The National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea, Seoul, KoreaCome spring and summer the rain will inevitably start to fall and when it does people start to look for things to do inside. The National Museum is not only a great thing to do when it’s too cold or too wet to venture out, but it’s also free. The museum was opened in 2005 and it is gigantic. Visitors could easily spend an entire day enjoying the relics in and around the huge building.

After walking through the glass doors the main marbled hallway that is open up to the ceiling welcomes those into to the galleries that flank the main walking space. There are three floors to peruse. The first floor showcases Prehistory, Ancient History, Medieval and Early Modern History. The second floor has galleries full of donations from individuals and the Calligraphy and Painting Gallery, while the third floor houses the Sculpture and Crafts Gallery and the Asia Gallery.

A Buddhist Hanging Scroll from Budeoksa. It was painted in 1684 and depicts Sakyamuni Buddha preaching the Lotus Sutra on the Vulture Peak.The National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Korea

Sakyamuni is surrounded by his disciples, bodhisattvas, the Four Heavenly Kings and other audiences.

The galleries are quiet and benches are sporadically placed for visitors to take a seat and take it all in. The old paintings and sculptures of Buddha somehow saved throughout Korea’s tumultuous history are beautifully exhibited and the overall atmosphere is calm and serene making the museum a perfect respite away from the busy city sites just outside. Most visitors are walking around with earphones in listening to information about each exhibit while there is a member of the staff stationed in each gallery to maintain the quiet atmosphere while making sure no one is taking pictures with flash. The grounds that surround the massive building are also well kept and paths take visitors around a lake and past statues and a pagoda garden. There is a cafeteria and cafe on the grounds and convenience stores and restaurants just outside which means this is a perfect place to spend an entire day when the weather is just not cooperating.The National Museum of Korea, Seoul, KoreaThe National Museum of Korea, Seoul, Korea

Directions: Ichon Subway Station exit 2 OR bus #502

Admission: Free, special exhibits are charged separately

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00 – 18:00
Wednesday, Saturday: 9:00 – 21:00
Sunday, Holidays: 9:00 – 19:00
Closed New Year’s Day and Mondays


In English: Tuesday – Sunday at 10:30AM & 2:30PM

In Japanese: Tuesday – Friday at 9:30AM; Saturday & Sunday at 10:30AM & 2:30PM

In Chinese: Tuesday – Friday at 10:30AM; Saturday & Sunday at 10:30AM & 2:30PM

Amenities: Handicap Accessible Services, Baby Strollers, Parking Facilities, Interpretation Services in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese & Japanese*

*Interpretation services should be reserved in advance.

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