My friends and I went here by 5 pm on May 3, 2011, which is our very first day in Seoul. I put this on our itinerary because it is an observatory and we can see the Seoul at night. And this is one of the recommended places to visit as stated in tripadvisor.
What we did was to ride the Subway, which I don’t recommend anymore since you can always walk in Seoul especially if your hotel is in downtown Seoul itself. Or you can always take the cab, it is not that expensive if you travel in 3s or 4s. However, I commend Seoul’s subway lines, it was really very long, clean, and efficient for Foreign travelers since it has english translations. However, since it is really big, you can get lost easily.
If you take the taxi, you can alight in the place where the elevator is located. The elevator goes sideways instead of the usual up-down motion. This elevator will bring you up to the middle of the mountain, and bring you right beside the cable car station. Although you can also take the buses which goes to N tower directly. Unfortunately, my friends and I got lost (we didn’t know what exit to go out, so we ended up taking the wrong exit) so, as a chain reaction, we didn’t find the elevator and instead hike up to the middle of the mountain (trust me, it is really—really—really tiring) and then we used the cable car to go to the top.
The hike is really steep! It made me crazy! I was like fighting for my own survival. The stairs are very small or thin, so, we need to adjust our steps and make sure that we fit. And when you lean in your back while hiking up the stairs, you might just fall easily. It is like hiking an 80 degree angle, so when we are walking, we don’t look back since you might just be found dead in the bottom of the mountain– and I don’t want this to happen!
Anyway, here is my review from my tripadvisor account:
Well, this is considered as one of the landmarks in Seoul, so it is really worth visiting. I visited this on May 3, 2011, and it was my 2nd stop during my 5 day escapade in Seoul. If this is your first time visiting Seoul then you should visit this place.
This tower is in the center of Seoul and one can see this tower anywhere you are in the city. Well, one might say that it is a waste of time going here just to see the city lights or the city of seoul panoramically. However, I’ll tell you that the view here is not the only thing that highlights this attraction, there’s still a lot more.
The Namsan Tower where you can see panoramic views of the city is not the sole attraction you can visit. The cable-car ride is also an attraction. Although it is a short ride, since it starts from the middle of Namsan Mountain up to the top where the N Tower is, it is still worth the money spent. I love it since it was my first time to ride a big cable car such as that.
Another attraction there is the park, once you got off the cable car, there is a park and cherry blossom trees are lined up there. These cherry blossom trees will be a great attraction during the cherry blossom month. Although If you went there before or after the sakura season, don’t worry, the park itself is good, you can stroll there and get good views of the city and if you are the ’emo’ or the emotional type, this is one good place to visit.
Another attraction here is the love-lock. Where lovers put locks together for eternal love, and they will throw the key (of that lock) somewhere far. It is cute and somehow romantic. Take note that not all people coming here are foreigners or tourists, there are also a lot of locals visiting this place, (especially couples).
There is also the teddy-bear museum inside the N Tower –> which is really cute, it includes teddy bears from all sizes and colors wearing Korean traditional costumes. Moreover, unlike other museums where photos are not allowed to be taken, this museum allows you to take a lot of pictures as you like and pose with their life-sized (even bigger than me) bears. I can say that this worth the money since the area is really big with a lot of teddy bears! the museum has 2 parts, one is the traditional one and the modern one, all paid in the price of one.
There is also a restaurant, but I did not try, so I cannot comment
Last but not the least is the Observatory, where you can get 360 degrees view of the city of Seoul. It is good especially we came there in the evening. It is really beautiful. I’m speechless
Anyway here are my tips:
1. Going there in N Tower is easy, just find the elevator (free) to get up to the middle level of the Namsan Tower, however, there are stairs available in getting up the middle level. There are also taxi’s that are available to get you up the middle level, but I read somewhere that taxi’s are not allowed to go up to N Tower for environmental/ preservation project. There are also buses which can take you up
2. the elevator connects the Namsan Cable Car ‘station’ where you can buy your tickets, if you took the stairs, manage to get in the middle of the Mountain and you will see the N Cable Car
3. Always bring a translation of your hotel, places to visit/attractions in Korean “hanggul’ since most of the taxi drivers or locals does not speak English
4. Get the N-Seoul Tower package which include the teddy bear museum and the observatory, there is only, as far as I remember 10,000-15,000 won difference to the observatory-only price.
This is the other way to get to N-Tower:
If you wanna walk up to the middle of the mountain and ride the cable car, just like what we did:
① Take Subway Line 4 to Myeongdong Station
② Take exit 3 from the station
③ Take the wide road next to the convenience store
④ Walk straight to the left of Pacific Hotel
⑤ Continue walking through the commercial quarter until you reach a small stairway
⑥ Walk up the stairway
⑦ Continue walking by the restaurants on your right
⑧ Keep walking up in the direction of Mt. Namsan
⑨ There is a vacant lot on your right and you will find the cable car platform
⑩ Buy a ticket at the booth on the third floor, and take a cable car on the fourth floor
Directions for bus travel:
You can also take a yellow bus at Chungmuro station (Line 3 or 4) or at Dongguk University station (Line 3), which will take you to the parking lot of N Seoul Tower. The bus runs regularly so you can take it from wherever it is most convenient. Even the bus ride up the winding road affords a nice view of the mountain. Bus No. 2 will drop you off at the bus stop right below N Seoul Tower, and you can walk up to N 5 to Seoul Tower Plaza. After completing your tour, take the same bus at the bus stop where you got off. There is a bus every 6 minutes from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Fare: 550 won / Hours: 08:00~24:00 / Bus interval: 5~6 min.
Other directions using Train and Bus
① Take Subway Line 3 or 4 at Chungmuro Station, and go out of Exit 2 to the right of Daehan Multiplex entrance
② Take the yellow bus 2 at the bus stop in front of the subway station
3. Get off the n-tower stop
I really enjoyed the place, it is romantic and lovely.