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!
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.
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.
The best place to go to have a great view of the city is the Namsam Seoul Tower. So you better be prepared to bring your camera or camcorder. The tower is separated into two sections: top (actually it is located in the middle of the tower) and plaza. At the highest floor of the tower (T5) is a revolving restaurant, "N Grill"; but you will have to be willing to pay big bucks for a meal. Below it however, at T3, is the observatory and from there, you will already get a 360 degree view of the city. On the descending floor, T2, is a cafe and gift shop. Don't forget to try the toilet located on this floor, because it also has a fantastic view. Finally, on the lowest floor of the top portion, T1, is a Korean restaurant, Hancook, but this does not revolve.
At the first floor of the plaza, is where you buy your tickets and where you take the elevator to the top portion. You can avail of a package wherein you pay also for a set meal at Hancook. If you are on a budget, you can just take your meal or snacks at the food court, which is also located at the first floor of the plaza. The second floor, on the other hand, has an observation deck, although the view is just of one side of the city. An Italian restuarant, Sweetree, is also located at the second floor of the plaza.
To get to the tower, you can either take a cable car or the yellow bus 2. Private cars are no longer allowed to the area around the tower. On the other hand, you can also walk, although you will have to be fit because it is an upward climb.
Namsan (South Hill) once marked the southern edge of Seoul many generations ago.
Nowadays, it stands in the center of the sprawling city, surrounded by the major shopping districts of Namdaemun, Myongdong, and Itaewon.
The Seoul Tower is located in Namsan Park. The tower is more than 450 meters above sea level. After viewing the city from the top of the tower, take a relaxing cable car ride back to the ground. There are Korean restaurants at both ends of the cable car.
Hours: 9:30-23:30 (9:30-22:30, Nov.-Feb.)
It took me a while to eventually get here... Wanted to go on a clear day, and those don't happen too often.
Wait for a sunny day to go, after it rains good. Otherwise you won't see anything except smog...
Namsan mountain is 'Korean Historic Site #10'. The fortress wall was built in 1396, to surround 'Hanyang' (original name of Seoul). It was added to in 1422 and 1704. the fortress wall was about 18km in circumference and 12m in height. Each part of the fortress wall built successively differ from one another in building methods and stone shapes, showing how the technical procedures used in their construction changed with the times.
With the modern urbanization that came with the Japanese colonization, the fortress wall and gates were badly damaged. However, efforts to recover their original forms have continued since the liberation in 1945.
The observation tower offers a good 360° view of Seoul on a clear day.
Admition to the observation deck is 7,000 won, cheaper for kids. There is also a rotating restaurant at the top of the tower, that you can eat an overpriced meal at.
If you are lucky enough to be in Seoul on a clear day (and that will take some luck) don't hesitate! Immediately head up to the top of Namsan and then ascend Seoul Tower. You get great views of the city from here in all directions. There is no better place to get a sense of the size of Seoul.
By the way, you don't have to walk the whole way. There is a gondola on the north side of Namsan (Chungmuro area) that will take you to the top for a fee.
N Seoul Tower is a communication tower located on top of Namsan Mountain. It measures 236.7 m (777 ft) in height (from the base) and tops out at 479.7 m (1,574 ft) above sea level. The view of Seoul from the tower is superb esp on a clear day. Observatory tickets and package tickets are on sale at the ticket booth outside the tower.
Children (Ages 4-12): 3,000 won
Teens and Adults (Ages 13-64): 7,000 won
Senior (Ages 65+): 5,000 won
-For a great night view and an unforgettable memory, visit N Seoul Tower between 7 p.m. and 12 a.m during their fantastic illumination show. The show takes place on the hour.
-You can still enjoy a panoramic view of Seoul without paying a fee at: the Glass Terrace (P1), the Roof Terrace (P2), or in the lobby.
-Dine at the N Grill restaurant and admission to the observatory is free
It's well worth spending the 7,000 KRW to go up and pay a visit to the observation deck. However, if you are short on budget, you can simply enjoy an almost as stunning view from the tower's first floor as well as from the new viewing platform or the restaurant on the second floor.
However, if you decide to go up and catch a glimpse of Seoul from high above, the impressions will surely last a lifetime. Beware of the "Shocking Edge", the near free-fall experience... ;-)
The Observatory Gallery consists of 5 floors:
1/F : Hancook Restaurant
2/F : Sky Cafe
3/F : Observatory platform
4/F : Observatory platform
5/F : N Grill by Vips (revolving restaurant)
The picture shows the view towards South from the tower's first floor.
The huge black building in the middle is the Grand Hyatt Hotel, one of the best but also most expensive places to stay in Seoul.
Near to Seoul-Tower, in Namsan Hill Park you will find the ancient fortress wall.The mountain and surrounding area is a public park maintained by the city government. It is a popular spot for a panoramic view of Seoul.Once it was a location of a signal station called Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae' (Mongmyeoksan Beacon Tower), which was part of an emergency communication system during early times until 1895.
There are ceremonial guards in historic costumes infront of the Fortress.
On your way to the cable car station or beginning of trek to Nansam, you'd pass by many theme museums. Enroute, you'd come face to face with streams of joggers that do not seem to end.
The Koreans are real fit - steps to peak is a real killer but I don't see any locals sweating and panting more than me. Near the peak is a view point with refreshing wind and aerial view of the city.
Nansam tower also provides some good, unobstructed views of the city. You can grab some souvenirs or take photos with some of the interesting structures around the peak. There's this souvenir shop where you can take a picture of yourself superimposed on some cartoon background. I took one of myself standing along a path with lions in the background and bemused myself for quite a while with the picture.