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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

The Ulsan Museum

A while ago I wrote an article for a national magazine on Ulsan and the comments that it received were far from nice. They said that Ulsan was “the most boring, polluted and dirty cities” that they’ve had the “displeasure” of living in. One commenter also mentioned that Ulsan has “zero in the way of culture” These guys really gave it to our fair city and I felt that it was completely wrong.

In 2011 the Ulsan Museum opened its doors to show off the culture of Ulsan. You might think that it was just going to show off the ship building and oil refineries, like a huge standing commercial for SK and Hyundai. However, there is much more to Ulsan than just industry. You’ll be shocked to see how much actual culture there is in this city.

Admission is free for the Ulsan (permanent) exhibits but you do have to grab a ticket on the way in. When you ride the escalator up, take the right and, chronologically, the story of Ulsan unfolds for you. There is a lot of detail and history that is not just whaling, ships and cars. English services are available and I would say that they are almost needed as some of the pieces have a ton of story and information but the only English would be a one-word description.

The path then leads to the inevitable industry of Ulsan. However, they do it in an interesting way or at least I thought so. They give you glimpses into interesting areas and show you the hard work and unique things that are created in Ulsan. Did you know they started making sugar in Ulsan back in 1963? With creative exhibits they show you what goes on behind the closed gates of the factories around Ulsan.

The permanent exhibit ends with an interactive board that you can leave a note on. If you also look at the mural (on the right, as you leave) you also see MY contribution!!  The photo of the Taehwa River walking bridge is mine! I had entered it into a competition held by the city and received an honorable mention. So this is where they used and I am happy that it is there.

Throughout the year they will have different exhibitions on in the other galleries. From Egyptian artifacts, inventions of Thomas Edison to monsters, there are always interesting exhibits on display. You can check out their special exhibitions page here to see what is currently on display

There is also a children’s museum with tons of interactive activities from driving simulators to excavations. There is even a “circle theatre” that is equipped with a 360 degree screen. The “cafeteria” is actually a tastefully decorated “bistro” which adds a certain level of sophistication to the museum.

Overall, you’ll be impressed with the museum and it is a much better addition than the “whaling museum” by cultural standards. The location is easily accessible because it is located just up from the Gonguptap Rotary, nest to the entrance of Ulsan Grand Park. The grounds and the architecture are great and you also most seem to forget that you live in a “boring, polluted,  and dirty” city.

Useful Information:

Hours of Operation: 9 am – 6 pm

Fee: Free for the Ulsan Exhibit

5,000 won for the special exhibitions

Location: Next to the East gate of Ulsan Grand Park. Just up from Gonguptap Rotary



Ulsan Metropolitan City, Nam-gu

Doowangno 277 (In Ulsan Grand Park)

052-222-8501~2 (Korean language only for exhibition info)

English Site for Museum Information