Namsan (South Mountain) and Seoul Tower, Seoul
Seoul Tower is a communication tower located Seoul, South Korea. Built in 1969, and opened to the public in 1980, the tower measures 236.7 m (777 ft) in height (from the base) and tops out at 479.7 m (1,574 ft) above sea level. In the past it was called Namsan Tower and Seoul Tower. After the tower's original owner merged with CJ group, it was renamed the N Seoul Tower (official name CJ Seoul Tower).
Most visitors ride the Namsan cable car up the mountain, and then walk to the tower. The tower features a gift shop and restaurants on the ground floor. Visitors may go up the tower for a fee. There are four observation decks (the 4th observation deck, which is the revolving restaurant, rotates at a rate of one revolution every 48 minutes), as well as gift shops and two restaurants. It is a popular place to go on clear days to see most of Seoul. Fasteners Used were bolts and other materials.
Close to N Seoul Tower, there is a second smaller transmission tower, which is built as lattice tower
What's the first thing you see when entering Seoul?
Right, the city's landmark - Seoul Tower.
Located on top of Namsan, Seoul's little, 262 meter high inner city mountain, Seoul Tower is visible from almost everywhere... even or especially during night time.
Opened to the public in 1980, it thrones at an overvall height of 480m above sea level and includes an observation platform at 370 meters above nn as well as a revolving restaurant.
Namsan Tower underwent a major renovation and re-opened to the public on December 9, 2005 as N Seoul Tower. The place looks really great now and includes several levels with various places to drink, eat, shop or simply look around:
- Olive Young (supermarket / convenience store)
- Coffee Shop
- Eatery with indoor and outdoor seating
- Food Court
- Gift Shop
- Ticket Counter
- Viewing Platform
- Restaurant (relatively inexpensive with great view)
- Elevator Entrance
- Tous Les Jour (bakery)
- Ticket Counter
- Exhibition Area
(360m altitude, reached by express elevator)
1/F : Hancook Restaurant
2/F : Sky Cafe
3/F : Observatory platform
4/F : Observatory platform
5/F : N Grill by Vips (revolving restaurant)
Be sure to have a splendid view all across Seoul... provided the weather is not too misty.
The observatory opens from 10.00am to 11.00pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays)!
The shops close at around 10.00pm.
This village has restored five traditional Korean houses. You will see five traditional houses. These houses model traditional houses of Joseon dynasty. The houses belong to various social ranks of the society from the common peasant to the king. Furniture is displayed inside to help you to understand their daily lives. It includes a large common area where you play a traditional game. The Exhibition Hall holds traditional handicrafts produced by artists who have been designated as "Human Cultural Property" by the government. It was built from Dec. 28, 1993 - Dec. 31, 1997.
Seoul Tower is the world's third tallest tower. It reaches a height of 497.7m above sea level, although the tower itself is 236.7m in height. A high-speed elevator takes you to the top. The 360 degree view of Seoul from the observation deck of the tower is superb.
The observation deck is normally open from 09.00 to 00.30.
The observation deck of Seoul Tower is closed from March 1 to October 31, 2005.
There is a revolving restaurant on observation deck floor 5 and the Pulhyanggi traditional restaurant on basement level 1.
The Namsangol Hanok Village is one of those places I kept wanting to go to, nd putting off until my last trip to Seoul. Now I wish I had gone sooner.
The village is really beautiful. It is divided into three parts, there is a garden, another plaza area which I didn't understand the translation for, and the village itself. The village is the best reason to come here. It consists of many Hanok (traditional Korean Houses) from the Chosun Dynasty. The houses had been in a lot of locations around Seoul, but were moved to the location, restored, and made into a traditional looking village. It was very cool to see how people lived back in that period, compared to what people in my country were doing. It is also cool, because I finally learned the secret to why Korea's traditional houses and palaces are all raised off the ground, and what those smokestack looking things are for!
The Seoul Tower is a great place to get a good look at the city of Seoul. It stands high atop Mt. Namsan, in what is really the center of Seoul. To the north, the Blue House and many of the palaces are visable, and to the south, the World Cup Stadium and the Olympic park are also visable.
The best way to get up to the top of Mt. Namsan, is to take the cable car. I didn't know about this until I had climbed up a long road that led to the top. The road is nice too. It doesn't cost anything, and there are remains of an old stone fortress wall that immediately recall images of the Great Wall of China. Not quite on that scale, the wall was part of a fortress once on the Mountain.
The tower is a three story tall observation deck with a revolving restaurant (which seemed to be going a bit too fast for me). There is also supposed to be a 3-D theater, museum, and a place called funny world. But I really don't remember any of those things, so they may be by the cable car place. To be honest, I wasn't looking for them, I just wanted to get to the top of the tower.
The tower is easily seen from anywhere in Seoul, and is fairly inexpensive.
By coincidence, I visited Namsan 2 days after the last tip...and went to the top of it!
First, the hike. We parked near the base of the mountain and took the stairs up (it's not too tough a hike, lots of benches around as well). (Parking was about 6,000 won (USD 5.50) for 2 hrs.)
Once up there I noticed more than I wrote last time. There is an arcade, museum (of sorts), corner store and lots of food sellers. This is probably why Koreans are so confused when hiking the the U.S. and Canada and not seeing a mini-city on top of the hills to cater to their every need.
So, up the tower. Cost is 5,000 won a person and it takes you to the 2nd floor of the tower (there are 5 floors in it). The view was breathtaking...and for me that is a statement. 63 Building (see tip) seems like a matchstick from up here. It was a clear day so could see absolutely all of Seoul. Very cool.
There are 2 restarurants, one of 1F and 5F. We went to 5F...revolving (don't come here with a hangover). Prices were ok. 14,000 won for tonkatsu (pork cutlet) including soup, salad, rice and Coke (but you'll need to tell them to give you the Coke with the meal...oddly). Good deal, considering the view.
My cousin and I kind of happened across this while meandering from Myoungdong to Namdaemoon. We just kinda looked up the mountain and started walking. Thankfully, we saw the cable car station and made our way there (otherwise it would have been a looong day).
As it happened, the gondola line was packed...it snaked its way past snack vendors (especially grilled squid sellers.....mmmm) and into the terminal (which means up 3-4 flights of stairs--and inside there are little stores too!). We went on Children's Day which may have made the line a lot longer than normal.
Cost, I think, is 5,000 won (USD 4.50) each way...could be more. It was worth it, though, as the view was nothing like you see in Seoul. Looking down and around our path of ascent was all green and you had to look a ways to see the city.
Once on top of Namsan you can also go up the Namsan Tower. I think the cost there was 10,000 won. The view from the base of the tower was pretty good, though, and (of course, this is Korea) the area was filled with snack vendors, restaurants, games and photographers for hire.
Namsan (남산) is a must-see in Seoul because of its convenient location near city center as well as its scenic vistas. At the top of Namsan, Seoul Tower (서울타워) sits perched over Seoul. Take the elevator to the top of the tower for breathtaking views of Seoul and dinner at the revolving restaurant. Also at the base of the tower are a few restaurants & souvenir stands & replicas of the Chosun-era signal fire posts that were used for long-distance signaling (called Bongsoodae). There is also a huge octagonal pavilion called Palgakjeong, built in the traditional style.
Besides the attractions at the peak, several areas around the base of the mountain have other historic sites and entertainment venues. The Hwehyun District of Namsan is near Seoul Station & contains numerous monuments, a library, a small zoo, & an observatory. The Hannam District near Yongsan & the Itaewon Hyatt have some small sports areas & botanical gardens. Namsan's Yedang District is next to Myeongdong and is the base of the cable car, as well as the village of traditional houses. The Jangchoong District, to the northeast of the peak has the National Theater & numerous large sporting venues.
Namsan's peak is 262 meters above sea level, and the Seoul Tower stands 237 meters tall from base to tip. Namsan has been a historically significant location in Korea from 1394 when the Korean capital was moved to Seoul. For centuries the mountain had a religious shine, but it was destroyed by the Japanese in 1925. They also built the Namsan road and developed the mountain with various administrative buildings. From 1991 to 1998 the Korean government restored the Namsan by removing these buildings.
For a good view of the city center, take the Namsan Cable Car up or down the mountain. The lower end of the cable car sits near Myeongdong and the entrance to the 3rd Namsan Tunnel.
Read about Seoul Tower's Recent Renovations (8 December 2005)
From the Myeong-dong Station, we walked a long way going uphill to be able to get a ride of the cable car. Round trip costs KW7,500 and it only took us about 3minutes to reach the peak of Mt. Namsan; credit cards are accepted as mode of payment.
We decided to go to the N-Seoul tower on a late afternoon so we can be able to have a view of the lighting show which starts at 6pm. The lighting show gives a variety of colorful background of the tower that change after a few minutes. There’s no admission fee on the observatory platform and from there you can already have a magnificent view of city. There are also restaurants and shops surrounding the tower.
It’s very cold by the time we went there but we had a great time despite of that. I can really say that the Koreans are romantic people because like we saw in Busan Tower, the N-Seoul tower also has this 2 heart shaped padlocks locked together with promise of love written on it. What’s more fascinating is that all of the locks were put together forming like a Christmas tree. And on the upper deck, there’s a big shaped heart that formed the poem of the Seoul tower. Yes! There’s a poem of the Seoul tower! I am really, really convinced that the people here in this country are very much in love with love.
Another thing we discovered was that one of the restaurants where we took our dinner has one part of its wall covered with small squared tile that are also written with love messages. I believe South Korea is very much appropriate for hopeless romantics like me, haha!
Going back to the city, you can just take the yellow bus parked infront of the entrance of Seoul Tower. You can use your T-money card to pay the bus fee KW500 and KW550, if you use cash. The bus run s 8am-12mn.
N-Seoul Tower opens: 9am-11pm
Viewable from almost anywhere in Seoul, Seoul Tower serves as an excellent landmark. Built on a 262 meter peak in Namsan Park, the tower reaches to 480 meters above sea level. When the weather and pollution levels cooperate, visiting the observation tower (370 meters above sea level) allows you to view the entire city and surrounding areas. Because of the vistas, many people enjoy climbing up here for early morning exercise or for a romantic stroll after dark.
The complexe containing Seoul Tower also contains several other attractions for tourists. Several exhibit halls display pictures of old Seoul, local birds, and towers from other countries. Fairy Land has several exhibits with Disneyland-like robots depicting famous fairy tales and children's stories. The Global Village Folk Museum display products and handicrafts from around the world. the World Musical & Animal Land has life-sized robots similar to Fairy Land, depicting animals from around the world in a musical band.
Another thing I love in Seoul Tower is fthe historical photographs of Seoul that decorate the walls of the viewing gallery.
Fabulous views of Seoul. I didn't ascend it until my last day but I am sorry I didn't do it first. I think it is the best thing in Seoul. There is a cable car to the top of the mountain. There are great views before you even go to the top of the tower.
Well, what can I say, I think anyone who goes to Seoul should visit the Seoul Tower. And, we did, too! So, here is my write up...
I'll start with the locks. Without really knowing but it seemed obvious that people come here and attach a lock to the fence at one of the viewing decks to profess "forever love". The locks had writing on them with hearts and the word love. Mostly, written in Korean script but some written in English. The year was written on some of the locks. Usually, two locks intertwined and then locked to the fence. Others put several locks to form a shape of a heart onto the fence. I wish I had known in advance about the locks. Would have loved to bring my own lock and also attach it to the fence.
My boyfriend and I had already spent most of the day walking and walking and walking. My legs were hurting and tired. We still had plenty of daylight and suggested we go to the tower. We opted to have a taxi take us up from our hotel. The tower looked so close by but it took us about 20 minutes to get there. The taxi whirled around the entire base of the mountain until we came upon an entrance. We then proceeded up a steep road up to the tower. Oh my gosh, I'm glad we didn't try to climb up this path! And, a long path it was. The taxi took us as far as it could go - even paying for some type of toll half way up. So, our cost was something like 7,000 WON about US$7. We had to do a little bit of walking up the steep path to finally get to the tower.
We spent about an hour there. We enjoyed the views even though it wasn't that clear of a day. Decided we would take the cable car down the mountain. But then we proceeded to walk back to the hotel which was probably another 25 minutes of walking but at least it was down hill. Boy, I'm getting tired just thinking about this all over again! Ugh!
There is a rotating restaurant at the top of the Seoul tower. We didn't go to the restaurant but the website has more information on this.
See my travelogue album on views from the Seoul Tower.
You gotta go see the tower at least once if you visit Seoul!
better photos coming soon. This is a great place for great views over Seoul - there are buses that bring you up the steep hill to a point where you must then walk about another 5 or 10 minutes of even steeper but tar seal road or - as I was in a hurry I caught a taxi up.
The tower wasnt opening until 11am and so I couldnt wait until then but I had great views from the platforms that are there around the base of the tower.
Getting back down there is a gondola which is also pretty cheap which after a few minutes of steps downwards to get to the gondola station departs for a 5 min ride over NamSan area arriving just a few minutes walk above the excellent NamDaeMun markets and the Great South Gate.
Viewable from almost anywhere in Seoul, Seoul Tower serves as an excellent landmark.
Built on a 262 meter peak in Namsan Park, the tower reaches to 480 meters above sea level.
When the weather and pollution levels cooperate, visiting the observation tower (370 meters above sea level) allows you to view the entire city and surrounding areas.
Because of the vistas, many people enjoy climbing up here for early morning exercise or for a romantic stroll after dark.