I’ve been saying that Seoul has the most beautiful sunsets for years now. However, somehow, people still doubt that. This post is proof that Seoul has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
On top of that, I’ve wanted to write an article on the best views in Seoul for years now. While this isn’t quite that, it’s a precursor to a possible future article. I hope you enjoy learning about the most beautiful sunsets in Seoul!
Seoul Sunset Time
Typically the sunset time in Seoul is around 9 pm in summer and about 6 pm in winter. Usually, the best time to take photos of the Seoul sunset about 15-30 minutes after the ‘official’ sunset time, as this is when there will be the most visible colours. In this post, we will cover some of the best sunset spots in Seoul – from the Seoul Tower sunset to sunsets on the Han River.
If you are looking for the exact sunset time please refer to this site. The sunset is listed at the top of the page!
Finding the Best Day for Sunset Viewing
Sunsets can be a difficult thing to predict. But don’t fear! There are a few good tips to follow.
There are already some great guides out there for predicting good sunsets. Digital Photography School has one and another one can be found on ABC Australia. However, I found that predicting sunsets in Seoul can be quite different from the guides. This is most likely due to air pollution.
I have no facts to prove this, but this is my experience. The best sunsets will be on days that are dry (no rain, or only rain in the morning) and that have clouds, but not too many clouds. Ideally, you want a partially cloudy sky as that will make the scene more dramatic as well as add more colours to it.
Days with rain can occasionally have good sunsets, but normally you want dry days. If there is rain earlier in the day that clears out (at least) a few hours prior to sunset then there is still the chance of a fantastic sunset. However, generally the less rain the better.
Finally, air pollution can play a big part in the quality of a sunset. Days under 50 AQI are the best as you will get ideal visibility. If the pollution is too strong on a particular day then not only will visibility be limited but images won’t be sharp.
With all of that being said, let’s get into the best sunsets in Seoul!
Best Sunsets in Seoul
Dongjak Bridge under a blood sky!
While this list is by no means comprehensive, these locations are my favourite to view sunsets in Seoul. There are many other fantastic locations out there though, so make sure to explore! I will be updating this list in the future to include more locations, so keep an eye on it!
Namhansanseong is easily deserving of the first spot on this list. While this view is one of the more common views of Seoul, that is for good reason. It’s breathtaking. Although the trip to the fortress can take a few hours depending on where you are staying in Seoul, it’s a trip that I highly recommend. This is one of the best sunset views of the capital.
Namhansanseong is a fortress on top of a mountain in the south-east of Seoul. What makes this view so stunning is that it’s one of the few views where you can see all of Seoul spread out before you. Views like Namsan and Inwangsan are stunning, but you can’t capture the whole city in one photo from either.
The fortress is accessible via bus. The bus will take you to the centre of the village atop the mountain, and there you can walk along the fortress wall and to the fortress gates. The best views are along the north/west walls as this is where Seoul lies. The photos above were taken near the west gate.
The tracks here are generally easy and aren’t very steep at all. From the carpark you can reach any of the gates within 45 minutes. If you want to follow the whole wall then expect to be walking for a good number of hours.
2. Bridges of Seoul
Dongho Bridge has one of the most beautiful sunset views!
This might sound like a bit of a cheat answer, but I am totally serious. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, if you don’t mind walking (and some wind), the bridges of Seoul often have the best views of the city. Not to mention the sunset!
Really, any bridge will provide great views. However, for sunset views, you want a bridge located somewhere where the river is running east-west. This allows for a great scene of the setting sun directly over the river.
Looking down the Han River from Dongho Bridge.
Dongho Bridge is a fantastic location to watch the sunset. If you want to watch the sunset over the Han River, Dongho Bridge and Dongjak Bridge are two of the best locations. The purple image above was shot from Dongho Bridge as was the orange sunset image below.
Dongho Bridge can be accessed from either Oksu or Apgujeong Station. Personally I prefer Oksu as the bridge is easier to reach from there. However, either station will work fine!
The east-facing view is also beautiful (the above two photos were taken facing west). However, the western view is what you want for sunset images. Since there is no way to cross the bridge once you are on it, make sure that you are on the correct side before you cross!
Another thing to keep in mind is that the bridges can be very windy at times! Remember to dress warm! If you plan to take photos, make sure to bring something heavy to weigh down your tripod.
A purple sunset in August as seen from Dongjak Bridge.
Dongjak Bridge is probably my favourite bridge at the moment. Not only is it easy to reach (there is an entry to the bridge right outside the subway station), but the views are stunning! As with Dongho Bridge, you want to make sure that you are on the western side of the bridge to see the sunset in its full glory.
Dongjak Bridge is located in an area on the river that is quite free from tall buildings and skyscrapers. For this reason, it has a unique view from many of the other bridges in Seoul.
Dongjak Bridge also has one great feature that puts it above all of the other bridges in Seoul. It has two Emart 24 stores. Emart 24 is a convenience store that can be found all over Korea. However, Dongjak Bridge has two stores – one on either side of the bridge. These stores are not only convenience stores, but they are also small cafes, libraries, and restaurants. They are a few floors each and even have a rooftop that can be accessed for Han River viewing!
If you would prefer to watch the sunset from the comfort of a seat with a coffee (or alcohol) in hand, then Dongjak Bridge Emart is the place for you! The rooftop provides possibly the best view that you can get from any location along the bridge.
Banpo Bridge after dark.
Personally, my favourite bridges are Dongho Bridge, Dongjak Bridge, and the Yanghwa and Seogang Bridges near Hapjeong (which I will talk about below). All of these bridges are guaranteed to provide you with some stunning Seoul sunsets. However, if you have the time, I would recommend trying a few different bridges also.
Every bridge has a beautiful view, and this is what makes them some of my favourite photography spots. They can be long walks, with some of the bridges being over 1km long (such as Dongho Bridge). However, they are well worth it. Not only will you get some exercise, but you will also witness some of the less-seen sunsets of Seoul.
If you would prefer to stay inside but also get an iconic bridge view, then why not check out the Dongjak Bridge? It has two E-mart convenience stores facing both directions down the river. They are a perfect date location!
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3. Mountains of Seoul
While the river and bridges provide stunning views of parts of Seoul, there are no better sunset views in Seoul than those provided by the mountains that stand all over the city. Seoul really is a city of mountains, with tens of them standing in the capital alone.
Some of the mountains in the city require longer walks, but many are also accessible either via the fantastic public transport or by a short ( < 20-minute walk).
This is a mountain that I didn’t get around to climbing until recently. However, it’s also a mountain that I wish I had climbed earlier! It’s a bit of a walk – expect to take between 30-45 minutes to reach the top. However, it’s a walk that is well worth it!
Unfortunately, on the day that I visited the fine dust was incredibly bad. This definitely ruined the view a bit, and made it much harder to get good images. For that reason, I got mostly night images from Achasan as the fine dust dissipated over the hours after sunset.
Although there was still a haze caused by the dust, the view of Lotte Tower was quite stunning. While the sun sets more to the side of this view, on a good day, the sky will still turn a fantastic colour and the view will be beautiful.
One of my absolute favourite views in Seoul is that offered by Naksan. Not only is the mountain very accessible (from Dongdaemun, Hyehwa, or Hanseong University), but the walk is very short and the view is stunning.
Although, the ease of access also makes Naksan not only a more crowded sunset spot in Seoul, but also a more commonly photographed view. However, I think that despite the fact that it is commonly seen in pictures, it is still a view that is well worth seeing.
On one side, you get a fantastic view of Dongdaemun. On another, you get a stunning view towards Namsan Tower. Finally, perhaps my favourite view is that which looks over northern Seoul and the Seoul Wall.
Naksan is also a very popular dating spot, and you can expect it to be crowded on nights with good weather. Despite this, it’s still a sunset view of Seoul that I always fine myself returning to. It’s just a stunning view!
Namsan Tower has some of the best views in the city!
Namsan. Who hasn’t heard of it before? It is one of the most visited and photographed locations in the city. However, while it may be common, I can’t discredit the views that Namsan provides of the city. Especially at sunset!
Namsan Tower (남산서울타워) is located right in the centre of the northern part of Seoul (the part to the north of the Han River). Next to Myeongdong and Itaewon, two very popular destinations, Namsan Tower is one of the hottest destinations in Seoul for tourists.
While it is super busy at times, this is for a reason. It really does have some of the best views in the city. Lotte Tower is an alternative skyscraper that many people visit, but in my opinion, the views from Namsan Tower are much better. Not only this, but Namsan Tower is cheaper, easier to access, and usually less busy.
For sunset views, you don’t even need to visit the top of the tower. The mountain itself offers brilliant views of the city, and without the glass barriers that the sky-deck has, this is often better for photos.
If you are planning to visit Namsan Tower for views other than the sunset (which is best viewed from the mountain top), I recommend a viewing platform about 10 minutes down the mountain. From the tower, walk down the road that buses travel on. About 10 minutes down the road, you will come across a viewing platform looking towards the Han River.
For more information on the best views at Namsan check out this post on N Seoul Tower.
Inwangsan is another easily accessible mountain in Seoul, but one that is often overlooked in the face of mountains such as Naksan and Namsan. This mountain requires a more difficult walk, but the view is one of the best in Seoul.
This mountain is located in northern Seoul, and the view to the south is stunning. You can see the whole city before your eyes. This includes Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Tower, and more!
Seoul is a massive city, and it’s very hard to get a view that covers the entire city. When you go up Namsan or Naksan for example, the city sprawls in all directions. While you can still see the city on every side of Inwangsan, the vast majority of it is to the south, and this makes for a stunning view.
If you are looking for one of the most complete views of Seoul, I highly recommend Inwangsan. The hike is quite steep (but only takes around 30-45 minutes), but the view at the top is well worth it.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any sunset shots of Eungbongsan, but these are some of the stunning views at nighttime.
Eungbongsan is one of the lesser-known mountains in Seoul that provides stunning views. In fact, I think that most people don’t even know of it. This mountain stands tall next to the Han River and Seoul Forest on the northern side of the river. It provides beautiful views to both the east and west of the city.
The mountain of Eungbongsan (응봉산) only takes about fifteen minutes to climb and it is worth it for the sunset views that it provides. The mountain is a popular place for locals to take their dates, and once you reach the top, it is obvious why! It is quite a romantic date location.
If you are to see only one view in Seoul, I would recommend either Eungbongsan or Namsan. However, Eungbongsan is a far more unique and less-known view due to its location and being off of the main tourist path – that and the fact that nearly every visitor goes to Namsan.
While it is a bit more difficult to reach (as it isn’t on a common train line, and it is a bit off the main lines), the Eungbongsan sunset and nighttime view is one that I hope every visitor to Seoul gets to see.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many images from the sunset at Eungbongsan, but I hope that these night photos can give everyone a good idea as to what the sunset would look like.
Yongmasan is one of the many mountains in Seoul that is quite often overlooked. This is most likely due to the fact that it is in a less-visited area of the city. In fact, I had never been near Yongmasan until I was looking for a new view of Seoul. If I hadn’t of been looking for new sunset locations in Seoul I probably never would have visited this neighbourhood!
Despite being out of the way, this mountain has some stunning views. You can either walk to the peak (which takes about 45 minutes) or stop at one of the many viewpoints on the way up. The photo above was taken only 20 minutes into the walk!
The track that I followed was quite hard to find and I spent a good 30 minutes trying to find where the track begins. Not only this, but I quickly came across a locked gate and panicked as I thought the path was closed. Luckily, this hiking guide was there to help.
The track to the top of the mountain begins quite steep but begins to lessen as you near the top. Most of the track is dirt/rock, however there are some sections with wooden stairs and handrails. Although this hike is not long, it is somewhat difficult due to the incline.
If you are planning to take photos from Yongmasan I recommend taking a lens with a good zoom (70-200mm will cover the good shots well). The mountain is a bit out of the way and many of the most famous landmarks (such as Namsan Tower and Lotte Tower) are quite distant.
4. Han River
Han River at dusk!
The Han River is not only one of the most famous views in Seoul but it is also one of the easiest places to visit. While many of the bridges provide views over the river, this section is dedicated to Hangang parks that have stunning views of the sunset!
Since the river flows from east to west there are a lot of fantastic locations to watch the Seoul sunset along the Han River.
The sunset at Yeouido is stunning and has an uncluttered view.
Yeouido is an island in the Han River, located near the centre of Seoul. The Han River itself is one of the biggest attractions in the city, and Yeouido is a popular location for locals to visit with family, friends, or significant others. The Han River has a lot of stunning views.
Yeouido doesn’t just have stunning sunsets, however. It is also home to the beautiful Yeouido Hangang Park (한강시민공원 여의도지구 or 여의도한강공원 for short) and the Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park (여의도샛강생태공원). Both of these gardens are well laid out and beautiful, and they are reasons enough to visit Yeouido.
Yeouido has well-paved paths and is also a great place to roller skate, skateboard, bike, or just to walk. It’s also a fantastic place to pitch a tent or mat (both of which can be hired) to have a picnic while watching dusk.
The sunset is in the west, which is directly down the river from Yeouido. This is part of what makes it such a beautiful sunset location. On top of this, the skyline to the west of Yeouido is not very cluttered, affording spectators an unhindered view of the stunning sight.
Ttukseom Resort Station
The sunsets behind Namsan Tower and this makes Ttukseom Resort’s view truly stunning.
Ttukseom Resort Station (뚝섬유원지역) is similar to Yeouido in that it is well maintained and has a great atmosphere with beautiful gardens.
What makes Ttukseom unique to Yeouido is that it is also the home to many events and festivals throughout the year. When I visited in August there was a Greenpeace event on, and this is just to name one event.
However, what makes Ttukseom even more unique to me personally, is the view that it offers of the Seoul sunset. Since the sun sets to the west, Ttukseom looks directly down the Han River towards Namsan Tower – Where the sun sets behind the tower.
Looking to the north from Ttukseom Resort Station.
It has a more cluttered view than Yeouido, but it is a view that can only be seen in Seoul. With Namsan and Namsan Tower standing tall and the Seoul sunset behind the mountain, everyone will be able to recognise where your picture is from.
Looking from Ttukseom Resort Station to the north (across the river) also has some stunning views. In fact, this is where I took one of my all-time favourite pictures!
Nanji Hangang Park
The new bridge that is under construction!
I never really knew about Nanji Hangang Park until just the other week! However, I now wish that I knew about it earlier. Nanji Hangang Park is one of the many parks located at World Cup Stadium, and while that means it is out of the way, it also means that it is surrounded by fantastic parks.
Nanji Hangang Park is out of the way for most people, however, and that can make it quite hard to visit. However, it is well worth a visit if you have some spare time! Its location may make it harder to reach, but that isn’t always a bad thing – It means that less other people will visit too!
At the moment (December 2018), the area is still under construction as a new bridge is being made. This will soon be complete though, and the area will be completely open once again. It is still worth visiting currently, just keep in mind that the area isn’t completely open currently.
Nanji Hangang Park is quite similar to both Yeouido and Ttukseom in regards to facilities and functionality. There are a lot of picnic areas, and the area has public toilets and is close to convenience stores and children’s playgrounds.
I like the view from Nanji Hangang Park because it is very unique to the others on this list!
What sets Nanji apart from the other locations are the views. The views here are very unique and you can see a lot of the less built-up areas towards the west of Seoul. I like this view a lot because it is just so different from the views you usually encounter in the more typical viewing locations. As with pretty much any Han River location, the sunsets here are stunning!
Fishing lines in the Han River, in front of the setting sun.
Hapjeong is another of the most beautiful sunsets in Seoul. Another Han River view, this location makes the list not only because of its sunsets but also because of the atmosphere. The Han River at Hapjeong (합정) is located close to Yeouido (in fact, it’s just a bridge away from Yeouido), but it also looses many of the crowds that can be found at Yeouido.
The river by Hapjeong has many paths and gardens that can be enjoyed, and it also catches the sun until very late. This, combined with the more quiet atmosphere, makes Hapjeong a very enjoyable place to witness the Seoul sunset.
If you really want to see the best sunset view, then consider checking out the bridge that goes from Hapjeong to Dangsang (the bridge is called Yangwha Bridge), or Seogang Bridge which goes to Yeouido. These views are some of the best in the city as they look straight down the river, giving colourful reflections and cityscapes.
Hapjeong is one of the easiest places to reach on this list due to its close proximity to Hongdae. Hongdae is a place that nearly every visitor to Seoul goes to, and it’s easy to visit Hapjeong and the Han River on the same day. If you’re up for a short walk (about 30 minutes), it’s relatively easy to get from Hongdae to the Han River at Hapjeong to witness the sunset.
6. Lotte Tower
Lotte Tower is almost too tall to see the view below!
Finishing off this list is Lotte Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the OECD at 555m tall. Lotte World Tower and Mall (롯데월드타워 & 롯데월드몰) is by far the highest view you can get within the city of Seoul. This, of course, makes it an ideal place for viewing the sunset in Seoul.
Lotte Tower costs around 35,000KRW for a visit to visit the sky-deck, and when compared to Namsan Tower, this is quite a steep price. In saying this, however, Lotte Tower has a view that has to be seen to be comprehended. Seoul is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world, and Lotte Tower shows this very well.
Unfortunately, being an indoor view, this means you have to contend with glass reflections in your images. This being said, if you simply want to view the sunset and photos are your second priority, this is far less important. The sunset can be viewed easily from Lotte Tower!
If you plan to watch the sunset from Lotte Tower, make sure to plan in advance. At times, the tower can be quite busy, and sometimes reaching the front of the line can take hours. Due to this, it’s important to plan ahead of time to make sure that you will be at the top of the tower in time to see dusk.
7. Haneul Garden
Looking through the silver grass, the sunset is beautiful!
Located at World Cup Stadium (월드컵공원) Haneul Garden is by far one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Haneul Gongwon (the Korean name) literally translates to ‘Sky Garden’, and this is exactly what it is.
Located on top of a large hill near the Han River, Haneul Garden is surrounded by many different gardens. While these are all stunning locations (and you should really visit them all!), Haneul is definitely the diamond in the crown among them. Being both the most famous garden, and also (arguably) the most beautiful.
Haneul Garden provides stunning cityscape sunsets also, but that isn’t what makes it unique, and nor is that why Haneul made this list. Rather, in amongst all of the silver grass, sunflowers, and other plants, the sunset makes for some truly stunning photos.
The hilltop takes about 20-30 minutes to reach and is accessed from within World Cup Stadium. The walk isn’t difficult, and a fully paved path goes right to the top of the hill. Going down is far easier, with a staircase going right down the side of the hill. However, both of the times I have visited, this staircase is only open to people descending the hill.
The setting sun goes down behind Haneul Garden
Haneul Garden provides a totally different sunset view in Seoul. This view isn’t the typical cityscape that you expect to see but is rather a more natural sunset view. Haneul also makes for a fantastic portrait photo location (that was why I visited!) and is great for photos other than sunsets also.
While some of the sunsets on this list are well-known and often viewed, there are also some hidden gems. I truly do think that Seoul has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world – definitely, some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen anyway!
But what do you think? If you know of some stunning sunsets elsewhere or have somewhere you would add to this list, let me know in a comment or via a message. I would love to add to this list!
Seoul Sunset FAQ
What Is the Best Sunset in Seoul?
This comes down to the individual in question. However, my personal favourite sunset view in Seoul is a tie between Dongho Bridge, Dongjak Bridge and Naksan.
When Does the Sun Set in Seoul?
Typically the sunset time in Seoul is around 9 pm in summer and about 6 pm in winter. Usually, the best time to take photos of the Seoul sunset about 15-30 minutes after the ‘official’ sunset time, as this is when there will be the most visible colours.
What Are Some Lesser Known Sunset Views?
There are hundreds of lesser known sunset views around the city. Some that are easily accessible and beautiful are those from the mountains Achasan and Inwangsan. Many bridges on the Han River also offer stunning views.
What Are the Best Free Views?
Nearly all of the views on this list are free! If you are looking for the best free views, look towards the mountains of Seoul as well as the Han River. They offer many stunning sunset viewing locations!
When Can I See the Best Sunset?
Generally, the best sunsets can be found when there are a few clouds, but not too many. I have found that low-medium levels of fine dust also enhance the colours – too much will ruin the view though.