The Pulmuone Kimchi Museum is dedicated to Korea’s favorite dish, kimchi. The fermented vegetable side dish has been a staple of Korean cuisine for many centuries, and there’s an incredible amount to learn about it. The dish comes in hundreds of different forms, and is eaten by locals almost on a daily basis. The museum itself was founded in 1986, and now attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year.
Begin the visit by learning about the background of kimchi. A collection of ancient books, paintings, utensils, pots and models highlight the origins of the dish and why it became so popular. Displays explain how kimchi varies depending on the region it’s made in, the ingredients used and what season it is.
You’ll also learn how kimchi is made and recipes it works well in. If you’re a foodie, get ready to note down some of the recipes to try out later. You can also ring ahead and reserve a place in a cooking class, which are offered on a regular basis and have a fee.
Another feature of the museum teaches you about kimchi’s beneficial effects on the digestive system by inviting you to study it under a microscope. There are tasting rooms toward the end of the museum, which allow visitors to sample various types of kimchi. You’ll also be able to study kimchi, and Korean food in general, in the data room. A well-stocked gift shop completes the experience. Pulmuone Kimchi Museum is closed on Mondays and public holidays. Entry price is minimal and displays are English-friendly. The museum is only small, and you’ll probably need less than an hour to experience the whole thing. Get there by taking the subway to Samseong or Cheongdam.