The Lotte Tower complex in Jamsil is one of the more interesting places in Seoul. With attractions varying from the best view in Korea, to an indoor theme park, there’s a lot to see and do here.
Lotte Tower (롯데월드타워) is the tallest building in the OECD, coming in at 555 metres tall. Only 4 buildings in the whole world surpass the height of Lotte Tower, and this makes it a place with an amazing view. The tower is located in Jamsil, Seoul, and contains a mall (롯데월드몰), an aquarium (롯데월드 아쿠아리움), a sky deck, and a whole host of other attractions. Further, it is right next to Lotte World (롯데월드, one of Seoul’s big three theme parks).
The tower itself is easy to access from Jamsil subway station (잠실역) and you won’t even need to set foot outside of the station to reach the tower. Lotte World is also easily accessible from the station and both are well labelled and easy to reach as all of the signage will be in English as well as Korean.
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Depending on the day, the tower will be very busy and it is advisable to either book tickets in advance online, or go there with the intention of looking around the nearby area for a few hours while waiting. It will cost you 27,000KRW per adult and 23,000KRW per child (under 13) for a trip to the top of the tower. Depending on the day, it may also take up to a couple of hours to make it through the queues.
However, at this time there is a lot to do nearby. Whether or not you want to leave the Lotte Complex, you will find a lot to do and see. Inside the mall are large food courts, lots of shopping, and even an indoor aquarium. The aquarium will set you back 31,000KRW per adult and 27,000 per child. However, if you want to visit the tower also, you can get 30% off the aquarium price. If you are interested in visiting both attractions, make sure to purchase a tower ticket first so you can show it to the aquarium staff for your discount.
Lotte World is also nearby and is somewhere you could easily spend a whole day. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance for around 35,000KRW at the time of my visits (2016 and 2017), but if you plan ahead you can find a cheaper deal. Many sites online have deals for the tickets at different times, and they can often be found for around 28,000-30,000KRW.
Lotte World Aquarium
Stingrays are definitely one of my favourite ocean creatures!
The aquarium is large and includes a wide variety of marine life. They even have a beluga whale! The aquarium itself spans multiple stories and there are some very cool sights to behold inside. While I haven’t visited many aquariums of this size, I must say that I really enjoyed Lotte World Aquarium.
They even had a beluga!
However, if you aren’t interested in the aquarium you can always just look around the mall. The mall is gigantic and can easily keep one entertained for a long time! For more information on the exact stores located inside, feel free to have a look at the official website here.
Lotte World Tower
If you are scared of heights then the sky-deck might not be for you, but it is a breathtaking view!
The views from the tower are staggering, amazing, disappointing, and truly impressive at the same time. Well, for me they were anyway. It might just be me, but I was initially disappointed at the view from the tower. Why exactly? It’s just so tall! Being in the tower is similar to being on an aeroplane when you are still within sight of the ground. It’s just so high that you can’t even see the scale of the massive city surrounding you.
After being initially disappointed at the tower being too tall, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The view is almost unbelievable! I don’t know how we ever got to such a level of engineering to allow us to build structures like this. You can easily see the whole central area of Seoul! However, a word of warning: Make sure to check the weather (and air pollution) before visiting as this will greatly change what you see when you get up the tower.
The tower is almost too high to see the city below!
Other than that I can’t really say much. Lotte Tower is a big building and the view is quite stunning. If you are scared of heights this might not be for you, but otherwise, I would recommend this to everyone!
Lotte World Theme Park
The theme park is half located inside, and as such it is perfect in winter or summer.
Lotte World Theme Park has a whole host of different attractions of all kinds. The theme park has both indoor and outdoor locations which makes it perfect for any weather and any season. The outdoor and indoor areas can be freely entered and exited and this is one of my personal favourite parts of the park. Both indoor and outdoor areas have a variety of rides, food, and stores. This means that the park is quite large and if you want to do all (or even just most) of the rides you can easily spend a whole day there.
I first went to Lotte World on December 26th 2016. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. One of the keys to having a great time at any theme park is picking the right time to visit, and that means not picking what is probably one of the busiest days of the year for visiting. It is important to buy the tickets for a good time, and that means some planning. If possible, do not buy tickets for weekends, public holidays, or school vacations (which you can find a list of here). Obviously, sometimes you can’t plan the perfect visit though. I would still recommend visiting however, as the atmosphere is totally worth it. Just don’t visit on December 26th.
Lotte World Ice Rink
The theme park also has an ice skating rink (롯데월드 아이스링크). It isn’t included in the park itself, but it is very close and can easily be done on the same day. It does, however, have a further cost of about 20,000KRW attached to it (including the hiring of gear). By far the coolest part of the rink is that it forms the centre of the whole indoor section of the theme park. Lotte World also has a large variety of roller coasters that vary in size, speed, and… reality. Nearly all of the roller coasters and other rides have a height limit that is strictly enforced. These restrictions vary from 100cm to 140cm (I believe anyone over 140cm can do every ride). An age limit of 10 years old is also in place on some of the rides.
The view from the indoor ‘hot-air’ balloons is like that of a fantasy world!
Some of the more exotic roller coasters involved virtual reality headsets that you wear when riding. These make some of the most unique and coolest rides in the park. I would definitely recommend that you try to do them all!
There are also many smaller attractions like mirror mazes, haunted houses, and similar things. However, most of these cost a few dollars extra (but all of the big rides are included in the entrance fee), so keep that in mind.
By far my favourite part of the park is the atmosphere. I haven’t visited many theme parks, but I have been to Disney Land in Paris, and a couple of theme parks in the US. However, none of them amazed me (even when I was 6!) like Lotte World did. Something about an indoor theme park is truly amazing. It feels like a whole fantasy world! They will even let off fireworks indoors if you visit at the right times! I was very impressed with how they managed to totally convert this building into a magical fantasy world. My pictures can’t really do it justice, but I have tried to convey the feeling!