As you walk around Seoul, it’s hard to miss the iconic N Seoul Tower standing high up on Namsan. My guesthouse Seoul Tower Ville was right on the slopes of Namsan and had a view of the tower, so instead of walking back from Myeongdong to my guesthouse, I took a detour towards N Seoul Tower instead.
Getting to N Seoul Tower
There is a cable car station that brings you up to N Seoul Tower that is pretty near Seoul Tower Ville, but I walked up from Myeongdong at the foothills and it took me 15-20 minutes up some pretty steep slopes. The ride was not particularly exciting, but you get a pretty splendid view of downtown Seoul as you ascend the hill. From the cable car station, it’s another set of stairs to climb to get to the base of the tower.
Scroll down to the bottom for detailed information on the cable car and other ways to get to N Seoul Tower.
Love Locks at N Seoul Tower
On the ground level, it’s hard to miss the massive accumulation of locks covering the railings and even some custom Christmas tree shaped structures. As with all tourist spots, these locks are placed by couples as a symbol of undying love for each other. The locks are a hazard to older structures, but here at N Seoul Tower they’ve integrated it into the decor and it forms a pretty backdrop at the observation deck area.
Ascending N Seoul Tower
The ticket up to the top of the tower cost 9,000won. You have the option of dining at the various restaurants there too, which would be fun in a group, but since I was on my own i decided to just get the admission ticket. You can also buy entry to the teddy bear museum, which didn’t sound that appealing to me so i skipped that too.
Oddly, to get up to the top of the tower you have to go down to the basement first. It’s a lift ride up, complete with built in photo-taking opportunities in the queue before you enter. There are no windows in the lift, but you do get a ‘shocking elevator’ (yes, that’s their name for it, and you’ll encounter some other ‘shocking’ experiences shortly) where a video animation makes it look like you’re shooting up… into outer space. For real.
If you don’t mind a little spoiler, take a look here (this is the one I saw on the way down):
At the top of the tower you’re treated to a 360 panoramic view of Seoul, and it is awesome. Definitely worth it to go up on a clear day!
That first level you’re on is where the gift shop and the photo shop is, so its pretty packed. You’ll also encounter the ‘shocking floor’ which is a little lame in my opinion, having seen other towers with glass floors that really made me nervous – like the ceiling, this one just looks like the ground beneath you broke.
There is also the ‘shocking step’ which underwhelms with shocks but provides a nice area to sit down and enjoy the view if you’re quick enough to grab a space.
A staircase leads down to a level below it where you can find the cafe – i chilled out here for a good long time writing my journal and enjoying the view of the Hangang. It isn’t particularly more expensive than the other cafes in Seoul, which is nice in a touristy place like this.
Also, the ‘shocking toilet’ (ok i don’t know if that was its actual name, but go with it) which is probably the most picturesque place to wash your hands. Lovely view, would be cool if you could see the view while having a pee! Maybe the guys can if they have urinals in their toilet?
I wanted to catch the sunset, so i headed back up to the main level and jostled with the tourists for window space. I contemplated staying till it was dark but decided i’d been there for a long time, so I headed back down to the ground level. Would be nice to have dinner in one of the restaurants there though =)
By the time i took the cable car down the city lights were starting to come on, so it made a nice contrast of views. Like Singapore, Seoul looks pretty different by night! Unfortunately i ended up squashed in the middle again.
Then I took the elevator down to the real street level and managed to meander by way back to Myeongdong, using the N Seoul Tower as my guide. This was just the beginning of my footsore days!
All in all, would definitely recommend you to go up to N Seoul Tower if you can get a clear day there, and possibly work in a hike or 2 of Namsan if you’re feeling fit!
N Seoul Tower – Things to know
Opening Hours and Fees
- Hours: 10am – 11pm
- Round Trip Fee: 7,500 won / One Way Fee – 5,000 won
- Hours: 10am – 11pm (sun-thur) / 12am (fri–sat)
- Admission Fee: Tower only – 9,000 won /Audio Guide – 3,000 won
Namsan can be accessed via Subway (Myeongdong station, Line 4, Exit 3, afther which you can take the cablecar up.
- Walking: 20-30min walk behind Pacific Hotel to the cable car
- Lift: Walk towards Namsan Tunnel 3 and take the lift up to the cable car (closed Mon 9am-2pm)
You can take a bus up the hill too.
- Yellow Bus #2 from Chungmuro station
- Bus #3 from Itaewon station
Around the area:
- Myeongdong is just down the hill so you can grab some dinner and shopping there
- The traditional market Namdaemun is pretty nearby and not too lengthy a walk, or you can take the train 1 stop down to Hoehyeon station (line 4)
- Namsangol Hanok, the old style Korean village is located at Chungmuro station, 1 stop away from Myeongdong in the other direction on line 4.