CONTRIBUTED BY CHRISTINE BRUNS
We had a free weekday, which also happened to be a rainy day, so we decided to try a new indoor museum. We pulled out our umbrellas, jumped on the subway, and headed to the Seoul Museum of History for the afternoon. It’s located just west of Gwanghwamun Square and sits right next to the Gyeonghuigung Palace. You will see a bus out front and a huge moving sculpture across the street.
On the grounds outside the lobby you will see large chucks of what was the previous Gwanghwamun Gate, as well as relics from other demolished buildings, and a map shaped splash fountain.
Once you enter, you will see the information desk on your right, beneath a giant mural – stop here for your English map and a free audio guide (also available in English).
This museum is dedicated to the ever changing landscape of Seoul, from the early periods up through the Japanese occupation and wars to present day. It was very interesting for us to see the photographs of how different areas in the city have changed over the years – such as in this photo, which today would show Gwanghwamun Square and Gyeongbokgung Palace between #s 10 and 17.
The main exhibit is on the 3rd floor, where one entire section houses a giant scale model of Seoul – we had a fun time finding our “house” and “visiting” different areas like we were giants.
There a number of great interactive stations and experiences for the younger set, as well – be sure to stop by the museum shop to pick up a kid’s pack for the ink station before you go upstairs. The computer games and station for trying on shoes were two of our favorites.
We spent a good amount of time wandering, reading, using the balcony level computers to learn more, and just admiring all of the displays.
We had a snack at the museum cafe (deliciously fun desserts called Vivel Snowballs), visited the gift shop, and headed on our way. There is also a library and a children’s play room, which we did not make it to this time round.
Closed on Mondays and New Year’s Day
Tuesday-Friday: 9:00 – 20:00 (yearlong)
Weekends and Holidays: 9:00-19:00 (March-Oct); 9:00-18:00 (Nov-Feb)
Admission: FREE entry
Free English Audio Guide available at Information Desk, 1st Floor
Free storage lockers on the right before you enter the building.
Website: http://eng.museum.seoul.kr/eng/index.do (in English)
55 Saemunan-ro (sinmunno 2-ga), Jonggno-gu, Seoul 110-062, Korea
서울특별시 종로구 새문안로 55 (신문로2가)
Google Maps Coordinates: 37.5712421, 126.96955449999996
1) Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 7.
Upon exiting the station, turn around, and turn right at the 4-way Intersection. Go straight about 500m to arrive at the museum on the right.
2) Seodaemun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 4.
Go straight about 600m to arrive at the museum on the left.
3) City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Lines 1 or 2), Exit 1.
Upon exiting the station, turn around, and turn left near the Deoksugung palace gate, following along the palace’s outside wall. Go straight across the roundabout, continue past the Chongdong (Miso) Theater, and turn right at the intersection with Saemunan-ro. Go straight about 300m to arrive at the museum on the left.