The History of Korea's Monetary System

Bank of Korea Money Museum

한국은행 화폐박물관

Money may make the world go round, but learning about how monetary systems work can actually get quite complicated and boring. In fact, considering how important money is to each and every one of our lives, it's quite shocking to think that so few people fully grasp how the whole system works. But this is where the Bank of Korea Money Museum steps in. Occupying the former headquarters of Korea's central bank, the Money Museum provides guests with simple, interactive explanations of how Korea's monetary system functions, the role of the Bank of Korea, as well as a history of currency in Korea. It's a surprisingly fun, yet highly educational experience. 


The Money Museum resides in an old colonial-era building built all the way back in 1909, which housed the Bank of Joseon, the Japanese-administered central bank in Korea, and Bank of Korea after independence for many years. The Bank of Korea soon outgrew this colonial-era building, and a larger office building was constructed behind the original in the 1980's. The original building was granted historical landmark status in the 1980s and converted into a museum in 2001 to commemorate the Bank of Korea's 50th anniversary. 


The museum has two floors as well as a mezzanine space. The first floor hosts an introduction to the Bank of Korea, and sections on the creation and distribution of money called 'Life of Currency', the role of the Bank of Korea in the national economy, a currency gallery displaying all types of historical currency from around the world, and finally a history of monetary systems in Korea going back to the Three Kingdoms period. The mezzanine floor is home to the original boardroom of the Bank of Korea as well as the old office of the Governor of the Bank of Korea. There's a VR set in the boardroom that transports you to the middle of a board meeting in the 1950's that's honestly kind of weird and pointless. On the second floor is a space for special exhibitions, a kids' zone, a replica vault filled with bank notes, and an interactive gallery of all the currencies of the world (except North Korea). 


Tours are available everyday at 11:00, 14:00, and 15:00. The tours at 11:00 and 15:00 are conducted in Korean, while the tours at 14:00 are conducted in either English, Japanese, or Chinese depending on the day.

  • English-language tours are available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday;
  • Japanese tours are available on Friday;
  • Chinese tours are available on Wednesday.

The tours last for approximately 30 minutes. Groups of twenty or more people are required to reserve a tour in advance. 

TypePublic Institute
CategoryAttractions>Galleries & Museums
Attractions>Government Buildings
Languages AvailableKorean, English, Japanese, Chinese
Phone02-759-4881, 02-759-4882
Opening Hours10:00 ~ 17:00
Closed DaysMondays, Lunar New Year, Chuseok, Dec. 29 ~ Jan. 2
URLs Homepage
Address39 Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea 39
Location TagNamdaemun-Seoul_Station
Nearest SubwayHoehyeon

Take Line 4 to Hoehyeon Station and go out Exit 7. -> Turn left and walk straight about 150 meters. -> Cross the street. Bank of Korea Money Museum will be in front of you.

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