Seodaemun Prison History Museum (서대문형무소)

If you are into history, do check out the Seodaemun Prison History Museum located to the west of the national palace, Gyeongbokgung. The Seodaemun (literally western gate) Prison was built near the end of the Joseon Dynasty (~1910) by the Japanese soldiers to detain and torture Korean independence movement activists. The Seodaemun Prison History Hall was later built by the Korean government to remember the Korean patriots who died in the prison while fighting for Korea’s independence cause.

At the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, you can find seven jail cells, an execution room, a historical exhibition hall, watchtowers and a basement jail cell. There are also various educational exhibits and artifacts in the different rules to give you a background of some of the events that took place in the prison.

Tickets to the Seodaemun Prison History Museum are priced at 3,000KRW per adult and 1,500KRW for youths aged 13 to 18 years old. For children aged 7 to 12 years old the entry fee is 1,000KRW each.

A gigantic Korean flag on display outside one of the prison cell blocks.
Walking towards the entrance.
Bought our tickets!

For residents (foreigners or otherwise) who reside in Seodaemun-gu, you will be entitled to a 50% discount on the tickets! Simply show your alien registration card that states your address at the back to obtain the discount.

The entrance to the museum.
Inside one of the cell blocks.

Feel free to enter the jail cells, but do remember to close the door after you! The various signs displayed outside the cells are also mostly written in English and Japanese.

Actual size of the cell.
Name of the inmate would be displayed here.
This particular cell is out of bounds.
Description of the different types of cells and their purposes.
A solitary cell used to torture prisoners.
Inside one of the exhibition rooms.
Prisoners were forced to manufacture goods used by the Japanese military.

You could even have free pictures taken at one of the camera booths! The pictures can be sent to your email address. For an additional 500KRW, you can have the picture printed as well!

We had a picture taken!
Exterior of the cell block.
Built in remembrance of the fallen patriots.
Where the inmates did their exercises.
Inmates would line up here to do exercises, in a controlled setting.
The giant courtyard.

How to get to Seodaemun Prison History Museum:

Take the subway to Dongnimmun (Independence Gate) Station on Line 3. From exit 4, turn right upon exit and follow the path all the way to the entrance of the Seodaemun Prison History Museum.

Exit 4 of Dongnimmun Station.
The Independence Park is located right outside the train station.
You will see this sign outside the train station too.
A statue built in remembrance of the martyrs.
Many elderlies could be seen strolling in the park.
The alter.

Along the way, you should also pass by an alter built to allow Korean citizens to pay their respects and pen notes of gratitude to the sacrifices of the patriots who died for their country’s cause during the independence movement.

Some of the messages penned by Koreans.
A statue of one particular martyr.
The Independence Gate, located at the front of the Independence Park.

There are also foreign language interpretation services available. To book a guide, simply call the museum one week before your visit to enquire about the availability of the guide! We hope you enjoy yourselves here at Seodaemun Prison History Museum

  • Address: 251, Tongil-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
  • Subway: Donggnimmun Station, Exit 4, Line 3
  • Opening Hours: Mar – Oct 0930 ~ 1800, Nov – Feb 0930 ~ 1700
  • Website:
  • Contact Number: +82 2-360-8586
  • Email: NA

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