The N Seoul Tower, often called Namsan Tower, stands as a symbolic beacon in Seoul, offering unparalleled urban landscape views. This dual-purpose structure serves as an observation and communication tower, perched atop the centrally located Namsan Mountain. As a highly frequented tourist destination, the N Seoul Tower is a must-visit attraction for any travel plan. It also holds a special place in the hearts of locals as a favored spot for romantic outings.
A Comprehensive Guide to N SEOUL TOWER
Standing tall at 777 feet and perched on the peak of the 797-foot-high Namsan Mountain, the N Seoul Tower reaches an impressive altitude of approximately 1,574 feet above sea level. It is the tallest point in Seoul, offering panoramic cityscape views. The tower also has historical significance as South Korea’s first general radio wave tower, still broadcasting signals for major media networks like SBS, MBC, KBS, and FM.
The construction of the Namsan Tower commenced in 1969, and it started broadcasting in 1971. The renowned observatory was added in 1975, and the tower was opened to the public in 1980. By 2001, the tower had already welcomed over 20 million visitors. In 2005, it was renamed N Seoul Tower, with the “N” symbolizing “Namsan,” “new,” and “nature.” A 2012 city survey ranked N Seoul Tower as the top tourist attraction in Seoul. Currently, the tower attracts approximately 8.4 million visitors annually.
Apart from being a must-visit landmark, the N Seoul Tower is a visual delight from a distance, particularly at night. The tower is illuminated in various colors and patterns thanks to advanced LED technology. The protected area surrounding the N Seoul Tower showcases the perfect blend of nature and modern construction. To maintain the cleanliness and greenery of Namsan Mountain, general car traffic is restricted in the area.
Key Highlights and Activities at NAMSAN TOWER
The N Seoul Tower is more than just a tourist hotspot; it’s a cultural icon. It offers an excellent opportunity to soak in the city’s panoramic views and gain insights into Seoul and South Korea’s rich history and culture. The tower also boasts a range of dining options catering to all budgets. Plus, there are plenty of nearby activities and attractions for those who wish to extend their sightseeing adventure. Here’s a rundown of the tower’s primary attractions.
1. N Seoul Tower Observatory
The primary attraction of N Seoul Tower is undoubtedly its observatory. Elevate your sightseeing experience by ascending to the tower’s observation deck, where you can marvel at the cityscape from a cloud-high perspective. The main observation deck on the 3rd floor is encased in floor-to-ceiling windows, offering an uninterrupted 360-degree view of the city. This floor also provides information about various landmarks visible from the windows and is equipped with comfortable seating. The 4th floor houses the digital observatory, equipped with high-powered telescopes and window panels indicating the direction of major world cities.
The N Seoul Tower observatory operates throughout the year, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays. However, please note that the last entry to the observatory is half an hour before closing time. Admission to the observatory requires a ticket, priced at 10,000 won for visitors aged 13 and above and 8,000 won for children aged between three and 12, as well as seniors aged 65 and above.
2. Hanbok Culture Experience Center
Situated in the lobby of the N Seoul Tower plaza, the Hanbok Culture Experience Center offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditions of the Joseon Dynasty. The center offers two distinct cultural experiences. The Hanbok Experience allows guests to don traditional attire and accessories and capture memorable moments in designated photo zones. The Traditional Wedding Experience lets guests dress in wedding garments and have their photos professionally taken. The center operates from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entry tickets are priced at 4,000 won for guests aged 14 and above and 1,000 won for children under 13. Admission is free for children under seven years. Please note that the admission fee does not cover the cost of Hanbok rental, and additional charges apply for participating in the Hanbok Experience and the Traditional Wedding Experience.
3. Love Padlocks
Beyond the observation deck, another popular activity at N Seoul Tower, especially for couples, is the tradition of hanging a padlock on the plaza’s fence. This practice, known as “love padlocks,” involves couples inscribing their names, initials, or a heartfelt message on a padlock and attaching it to the fence, symbolizing their unending love. This romantic custom is a hit among both locals and tourists. If you don’t have a padlock, you can conveniently purchase one from the on-site souvenir shop.
4. Food and Beverage Choices
N Seoul Tower offers various food and beverage choices for those hungry while exploring. Sweet Bar is an excellent spot for a refreshing drink and a sweet or savory treat like popcorn. Additionally, there’s a diverse range of sit-down restaurants. Choose from the unique Korean noodles at Cheiljemyunso, American-inspired burgers at N Burger, Italian dishes at THE PLACE Dining, and French gourmet meals at n.Grill, and Korean buffet at HANCOOK. For a breathtaking nighttime panorama of Seoul, savor a cocktail at the upscale sky lounge N TERRACE.
5. Namsan Park
Encompassing the slopes of Mount Namsan, Namsan Park is a vast public park surrounding N Seoul Tower. The park offers panoramic views of Seoul from almost every corner, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The park attracts over 20,000 visitors daily and provides a touch of nature amidst the bustling city. Open every day, it boasts numerous amenities, such as a botanical garden, a library, a pond, a snack outlet, and several sports facilities. Namsan Park is an ideal spot to explore before or after your trip to the tower.
6. Namsangol Hanok Village
Situated on the northern side of Namsan Mountain, close to N Seoul Tower, Namsangol Hanok Village is an excellent complement to any tower visit. It offers a unique opportunity to experience both Seoul’s modern and traditional aspects in a single day. The village houses five restored traditional homes, reflecting the architectural style of the Joseon Dynasty. Additionally, it features a traditional Korean garden, a plaza, and a stage for performing arts. Visitors can engage in various traditional activities, such as donning a traditional hanbok, participating in a tea ceremony, watching a taekwondo show, or observing a traditional wedding ceremony. Admission to Namsangol Hanok Village is free and open every day except Monday. The village operates from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from April to October and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from November to March. The traditional garden, however, remains open around the clock.
Transportation to N SEOUL TOWER
There are several methods to reach N Seoul Tower based on your preferred mode of travel. Although hiking up Namsan Mountain to the tower is feasible, the trails can be steep and challenging. The most suggested modes of transport for visitors include the Namsan Cable Car, a shuttle bus, or a city tour bus.
1. Via Namsan Cable Car
One of the most scenic and unique ways to ascend Namsan Mountain to N Seoul Tower is by taking the Namsan Cable Car. The cable car ride offers breathtaking views of the encompassing Namsan Park and the cityscape. To reach the Namsan Cable Car, take subway line 4 to Myeong-dong Station. Exit from gate 3 and follow the directions for Namsan Tunnel #3. After a 10- to 15-minute walk, you’ll arrive at Namsan Orumi, an inclined elevator that offers a complimentary ride up to the Namsan Cable Car.
Namsan Orumi operating hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (closed on Mondays for maintenance from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Namsan Cable Car operating hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Namsan Cable Car ticket prices
- A one-way ticket for children and seniors: 4,000 won
- Round-trip ticket for children and seniors: 6,500 won
- A one-way ticket for adults: 7,000 won
- Round-trip ticket for adults: 9,500 won
2. Via Shuttle Bus
Three shuttle buses can transport you to N Seoul Tower for a fare of 1,200 won in cash, or 1,100 won with a transportation card. Each bus can be accessed from two different subway stations and arrives every 15 to 20 minutes.
Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 02
- From Chungmuro Station on lines 3 and 4, use exit 2
- From Dongguk University Station on line 3, use exit 6
Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 03
- From Seoul Station on lines 1 and 4, use exit 9
- From Itaewon Station on line 6, use exit 4
Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 05
- From Myeong-dong Station on line 4, use exit 3
- From Chungmuro Station on lines 3 and 4, use exit 2
3. Via Seoul City Tour Bus
The Seoul City Tour Bus offers shuttle tours to the city’s most visited landmarks, with various routes catering to different attractions. The Downtown Palace Namsan Course and the Night Course are the routes that lead to N Seoul Tower. Both routes start from Donghwa Duty-Free, accessed by taking subway line 5 to Gwanghwamun Station and exiting through gate 6.
Seoul City Tour Bus Downtown Palace Namsan Course
- Buses leave every 30 minutes and halt at 22 spots.
- Ticket prices are 18,000 won for adults and 12,000 won for students
Seoul City Tour Bus Night Course
- Buses leave once daily at 8 p.m. and halt at 12 spots.
- Ticket prices are 15,000 won for adults and 9,000 won for students
- 30 minutes of photo time at N Seoul Tower is provided on weekends
Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)
105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 용산구 남산공원길 105
Inquiries: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese) or For more info: +82-2-3455-9277 Operating hours: Weekdays 12:00-22:00 / Weekends 11:00-22:00
Holiday: N/A (Open all year round)
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