When you search for the best views in Seoul there are a few places that I am sure you have encountered more than a few times.
The Han River, Lotte Tower, and Namsan Tower (also called N Seoul Tower). Each one of these locations is famous for its view and is popular because of it. I’m sure you’ve seen countless photos from these locations, but here I am today to share some more!
While Namsan Tower is one of the most well-known views in Seoul it is also one of the best. I guess that’s why it’s famous after all.
While N Seoul Tower may be a cliched location to photograph, that doesn’t mean you can’t get fantastic results. Even without going up the tower there are some fantastic views.
Time: Seoul Tower hours are 10 am – 11 pm (until midnight on Saturday) | The tower is open every day
Location: The tower is located near Myeongdong | Location
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Namsan Tower Overview
Seoul Tower is a tower located on Namsan mountain north of the Han River in Seoul. The tower goes by many names – Namsan Tower, North Seoul Tower, N Seoul Tower, and Seoul Tower. Officially the tower goes by a different name! That name is YTN Seoul Tower.
The tower itself is over 200 metres tall and situated on top of the mountain. This makes it one of the highest locations in Seoul.
Seoul Tower was built in 1972 and was originally meant as a broadcasting tower for TV and radio. To this day the tower still serves its original purpose. However, now it is also a famous landmark and popular tourist destination.
Lonely Planet recently released a list of the top 500 global destinations. These are the ‘best travel destinations in the world’. Korea was featured on the list three times. Changdoekgung Palace, the DMZ and N Seoul Tower were the three entries that Korea made.
North Seoul Tower is located near Myeongdong which means that it is central. This is perfect because it makes it easy to visit in amongst other attractions!
The tower is also easily reachable from Itaewon – another tourist hotspot.
How to reach Namsan Tower
The sunsets over Myeongdong – as seen from Namsan Tower.
Getting to Namsan tower is easy, and there are two popular locations to start the journey from. Myeongdong and Itaewon subway stations are the easiest ways to reach Namsan. This post covers everything you need to know about public transportation in Seoul!
There are shuttles buses constantly looping to both of the stations. There are alternative routes too. But, these two are the most common and tourist-friendly.
Another option is the Seoul City Bus Tour. This bus stops at many central places in Seoul and is aimed at tourists. If you are planning to explore other places such as the palaces then this bus is ideal!
Finally, you can also use a shuttle bus. These buses can be arranged to pick you up from a specific location nearby.
Therefore, I would recommend them to most people. However, if you would prefer not to take the bus (they can quite often be crowded) you can also walk.
The walk takes about 30-45 minutes and is quite steep, but it is an enjoyable walk. Just be careful of what season you do it in! There are also walking tours available if you are interested!
The Seoul Tower ticket price is 10,000KRW if you purchase the tickets at the tower. However, the tickets can often be purchased for cheaper online. If you are wanting to save some money, check out these tickets from Klook and Trazy.
N Seoul Tower opening hours are 10 am to 11 pm. To make sure you get enough time to take in the sights, try to visit before 10 pm. It is also worth noting that at times there can be long queues. To avoid this, visit in the morning.
If you do decide to visit at a peak time (generally 4 pm to 10 pm) make sure that you purchase your tickets online. This allows you to avoid the line for tickets.
If you have the Discover Seoul Pass, you get free admission to Namsan tower.
Namsan Tower Views
The tower itself is very pretty at night!
As I have mentioned, despite being a very common view of the city, I believe that Namsan Tower is one of the best views. It is extremely central and provides great views on all sides, and it’s in an easy to reach part of the city.
Of course, there are other, more unique views of Seoul. However, nothing comes close to Namsan in terms of accessibility. For this reason, I highly recommend it to visitors. But… there is a catch!
Namsan itself is a mountain, and while most people will visit only the tower, there are also some great views on the way up the mountain. If you want the best views, I would recommend walking up the mountain and checking these out.
View of Namsan from Naksan Mountain.
While it costs to enter the tower, there are also some great free views. As the tower is located on top of Namsan (South Mountain) you can get some stunning views without even entering the tower.
Almost all of the photos on this post are actually from the mountaintop rather than N Seoul Tower. While the views at the top are breathtaking, the glass windows make photography harder.
I highly recommend that everyone visits North Seoul Tower. While it is on the main tourist path and a very popular place, it is one that’s worth visiting. However, I don’t think that you need to visit the top of the tower.
The tower and mountaintop both have amazing views. It’s up to you if you want to visit the N Seoul Tower Observatory.
The BEST View
My favourite view from Namsan Tower!
Namsan has many different viewing platforms. Each one has a unique and stunning view. However, in my mind, there is no question. There is one view that is the best out of them all…
The viewing platform that I mean is located about 10-15 minutes down from the summit. To reach it, simply follow the road from the top. Begin walking down the mountain and after a short walk, you will see a bend in the road with a viewing platform.
This viewing platform is without a doubt my favourite. While the top of the mountain is always busy and crowded, this platform rarely has more than a few people. On top of that, the view to the south is beautiful.
While walking to the platform and back (to the bus station) takes about 20-30 minutes for the round trip, it is worth it. Not only is the viewing experience more pleasant, but you can get to see a less known view.
N Seoul Tower Views
Myeongdong can be seen in the distance, to the north of Namsan. I would highly recommend checking the sunset times before visiting. This means that you can be prepared and get the best viewing positions for the sunset! N Seoul Tower is located right in the heart of the city. Being right next to Myeongdong means it is both easy to access and has amazing views.
In the distance, you can see the river winding through Seoul. It’s an amazing view and a splendid place to hang-out and stroll along in summer!
If you weren’t planning to visit Namsan Tower though, I highly recommend that you do. Whether you like to visit tourist attractions, Namsan is an attraction that is famous for a good reason.
Namsan Tower and Lotte Tower both provide some amazing views of this wonderful and beautiful city! I prefer the view from Namsan (and it’s less crowded and cheaper), but it’s up to you! I would recommend both.
Lotte Tower is amazing, but you are so high up that it is quite hard to judge the true scale of the city and the buildings below you. Namsan Tower, on the other hand, is more central to Seoul and gives you an amazing view nearly all of the city.
The view at daytime is also stunning!
While the view at N Seoul Tower is the main attraction, there are some other places worth note. The main N Seoul Tower attractions include a handful of restaurants as well as some unique stores.
At the bottom of the tower is Hello Kitty Island. This is a themed area after you guessed it – Hello Kitty. This is located next to a souvenir store for any kind of Namsan Tower gifts that you can imagine!
At times there will also be other pop-ups near the bottom of the tower. When I visited in 2016 they had a cool petting zoo for a few months.
There are also a few different cafes located around the bottom of the tower. If you are wanting to enjoy a stunning view while enjoying coffee then Namsan is the place!
Throughout the tower, there are a few different restaurants. N Burger is a fantastic burger store that is located near the bottom of the tower. The burgers here are a bit pricey but they are of great quality. If you purchase a burger meal in a package then it is cheaper!
On the second, third, and seventh floors of the tower there are more restaurants. These, however, are very pricey due to the views that they offer. An Italian restaurant is located on the second floor. Korean is located on the third floor. Finally, French is located on the seventh floor.
The fourth and fifth floors of the tower are the observation decks. Once you take the elevator to the top of the tower these can be freely accessed at will. There are some mailboxes which can be used to post postcards from the top of the tower.
On top of that, there are binoculars located all around the tower providing different views of the city. There is also a Twosome Place cafe if you want to sit down and enjoy the view!
Finally, perhaps my favourite attraction is Weenybeeny. This candy store has hundreds of different types of candy and I always come away with a bag of sweet food! This particular store can be found in a few other tourist attractions around Seoul.
Something that Namsan has become famous for is love locks. When you are in love in Korea, many couples flock to Namsan Tower to make their love ‘locked’. Padlocks are purchased and written on and are then attached to the fences around the tower.
Since this trend began, thousands of locks have been placed on the mountaintop. The trend has even spread to other countries around the world!
With the number of locks, it is a sight to behold! If you are interested in placing your lock there then go for it – it’s free. However, I recommend bringing your lock. While there are some on sale in the tower, they aren’t the prettiest or most unique locks.
Rather, I would advise purchasing a lock that you like before visiting and using that.
In spring especially, Namsan Park is beautiful.
While the tower is the main attraction, Namsan Park is also worth visiting. Unfortunately, most visitors will never experience the park. Since most people will just take the bus to the top, the park is a LOT less popular than the mountaintop.
However, the park itself is very nice. If you get the chance to visit in spring or fall it is especially stunning!
The park can be accessed most easily from Myeongdong. However, it can also be accessed from Itaewon and any other surrounding area. From the base, walking to the top will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.
There are many different tracks of varying difficulties and lengths. Following the road up is the easiest walk as no stairs are involved. On the other hand, to truly experience the park I would recommend taking some of the smaller, lesser-known paths.
These paths are a bit more difficult but they pass through the forests on the mountain. This means that they are beautiful walks that are a great escape from the city.
Although the building is best known for the tower, there is actually a whole complex below the tower too. This area is a few stories tall and it features many different attractions that vary over time.
There are a few gift stores and restaurants that are always located at the foot of Namsan Tower. For example, the fantastic Namsan Burger restaurant is located there! However, there are also many temporary exhibitions in the building.
For example, when I first visited the tower in 2016 there was a petting zoo located in the building below Namsan Tower. This little zoo had all kinds of animals that you were allowed to touch and feed (under supervision).
More recently, I have seen small children’s theme parks/playground (kind of a cross between the two) as well as VR exhibitions. Some of the exhibitions will definitely be better than others, and the exhibitions always change. However, since it’s easy to explore the building below I recommend it.
Should You Visit Namsan Tower?
Namsan Tower is a popular tourist destination in Seoul. However, it’s also undeniably one of the best views of the city. N Seoul Tower is one of the places that is on the main tourist route, and everyone should visit. Even compared to Lotte Tower, I prefer to view here!
If you get the chance to visit Namsan, make sure you do. It is especially convenient because it is located so centrally in the city!