Seoul museums are some of the most sought after attractions in this city of more than 10 million that is also home to so many other popular attractions, from sacred sites like the Bongwonsa Temple to mega shopping complexes like the COEX Shopping Mall and Dongdaemun Market. From the National Museum of Korea to the National Folk Museum, you will be treated to some of the finest collections of historically significant artifacts and items in all of Asia. Seoul is also home to several distinguished art museums including the Seoul Museum of Art and the Ilmin Museum of Art.
The National Museum of Korea is a fine institution that is dedicated to preserving and putting on display Korean cultural heritage. There are a number of engaging exhibits in the permanent collection, including artifacts and works of art in the Archaeological Gallery, the Historical Gallery, the Fine Arts Gallery, and the Asian Arts Gallery. The National Museum of Korea should probably be first on your list of places to visit if you are chiefly interested in gaining a better understanding of Korean culture and history before enjoying the rest of your stay in the country. It is definitely one of the most prominent Seoul museums, and is great for international visitors because it offers guided and audio tours in a variety of languages. There is no admission fee for entry to the museum, but you will need to get a voucher at one of the booths located on the premises.
The National Folk Museum is located at Gyeongbokgung (or on the grounds of Gyeongbok Palace, as it is also known). This highly popular museum was founded in 1924 and features three main exhibition halls. The exhibitions display three distinctly different periods in the history of Korea. The first hall is dedicated to The History of the Korean People. This particular exhibition covers the period of time that stretches from antiquity all the way to the end of the Joseon Dynasty in 1910. The other two halls are titled The Lifestyle of the Korea People, and The Lifecycle of a Korean from Birth to Death. Once again, if you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the country you are visiting, the National Folk Museum is one of the best places to visit.
Among the Seoul museums dedicated to the arts, the Ilmin Museum of Art and The Seoul Museum of Art stand head and shoulders above the rest. The Seoul Museum of Art is the older of the two institutions and the main branch is located behind the Deoksugung Palace in central Seoul. It is free to get into the Seoul Museum of Art where you will find a wide variety of excellent art works from notable Asian artists. The Seoul Art Museum is also popular as a destination where the population can take free art instruction.
Each of the above mentioned museums are worth a visit on your next trip to Seoul. Besides constituting a fun day, visiting the museums will help you gain a much better understanding of the history and the culture of the people with whom you find yourself cohabitating, even if just for a week.