Namsan Tower: All You Need to Know Before You Go

Surrounded by lush green hills is Seoul’s top attraction and symbol: the Namsan (N) Seoul Tower. Located atop Mount Namsan it is not only a top tourist attraction but also the highest point of the capital. As such, it offers an amazing panoramic view of Seoul’s skyline, both during the day and night.

The capital city is an immense metropolis but it’s hard to see how big it really is while wandering the streets. Seeing Seoul from the top of the 237-metre high Namsan (N) Seoul Tower, people realise how big it is.

Gorgeous skyline - Seoul
Seoul’s impressive skyline

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About Namsan Tower

The N Seoul Tower is a fantastic spot to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. Also known as the Namsan Tower and Seoul Tower, it is a communication and observation tower in Korea and located on Namsan Mountain. The second observation tower is the Busan Tower. Construction of the tower started in 1969 and broadcasting began in 1971. It provided broadcasting for TV stations and still does for major TV stations like KBS, MBC and SBS. The Namsan Tower was opened to the public in 1980. The tower became a popular attraction for locals and tourists following a major refurbishment in 2005. Reopened as N Seoul Tower, the N meaning “nature”, “Namsan” and “new”.

Everything was designed to make the N Seoul Tower a top attraction. All the ingredients to make out for a perfect day are included: location, shopping, entertainment, food, games, etc…Its central location makes it easily accessible to locals and tourists.

Top tips & Facts

  • N Seoul Tower Observatory is a landmark attraction in Seoul where you can enjoy the best views of the Korean capital.
  • Even though you get the best views from the observation decks, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Seoul from the roof terrace and the lobby for free!
  • N Seoul Tower is officially referred to as YTN Seoul Tower. It is also called Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower.
  • N Seoul Tower stands 236.7m high or 777ft!
  • Admission to the observation decks is free if you dine at n.GRILL (lunch or full course dinner)

How to get to Namsan Seoul Tower  

There are several ways to get to the N Seoul Tower. Choose the one adapted to your preference and budget.

Namsan Cable Car

As well as being the most picturesque way to reach N Seoul Tower, Namsan Cable Car (NCC)  is also the quickest way to get there. As you reach the top, you see the beautiful scenery of Namsan Park and the city. 

To get to Namsan Cable Car you need to take the underground line 4 to Myeong-dong Station. From there, you can either:

  • Walk from Exit 3 for about 15 mins to Namsan Cable Car
  • Take the free “Namsan Cable Car Shuttle” bus from Myeong-dong Station, Exit 1. 
  • Get on the Namsan Oreumi (elevator) from Myeong-dong Station, Exit 4. 

The cable car operates every day from 10 am to 11 pm. Access may be restricted due to bad weather. 

An adult ticket costs 7,000 won (one way) and 9,500 won for a return (for children, it’s 6,500 won and 4,000 won respectively).

Namsan Cable Car carrying passengers

Namsan Shuttle bus

Depending on your location, you can take one of these shuttle buses to reach the tower. Each journey will cost 600 won with T Money or cash. 

  • Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 02: Chungmuro Station on lines 3 and 4, take exit 2 and Dongguk University Station on line 3, take exit 6
  • Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus N0. 03: Seoul Station (lines 1 & 4), Exit 9 or Itaewon Station on line 6, Exit 4
  • Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 04: Dongguk Univ. Station on line 3
  • Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 05: Myeong-dong Station on line 4, Exit 3 or Yaksu Station (lines 3 & 6), Exit 2
Namsan Tower shuttle route

City tour bus

Seoul City Tour Bus offers several tours to the most popular attractions within the city. You can take the Downtown Palace Course or the Night Course. Buses depart from Donghwa Duty-Free (Gwanghwamun Station, Exit 6)

  • Seoul City Tour Yellow Bus / Panorama Course – 18,000 won
  • Seoul City Tour Bus Downtown Palace Namsan Course – 18,000 won
  • Seoul City Tour Bus Night Course – 15,000 won
  • Klook Namsan Shuttle Bus 

Taxi

A taxi is always a convenient and comfortable way to get around even though it’s a little more expensive. Please note that to preserve Namsan Park, cars and taxis are not allowed to go all the way up the tower. As a result, taxis will stop at the foot of the cable car.

Walk/hike

Walking up to N Seoul Tower is possible, however, it may be a little challenging. If you love walking and hiking, walking the Namsan trails is a unique experience.

There are three possible trails you can take to get to Namsan Tower:

  • Sam-soon Steps: Take the famous Sam-soon Steps to to Palgakjung Pavilion. Takes 40 minutes ( close to Hoehyeon Station)
  • Namsan Public Library: Entrance is in front of the library and follow the Southern Circuit, 30 minutes
  • National Theater of Korea: Take the Souther Circuit from the ticket office and walk for 40 minutes or take take the stairs (30 minutes)

There are also some guided walking tours. The tours take about 2-3 hours and run daily. Trazy offers a tour,

Blue sign showing the distance to capital cities of the world - Namsan Tower

Opening hours and admission fee 

Namsan Seoul Tower opens daily from 10 am to 11 pm with late closing on Saturdays (until midnight).  Last entry is 30 minutes before closing. The opening hours and access to the observatory may change depending on weather conditions.

The observatory costs 11,000 won for adults and 9,000 for children. Best time to Visit Namsan Tower 

N Seoul Tower is a great attraction to visit during all four seasons. Thanks to Namsan Park, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms during spring and the beautiful fall colours in autumn. Summer offers a location with cool air and gentle breeze while winter offers a magical scene when the park is covered with snow.

Namsan Tower at night is extremely beautiful but be sure to bring a quality camera with you! Peak time is around sunset, so to be at the tower before sunset, try to be there before 5:30 pm.

Things to do at Namsan Tower 

Although the primary reason for people visiting Namsan Tower is the observation deck, it is not the only thing to do. The N Seoul Tower has lots of activities to enjoy. The best things to do are listed below.

Get up to N Seoul Tower Observatory

The main reason people visit Namsan Tower is obviously for the view it offers. 

There are two observation decks: the main observation deck is located on level 4F and the second is just a floor above (5F). Both decks offer floor-to-ceiling windows allowing people to see the beautiful city from all angles.  The information on the windows shows the points of interest and even distance to major capital international cities like London, New York or Pyongyang. 

Location: N Tower – T4 & T5

Enjoy the OLED Light Display

OLED display at Namsan Tower

As well as being the number one attraction in Seoul, Namsan Tower is beautiful to watch, especially at night. Decorated with the latest LED technology, the tower lights up every night with different colourful illuminations. The exterior of the tower changes colours depending on the air quality. So no matter where you are, you can see the level of air pollution. This is how well located the tower is! Inside, each floor is decorated based on a specific theme. Some floors have lights shows while others have videos to amaze visitors. 

Namsan Tower - levels of air quality

Check out Hello Kitty exhibition 

Fans of Hello Kitty will enjoy Hello Kitty Island. The museum about the cute Japanese character transports visitors into the lovable world of Hello Kitty via different themed rooms and locations. If you book online, you can get an N Seoul Tower ticket combined with the Hello Kitty museum ticket. Buy tickets to Hello Kitty Island here. 

Location: N Tower – 5F 

Hang love lock on the roof terrace

The N Seoul Tower has become THE romantic location for couples who wish to declare their undying love to each other. The roof terrace was made famous after the main characters of the drama “Boys Over Flowers” visited the viewing deck on the roof terrace to hang padlocks to express their love. Nowadays, lots of couples come to do the same. The area is known as “Love Locks” or “Locks of Love” is reminiscent of Pont des Arts or Pont de l’Archevêché in Paris. Gates are full of locks of different sizes, colours and shapes signed by lovers and also friends. I recommend bringing your own locks as those sold onsite are quite expensive. The deck is great to watch the sunset and have an unobstructed view of the city. All for free, I may add!

Love locks at Namsan Tower

Location: N Plaza – 2F

Make memories with your other half at the Pledge of Love

Another activity made for couples or friends is the Pledge of Love. There are several locations within the tower where people can take photos in the Pledge of Love Booth and displays them on the walls of the tower. It’s a fun activity and a great opportunity to create memories with your loved ones. 

Location: N Plaza, 1F, 2F and 4F

Shop and dine

Namsan Tower stores map

Namsan Tower is divided into two sections: N Plaza and N Tower. The N Plaza is where you will find most of the shops, experiences and activities while the N Tower will have the observation decks and restaurants.

No matter how hungry you are, you will always find the right place. If you want a quick coffee, try A Twosome Place. For a sitdown dinner, you have the choice between (but not limited to):

  • N Burger (American style burgers)
  • Hancook (traditional Korean buffet)
  • The Place Dining (Italian restaurant)

For an extra-special experience, book a table at the revolving French restaurant n.GRILL located on the 5th floor. 

Hanbok Culture Experience Center

Wearing a hanbok is a good way to immerse yourself in Korean culture. If you are too shy to wear the Korean traditional attire and walk down the busy grounds of one of the five grand palaces, then the Hanbok Culture Experience Center is for you. The Hanbok Experience allows visitors to dress up and take pictures by a professional photographer in the photo zone themed around the Joseon Dynasty. The Traditional Wedding Experience gets people to dress in a traditional wedding hanbok. As well as dressing up, people can also learn about the different types of hanbok in the Hanbok Museum. This experience is free for holders of the Discover Seoul Pass (excluding hanbok hire and photos). https://www.trazy.com/experience/detail/discover-seoul-pass?ref=SS1120&label=Discover Seoul Pass&ad_id=4690">Seoul Pass can be booked here. 

wearing

Location: N Plaza – Lobby L

Kakao Friends Theme Park

Fans of video games will enjoy the Kakao Friends themed activity.” Ryan Cheezzzball Adventure”. The VR adventure game by Kakao Friends is a fun place for kids and all. You’ll find all the Kakao characters transformed into VR anime. In addition, you will find merchandise and themed snacks to bring back home. You can purchase your combined Observatory and Ryan CheezzBall VR experience here.

Location: N Tower – 4F 

Things to do around Namsan Tower

Hike Namsan Park

View of the huge Namsan Park from the observation deck

Surrounding the Namsan Tower is the green public park, Namsan Park. People love visiting the park for its panoramic views of Seoul. As well as being a great place for hiking and picnics, Namsan Park is also home to Palgakjeong, an octagon-shaped viewing pavilion, a pond, a botanical garden and even library!

Have you visited the Namsan Tower and the surrounding Namsan Park? If so, what was your best experience? Let us know in the comment section below.

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