South Korea

Namsan Tower Seoul

Namsan Seoul Tower  View from Namsan Seoul Tower in autumn or fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The foot of the N Seoul Tower is easy to get to by bus. The Namsan Sunhwan shuttle bus (number 1) from Chungmuro Station will get you there. We would recommend the bus rather than walking! The drop off point itself affords splendid views across Seoul. To enjoy the vista, there is a telescope through which you can admire the calm expanse which belies the bustling city below.

Panoramic view of Seoul South Korea in fall

You can also take the cable car and enjoy the view from above. The cable car is easily accessible from Myeongdong Station.

If you would actually prefer a steep walk up the hill, you can get off the bus at Namsan Public Library and enjoy the lush scenery and vegetation as you make your way slowly upwards….. We took this route and it took some 45 minutes to reach the Tower via the tree covered slope. Lycra clad cyclists were racing down the hill… We didn’t see any labouring upwards! The sun was shining through the autumn foliage – it was a glorious day. Every so often the walk afforded a glimpse of the city below. Some half way up there was a welcome seat – the only one! – at the entrance to Namsan Mountain Park nature reserve. 

Road works were taking place along the route in a snow management scheme. At various points, workers were sitting in groups of 6 – 8 around small dishes of food laid out on the pavement! Sharing food at mealtimes is one of the core activities at the heart of contemporary Korean society. Having travelled from England where one might see workmen in a similar situation having a sandwich at the road side, we were astonished to see so many little plastic boxes and dishes laid out as they would be in a cafe or restaurant being shared by the workers.

Pandas at entrance to Namsan Seoul Tower

Onwards and upwards…..one more steep incline to reach the foot of the observatory tower – an oasis where restaurants of different hues abound.  Starbucks is here – isn’t it everywhere?! Hot dog cafe, Korean cafes, dessert shops. Fast food and fine dining. We sat and enjoyed a “hot” coffee in the autumn sun whilst looking out over the city… When you order a coffee here, the first question is “hot or cold”, then “in or out”….. Lovers’ lockets abound on the fences and railings here – they are positively encouraged (and charged for of course). Romantic couples abound!

Again there are a charming gift shops up here selling Korean souvenirs for all! Including an array of love locks which you can attach to the tower for posterity. And time capsules into which you can put a message and leave in the tower. The terrace level offers views from a different angle and you can climb among the gun placements to take a view. On a hot day, shade is provided by a typically decorated ornate Korean roof.

Romantic lockets attached to fence at North Seoul Tower

On the lower levels there are extensive observation decks and terraces, all offering amazing views of the city.

Tickets to ascend the tower are fairly inexpensive.

On a weekday there was a short wait going via an immersive media art exhibition where 40 laser projectors present surreal reinterpretations of Seoul. The lift to ascend is accessed via an immersive media art exhibition where 40 laser projectors present surreal highly colourful reinterpretations of Seoul onto the walls and ceiling.

View from Namsam Seoul Tower

The lift itself has a screen on the ceiling showing planets and the lift operative instructs visitors to look up for the 25 second ride so you can imagine you’re travelling through space en route to the observatory… Once at the top it is a feast for the eyes. Walk round the circular tower, look through the glass and you will get a 360 degree bird’s eye view of the amazing city of Seoul. Potted histories are shown on the windows. It is a great photo opportunity.

The tower was originally opened to the public in 1980 and takes a hour and forty minutes to rotate. Audio guides are available.

On the way out you can walk through a 3D tunnel.

We would highly recommend a visit to the Namsan Seoul Tower where you will be able to appreciate the enormous scale of the city. Step back from the daily metropolitan rush and view this beautiful city from a place of calm…….. It is one of Seoul’s best tourist attractions – a landmark not to be missed!

If you are planning a stay in Seoul booking.com offers a good selection of hotel and apartment accommodation in the city. Read more….. If you use this link to book your stay we may earn a commission. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

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