A Guide to National Museums in Korea

Category : Korean Cultures
Nov 26, 2014

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A Guide to National Museums in Korea

The national museums in Korea are all very similar. They are regional museums that take visitors on a tour through time, starting way back in prehistoric periods. Some of the museums focus mainly on one period, like the Buyeo or Gyeongju museums which display artifacts from the Three Kingdoms Era. The national museums follow the typical style of museums in Korea. They are full of artifacts with little references or written explanations.

 

Grab a guide or an audio guide. The guides are knowledgeable and fascinated in the history behind the artifacts. They will elaborate on stories and symbolism. Tour guides will be able to speak English well and the audio guides have plenty of language options. To boot, guides are either free or a few thousand won extra. It’s 100% worth it. Many of the national museums also have programming and classes which can make for a more interesting museum experience. Take advantage of everything the museum offers.

National museums in Korea are FREE. They are all free of charge. It’s worth a visit simply to stroll around and chat with a friend. A visit to a museum makes for a nice alternative to a coffee shop. If you’re not bent on learning everything you possibly can about Korean history, you’ll have a great day.

Check out the temporary exhibits. Most national museums only have permanent collections. Sometimes the put on temporary exhibitions. Head for that display first. The curators always put more time and effort into those shows. At the national museums programming can sometimes be in conjunction with a special display.

Pick up a history book or a travel book. Spend a few hours while on the bus to one of these cities in Korea reading up on history and culture. When you are hitting the museum trail, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking at, and it won’t all seem like one large mass of pottery.

Choose a museum based on your region of interest. You’ll get a quick idea of what region sounds interesting to you by reading a travel book (tip above). Rather than set out to see everything, chose your itinerary carefully and be selective. You’ll get much more out of it if you spend a full day at one museum attending a guided tour, participating in a program and enjoying lunch on the grounds, than whizzing all over the country trying to crams spots in.


The National Museums

For the most part, you will need to first get to the city or region in which these museums are located. You can do that by taking an express bus or train from Seoul or by renting a car. Once you have arrived, you can take local transportation (taxis or buses) to the museum grounds.

 

Museum

Focus

Location

Hours

Phone / Website

Entrance Fee

Buyeo National Museum

Dedicated to artifacts and history from the Baekjae Empire from the Three Kingdoms Period.

Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

041-833-8562

041-830-8407

http://buyeo.museum.go.kr

FREE

Cheongju National Museum

Presents the history of the Chungcheonbuk-do people

Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do.  Bus # 861, 862, 863, 864 from Cheongju Gymnasium

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

http://cheongju.museum.go.kr

FREE

Chuncheon National Museum

Presents the history of the Gangwon region and people

Chuncheon, Gangwon-do

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

http://chuncheon.museum.go.kr

FREE

Daegu National Museum

Presents the history of the Daegu region and people

Hwanggeum-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu

Manchon Stn, Line 2, Exit 3

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

053-768-6051 ~2

053-768-6054 ~5

http://daegu.museum.go.kr (no English)

FREE

Gimhae National Museum

Presents the history of the Nakdong River region and people

Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do,

Gupo Stn, Gimhae Line, Bus # 123, 128, 128-1, 130, 1004

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

055-320-6825

055-325-9332

055-325-9333

http://gimhae.museum.go.kr

FREE

Gongju National Museum

Presents the history of the Chungcheonnam-do people

Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

041-850-6300

http://gongju.museum.go.kr/

FREE

Gyeongju National Museum

Presents the history of the Shilla Empire from the Three Kingdoms period.

Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

054-740-7500

054-740-7501

http://gyeongju.museum.go.kr

FREE

Gwangju National Museum

Presents the history of the Mahan and Baekje people from Jeollamnam-do

Gwangju, Jeollamnam-do

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

062-570-7000

http://gwangju.museum.go.kr

FREE

Jeonju National Museum

Presents the history of the Jeollabuk-do region and people

Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do

Bus to the (former) KOSTAT and Geum-gu

# 9, 31, 49

62, 161, 354, 378, 554, 559, 644, 684, 807, 814, 816, 817, 834, 837, 838, 839, 855, and 866

 

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

063-223-5651

http://jeonju.museum.go.kr

FREE

Jeju National Museum

Dedicated to artifacts and history from of Jeju Island, many programs available

Jeju City.

Bus # 1,2,3,10 headed to Hwabuk or Samyang. Get off at Goeunimoreu

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

064-720-8000

http://jeju.museum.go.kr

FREE

Jinju National Museum

Regional based exhibition rooms, includes a room on the Injim War

Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Bus #15, 17, 25, or 27 (from the Express Bus Terminal in Jinju). Stop: the Korea Exchange Bank Station

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

055-740-0698

http://jinju.museum.go.kr

FREE

Lighthouse Museum

A maritime museum devoted to lighthouse history and technology

Pohang, Gyeongbuk-do. Bus #200 or 200-1 to Guryonpo Stop: National Lighthouse Museum.

Weekday: 9:00-18:00, Weekend, holidays: 9:00-19:00

Sat (Apr to Oct) 9:00-21:00, closed Mon.

054-284-4857

http://www.lighthouse-museum.or.kr

FREE

 

Museums in Busan

These museums in Busan are operated by the municipal government, rather than the national government. Each museum focuses on a specific time (prehistoric history or modern history) or genre (natural history, cultural history, human history, or art). They are also all free.

Museum

Focus

Location

Hours

Phone/ Website

Entrance Fee

Busan Museum

Presents the history of Busan from prehistoric times to present day

Yangdang-dong, Daeyeon Stn, Line 1 Exit 3

9:00-20:00, closed Mon.

051-610-7150

http://engmuseum.busan.go.kr/

FREE

Bokcheon Museum

Dedicated to the history of the Gaya Cultures

Dongrae Stn, Line 1, Exit 4, then take village bus #6

9:00-20:00, closed Mon.

051-550-0311 / 051-550-0331

http://engmuseum.busan.go.kr/

 

FREE

Modern History Museum

Focused on Japanese and Busan relations and Japanese imperialism in Busan

Juangang Stn, Line 1, Exit 5,7

9:00-18:00, closed Mon.

051-253-3845 / 051-253-3846

http://engmuseum.busan.go.kr/

 

FREE

Provisional Capital Memorial Hall

A memorial for the Korean War when Busan was made the provisional capital

Toseong-dong Stn, Line 1, Exit 2

9:00-20:00, closed Mon.

051-244-6345

http://engmuseum.busan.go.kr/

 

FREE

Dongsamdong Shell Midden Museum

Dedicated to shells and fish from the Busan region

Bus # 88,101 from Busan Stn, stop: Maritime University

9:00-20:00, closed Mon.

051-403-1193

http://engmuseum.busan.go.kr/

 

FREE

Busan Cyber Marine Museum

Dedicated to marine natural history

Oncheonjang Stn, Line 1

9:00-18:00, closed Mon.

051-553-4944 / 051-553-4945

http://seaworld.busan.kr/english/index.jsp

2,500 KRW

Busan Museum of Art

Displays art from local and international artists

Busan Metro Art Museum Stn, Line 2, Exit 5

9:00-20:00, closed Mon.

051-744-2602

http://art.busan.go.kr/english/main/

FREE

 

Tags : Korean. Art. Museum. History. Culture

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.

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