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National Museum of Korea

Marvel as natural light illuminates the galleries of this contemporary museum building, which houses thousands of ancient and valuable Korean objects. 

Explore Korea’s arts, ancient history, ethnology and religion in one spot at the National Museum of Korea. Spread across multiple floors and six permanent exhibition areas are 12,000 artifacts taken from a catalog of pieces. The National Museum of Korea dates back to 1945, when Korea regained independence from Japan. Originally housed in the Gyeongbokyong Palace, it moved to its current modern location in 2005. 

Start your visit in the Prehistory and Ancient History gallery to learn about some of the earliest civilizations to inhabit Korean lands. Get an in-depth overview of the Goryeo Dynasty, Joseon Dynasty and Korean Empire in the Medieval and Early Modern History gallery. Kids can enjoy replicating traditional art forms and lifestyles in the Children’s Museum. 

On the second floor is the fascinating Calligraphy and Painting gallery. Highlights include Buddhist paintings from the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties and works by members of the Dohwaseo royal academy. Browse exhibitions of ceramics, earthenware, paintings and sculptures donated by wealthy benefactors. 

Artworks from various Asian nations decorate the third floor. These include exquisite statues of Buddha and treasures from a 14th-century merchant ship that foundered off the Sinan coast. See pieces from Southern Asian countries including Cambodia, India, Nepal and Vietnam. 

In addition to the treasures inside, the superb outdoor exposition space has pagodas, shrines and stupas set around gardens and ponds. Delve into the complexity of the Korean language at the National Hangeul Museum. Watch concerts, dance shows and plays at the Theater Yong. 

Reach the museum easily by taking the train or metro to Ichon station. Parking is available for a fee within the grounds. 

The National Museum of Korea is open daily, except New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Korean Thanksgiving. Admission is free. The Children’s Museum opens on the last Wednesday of the month and an online reservation is required. Fees are applicable for special exhibitions, the National Hangeul Museum and Theater Yong. Join one of the guided tours in English, which take place up to three times daily. Audio guides are also available for a fee.

Popular Activities at National Museum of Korea

Get the most out of your visit to National Museum of Korea. Below is a list of the best things to do:

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Guide to Exploring around National Museum of Korea


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Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong $94
Reviewed on May 17, 2019
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Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong

Lotte City Hotel Myeongdong

362, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0

    The hotel is very well situated near the subway and near lots of restaurants. Plus walking distance from many sights, such as the Jongmyo Shrine and City Hall. Breakfast was excellent, with a big choice of cooked food, juices, coffee, etc., as much as you can eat! Rooms very clean, and quiet in the ...

    Novotel Suites Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City $117
    Reviewed on Mar 17, 2019
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    Novotel Suites Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City

    Novotel Suites Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City

    95, Cheongpa-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
       
      4.4 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0

      Immaculate, new hotel. Fantastic spa and pool. Wonderful, friendly staff. Bridge connects hotel to Yongsan train station. Great value.

      Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City $92
      Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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      Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City

      Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City

      95, Cheongpa-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
         
        4.3 of 5
        4.5 out of 5.0

        The view and bathroom. It was elegant and spacious .

        ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City $67
        Reviewed on May 14, 2019
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        ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City

        ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan - Seoul Dragon City

        95, Cheongpa-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
           
          4.4 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Sauna was good. But operation time was too short to me.

          ITAEWON CROWN HOTEL $42
          Reviewed on Apr 8, 2019
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          ITAEWON CROWN HOTEL

          ITAEWON CROWN HOTEL

          140, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Seoul
             
            3.4 of 5
            3.0 out of 5.0

            The modern rooms are amazing I think you should Up grade all the room to modern.

            Grand Hyatt Seoul $146
            Reviewed on Apr 10, 2019
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            Grand Hyatt Seoul

            Grand Hyatt Seoul

            322, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Seoul
               
              4.2 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0

              Great city view and night view but the staff service needs improvement

              Hamilton Hotel $65
              Reviewed on May 9, 2019
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              Hamilton Hotel

              Hamilton Hotel

              179, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Seoul
                 
                4.1 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0

                A great hotel right in the middle of everything Itaewon.

                Loisir Hotel Seoul Myeongdong $61
                Reviewed on May 11, 2019
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                Loisir Hotel Seoul Myeongdong

                Loisir Hotel Seoul Myeongdong

                115 Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, Seoul
                   
                  3.8 of 5
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Location is excellent. Property is a bit dated, standard rooms are very small.