Seoul Museum Of History

Entrance to the Seoul Museum of History
Entrance to the Seoul Museum of History

Admission, including nearby Gyeonghuigung Palace, is free.

Free audio guides (English, Japanese, Chinese) are available from 10:00 – 19:00 at the Information Desk on the first floor.

Closed Mondays.

Opened in 1985, the Seoul Museum of History proudly preserves and showcases the history, tradition, and culture of this great country. The museum is located adjacent to Gyeonghuigung Palace. On May 5, 2002, the museum reopened after renovations to the thrill of the citizens of Korea.

Everything you wanted to know about the history of Seoul can be found at this interesting free museum.

While walking from exhibit to exhibit, visitors will learn about the history of the city through war and peace. They will see how this land evolved from prehistoric times, see how kings ruled during the Joseon Dynasty, and understand how the city became a thriving and modern metropolis that it is today. There is also a 1:1,500 scale model of the city which is quite interesting to view.

Learn who first settled this area and how and why the capital, Hanyang, was located here. From here, you can learn everything about the everyday citizens, kings, and palaces of the Joseon Dynasty and how they built and protected the city during times of peace and war, especially with Japan. Finally, see how Seoul modernized and climbed out of the ashes of the Korean War to become a powerful and successful city that it is today.

A miniature model of Seoul at the Seoul Museum of History
A miniature model of the city of Seoul
An old map of Seoul with the Han River to the south
An old map of Seoul with the Han River to the south

The museum is split up into four zones.

Zone 1 is Seoul of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1863). This zone depicts Seoul throughout the Joseon Dynasty from the establishment of the capital city, known then as Hanyang, until the opening of the port. It also describes areas within the fortified capital, such as Bukchon, as well as areas outside the fortress walls. It also presents the daily life of the citizens.

Zone 2 is The Capital of the Daehan Empire (1863-1910). This zone depicts Seoul as it transformed from the opening of the port through the end of the Great Han Empire. Relics here are from a time when citizens of Seoul experienced pressure from reformation and from the beginning of the colonization of Korea by Japan.

Zone 3 is Seoul Under Japanese Control (1910-1945). During this period, the Joseon Dynasty came to and end as Korea was colonized by Japan. Modern culture slowly spread throughout the country while conflicting with the pressure of Japanese imperialists.

Zone 4 is Development of Seoul (1945-2002). This zone describes the transformation of Seoul from its liberation from Japan to the World Cup in 2002. See how Seoul has changed from a war torn city into the modern and mega city it is today.

The Special Exhibition Hall, Museum Shop, and a cafe can be found on the first floor. There is also an exhibit for relics which were donated during the Relic Donation Campaign. The main exhibit halls are located on the third floor.

Image showing the explosive growth of  Seoul over the years at the Seoul Museum of History
Image showing the explosive growth of Seoul over the years
Miniature model of buildings in Seoul at the Seoul Museum of History
Miniature model of buildings once found in Seoul

Seoul Museum Of History Hours

Weekdays : 9:00-21:00
Weekends and Holidays : 9:00-19:00

Weekdays : 9:00-21:00
Weekends and Holidays : 9:00-18:00

Closed on Mondays



How to get to Seoul Museum Of History

Take Subway Line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station (Exit 7).
Make a U turn when exiting the station.
Make the second right onto Saemunan-ro and continue for 450 meters to reach the museum on the right.


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Last Updated on May 12, 2023