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trickeye museum seoul

*The Trickeye Museum in Seoul has shut down and re-opened as Coconut Box – a little pocket of SE Asia in the middle of Hongdae.

trick eye museum | coconut box hongdae

Escape to SE Asia in Hongdae.

Wanna dodge sharks, climb bamboo trees with panda bears, and levitate above chairs? Well, it’s all possible at the Trickeye Museum Seoul.

Even better? The centuries old trompe l’oeil art technique, that’s used at the museum to “deceive the eye,” has been updated with something funky and futuristic – augmented reality! You’ll be amazed by how these optical illusion paintings actually “come to life” around you.

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The Trickeye Museum Seoul

We’ve all seen images of 2D paintings made to look 3D, right? This special art technique is called “trompe l’oeil,” and it originated in France hundreds of years ago. It essentially tricks the eye into believing flat images have real dimension.

These optical illusion museums are special because you’re encouraged to insert yourself into the image and actually become a part of the art.

At the Trickeye Museum in Seoul, paintings literally come alive before your eyes in 5 different themed zones. These include:

  • Water World, where you can walk on water, get eaten by giant birds or surf on sharks.
  • Synchro Zone, where you dive and interact with synchronized swimmers in an “indoor pool.”
  • Horror Nights includes scenes with coffins, vampires, skeletons and other creepy creatures.
  • Fantasy is a world of incredible optical illusions that can only exist in the imagination.
  • Best of Trick Eye allows you to interact with now classic trick art scenes.

These scenes are clever, imaginative and super fun, and you’ll have a total blast at the Trickeye Museum in Seoul. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s just for kids… people of all ages can’t help but get sucked into the creative paintings that decorate the walls, ceilings, and floors of the museum. I know we did.

The First AR Museum in the World

Optical illusion museums have now been exported all over the world, but way back in 2010, the Trickeye Museum Seoul was the original. And now they’ve created another first – an AR or augmented reality museum, where the various paintings and scenes around you actually come to life.

It seems like Augmented Reality (AR) has kind of taken over Korea in recent years, with it being added to amusement park rides, video games, and even historical sites, but I’d yet to experience it myself. I admit I was pretty darn curious about this particular element of the Trickeye Museum Seoul.

trickeye museum seoul

In the Water Zone, the entire room is an optical illusion with AR dragons

Fortunately, it turned out to be as entertaining as I’d hoped it would be. Not every painting has been updated with AR, but the ones that have been, are super creative and tons of fun. There’s scenes with sword-fighting skeletons, crackling crystal balls, attacking sharks, bamboo climbing panda bears, and much, much more to play with.

How does Augmented Reality work?

This was my number one question before we visited the Trickeye Museum Seoul. Would we have to wander around the museum wearing huge goggles? Be tied to a computer? I just couldn’t figure it out, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy, from a user point of view.

All you have to do is download the free TRICKEYE app onto your phone, point it at a painting and watch it come to life. It’s as simple as that. Within the app, you can choose to take a picture or video of what you see, and it automatically saves to your photo library, for posting on whatever social media you deem fit.

7 Awesome Tips for visiting the Trickeye Museum Seoul

Here are my tips for how to get the absolute best pictures and video at the Trickeye Museum Seoul.

Download the TRICKEYE app BEFORE you visit the Trickeye Museum

There’s free wifi, but we had a lot of trouble staying connected, and ended up downloading the app with our pocket wifi instead. This was still pretty slow, probably due to the museum’s basement location. Don’t waste your time standing around downloading the app, because trust me, you’ll wanna get into the action as soon as possible.

Make sure your battery is fully charged

The Trickeye app drained my battery really quickly. You definitely don’t want to run out of juice exactly when you need it most. I’d advise bringing a power bank or charger with you if you can.

Check for sound in each AR scene

I didn’t realize this until I got into a quiet space and watched the videos I’d taken at the Trickeye Museum, but there’s music built into some of the AR that really adds a lot to the optical illusion! Make sure you’re in the right spot to capture both the music and picture. There are clear signs on the floor or around each scene to show you the optimal place to take pics from.

Choreograph your AR scenes

If you’re lucky enough to visit without a constantly moving toddler, take the time to choreograph each scene. This means watching the AR first, figuring out where to place yourself, and when to time your actions. It takes some effort, but it’s absolutely worth it for the end result… (ignoring the fact that we shot this upside down haha – like I said, constantly moving toddler).

Wear comfortable clothes

Some of these optical illusions require you to climb up onto stools, roll around on the floor or get a little messy. If you really want to work the angles, you need to be wearing clothes that allow for some movement. Wear comfortable shoes, and maybe leave the mini-skirts and stilettos at home.

Visit off-peak hours

The Trickeye Museum Seoul is open from 9AM – 9PM, every single day, but the quietest times to visit are in the morning before 11AM, or in the evening after 5PM. And yes, quieter is better. The space is literally packed with artwork to interact with and less people means less risk of other people’s body parts getting into your super realistic 3D AR shot!

trickeye museum seoul

Sometimes you gotta squat haha -wear comfortable clothes if you want to make the best of each scene.

Trickeye Museum Seoul Tickets

Regular price tickets can be purchased onsite when you arrive at the Trickeye Museum in Hongdae. Each ticket also includes access to the Ice Museum, a museum made completely of… you guessed it… ice.

Prices are as follows:

  • Adults: 15,000 won each
  • Children aged 3-18: 12,000 won each

You can save about 30% off the ticket price by booking discounted tickets to the Trickeye Museum in advance.

If you’re planning on visiting the Love Museum (an optical illusion museum based around love and sex by the same company) or Everland, check out these combo tickets from Trazy.

How to Go to the Trickeye Museum Seoul

Address: 20 Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

The Trickeye Museum Seoul is located in Hongdae on the B2 level of Seogyo Plaza. Get there by getting off at Hongik University Station on Line 2. Note that this station is also known as Hongdae.

Take exit 9 out of the subway station, walk straight for 150 metres, then turn left at the first traffic light. There will be a SPAO store on the corner where you turn. Walk straight until you see the Tonymoly on the corner, then make a right. Walk straight for another 100 metres and you’ll see the Trickeye Museum on your right hand side.


  • Betty

    November 18, 2019

    How to download the AR images I have taken with the TRICKEYE app on to my desktop computer?

  • August 20, 2017

    It looks like it could be a lot of fun for photography buffs, especially those who like selfies!

    • August 23, 2017

      It’s truly a place for people who like taking pics…but actually impossible to do alone. You def need a partner in crime! ?

  • travelingchristie

    July 19, 2017

    This is crazy, I would love to visit and the boys would just love it, it looks so mad and the photos are incredible so believable, thanks so much for linking up #MondayEscapes x

    • July 19, 2017

      It’s even better live, when you can see all the walls and floors coming to life using the AR app. And definitely the perfect activity for kids who’re a little older than my little one is (she’s 21 months). There’s only 1 location on that side of the world – in Istanbul! 🙂

  • July 16, 2017

    This is so cool! I’d definitely visit if I visit Seoul.

    • July 16, 2017

      It’s worth a visit if you ever come to Seoul for sure. Unique and fun, and of course, great pics to share too! 🙂

  • July 15, 2017

    Your Instagram posts with Agri fighting off sharks and serpents (and, of course, dancing in a tutu) all cracked me up! Historically, I would not have been at all interested in seeing this kind of thing, but your photos were so much fun I might consider it now. (I’ll go to an AR museum; you can go to AR(kansas), the state! Haha)

    • July 15, 2017

      Hahaha you got yourself a deal. ? Agri is a natural in his tutu isn’t he? ??? Yeah I never thought it’d be my thing either but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Would be great with kids just a little bit older…

  • July 14, 2017

    what an interesting and original idea for a museum! looks worth a visit!

    • July 15, 2017

      It really is! And worth at least 1 visit and maybe more since they’re constantly updating the artwork and adding things like AR.

  • July 14, 2017

    Haha that looks like a lot of fun! Wonder how Nathan would enjoy it there, shame that we have nothing the like anywhere nearby

    • July 14, 2017

      Nathan is probably the perfect age to enjoy this kind of thing. Naia was just a little bit too young to understand and stand still. I think the closest to you is in Istanbul, so if you ever find yourselves there. Or maybe on one of your asia visits…there’s one in Hong Kong, Singapore and maybe even in mainland China somewhere… 🙂

  • July 13, 2017

    Wow I’d love to visit a museum like that! Something unusual and interesting. I’ve only been to Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum in Copenhagen, when it comes to unusual museums and I loved it! Looks like your family had so much fun. If I ever go to Seoul, I am going to keep this in mind 🙂

    • July 14, 2017

      They’re a lot of fun and definitely a must-do if you ever visit Seoul. The new AR just adds a whole other level of interest to the experience. If you’re ever in Istanbul though, another one of the 3D museum chains from here, the Alive Museum, has a location there! 🙂

  • July 13, 2017

    I’ve seen so much about Trickeye Museums but just can’t seem to get into the hype. Just doesn’t fascinste me. But that said, looks like you and Naia had so much fun posing – like one giant playground and you can actually be a part of it all ? It looks quite easy – just stand and pose for a bit and it looks like you are doing something out of the ordinary ?

    • July 14, 2017

      I was kind of the same as you…I thought the pics were cool when I saw them, but couldn’t get too excited about it. But then a friend visited from Hong Kong and wanted to go, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Haha, it was definitely challenging with Naia…she’s just a little bit too young for it. She can’t stand still!!! 🙂


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