I'm a sucker for getting a birds eye view of a landscape. From hiking up mountains to sky high observation decks, I really enjoy taking in my surroundings from above. After three years in Korea, it was actually quite remarkable that I hadn't checked out N Seoul Tower yet, so some friends and I decided it was finally time to pay it a visit.
We approached N Seoul Tower with the understanding that it was a tourist trap. It's very family and tourist friendly, designed to be a one-stop spot that can easily occupy an entire day.
It all starts with a long line for the cable cars that will carry you up the mountain. You can also opt for a bus, should the mass of people waiting on the cable cars seem daunting. Or, you can go for option number three: hike the mountain, Namsan, all the way up to the tower. This is what we decided to do, and I'm happy we did. It was a beautiful hike, offering excellent views of Seoul's urban sprawl. We also visited while the autumn foliage was in its prime, making our walk quite colorful. Another bonus to hiking the mountain is seeing some of the old fortress wall, since Namsan is one of the "guardian" mountains of old Seoul.
Upon reaching the tower, you have numerous options of things to do. The Alive Museum has one of its locations here, should you feel like some trick art fun. Checking out the love locks is also an interesting diversion. Even if you don't leave a lock of your own, looking at the piles of locks and reading the messages on them is fun. Keep an eye out for amusing signs about the importance of the love locks, essentially pressuring couples into leaving one of their own. If by chance you are in the mood for eating, the tower is full of restaurants that looked quite good. N Grill is actually on the highest floor accessible to visitors, and the entire restaurant slowly rotates! There are also, of course, gift shops galore, should you feel the need to pick up some souvenirs.
After wandering around outside and snapping pictures from the lower observation spots, we decided to head straight up to the observation floor. A short wait in line and a thirty second elevator ride later, we were 479m above sea level (including the height of the mountain).
We spent quite a while hanging out on the observation floor, enjoying the 360 degree view of the city. We had arrived shortly before sunset, so we found a spot to sit by the windows, grabbed some candy from the candy store, and waited. It was quite pleasant to sit and watch the city slowly light up as the sun went down.
Despite being crowded with tourists, I quite enjoyed my visit to N Seoul Tower. The hike was great and the views of the city were quite cool. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you do the hike up Namsan to reach the tower. Stick around after the sun goes down, too, because in addition to Seoul lighting up, the tower does too!
Have you visited N Seoul Tower? What did you think? Leave a comment below!
Between studying Japanese and Asian culture in university and setting her sights on a teaching career, it came as no surprise when Zannah Smreker announced that she was moving to South Korea to teach for Chungdahm Learning. In November 2011, Zannah accepted a position through Aclipse with the Songdo branch in Incheon, just southwest of Seoul. When she's not teaching, she keeps herself busy with exploring Korea, eating all the street food, and hunting down strange Engrish shirts. Check out her blog and her Instagram for more of her adventures!