The Best Museums in Busan, South Korea

Becoming a part of art at Busan's Trick Eye Museum | © Mimsie Ladner
Becoming a part of art at Busan's Trick Eye Museum | © Mimsie Ladner
Photo of Mimsie Ladner
17 February 2017

Busan isn’t all beaches and seafood. In the fact, the city boasts a nice variety of museums and art galleries, where you can discover a wealth of artifacts and exhibitions. Here are some of the city’s best.

Busan Trick Eye Museum (부산 트릭아이미술관)

Map View
Unlike conventional art venues, Busan’s Trick Eye Museum offers visitors the unique opportunity to actually become a part of the art on display. Utilizing the technique of trompe l’oeil, world-renowned works of art have been reinterpreted to create the illusion that the objects in the images are three dimensional. The majority of them have had props or features added to make them more humorous, resulting in some wildly entertaining photo ops.

Busan Museum (부산박물관)

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Busan Museum
Busan Museum | © hyolee2/WikiCommons
Housing a wealth of relics obtained through numerous excavation efforts and private donations, the Busan Museum has taken on a leading role in preserving the city’s traditional culture. The wide array of artifacts, which are distributed across seven exhibitions rooms and three floors, illustrate the city’s history from as early as the prehistoric era to the present day. Don’t miss the Buddhist statues and pagodas at the Outdoor Exhibition Stall, and be sure to stop by the Cultural Experience Hall to participate in a Korean tea ceremony or try on a hanbok, the country’s national dress.

Busan Museum of Art (부산시립미술관)

Art Gallery, Museum
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Art aficionados should not miss out on exploring the exhibition halls of the Busan Museum of Art. Situated in U-dong, the museum was established to increase awareness of the art and culture of Busan and its citizens, and to provide a space for fostering an artistic community. This is demonstrated in its vast collection of art that encompasses a variety of genres. In addition to housing the works of local artists, international exhibitions are also constantly on display, the most recent being one centered around the works of Andy Warhol.

National Maritime Museum (국립해양박물관)

As Busan is the largest port city in South Korea and the world’s fifth busiest seaport by cargo tonnage, it’s easy to recognize why the sea is so important to the city’s citizens. The exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum illustrate all aspects of marine and ocean life, from the creatures of the sea to the history of the city’s maritime industry. The museum also boasts a library, aquarium, performance stage, and a 4D theatre, offering something for all ages. It is easily accessed via the free shuttle that runs from Busan Station.

Dongsam 1(il)-dong, Busan, South Korea, +82 51 309 1900

Busan Modern History Museum (부산 근대역사관)

The Busan Modern History Museum tells the story of the city over five informative exhibits, beginning with the late 19th century, when the port of Busan was first opened and frequented by Japanese merchants. The museum focuses heavily on the country’s fragile relationship with Japan, especially during the days of its colonization. Interestingly enough, the museum is housed in a building that once functioned as the Oriental Development Company, a national enterprise operated by the Empire of Japan as a colonial exploitation policy towards the Korean Empire and other countries in East Asia.

104 Daecheong-ro, Daecheong-dong, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea, +82 51 253 3845

Bokcheon Museum (복천박물관)

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Busan might be a city of towering skyscrapers and a hub of popular culture today, but its ancient history is just as enthralling. The Bokcheon Museum displays more than 150 relics and artifacts excavated from the ancient burial ground in Bokcheon-dong, which include everything from earthenware to iron weapons. Since opening in 1996, the archaeological museum has and continues to conduct extensive research at the burial ground site to get a better idea of the history and culture of Busan and the ancient Gaya Kingdom.

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