Photo: Night view of N Seoul Tower
Rising up from the summit of Namsan Mountain (262m) is a beloved city landmark that has come to represent the city itself: N Seoul Tower (236m). Upon completion of construction in 1975 and since then, the tower has been a favorite attraction for both locals and international visitors.
The tower's multi-functional space has an observatory, restaurants, a museum, a coffee shop, and souvenir shops and is frequented by families, friends, and couples who come to soak in the romantic ambience and gaze upon the stunning city view. Thus, for visitors hoping to get a panoramic view of Seoul, N Seoul Tower is not to be missed, no matter how busy your travel schedule may be. To make the most of the trip, stroll around Namsan Park and observatory post to close to sunset hours to check out the city's beautiful night landscape.
Located on the second floor of the N tower, there is a unique restroom called 'Sky Restroom' as it is situated at the highest ground level in Seoul's downtown. For men's room, the special feature lies in the glass wall that is built all directions. Don't worry about privacy as the glass walls have a special coating and that the inside will not be seen from outside, while it still offers clear views from inside. It might sound a little strange to be enjoying views while taking care of one's business, but it surely will be one memorable experience for some!
Roof Terrace is an expansive outdoor observatory on the annex building of N Seoul Tower. But it is more known for lovebird to promise their unfailing loves. Several years ago, a TV program's main characters visited the terrace and attached 2 padlocks to the fence as a symbol of their love. Until today, tens of thousands of love locks can be found hanging around the terrace each day.
The observatory of N Seoul Tower offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Seoul as well as information on Seoul and Namsan Mountain. On the second floor (T2) there are also a souvenir shop and a snack shop serving coffee, other beverages, cakes, and cookies. To get to the observatory, buy a ticket from the ticket desk at the Plaza Square or on the basement level.
☞ Location: Digital Observatory – 3F (T3), Analog Observatory – 2F (T2)
This is a museum is highly educational for children as well as for adults to experience the arts, digital objects, and media installation with added touch of illumination. Their displays are meant to be enjoyed not only with eyes but with close interaction with visitors, where one can act like a famous actor of a movie or heroic character that came out of a fantasy script. The exhibition halls take up 4 major different zones showcasing Classical Arts, Living Arts, Fantasy and Sports, housing a total of 34 artistic objects.
☞ Location: B1F
N Seoul Tower was firstly erected to perform a radio transmission tower of Seoul city, therefore limiting civilization access until 2012 due to safety reasons. After years of renovation projects, the place reformed as another friendly landmark of the city, naming aptly as 'Seoul Tower Plaza' in 2015, where the people can now freely visit and enjoy various cultural programs available on-sites and surrounding areas. The tower's inside is decorated with media arts exhibition comprised of 248 OLED light panels, capturing Seoul's representative cultural figures including Gwanghwamun Gate, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul's four seasons (1-4F), and more beautiful scenes in creative ways. After viewing the lighting displays, visitors can exit and tour up to the Namsan Mountain following terrace stairs reaching up to 243m in height.
☞ Location: B1F~4F
The revolving restaurant N-Grill atop N Seoul Tower is the ultimate dating spot and is frequently used as the scene of marriage proposals. Though the full-course meals and elegant interior are excellent in their own rite, it is the restaurant's panoramic views of the city that are sure to impress. As diners enjoy their meal, the restaurant slowly rotates counterclockwise, making a full revolution every 1 hour and 40 minutes. All tables are set facing the windows, assuring you with the "best seat in the house" no matter where you sit.
☞ Location: Observatory – 5F (T5)
HanCook is a Korean-style buffet restaurant popular among family visitors. It offers a classic ambience and about 30 different dishes. Most tables accommodate up to four guests. There's packaged program readily available, which visitors can purchase then enjoy the combined benefit of tour to observatory as well as dinner at HanCook at lowered prices than regulars.
☞ Location: Observatory – 1F (T1)
This souvenir shop has a cozy and welcoming ambience. Among the usual souvenirs, padlocks, Korean traditional gift items, and various stationeries are available for purchase. Locks can be attached to the nearby fence as part of the well-known tradition of "love locks" started by a popular Korean drama.
Located on the third floor of the observatory tower, this branch of THE BA:NG offers a stellar view and a range of whimsical products that serves as creative souvenir ideas.
N Seoul Tower is accessible by circular bus, cable car, and the Seoul City Tour bus. The Namsan circulation bus makes stops at N Seoul Tower and other major tourist sites in the neighborhood. The Namsan Cable Car near Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) is faster and more convenient if you are planning on visiting N Seoul Tower and bypassing other attractions in the area. You can also reach N Seoul Tower by taking a ride on the Seoul City Tour bus, which has a longer route than the circulatory bus.
Access to N Seoul Tower by passenger vehicle (cars and/or taxis) is restricted to reduce the environmental impact on Namsan Park. Visitors coming by car should consider parking at a lot near one of the Namsan shuttle bus stops.
- No. 2: Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Lines 3 & 4), Exit 2 (in front of the Daehan Cinema) or Dongguk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
(Operating hours 07:00-23:30)
- No. 3: Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 4), Exit 9 or Itaewon Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 4 or Hangangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 2.
(Operating hours 07:30-23:30)
- No. 5: Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3 or Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Lines 3 & 4), Exit 2 (in front of the Daehan Cinema).
(Operating hours 07:30-23:30)
☞ Related news: Electric Buses on Mt. Namsan
Directions to the Namsan Mountain Cable Car Station:
- Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3. Take road to the right of Pacific Hotel and walk for about 10-min.
- From Hoehyeon Intersection (Myeongdong & Hoehyeon Subway Stations of Seoul Subway Line 4) walk towards Namsan Tunnel #3 and take the free Namsan Oreumi elevator to the cable car station.
Namsan Cable Car
The Namsan Cable Car is a 3-minute cable car ride that runs from the base of Namsan Mountain to N Seoul Tower, offering a splendid view of Seoul the entire way up. The cable car can accommodate up to 48 people and is much less congested in the morning when there are fewer visitors. Riders can typically board the cable car within 10 minutes of purchasing their ticket.
* Hours: 10:00-23:00 (1 hour extended operation on Fridays-Saturdays, and the days before public holidays, however, these conditions are subject to change depending on the circumstance.)
Namsan Oreumi is a free outdoor elevator that runs between the Commemorative plaza in front of the Namsan Tunnel #3 and the Namsan Cable Car. The elevator covers a distance of 140m and can accommodate up to 20 passengers. With glass on all sides, the Namsan Oreumi offers a unique and convenient way to get to the cable car station.
* Hours: 09:00-23:00 (Closed on Mondays from 09:00-14:00 for regular maintenance)
|Types||Single-decker bus for
City Circular Tour
|Single-decker bus for
Seoul City Night Tour
|Hours||09:00-20:00 (last bus at 18:00)||Departs at 19:30
(leaves at 20:00 during
summer season July-September)
|Interval||Departs every 30 minutes
(Departs every 25 minutes
on Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays)
|Once a day|
|Route time||Approx. 2 hours||Approx. 1.5 hours|
* Departing point: Koreana Hotel near Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 6.
** The bus does not operate on Mondays (Exception: when Monday falls on public holidays, and Mondays during summer peak season (from 4th week of July to August 15, 2016))
☞ Related page: Seoul City Tour
* This column was last updated in January 2016, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on January 14, 2016>