Namsan Mountain is located in the heart of Seoul and has countless activities for foreigners and locals alike. Whether you are looking for an easy, relaxing day or an action filled day, the wide variety of things to do at and around Namsan Mountain can keep anyone busy and entertained for the day. Seoul N Tower has been a pillar in Seoul for over 50 years. The Tower was originally built as Korea’s first general radio wave tower (a purpose it still holds today) but after its opening to the public in 1980, it has been a place for locals and foreigners alike to take in the sights of Seoul from above. There are so many things to do, so working from the tower down, here are 8 things to do at and around Namsan Mountain.
1. Go up the N Seoul Tower
- Namsan Mountain is surrounded by so many things to do, but it’s hard to beat the sight of Seoul from the top of the N Seoul Tower. Located right in the center of Seoul, the top of the Tower offers a 360 degree view of the city. You can also eat at multiple restaurants, stop at the convenience store, or leave a message for your future self in their personal time capsule storage. You will hardly find a better view while using the restroom anywhere in the world, as the restrooms at the top of the tower offer a stunning view of the Han River and southern Seoul.
- Tickets are 21,000 won for adults and 16,000 won for children under 13 and seniors over 65.
- The Observatory opens at 10:30am and closes at 10:30pm, but the base of the tower, which also has stunning views of Seoul, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
2. Leave a Lock on the Locks of Love Fence
- One of N Seoul Towers defining features is the hundreds of thousand locks left on the railings and fences. Called the Locks of Love, this is one of the most popular activities for couples to express their love. You can purchase a lock from the many lock vendors, write a message on the lock, lock it to the fence and throw away the key. This is also a popular filming area for Korean Dramas, and the Locks of Love appear in countless K-dramas.
- The prices of locks at the tower range from 8,500 won to 15,000 won, but you can find them cheaper at your average shop.
3. Take pictures at the multiple photo spots around the base of N Seoul Tower
- With multiple cute benches, countless locks of love trees, sculptures and a traditional Korean pavilion, there are many picture spots to take with yourself, your significant other, or larger groups at the base of the tower. The views from the base are the perfect place to take photos for your next Instagram post.
4. Go to an event
- The base around the tower is always holding events for visitors to enjoy. If there’s an event, go to it. Usually put on by brands or independent acts, these events can include fun games, special paid attractions, special food menus, live music, and if you’re lucky, you can win free prizes. These are especially common in the warmer months in South Korea, with the majority of events taking place outside at the base of the tower. The tower also frequently changes its lights for special events. Some people will remember in June, the tower was illuminated with purple for BTS’s 10th Anniversary.
5. Take a hike up or down from the tower
- While there are buses and a cable car that you can take to reach N Seoul Tower, I recommend hiking at least one way up or down. Namsan Mountain, which N Seoul Tower is located on, has multiple trails you can take. With varying difficulty and length, these trails offer more breathtaking views of Seoul, and are a great example of how Seoul blends urban infrastructure and nature. You can hike down to the Namsan Trail, which loops around the mountain and takes approximately 3 hours to complete in full. This trail connects to the Seoul City Wall, which was named one of the greatest walks in the world by The New York Times. You can also hike down to our next location on this list, Namsan Park.
6. Visit Namsan Park
- Namsan Park has many things for visitors to do. With a killer view of N Seoul Tower, this is a popular spot to take pictures of the tower and walk along the Seoul City Wall. The park is full of statues of historical Korean figures and sculptures. This area is a perfect blend of nature, city, history and art. I recommend visiting the park on the way down from the Tower, but this area is a great place to visit on its own.
7. Visit Namsan Botanical Garden
- This botanical garden is placed at the southern base of the mountain and is a beautiful environment to walk around. Every season shows a different side to the park, but I recommend visiting the park in the early summer. Without being too hot, this time of the year exhibits lush green plants and is perfect for a stroll or dedicated hike.
8. Namdaemun Market
- Last on our list, Namdaemun Market is a traditional food and goods market located a quick walk away from the northern base of Namsan Mountain. This market is one of the oldest in Seoul and is a popular spot for locals and foreigners alike. Stop for street food, homegoods, clothes, traditional korean dress (hanbok), health supplements, and souvenirs.
- Make sure to bring cash, as most stalls don’t accept credit cards or e-payments.
- Be prepared to haggle for prices. It’s very common to negotiate prices at Namdaemun, so make sure you are getting a good deal.
Namsan Mountain and N Seoul Tower are must visit locations, so on your next trip to Seoul, make sure this is on our list!