The Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, tucked away in the hills of Namsan, showcases centuries of Korean and Western art and architecture. Three buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect, house works from the Samsung Foundation’s extensive collection, ranging from ancient Buddhist artifacts to modern works. The Basics
The impressive collection at the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art is divided between three buildings. The first, designed by Mario Botta, houses mostly Buddhist artifacts and Korean ceramics, calligraphy, and paintings. The Jean Nouvel-designed building houses Korean and international art from 1910 to the present. The last building, designed by Rem Koolhaas, is home to the Samsung Child Education and Culture Center.
Art lovers can combine a visit to the museum with a guided tour of the Gana Art Gallery, or take a museum walking tour with stops at the National Museum of Korea and the Seoul Museum of History.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Leeum Samsung Museum of Art is a must-see for art and architecture lovers.
- Free English tours are available on weekend afternoons, and the museum offers audio guides at the ticket office.
- It is prohibited to take photo or video inside the museum.
- The museum is wheelchair-accessible, and both strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent from the front desk on the first floor.
The easiest way to get to the museum on public transportation is to take the Seoul Subway Line 6 to Hangangjin Station and leave through Exit 1. From there, it’s a short walk up the hill to the museum. Parking at the museum is limited. When to Get There
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30am to 6pm. Plan to visit on a weekday morning to enjoy the collection when it’s least crowded, or save it for a rainy or hot afternoon.
Each of the three museum buildings was designed with the collection in mind. Mario Botta took inspiration from the beauty of Korean porcelain in his design, which includes terra cotta tiles. Jean Nouvel’s building, which houses contemporary art, features modern glass and rusted stainless steel in its façade. The black concrete used in Rem KookHaas’s design gives the appearance of a black box floating above the ground.