greatest museum for lovers of recent artwork
The MMCA has three branches, however the location close to Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most recent and thought of the establishment’s consultant. The museum does exhibit internationally acknowledged artists, however the gallery’s main focus is highlighting the works of latest Korean artists.
Exhibitions embrace retrospectives on well-known Korean artists reminiscent of Park Soo Keun, Park Search engine marketing-bo and Lee Kyungsung, and collections from rising artists, together with recipients of the Korea Artist Prize, which is awarded to modern Korean artists pushing boundaries within the scene.
The area is usually a bit disorienting as a result of the gallery numbers aren’t clearly marked, and it may be troublesome to find out the very best order to view the exhibition. Nonetheless, the curation of works is not like the rest you’ll discover within the nation. The reward store, stuffed with books and art-inspired souvenirs, can be price a glance. The place else might you discover a Nam June Paik assortment of stickers and postcards of works by Kim Whanki?
Yun Dong-ju Literature Home
Greatest small museum
The area of interest Yun Dong-ju Literature Home particulars the life and works of considered one of Korea’s best-known poets and independence activists, Yun Dong-Ju (1917–45). Whereas the museum appears like an peculiar white constructing at first look, the construction, designed by architect Lee So-jin, was really a trio of water strain tanks in its previous life. The moodiness of the concrete encasings performs an enormous function within the total really feel of the area.
The museum is split into three elements: a show of Yun’s manuscripts and images (solely partially translated to English), a walk-through of Open Nicely (a former water tank with no roof) and a brief movie about Yun in Closed Nicely (a darkish water tank with minimal gentle). The museum paints an intimate portrait of the poet, whether or not or not you’re already conversant in his work.
Seoul Kids’s Museum
Greatest museum for households
A extremely interactive museum that faucets into the creativeness, the Seoul Kids’s Museum is a four-story area with exhibitions, playrooms and lessons appropriate for youths from 3 to 12 years previous. Highlights embrace the Dance Vitality Flooring, an digital flooring that encourages youngsters to leap on tiles that gentle up, and the Water Pump on the “Science Play” exhibition that teaches kids concerning the motion of water.
Incorporating science and bodily schooling into all of the actions, the museum is an area the place youngsters can expend their power and be taught worthwhile classes. Test the museum’s web site for data on how mother and father can finest lead their youngsters via these exhibitions in addition to a schedule of lessons.
Greatest museum for foodies
Can’t get sufficient of the fermented cabbage dish served with most of your Korean meals? Do you know that crimson pepper flakes are a comparatively latest addition to the dish? The small Museum Kimchikan in Insadong is devoted to all of your kimchi queries, serving to guests get a lesson on one of the crucial well-known Korean dishes.
Right here on the nation’s most established meals museum, you may be taught concerning the communal nature of kimchi preparation, examine the evolution of kimchi all through the centuries and admire the handfuls of kimchi varieties on show. Discover out all of the methods kimchi can be utilized, get recommendations on fermenting at dwelling and pattern kimchi varieties.
One of many fundamental attracts of the museum? Its cheap kimchi-making lessons. The museum web site lists two kinds of kimchi-making lessons, however the 40-minute intensive course on Wednesdays and Thursdays requires an e mail reservation upfront.
Is the Uncover Seoul Cross price it?
The Uncover Seoul Cross, a reduction card for vacationers, covers a number of of those museums, however earlier than you go to Seoul, evaluate the museums listed on the move together with your Seoul itinerary and calculate its profit to your go to. Many museums are low value or free, so the Uncover Seoul Cross won’t be price it.