Welcome to Seoul, South Korea! One of the most iconic landmarks of the city is the N Seoul Tower, also known as Namsan Seoul Tower. It is a scenic observations deck located on top of Seoul’s Namsan Mountain, it offers breath-taking panoramic views of the cityscape below. Let’s take an explore up the tower!
N Seoul tower is a tall observation tower sitting on top of the N Seoul tower mall, at the top of Namsan Mountain. At first impressions on top of the hill, the tower is not tall by modern standards, standing at a short 239 meters tall. But being built on a hill in situated in Central Seoul near city hall does gives you great views from this vantage point.
Furthermore, the “N” in N Seoul tower stands for Namsan, the hill which it stands on. Namsan Tower is located within Namsan Park, a large park with walking trails, gardens, and recreational areas. Additionally, the mall itself is a 5-floored mini mall home to a selection of food and beverage outlets for you to spend your time up here with the views.
The ticketing counters and entrance elevators to the attraction are located on the 5th floor, where the attraction gift shop reside too. Also, this floor is also the connection point to the top most deck park and link to the Namsan Cable car station if you choose to take the cable car up the hill. The top of the hill here is chill and sparse, a hill top park you can explore with very minimal traffic.
After going through the ticketing and security counters at the entrance, you pass through a small photography booth and a small pre-show audio visual display showcasing the tower and Seoul city in general.
Notably on my visit, the area is largely empty, with most patrons simply just breezing through these and head up to the elevators. Also, there were no queues entering the tower around the 5:30pm time, and you be up on the deck under 10 minutes.
Observation deck amenities
The observation deck, known as the “Seoul Sky”, it offers 360-degree panoramic views of Seoul all around and its surrounding areas. You can walk circling around the observatory deck in one continuous loop. Up on the deck, there are also various themed areas. The tower observation deck spans two floors and is all behind glass and there are no open-air observation decks. You enter from the top floor and descent down a floor for the exit elevator down to the ground floor.
Moreover, plastered along on the observatory glass windows are the locations of various capital cities relative to the tower position. There are no visible viewing obstructions by the cafe and giftshop residing here, and does not obstruct the continuity of the exterior windows. Also, there are also telescopes, including digital ones which we saw at the DMZ Observatory at Odusan Unification tower. Only the telescopes here require a fee for use.
Shops on the deck
The observation deck of N Seoul Tower is home to a variety of attractions. A cafe, photo booth area and observatory toilets reside on this lower observatory floor too. A revolving restaurant sits up here too, going by the “N Grill” offering fine dining with spectacular views of the city. Interestingly, the toilets also offer a panoramic view within. Humorously the male toilet urinals are place facing the glass. It gives an impression of urinating out of the tower, with a view.
At the top, also taking in the likes of Taipei 101 in Taiwan, there is also a gift-shop and post box up here as well. You can purchase Seoul Tower post cards and have them dropped off at the tower post box to be delivered.
Moreover, you can also find N Seoul Tower specific souvenirs like pressed copper coins and medallions you can purchase up here too. Also, the souvenir store up here does have a slight mark up over regular street prices. Though this is the only spot which sells N Seoul Tower specific themed merchandise. There is also a similar store on the public ground floor area selling the same items.
Views at the top
The views up on the deck revolves about Seoul Cityscape and Namsan Park below the tower. Also, the viewing deck, 360-degree unobstructed view of Seoul’s sprawling cityscape with its modern skyscrapers, historic palaces, and bustling streets. The views up is a great way to appreciate the city’s unique blend of old and new architecture.
Some of the notable landmarks and views to catch from the top observation deck be the Han River flowing across the city of Seoul. The Han River is a prominent feature of Seoul’s landscape. From the N Seoul Tower observation deck, you can catch a glimpse of this iconic river that runs through the heart of the city. Also, you can see the bridges that span across the river and the parks along its banks, which are popular spots for leisure activities.
Moreover, from the observation deck, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Namsan park’s lush greenery below. In spring, you can find rows of iconic cherry blossom trees and fiery autumn foliage on September months. In the park towards the immediate north of the tower, you can also see the cable car station.
On more nature views, Seoul is surrounded by picturesque mountains, and from the top of N Seoul Tower, you can take in breath-taking views of the surrounding peaks. On a clear day, on the far horizon, you can see the peaks of Bukhansan National Park. It is one of Seoul’s most popular hiking destinations, as well as other nearby mountains such as Inwangsan and Ansan.
View of the City of Seoul
An additional point of interest up here be the city center, especially around the city hall area. You can see the Gangnam area, in the direction of the iconic Lotte World tower across the Han River (Han-gang) which separates the city.
Also, towards the south east, you can also see the Lotte World Tower in the distance too. It is the tallest building in Seoul standing at 555 meters and opened in 2017. However, I find the views up here at N Seoul tower rivals the offering of the more expensive Lotte World Tower observation deck, which has a more urban sprawl and less nature here. Also, you can go up Lotte tower for free by visiting the Sky31 food court on the tower’s 31st floor. Lotte World tower also sits next to the Lotte World theme park which you can visit on a day trip.
Getting to N Seoul Tower
Despite its central location, N Seoul Tower does have few transports options. I would recommend Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus No. 01 public bus as the quickest and most cost-effective way to get up the tower.
Take the 01 shuttle loop service which connects from several hot spots around Seoul. This includes Seoul City hall and Chungmuro Station, with the Seoul tower being one of its mid-point stops. Also, the buses are electric which passes through a university town before making its climb up Namsan hill toward Seoul tower.
Additionally, there are several other ways to go up N Seoul Tower, you can take a cable car or hike up the mountain trail. Both of which provide a unique experience. The cable car ride offers a slow scenic journey with panoramic views through the park overlooking the city. Also, the hiking trail is a popular option for nature enthusiasts and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Notably, the road route up has a road lane dedicated to waking pedestrians. It is quite a climb up but with viewing decks overlooking Seoul city located at intervals along the route. Here you can hop on the various boardwalk platform along the pedestrian pathway shared in the road. Allowing you to appreciate the sights with as you climb. Also, the path up is walkable with little road traffic. This is so as Namsan hill is a protect nature area, cars and vehicles are discouraged to drive up.
Wrapping up, there are some attractions in the Namsam tower mall on the ground level. Additionally, the ground floor area is home to a small park. N Seoul Tower is known for its unique LED light displays in the park. It changes seasonally or to commemorate special events, making it a dazzling sight to behold, especially at night.
Moreover, the hill is also known for their “Love Locks”. Here, visitors can attach padlocks symbolizing their love. It litters the top sky deck of overlooking the park and Seoul city. There are even vending machines here selling locks on the spot too.
Like all observatory decks I enjoy visiting, I recommend visiting the N Seoul Tower just before sunset, around the 5 to 5:30pm dinner timing. Here you are able to catch both the day, sunset and night views all on one visit. 6pm is also an off-peak time with light queues on my visit. It takes about 15 minutes from ticket purchase to get up to the top of the tower observation deck. Hence do factor that if you plan to catch a sunset.
All in all, that wraps up our visit up here at N Seoul Tower. There are no time limits to how long you can stay up here. Though most patrons will stay up here for about 2 hours tops before getting bored. The tower is opened daily and runs from 11am- 10pm. One to check out when you are in Seoul.