Mokpo City 목포시

Mokpo is a modern city that has served several key roles in Korean history due to being a major trade port. It’s also a great place to check out shipwrecks, and you’ll find lots of relics found from the Silk Trade. Mokpo is located along the southwestern coast of the South Jeolla Province 전라남도.

File:South Jeolla-Mokpo.svg


1. Mokpo Modern History Museum 목포 근대역사관 별관

2. National Roads 1 and 2 (Starting Points)

3. Old Consulate of Japan 목포 근대역사관 본관

4. Yudalsan Mountain 유달산

5. Gatbawi Rock 갓바위

6. Gatbawi Culture Road (National Maritime Museum  국립해양유물전시관, Mokpo Culture & Arts Center, Mokpo Natural History Museum)

You can get to Mokpo by train or bus, but I highly recommend you take the train. It takes 5 hours by Mugunghwa train and 3 hours, 20 minutes by KTX.


There is a city tour located right by Mokpo Station. I enjoyed the city tour and learned a lot from the tour guide. It’s also a great way to travel through the city without having to worry about transportation to and from each spot. Unfortunately, the tour guide only spoke in Korean. There were several non-Korean tourists on our trip, and they wandered around on their own, and made good use of the city tour bus getting them from place to place, but if you’re confident in your ability to navigate using the local bus system, I suggest non-Korean speakers travel the city on their own. If you can’t figure out the local bus system, the city tour is still relatively helpful for non-Korean speakers, and it’s cheap. It costs 5,000 won per adult. Click here for more info on the Mokpo City tour.


The first stop on the trip is the Mokpo Modern History Museum 목포 근대역사관. The building was originally built by the Japanese, and the building itself is quite beautiful compared the cheaper buildings that Koreans lived in during this time. It’s a sign of a tragic time in Korean history, but it now displays photos of Mokpo from 1897 to the present. I enjoyed this museum because almost every photo had short descriptions below in Korean and English, explaining the historical significance of each photo.




Mokpo Modern History Museum Admission Fee: free

Operating Hours: 9am  – 6pm / Closed New Year’s and Mondays

Contact Information: 061) 270-8728

Average Viewing Time: 30 – 45 minutes

From there, you can walk up the street to the Old Consulate of Japan 목포 근대역사관 본관. Right outside the building, you’ll see an intersection with a long rock with the numbers 1 & 2 on it. These two roads that meet here are National Roads 1 & 2 and the manhole in the center of the intersection, is where the first shovel first hit the ground to make them. National Road 1 stretches north to Seoul, and National Road 2 heads east to Busan. This just goes to show how important Mokpo is geographically in modern Korean history.


National Roads 1& 2 Monument Admission Fee: free

Operating Hours: 24 hours

Average Viewing Time: 5 minutes 

The Old Consulate of Japan 목포 근대역사관 본관 is another beautiful building. During the Korean War, many Koreans wanted to destroy it, due to its being a sign of Japanese Imperialism, so you’ll see several bullet holes in the front wall. Today, the building is intact just the way it was back in the early 1900s, and has been turned into a museum.




The Old Consulate of Japan Admission Fee: free

Operating Hours: 9am – 6 pm / Closed New Years and Mondays

Contact Information: 061) 270-8291

Average Viewing Time: 30 – 45 minutes minutes 

Behind the museum, you’ll find a tunnel built by the Japanese. It is similar to many of the shelters found in Japan during World War II.



From there, head to Yudalsan Mountain 유달산. It’s a small mountain at only 228 meters above sea level, but it still manages to have great views of downtown Mokpo. It’s a great place to rest with several gazebos, and a sprawling landscape of trees.



Yudalsan Mountain Admission Fee: free

Operating Hours: 24 hours

Contact Information: 061) 270-8411

Average Viewing Time: 30 – 45 minutes 

I suggest you stop for lunch at this point. Mokpo is known for its seafood, particularly fish. I went to a nearby restaurant for some 백반, and it cost 7,000 won per serving.


The next destination is Mokpo Gatbawi Rock 갓바위 which was named for its resemblance to a man wearting a Gat (갓), a cylindrical type of traditional Korean hat. The rock was made naturally through erosion from waves, and the legend goes that a poor son cried here over the death of his father, and turned into this stone. His father, then came down to stay by his side. The bigger stone is the father, and the smaller one, the son. You’ll find a signpost here with a better telling of the story in English, Korean, and Chinese.


Mokpo Gatbawi Rock Admission Fee: free

Operating Hours: 24 hours

Contact Information: 061) 273-0536

Average Viewing Time: 15 minutes 

Nearby, there’s the Gatbawi Culture Road which is a street of some amazing museums. I only had time to check out the National Maritime Museum 국립해양유물전시관, but since most of these are free, be sure to check them out. This museum focuses on shipwrecks found near Mokpo and relics found on them.




National Maritime Museum Admission Fee: free

Operating Hours: 9am – 6pm weekdays / Closed Mondays

Contact Information: 061) 273-2000

Average Viewing Time: 1 hour

There is a lot of history in Mokpo, and I love how the city has made it accessible with museums and thorough English language translations at each tourist hot spot. This is my favorite city in the South Jeolla Province, and I highly recommend that you visit this place at least once, if not more.

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