Art Lover’s Guide to Seoul
Seoul is a city where ancient artistic techniques and modern design collide—a heady mix of old and new to captivate any art lover. See below for our pick of the Korean capital’s best museums, galleries, and art-filled enclaves to visit.
Seoul Museum of Art—Korea’s Best Modern Art
The Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) features three floors of modern art spread throughout six exhibition halls. The museum is on the grounds of Deoksugung Palace, so you can see the collection on a guided tour.
Seoul Arts Center—The Arts, Live on Stage
Fans of the performing arts will want to catch a show at the Seoul Arts Center, home of the Korean National Ballet, National Opera, Symphony Orchestra, and National Contemporary Dance Company. The complex also has exhibits on art, architecture, and graphic design.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza—Fashion and Architecture
This futuristic complex, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, is a hub of fashion and design. Besides hosting the biannual Seoul Fashion Week, Dongdaemun Design Plaza holds rotating art exhibitions, so there’s always something new to see. Visit it on a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour of Seoul.
63 Sky Art Gallery—Art with a View
Combine excellent art with stellar views during a visit to the 63 Sky Art Gallery on the 60th floor of the glass 63 City skyscraper. The rotating exhibitions feature a range of artists and mediums. Book your admission ahead of time to skip the queues at the ticket office.
Ihwa Mural Village—Vibrant Street Art
Some of South Korea’s best street art adorns the walls of Ihwa Mural Village on Mt. Naksan. Dozens of artists created a series of murals throughout the hilly neighborhood, which has sprouted several excellent cafés and boutiques since the project launched in 2006.
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art—Samsung Foundation Collection
This museum on the hills of Namsan comprises three buildings—each an architectural masterpiece in its own right—filled with Korean and Western art. The collection often features on museum and contemporary-art tours of the city.