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Dive into Korea's National Maritime Museum

▲ A couple is sitting in front of the popular marine life-filled aquarium exhibit as children take a photograph. (Source: Kwon Seonghoon)

The Korea National Maritime Museum, completed in 2012, is the first and only comprehensive maritime museum in Korea. The museum covers everything about the ocean with the theme "My Sea, Our Future." More than one million people visit the museum every year, which is celebrating its eighth year as a "maritime cultural space" with various exhibitions, activities and research.

▲ The museum resembles a ship and sits at the edge of Yeongdo island.

 The exterior looks like a massive aircraft carrier with a narrow base and a wide rooftop. Built on 25,870m²of land, the museum measures 34.9m tall and boasts four floors, including one basement floor. 

 Currently, only one gate on the first floor is open instead of the second floor's main entrance gate. After checking each visitor's temperature and reservation, visitors can enter the museum. The Ocean Library on the first floor and the Children's Museum on the second floor are currently closed. However, the special exhibition hall on the second floor is currently preparing for a new exhibition in May. 

▲ A visitor poses infront of the half-sized display of the "Ship Joseon Tongsins."

■ Meeting the Ocean - third floor 

 On the third floor visitors can check out the 362-ton aquarium. They can watch unique maritime wildlife, including sea turtles, stingrays and other marine creatures. 

 On the third floor, there is also an exhibition room where you can explore marine culture, maritime history, and sailing ships. The Maritime Culture section describes the characteristics of Korean maritime culture. One of the most noticeable displays is the reproduction of the ritual for a successful year of fishing. Also, on the third floor are 100 marine figures from all over the world. In the Ships section, a half-sized display of the "Ship Joseon Tongsins," a ship that served diplomatic missions to and from Japan in the past Joseon Dynasty, is reproduced and displayed. Visitors can also see the book "The Land of Morning Calm," written by British archaeologist Landor in the 19th century after visiting Joseon.

▲ A mother and her child witness a replica of Korea's Antarctic expedition.

■ Sailing the Ocean - fourth floor

 The fourth floor concentrates on the present and future of the Korean Ocean. The subjects on this floor are maritime industry, science and territory.

 In the Maritime Industry section, you can explore various aspects of the Korean marine industry, such as the fishery and shipbuilding industries. Also a major attraction, is the seven models of various ships, including oil tankers and icebreakers.

 The Marine Science section is a great place to learn about the history of marine science in Korea and worldwide. Visitors can experience Korea's Antarctic expedition with various models and tools.

 Reservations should be made in advance on the website ( to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitors can choose between 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The number of visitors is limited to 200 per two hour session. 

◎ Address: 45, Haeyang-ro 301 Beon-gil, Yeongdo-gu, Busan

◎ Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday. Closed on Mondays.

◎ How to get there: Nampo Station (metro line 1), exit 6. Take bus 66 and get off at the Korea National Maritime Museum.

※ The Busan City Tour Bus Green Line does not stop at the National Maritime Museum.