National Museum of Korean Contemporary History | 대한민국역사박물관
This latest addition to Korea’s national museum system pays tribute to the country’s modern history, spanning from the opening of Korea in 1876 to the present day. To be sure, it’s a dramatic history that includes the country’s colonization and independence struggle, the foundation of the Republic of Korea, the Korean War, and the country’s amazing post-war economic and political development. The museum itself is housed in the greatly remodeled old headquarters of the Ministry of Culture in Gwanghwamun, just a stone’s throw away from historic Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The Korean eateries of Insa-dong are just a short walk away. One of this writer’s favorite restaurants, however, is Gwanghwamunjip 광화문집 (T. 02-739-7737), located across the street behind the Sejong Center of the Performing Arts. It might not look like much, but it’s got some of the best kimchijjigae (kimchi stew, 김치찌개) in the city.
Lots of Korean gift stores and antique shops are in nearby Insa-dong. You can also pick up some smartphones and tablets just down the street at KT’s Olleh Square.
The old changing of the guard ceremony is reenacted in front of nearby Gyeongbokgung Palace six times a day on the hour, 10am to 3pm.
T. 02-3703-9200, www.much.go.kr
(82-1 Jejong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울시 종로구 세종로 82-1)
Gwanghwamun Station 광화문역 (Line 5), Exit 2