Visitors to Busan Museum can see and learn about the captivating history and culture of Busan from the prehistoric period to the present. Busan Museum is the main museum of the Busan municipal museum system.
Dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and scholarly exploration of artifacts linked to Busan’s history and cultural tapestry, this museum stands as a testament to the city’s heritage. This museum may not be as grand as other Korean national museums, but it is a hidden gem of Busan.
On This Post
- General Information about Busan Museum
- What to See at Busan Museum
- When to Visit Busan Museum
- Activities and Programs
- Busan Municipal Museum System
- More Ways to Get to Busan Museum
- Where to Stay Nearby
- More Things to in the Area
Information about Busan Museum
Address and Map
63, UN pyeonghwa-ro, Nam-gu, Busan, South Korea
How to Get to Busan Museum
- Bus: Ride No. 68, 134, 138, or 138-1. Get off at the U.N. Memorial Cemetery/Busan Cultural Center bus stop (유엔공원/부산문화회관.)
- Subway: Ride Line 2 (Green Line). Get off at Daeyeon station (대연/213), Exit 3. Then walk 1.2km or 0.75 miles.
- Free parking is available.
Admission (Entrance Fee)
- 09:00 – 18:00 (last entry: 1 hour before closing)
- Closed: Mondays and January 1 (if a holiday falls on Monday, the museum closes on the next Tuesday.)
- Phone: +82-51-610-7111
- Wheelchairs and strollers are available for free.
How do you say Busan Museum in Korean?
Busan bakmulgwan (부산박물관) is what Koreans call the museum. Bakmulgwan is a museum that is more focused on history and culture. For a museum with more artwork such as paintings and sculptures, Koreans call it misulgwan (미술관).
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What To See at Busan Museum
The Layout of Busan Museum
Busan Museum consists of two main buildings and an outdoor exhibition area. The two buildings are Busan Exhibition Hall and Dongae Exhibition Hall.
Dongnae Exhibition Hall displays items and information related to Busan from Paleolithic Period to Goryeo Dynasty. Visitors can find the presentation for the periods after Goryeo Dynasty at Busan Exhibition Hall.
Throughout the outdoor garden, the museum sets out 40 or so historic stone sculptures including stone pagodas.
Collections at Busan Museum
Busan Museum houses approximately 32,000 historical items. Many of them are from the excavation of historic sites in Busan and its surrounding areas. Currently, 1,500 items are displayed.
Must-See Relics: Two National Treasures
Visitors can find two National Treasures at the museum. Korean historic relics and items have several tiers according to their historical values. National Treasure (국보 /guk-bo/) is the highest tier among them.
Gilt-bronze Standing Bodhisattva (금동보살입상 /Geum-dong-bo-sal-ip-sang/)
I have to admit that I am not an expert in historic art or relic. Thus, it would be better to borrow the description for the item from the museum itself:
‘This image of Buddha shows the superb artisanship of the Unified Silla period during the latter half of the 8th century … the statue’s overall expression … has dignity and mercifulness. For this reason, it is evaluated as an excellent art piece … in Unified Silla … this statue was made of bronze and its inside is hollow…’
Agalmatolite Reliquary from the Stone Seated Vairocana Buddha from Seongnamamsa Temple Site, Sancheong (산청 석남암사지 석조비로자나불좌상 납석사리호)
First of all, don’t worry about the name of this treasure. It is a mouthful even for Koreans (if not, good for you!)
This pottery is an ash urn from Shilla Dynasty. Thanks to the lines engraved on the surface, now we know it was produced exactly in the year of A.D. 766.
In addition to its historical value in Buddhist art, this relic is important to study Idu characters. Idu is an archaic writing system in the Korean language.
In addition to two National Treasures, there are more items to see through the museum including Portrait of Yi Deok-seong and Kim Hong-do’s paintings.
Busan Museum may not be the most popular destination in Busan. Or, we all know it is not the Louvre, either.
But, thanks to its underrated fame (?), the museum is not usually crowded. You can spend time as much as you want in front of any displays. No shoulder fighting is needed for a selfie in front of popular items.
The museum holds occasional special exhibitions. The themes are diverse including interpreters of Joseon Dynasty and Buddhist art.
When I visited the place, ‘Busan, Gateway to the World’ was going on. It was about the history of Busan from its opening port period to modern times.
Busan’s shoe industry was once a significant economic contributor to the region’s development. The city has been a major port in South Korea. And it has played a pivotal role in facilitating trade and industrial growth.
At the end of the tour, Boogi, the mascot of Busan, had its own section for Q&A.
The museum has beautiful outdoor areas. Forty or so historic items stand throughout the garden.
A peaceful trail surrounds the museum. It is not very long, but long enough to enjoy the history and nature together.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Busan Museum?
Fall. OK, it is completely my own opinion.
The museum is a great place to visit for any season. It is cheerfully bright with spring flowers. It provides visitors with cool air in summer and warmth in winter.
But, when all the trees at the property turn into a colorful palette, the museum is beautiful. I visited the museum in early December and the foliage almost ended (see the pictures.) Visit the mid or end of November if your schedule allows.
Visitors encounter the Monumental Tower for Honoring U.N. Participation in the Korean War right in front of the museum. The tower honors the fallen souls from 22 countries of United Nations during the Korean War.
Activities and Educational Programs
Busan Museum offers various activities and educational programs to anyone who is interested.
The list of programs includes lectures for history and culture, hands-on experiences for elementary school students, musical performances, and more. You can find the schedule on its website or updates on its Instagram feed.
Busan Municipal Museum System
The City of Busan runs a system of municipal museums. Busan Museum is the main museum of the system. The more museums in the system are:
- Bokcheon Museum (복천박물관)
- Jeonggwan Museum (정관박물관)
- Busan Modern and Contemporary History Museum (부산근대역사관)
- Provisional Capital Memorial Hall (임시수도기념관)
- Dongsam-dong Shell Midden Museum (동삼동패총전시관)
- Busan Citizens Park History Museum (부산시민공원역사관)
You can find details for each museum on the city’s website.
More Ways To Get To Busan Museum
Busan Museum is easy to access by public transportation (see the general information section at the beginning of the post.)
But, if you want an easier way to visit the museum, you have a couple of other options.
- Busan City Tour Bus Discount Ticket: The red line of Busan City Tour Bus stops at Busan Museum. Busan City Tour Bus is a hop-on, hop-off tour service. There are 4 lines to cover a variety of points of interest all over Busan. Just make sure you double-check all details before you buy the tickets. For example, the buses don’t run on Mondays and Tuesdays and a certain line may be temporarily closed due to weather or other local reasons.
- Busan Private One Day Tour: If your budget allows, this is the most comfortable and efficient way to visit Busan’s top destinations. The itinerary can be arranged with your driver and guide for your convenience.
Where To Stay Near Busan Museum
The museum is not in the hottest tourist area so you wouldn’t find 5-star luxury resorts nearby. But, the famous Gwangalli Beach is not far away. It wouldn’t be too hard to find the right accommodations for you in the Gwangalli area.
More Things To Do Near Busan Museum
Busan Museum is adjacent to U.N. Memorial Cemetery. This world’s sole cemetery by United Nations is definitely worth visiting. Read a full post about U.N. Memorial Cemetery.
You can’t miss this one of the hottest places in Busan. Read the complete guide to Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge.
Do you bleed purple? This cafe is owned by Jimin’s dad and is one of the most important spots for the BTS pilgrimage for ARMY. Read my review on Cafe Magnate.