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City Icon: Visiting the N Seoul Tower Observatory

Seoul Tower. Namsan Tower, or N Seoul Tower (its official name since 2005) – whatever you call it, there’s no denying that this 237 metre structure is an icon of Seoul. It’s as synonymous with the heart and spirit of the city as Namdaemun, Gyeongbokgung Palace or Cheonggyecheon Stream.

The N Seoul Tower Observatory is located atop guardian mountain Namsan, high above the shopping district of Myeongdong to the North, and international Itaewon to the South. It’s one of the best places in Seoul to get a true birds-eye view of one of the world’s true megacities.

Visiting the N Seoul Tower Observatory

I’m slightly ashamed to admit that despite having lived here for 8 years, I had yet to make my way up to the top of one of Seoul’s most iconic structures, especially since the N Seoul Tower Observatory is THE most visited attraction in Seoul.

It regularly tops the list of best sights in the city according to tourists, and offers a complex cultural space that includes performances, restaurants, exhibitions and multimedia projections.

Around the Tower, hang thousands upon thousands of Namsan love locks, each written on and wistfully hung by couples romantically hoping for a symbol of their love as enduring as the N Seoul Tower itself. The multitude of colourful locks surrounded by the natural green beauty of Namsan is something that must be seen.

As you make your way up to the N Seoul Tower observatory, be sure to stop in the 4th floor Sky Restrooms for what might be the best possible view from a toilet in the history of civilization. 😉

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On the 5th floor N Seoul Tower observatory level, you’ll find breathtaking views of the entire city in every possible direction. Each of the windows is creatively marked with the names of various countries and cities along with their respective distances from Seoul.

Stick around for sunset and nightfall, and you’ll be rewarded with the dazzling sight of a constellation of twinkling lights below you.

The N Seoul Tower Cable Car

There are multiple ways to reach the N Seoul Tower, including taxi, or bus, but the best is perhaps the N Seoul Tower Cable Car, which leaves from Myeongdong Staion.

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The N Seoul Tower Cable Car

What are the icons in your city? Have you been to visit them?

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27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Honestly, in all my trips to Korea, i’ve never been up the observatory (because of the price) but i think the area near the locks provide an amazing view already!

    August 17, 2017
    • It took me forever to get up there too, because like you said, the views are already so amazing from the love locks…but I will say that you get a different view from inside the observatory, and you can really see the whole city from every angle. N Seoul Tower ticket price is a steal though compared to Seoul Sky – about 6,000krw with BnBHero, or 27,000 for Seoul Sky. Yikes!

      August 21, 2017
  2. Have been to Seoul twice but did not consider the tower. Cool view.

    (Despise love locks. Vandalism.)

    August 17, 2017
    • N Seoul Tower is a good place to get an affordable view of the city I think…and if you go at sunset and get lucky with sunset, it’s pretty incredible. Haha…I can’t believe how many thousands of love locks there are there…the city must be constantly cutting them off and moving them!!

      August 21, 2017
  3. Better late than never to visit the N Tower! Looks like amazing panoramic views. That love lock display looks massive…that tower can take the weight of love 😊 Lol, the toilets actually have views? If so then that really is one amazing toilet 😂😊

    August 17, 2017
    • It’s true…and I’ve actually been there so many times, just never up to the top. The love locks is crazy, and there are even MORE of them than what’s in the picture. I think the city cuts them down periodically and moves them. I think they even had to build a few more areas to accommodate them. 🙂

      August 21, 2017
  4. Sha #

    Ahh, you can hike up to the tower too! I did that before to try out a different way of getting there. Not recommended to go alone though – all those couples cuddling away around me made me too sad…sigh.

    August 17, 2017
    • Yes, you can! but def not a pleasant option in summer. It’s SOOOO hot and sticky. Haha, yes it is a “romantic” destination in Seoul I guess, but there’s a big trend for 혼 everything these days – people living alone, eating alone etc…etc…

      August 22, 2017
      • Sha #

        Oh yes, I definitely caught on that trend…haha…I like that trend so I hope it will continue for some time…will be really good for future solo trips…hehehe

        August 22, 2017
        • Well, let me know next time you come, so at least you can have one meal that’s not 혼 😉

          August 24, 2017
          • Sha #

            hahaha sure, I’ll definitely make it there again soon…haha 🙂

            August 24, 2017
  5. the toilets facing the wrong way!

    August 24, 2017
    • Are they? I admit I didn’t “have to go” while I was there, so didn’t venture inside!! 😉

      August 25, 2017
  6. wrpalomo #

    Oh my! when was the last time I visited the Namsan Tower? Yes, you’re right it’s an icon of Seoul. so beautiful at night. Glad to know that we can get it cheaper through the BnB Hero website. I’d only been to the tower once but 2x or 3x in the grounds…. Time to head back, I guess.

    August 25, 2017
    • I’ve been there several times, but this was my first time up to the top! My favourite time to visit there is definitely in the fall when the skies are clear and you can see all the leaves changing colour below you! 🙂

      August 25, 2017
  7. Sadly, I never visited the N.Seoul Tower whilst I lived in Korea but that bathroom view is making me regret not going!

    August 26, 2017
    • Haha well it took me 8 years to get myself up to the top so ya know? 😉 I’ve realized I’m the worst traveler in my own city. I only just made it to Olympic Park today and it’s bikeable from my house!

      August 27, 2017
  8. Oh man, I envy you. I lived there 3 1/2 years and have been drug to that tower at least three times. I’ve only gone up the observation deck once. I do appreciate the concept of going up to one of the highest points of a city and looking out over it (and I’ve done it in quite a few cities). But I think once is enough. The hike up and down the mountain and the lock covered platform might be points of interest, but I’m sick of that thing! Haha

    August 27, 2017
    • I agree that once is enough in most places…though I actually visited the Tower before sunset, and then Seoul and one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in a long time that very night. Grr. It really made me wonder what things would look like up there at sunset!!

      August 28, 2017
  9. I think I need to go back. It’s been about five years since I was there last I believe. It’s amazing how time flies. But now that I’ve been up to the Lotte Building Observatory, I’d like to go back to Namsan to compare. It sure is iconic though.

    August 28, 2017
    • Haha, we both know there’s no comparison 😉 BUT, it is significantly cheaper, and still a great way to get a view of the city. Seoul Sky is out of budget for a lot of people I think, but Namsan is super affordable comparatively speaking.

      August 28, 2017
  10. I’ve been to N Seoul Tower more than ten times but I never went to the observatory. Haha! I always think that I can enjoy the same view in the area with love locks. Congrats on finally making it to the top!

    August 28, 2017
  11. Seoul tower seems so charming. I would love to explore it more. I especially loved the observatory!

    November 5, 2017
    • It’s definitely one of the main places to catch great views of the city, but I think it’s got a serious competitor in the new Seoul Sky Observatory in Lotte World Tower. It’s 124 stories tall!! 🙂

      November 6, 2017

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