Visiting Korea > Things to Do and See - Arts

Specialty Art Museums, Seoul


Specialty Art Museums, Seoul

aA Design Museum 
This vintage furniture gallery is owned by restaurateur and vintage furniture collector Myung-Hwan Kim. The lower-case 'a' stands for art, architecture, and alive, while the capital 'A' represents; "an unchangeable value, the best a person can get". 
Address: 408–11 Seogyo-dong, Hongdae, Seoul
Getting there: Go to Hongik University from either Hongkik University Station (line2, stop 239, exit 7) or Sangsu Station (line 6, stop 623, exit 1). Facing Hongik University, turn right and go straight, staying on the right hand side of the road. There is a little street between Seven-Eleven and Yogi. Take it and keep walking until you see 화로사랑 (hwaro sarang) where you will turn left. Keep walking until you see Diwan-I-Am on your left and Cafe aA on your right.
Tel: 02-3143-7311/12
Hours: Mon - Sun: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Email: info@aadesignmuseum.com

Bank of Korean Monetary Museum 
Located in Myeong-dong close to the Central Post Office, the Bank of Korea Museum displays currency and other documents of not only Korea, but also other countries around the world. The building where the museum is located was built during the Japanese colonial rule and is one of the few remaining examples of Japanese architecture in Seoul. Over and above learning about the history of Korea's currencies and that of other countries, it offers visitors a chance to learn to differentiate real currency from counterfeits. There's even a money testing machine that visitors can try. 
Admission: free.
Hours: 10 to 5, Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays.
Getting there:  Subway line 4 to Heohyeon Station (Stop 425) and go out Exit 7.
Tel: 02-759-4881

Calligraphy Art Museum  
The Seoul Calligraphy Museum's collections of written Korean and Chinese calligraphy, ancient and contemporary calligraphy works as well as peculiar calligraphy pictures, is on display in ten exhibition halls and corridors located on two different levels all year round.
Hours: 11:00 to 19:00 (Fall/Winter) and 11:00 to 20:00 (Spring/Summer).  Information on exhibitions available in English (basic details only). 
Location: The museum, part of the Seoul Arts Center, is located in Seochu-dong accross the Pampo Bridge from Itaewon.
Directions: Drive accross Pampo Bridge and keep going straight to the end of the road. The Seoul Arts Center is right in front of you. Turn left and then make an immediate right to get into the parking lot. Or take the Subway to Nambu Bus Terminal Station on Line 3 (stop 341). Go out exit 4 /5 and walk about 15-20 minutes or take a taxi.  Taking the bus is another option: Shuttle bus No. 12 or regular bus No. 4429. 
Korean: 예술의전당 / Pronounced: Ye Sool Ui Jun Dang.
Tel: 02-580-1300 /1134.

(Seoul) Chicken Art Museum moved from Bukchon Seoul to Gyeonggi-do in 2013. (Scroll down this page and click on Specialty Art Museums, Outside Seoul  for details on the museum and its new location.

Gugak Museum features  permanent installations and special exhibions related to tradition Korean music history. The museum consists of the Main Hall, and six other exhibition rooms, including Musical Instrument Exhibition, Masters Exhibition, and the History of Traditional Music Room, among others. Hours: 9:00~18:00, Closed on Mondays and New Year's day.
Tel: 02-580-3130.
Directions: Take a taxi from Bangbae Station on Subway Line 2 (stop 225) exit 1 or from Nambu Bus Terminal Station on Subway Line 3 (stop 341) exit 5. Shuttle service operates from Nambu Subway when there are performance. At exit 5 of Nambu Bus Terminal take the #12 bus (the bus stop is right in front of the station) - Get off at Guklip Gugakwon (NCKTPA).

Hangaram Design Museum 
The Design Museum has two main galleries and one collection gallery to introduce various aspects of design cultures from in and out of the country, under the motto of seeking "Korean design identity".  Information on exhibitions available in English (basic details only). 
Hours: 11:00 to 19:00 (Fall/Winter) and 11:00 to 20:00 (Spring/Summer).
Location:The museum, part of the Seoul Arts Center, is located in Seochu-dong accross the Pampo Bridge from Itaewon.
Directions: Drive accross Pampo Bridge and keep going straight to the end of the road. The Seoul Arts Center is right in front of you. Turn left and then make an immediate right to get into the parking lot. Or take the Subway to Nambu Bus Terminal Station on Line 3 (stop 341). Go out exit 4 /5 and walk about 15-20 minutes or take a taxi.  Taking the bus is another option: Shuttle bus No. 12 or regular bus No. 4429. 
Korean: 예술의전당 / Pronounced: Ye Sool Ui Jun Dang.
Tel: 02-580-1300 /1134

Ice Gallery Seoul features ice sculptures and is open year-round. On arrival, you will be given a thick jacket (Korean sizes) to wear in the -5C gallery. Main theme: Korean Households so there are ice replicas of kitchens, living rooms, toilets, etc. There are also miniature ice sculptures of the Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa and more. On your way in, you can sculpt an ice mug; on your way out, enjoy a drink at the ice bar. Hours: every day 10am-7pm. Admission: Ice Gallery W7,000/ Experience Hall W5,000. Directions: Line 3 to Anguk Station (Stop 328), Exit 1. Take your second right and head straight. The building is in front of the Tourist Information Booth. The Ice Gallery is below Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Website in Korean only. 

National Folk Museum
Located in Gyongbbokgung Palace, this museum is Korea’s leading institution dedicated to the preserving the legacy of traditional Korean life - serves an educational and cultural role, providing  opportunities to experience first-hand how Koreans lived in traditional times.
Hours: Mar. ~ Apr. - 09:00 ~ 18:00, (enter by 17:00)/
May ~ Aug. - Weekdays 09:00 ~ 18:00, Saturdays /Holidays 09:00 ~ 19:00 (enter by 18:00)/
Sep. ~ Oct. - 09:00 ~ 18:00,
Nov. ~ Feb. - 09:00 ~ 17:00 (enter by 16:00)/
Closed: Every Tuesday, Jan. 1. 
Admission: 3,000 won.
Directions: Subway line 3, Anguk Station, Stop 328, Exit 1.

Simone Handbag Museum  
This museum dedicated to handbags dating  from 1550 to the present day is housed ina building resembling a handbag.
Hours: Tue-Thu 11am - 8pm / Fri & Sat 11am - 9pm / Sun 11am - 7pm / Closed Mondays
Admission: W5,000
Location: 7 Dosan-Daero 13 Gil (Sinsa-Dong), Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-889
Directions: Garosugil runs perpendicular to two major streets. It can be accessed from either end. 800m from exit #8, Sinsa Station, subway line 3 (15-minute walk) : walk about three blocks until you reach a corner with the area’s tallest building – J Tower. Turn left onto garosugil. or, take subway line 3 to apgujeong station (exit #5) and walk about 15 minutes. Turn left at the Kraze Burger.

The Museum of Korean Buddhist Art

The Buddhist Art Museum is located in the cultural Mecca of Korea near Changdeokgang Palace or Seoul central. This unique museum was created in 1993 with the purpose of displaying life’s most important events as defined spiritually. Korea has a cultural grounding in spiritual knowledge.  Therefore, an attempt to preserve its cultural heritage through religious wellbeing and teachings has been attempted. Among the six thousand works of awe-inspiring art, you will discover such things as paintings, crafts, ritual memorabilia, sculptures, fork items and ceramics. To highlight just a few you will find a set of copper balls dating back to the José on dynasty, an alluring painting of the nine grades of the pure land of Amithabha, and a scarlet and gold dipped votive shrine of Ksitigarbha. Apart from the museum itself, you will find a Buddhist temple entitled, “Anyangam” located in Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu. The structure consists of seven rooms showcasing stone-cared Avalokitesvara, a number of Buddhist paintings as well a wood carved Amitabha Triad.
Hours:  Summer season (Mar - Nov) 10:00 - 18:00 / * Winter season (Oct - Feb) 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Every Sunday, Chuseok, Seollal, and for special circumstances
Admission: Adults W5,000 / Students W3,000
Directions: Subway line 3, Anguk station, Stop 328,Exit #2. Take village bus #1 and get off at Lucky Laundry. Or from exit #3, it takes 7 mins walking. 

The Museum of Photography, Seoul  
Hours: 10:00-19:00 Daily/11:00-18:30 Saturdays & Holidays, closed Sundays.
Admission: Adults W6,000 / Students W5,000, Group of 10 or more W1,000 each.
Location: 45 Bangi-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul.
Directions: 50m from Mongchontoseoung Station, Line No.8, Exit #2; directly across from the entrance to the Olympic Park. Buses 30, 3412 and 3413 stop at Olympic Park South Gate 2.
Info: 02-418-1315 / photo@photomuseum.or.kr.
Website: Scroll down to bottom of homepage to click on English

Trick Eye Museum 
This is an art gallery with paintings created using 'trompe l'oeil' techniques that give each 2D art piece the illusion of being in 3D. Visitors can interact with the paintings, posing themselves just right so that they look as if they are part of the original work. In February 2017,  the museum applied AR technology (augmental reality (AR) art) to its existing artworks and became the World’s First AR Specialty Museum.
Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last admission: 20:00).
Admission: Adults W15,000 / Under 18 W12,000
Location:  Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 357-1, Seogyo Plaza B2. Info: 02-3144-6300.
Directions: Hongik University Station ( Line 2, Stop 239), Exit 9. Go straight 150m, cross the road, and turn left onto Hongik-ro Street. Go straight 120m, and turn right down the second side street. Continue going 100m to arrive at Trickeye Museum on the right.

World Jewellery Museum
This is a private musuem displaying jewellery and other items collected by the owner as she travelled the world with her diplomat spouse. The Museum also holds special exhibitions. The website has information in English, French, Chinese, Japanese as well as Korean.
Location: Hwadong, central Seoul near Anguk Subway Station (Line 3) Exit 1.
Directions: Go out exit #1 of Anguk Subway Station, Line 3, Stop 328, and walk straight into the alley beside Pumgmun Girl's high School. Or you can walk in the direction of Jeongdok Public Library going straight through the alley next to the entrance of the library. Turn left at Coffee Factory. The museum is located on your right. 
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday 11AM to 5PM.
Admission: W5000 Adults 
Tel: 02-730-1610.  


K4E Editor: Korea4Expats wants to provide the most accurate and complete information possible, so if you noticed an error or omission in the contents above, please contact us at info@korea4expats.com.

Photo: The Museum of Korean Buddhist Art

Last Updated on 2017-08-01


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