The War Memorial of Korea
Where once the Korean Infantry held their headquarters now sits the War Memorial of Korea (전쟁기념관), a museum that is free for the public to appreciate and learn.
Visitors entering from the front are welcomed into the 20,000 square meter museum by The Korean War Monument commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Korean War ceasefire. Once past this monument visitors have two options, they can walk up the steps into the Peace Plaza which leads to the six story Memorial Hall to learn more in depth information about the wars that ravaged Korea, or they can walk around the outdoor exhibition area with about 160 pieces including aircraft, armored vehicles and more.
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The indoor space of the museum is divided into seven halls: The Memorial Hall, The War History Room, The Korean War Room, The Expeditionary Forces Room, The Armed Forces Room, The Large Equipment Room and The Korean Defense Industries Room. Each room is full of real and replica artifacts, dioramas, records and videos sure to educate and slightly overwhelm any visitor. Placards are posted in both Korean and English.
Anyone that wishes to have a better understanding of the Korean War specifically should not miss this museum. It is a must visit for anyone staying in or visiting Korea. Guides, many of whom are retired Korean military personnel, will take visitors around on tours of the space at no charge and if unavailable there are audio tours available as well. The information is overwhelming, but as history should never be forgotten so as it’s not repeated, this museum is a complete necessity and a hole in one as far as impact on visitors is concerned.
Another great place to go to get a different perspective on the wars and effects on Korea, go to the War and Women’s Human Rights Museum. It’s located near Hongdae and has a lot of information on the comfort women, or halmoni.
This museum is around the corner from the popular Itaewon area where there is a ton to do and plenty to eat. Check out what to see and do in Hannam-dong a district with some great art museums including the Leeum Samsung Museum and restaurants. Another great art museum is D Museum just around the way as well.
Know Where To Stay!
A great place to stay right down in the popular Itaewon area in the center of Seoul is the Grand Hyatt. It’s a fantastic hotel with an indoor and outdoor pool and sits on a hilltop that provides a gorgeous view of the city.
If you’d rather stay on the busy Itaewon strip which is a bit closer to the subway stations and public transportation, check out the Imperial Palace Boutique. It’s a bit quirky but elegant and chic as well. Have a great stay in Seoul!
The War Memorial of Korea
서울특별시 용산구 용산동1가 8
8 1-ga Yongsan-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
Bus: 110A, 110B, 421, 740
Subway: Samgakji Station, exit 12
Amenities: Foreign language guides available in English, Chinese and Japanese
Days: Open every day except Mondays. If Monday is a holiday, the museum will be closed Tuesday.
Hours: 9AM – 6PM (last admission 1 hour before closing)