OWL Magazine Korea

Incheon Open Port Street “Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall & Jung-gu Living History Exhibition Hall”

Incheon Open Port Street has been a residence for foreigners from various countries since the opening of Incheon Port. Among them, especially considering the proximity to China and Japan, there are remnants of Chinatown and a Japanese-style street.

At the heart of Open Port Street, you can find an exhibition hall that introduces the history of the first Western-style hotel in Korea, the “Daebul Hotel.”

“Incheon Open Port Street, Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall”

Daebul Hotel is the first Western-style hotel in Korea, now a historic landmark as it no longer operates. The Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall narrates the history of this hotel.

Established after the port’s opening, Daebul Hotel served as the first lodging for foreigners entering Korea through Incheon Port before heading to Seoul. The exhibition hall, spanning three floors, provides the following insights:

  • 1st Floor: Displays traces found at the Daebul Hotel site, offering insights into its architectural style. Explore the history and visual materials from Daebul Hotel to its demolition after relocating to Jungwha-ro.
  • 2nd Floor: Features recreated rooms from Daebul Hotel and showcases the operational methods, fees, and services of hotels and accommodations in Incheon during that era. The floor exhibits elegant furniture, utensils, coffee makers, and tableware from the past. Daebul Hotel was not only the first Western-style hotel but also the initial place in Korea to offer coffee, influencing the emergence of cafes in the area, repurposing century-old wooden buildings and brick warehouses.
  • 3rd Floor: Replicates a banquet hall, once a social space offering food and music. Today, the Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall occasionally uses this space as a planned exhibition venue and is available for rent to citizens or organizations for seminars, lectures, and exhibitions. Outside the banquet hall, visitors can virtually try on period costumes for commemorative photos using a virtual fitting machine.

“Incheon Jung-gu Living History Exhibition Hall”

After enjoying the Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall, a seamless transition leads to the “Incheon Jung-gu Living History Exhibition Hall” by using the back entrance of Daebul Hotel on the 1st floor. This thematic museum faithfully reproduces the appearance of Incheon during the enlightenment period 100 years ago.

“Museum Recreating 1960-70s Incheon Jung-gu Lifestyle”

The Incheon Jung-gu Living History Exhibition Hall recreates the life and culture of Incheon Jung-gu during the 1960s and 70s. Centered around the establishment of Jung-gu in 1968, the exhibition showcases the lifestyle, cultural activities, and other aspects of citizens during the 1960-70s.

Apart from the exhibitions, the venue sells unique cultural products and operates cafes and photo studios. The Living History Exhibition Hall consists of three floors: B1, 1st, and 2nd.

On the 1st floor, visitors can explore the lifestyle of Incheon Jung-gu residents during the 1960-70s, divided into categories of clothing, food, housing, and culture. Some spaces also sell unique food and cultural items. Although on the day of the visit, access to the costume rental area was restricted, preventing the experience of trying on retro costumes and taking commemorative photos.

Various nostalgic props such as barbershops, coal briquettes, classic cameras, and public telephones evoke the emotions of the 1960-70s. The exhibition also recreates residential environments like kitchens, rooms, and market alleys, offering a journey back to the nostalgia of the period.

The 2nd floor provides a glimpse into the culture of the 1960-70s through venues like a tavern, theater, and tearoom. The walls are adorned with record albums reminiscent of the era’s tearooms that played music on record players. The theater area displays posters from popular movies of the 1970s and reproduces a ticket booth for exhibition. If the screening times align, visitors may watch movies from the 1970s.

“Admission Fee”

The entrance fee for individual adults is 1,000 won. With a payment of 1,000 won, visitors can explore both the Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall and the Incheon Jung-gu Living History Exhibition Hall.

Purchasing a 5-museum combined ticket for 3,400 won grants access to five different museums and exhibition halls, including the Jajangmyeon Museum, Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall & Jung-gu Living History Exhibition Hall, Han-China Museum & Incheon Chinese History Museum, Modern Architecture Exhibition Hall, and Incheon Open Port Museum.

“Incheon Open Port Street, Daebul Hotel Exhibition Hall”

  • Address: 101 Sinpo-ro 23-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon
  • Phone: 032-766-2202
  • Operating Hours: (Tue-Sun) 9:00 – 18:00 (Last Admission: 17:30)
  • Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year, and Chuseok
  • Website: https://ijcf.or.kr/load.asp?subPage=522.06