Namsan Seoul Tower, Putting Seoul into Perspective
As Seoul’s most iconic landmark, the Namsan Seoul Tower has a wide assortment of attractions and experiences to be enjoyed. Originally opened as Korea’s first general radio wave tower in 1969, the N Seoul Tower was renovated and re-opened in 1980 as a vantage point for locals to visit and get a birds-eye view of Seoul. From the observatory decks, you can enjoy daytime and nighttime views of Seoul from all directions. With indoor and outdoor observatory decks, special photo zones, a hanbok experience culture center, Hello Kitty character exhibition, local 360° VR experience, and high-caliber restaurants, the Namsan Seoul Tower and surrounding Namsan mountain park not only offer us a great view of the city but also an all-inclusive cultural and entertainment complex for everybody to enjoy.
How to Get There?
Located in the center of the city, just north of the Han River, Namsan Seoul Tower can be reached by a variety of ways.
Option 1: Namsan Circular Shuttle Bus
First, if traveling by Seoul Metro, you can board a free shuttle bus that circles through Namsan Park to get to the base of Namsan tower from shuttle stops located outside various subway stations within the city. The bus fare is 1,200 won (cash) /1,100 won (T-Money card).
Namsan Sunhwan Bus No. 2:
7:00 am~11:30 pm, every 15 mins
Chungmuro Station (Metro Lines 3 & 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema)
Dongguk University Station (Metro Line 3), Exit 6
Namsan Sunhwan Bus No. 3:
7:30 am~11:30 pm, every 20 mins
Seoul Station (Metro Lines 1 & 4), Exit 9
Itaewon Station (Metro Line 6), Exit 4
Hangangjin Station (Metro Line 6), Exit 2
Namsan Sunhwan Bus No. 5:
7:30 am~11:30 pm, every 15 mins
Myeongdong Station (Metro Line 4), Exit 3
Chungmuro Station (Metro Lines 3 & 4), Exit 2 (in front of Daehan Cinema)
During rush hours, the shuttle bus can take longer to reach the tower due to traffic in the city.
Option 2: Cable Car
The cable car will carry you from the bottom of Namsan mountain up to the base of the tower. There are various ways to get to Namsan Cable Car Station.
Take the shuttle bus from Myeongdong Station (Metro line 4), Exit 1.
Take the shuttle bus from Seoul Station (Metro line 1 or 4), Exit 9 in front of Seoul Square
Walk from Myeongdong Station Exit 3 to the Cable Car Base, following the right side of the street with Pacific Hotel for about 10~15 mins.
Take the Namsan Orumi, a slanted elevator connecting Namsan 3 tunnel to the Cable Car Base. The ride is free but can be crowded and have a long waiting time.
Once arrived at the cable car base, you should get off the shuttle bus and go to the ticket office to buy cable car tickets. You can purchase either round-trip or one-way ticket rides. An adult one-way ticket is 7,000 won while a child one-way ticket is 4,000 won. Round trip tickets are 9, 500 won for adults and 6, 5000 won for children.
Cable Car Hours: 10:00 am~10:30 pm daily
During the 5-minute ascension, you can enjoy moving in the midst of Seoul’s natural flora. On sunny days, the cable car ride provides a clear birds-eye view of the stores, houses, and streets in the surrounding district below.
The ticketing and boarding lines for the cable car are usually quite long so you could be waiting for up to 2 hours.
The line is shorter heading down from Namsan Tower.
Option 3: Walk Through Namsan Park
Since Namsan Seoul Tower is located within “Namsan Park”, why not take the cable car one-way and take a leisurely stroll through the park as you enjoy the natural scenery?
Namsan Park is the largest park within Seoul and is a natural habitat for over 60 species of trees, plants, and animals. The park offers several hiking trails from the base of the mountain to the top where Namsan Seoul Tower is located. Its circular trails are especially beautiful during the springtime when cherry blossoms are in full bloom and during autumn when its trees and plant life transform into a mix of vibrant oranges, browns, and reds.
Inside the park, the sounds of the city are completely blocked out and are instead superseded by the sounds of leaves swaying in the breeze, wildlife communicating, and other visitors pleasantly chatting to each other while walking leisurely amidst the center of nature.
As you trek along the beautifully tree-lined curving roads, ascending higher and higher, Namsan Seoul Tower will regularly come in and out of view behind the trees.
Nearing the tower, there is a parking area for tour buses and cars, a convenience store with indoor and outdoor seating, and washrooms for gents and ladies. Seoul city becomes visible again and can be viewed from a wooden deck in front of the bus stop. From here, the main circular road divides into two paths, one leading directly to the lobby of the tower, the other leading to the tower’s outdoor observatory decks.
N Seoul Tower and Seoul Tower Plaza
The entire complex officially called “Namsan Seoul Tower” is divided into two parts: the upper half called “N Seoul Tower”, where the main observatory is located, and the bottom half known as “Seoul Tower Plaza”.
Buying/Redeeming your Ticket
In order to get to the Observation Deck, you'll first have to redeem your ticket at the ticket machines and then take the elevator to the 5th Floor of the tower. Follow the signs for the Observation Deck~
We recommend that you pre-order your tickets online beforehand so that you're not stuck waiting in the long ticket lines especially the evenings, weekends and public holidays. If you pre-ordered online, you can head straight to the ticket machines and redeem your voucher number or QR code.
We found the ticket machines next to the Hello Kitty Island entrance.
If you didn't pre-order and need to buy a ticket walk over to the ticket counter where you can purchase Adult, Child, and Elderly tickets. The Ticket Office is open Sunday ~ Friday: 10:00 am ~ 11:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am ~ 12:00 pm
After receiving your ticket, you'll need to walk over and present it to staff in the Ticket Verification area, then walk towards the elevator that will take you to the 5F Observation Deck. On the way, there is a photo zone with Namsan Tower and various seasonal backgrounds that you can pose in front of. You can pick up your photo at the gift shop in the Observation Deck.
The observatory on the 4th and 5th floors offers one of the best views of downtown Seoul and the Han River. The circular deck provides a panoramic view with glass panels protecting visitors from wind and bad weather. If you'd like to zoom into the view and try spotting other iconic landmarks or familiar buildings in Seoul, you can use standing binoculars for only 500 won. There are also free audio guides available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
You can commemorate the time spent at the tower or in Seoul by dropping by the Tower Gift and N Gift gift shops located on the tower’s 1st and 5th floors. Here you can find items such as t-shirts, plush toys, flasks cutely designed with themes related to love and travel as well as the most popular item, Namsan Seoul Tower miniatures.
► TOWER GIFT
► N GIFT
Don't forget to pick up your souvenir photo on this floor! (or the 1st floor)
You can go down to the 4th floor to enjoy the view and take more photos!
Even the restroom in the 4th Floor has an incredible view of the whole city! It might even be the best view in the tower!
Hello Kitty Island
After enjoying the view from the observation deck, visitors can make a visit to Hello Kitty Island which is located on the 5th floor of the Seoul Tower Plaza. Here you can brush up on your history of this international superstar while touring her home. After exploring her home, you can make a visit to the gift shop to get your hands on unique Hello Kitty merchandise.
K-POP Star Photo Booth
If you're an avid Kpop fan, there is a K-POP Star Photo Booth on the 1st floor of the Seoul Tower Plaza where you can take pictures with kpop artists such as PSY, BIGBANG, G-DRAGON, 2NE1, and RAINBOW.
Hanbok Culture Experience Center
When you get down to the Lobby (B1) of the Seoul Tower Plaza you should check out the Hanbok Culture Experience Center. It boasts a massive collection of traditional hanboks of various colors, fabrics, and patterns available to be tried on. You can try on hanbok, hats, and accessories worn by kings, queens, and dignitaries to pose and take photos in.
The center is partitioned into rooms with floors, ceilings, and walls decorated with traditional Korean carpets, cushions, drapes, wall art, and furniture, creating a historically authentic Korean backdrop to augment the hanbok wearing experience.
Since hanboks can be rented for an hour, you could wear your hanbok outside the center while strolling around the tower and plaza.
The Namsan Seoul Tower experience doesn’t stop there. Seoul Tower Plaza’s outdoor square contains fast food restaurants, cafes, sketch artists, and most importantly, decks that offer visitors an unrestricted view of the city.
You will be stunned by the thousands of multi-colored, multi-shaped padlocks affixed to the metallic fences of the wooden decks surrounding the base of the tower. There are even padlocks affixed to artificial trees which bear the resemblance of candy trees. The body of these padlocks have written wishes and notes by visitors from all over the world including wishes for good health, pledges of love, and prayers for loved ones, which they hope will come true someday. If you’d like to affix your own padlock too, you can bring your own padlock or buy one at the square.
After sunset, colorful LED installations illuminate the tower, creating a romantic atmosphere.
► Tunnel of Love
►Bridge of Love
So why don't you save a day to visit Namsan Tower while you're in Seoul? A visit to the Namsan Tower is sure to become a fond memory from your stay in Korea!