The National Museum of Korea is one of the most extensive museums in Seoul, housing art and archaeological objects from Korean prehistory through to the end of the Chosun Dynasty (1910). Throughout the three-floor museum, there are 13,000 artifacts in six permanent galleries on display. Audio guides, touch screens, and video rooms all help to bring the ancient world alive here. In addition to regular exhibitions, the museum offers special educational programs such as public lectures, arts and crafts classes, and special tours. There are over 220,000 objects in the collections. In addition there are special exhibition halls, education facilities, a children's museum, a huge outdoor exhibition area, restaurants, cafes, shops, and other amenities.
The 27,000 square meter(6.67 acres) Samsung Museum of Art Complex was designed in 1997. It provides support to cultural and artistic activities, thus increasing their life span and raising their historical value. The Institute is involved in the following: conservation of metal and ceramic works, Korean paintings and contemporary and modern art works. Artworks are preserved here through application of the most advanced technology. The experts undertake the material study to establish appropriate environmental conditions and develop better conservation and restoration techniques.
Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is one of the most iconic landmark structures in Seoul. The cutting-edge modernity of this mega-structure coupled with its unique design won Seoul city the title of World Design Capital in 2010. The structure of the building is curvaceous and fluid, devoid of any straight lines or walls. It houses as many as five spaces inside, namely an art hall, a museum, a design lab, the Oullim square and the Dongdaemun History and Culture park. Visit the DDP at night for a dazzling view of this modern wonder.
Located just north of Namsan Park, Namsangol Hanok Village is a re-creation of a small village which depicts the architecture and gardens of the Joseon Dynasty (1393-1910). There are five restored traditional houses decorated with authentic furniture and fittings from that era. A large pavilion overlooks a beautiful pond and an outdoor theater hosts dance and drama performances on weekends. There is also a hall displaying traditional handicrafts and a kiosk selling souvenirs.
Founded in 1987, the Seoul Arts Center offers a host of facilities all housed in one functional complex. There is an opera house, music hall, art gallery, arts library, and a calligraphy hall. Performers and artists come from around the world to perform here. So, if highbrow culture is your cup of tea, then this would certainly be a good place to visit. A nearby park is a good place to sit down and relax either before or after a performance.
Opened in 2009, Myeongdong NANTA Theater is one of three stages of the famous Nanta show in Seoul. It is also the first permanent theater to showcase this non-verbal, Samul nori-style comic act. Since it is a visual gag, even if you don't know the language, you will laugh your hearts out at the antics of the actors. The story is about three cooks who are time-pressed to prepare a wedding a banquet. The whole cooking scenario is enacted through drumming, acrobatics, chopping and juggling. The audience is also involved in the enthralling show. If you want to catch a show, the Myeongdong NANTA Theater is indeed the best option with two shows during the week and three in the weekends.
Located opposite the National Theater, this institute teaches traditional Korean customs and culture. Classes offered here include tea ceremony, cooking, dancing, how to wear hanbok (Korean traditional clothes), kimchi making, and the etiquette of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. These traditions are learned through direct participation. Tour groups are provided with special programs. The average class lasts from one to two hours and anyone is welcome to attend. A fee of KRW400,000 per lesson is charged for a group of ten.
Art art art! If you can't get enough of art, then MyungBo Art Hall is definitely the place to go. This venue has galleries, art-related performances (can you imagine a performance about drawing?) and much more.
Paper Art Museum; located in Seoul is dedicated to the history and evolution of paper art over the centuries. The museum has various models and origami samples on display and is a platform for artists to display their excellence in paper art.
Chojun Textile & Quilt Art Museum; located in Seoul was established in 1998. It is one of the only museums in the country of its genre and focuses on Korean patchwork. The museum also showcases quilts, textiles, ornaments, ceremonial and rare cloths both from the country and abroad. They also conduct various workshops of quilt making and other knitting forms. The museum is a tribute to all the women who have spend hours knitting and making these cloths.