The first time I visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea, I was struck by the bewitching mix of old and new, of wisely preserved historical heritage and futuristic modernity. But nothing sums up this impression better than a visit to the Namsan Tower, also known as the N Seoul Tower.
How do I get there?
Located at the top of Namsan Mountain, right in the heart of Seoul, Namsan Tower is easily accessible by several means. Personally, I opted for the Namsan Oreumi, a unique inclined elevator that took me to the Namsan Cable Car Station. From this station, located at 83-151 Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, you can take the cable car to the top of the mountain. The cable car ride, which costs 7,000 won per trip (around 5 euros), offers spectacular views of the city along the way. But be warned, there are only two cable cars in operation and the wait can sometimes be long, especially during the high season.
For hiking enthusiasts, the Namsan Park footpath is another alternative for reaching the tower. This steep path, surrounded by lush vegetation and picturesque vantage points, is a true immersion in nature while allowing you to appreciate the serenity of the mountain environment. Bring comfortable shoes and a bottle of water, as the climb can be a little demanding.
Admission to the Namsan Tower itself is free. However, if you wish to visit the observatory at the top of the tower, a fee applies. At the time of my visit, the ticket for the observatory cost 18,000 won (around 13 euros). It was well worth it for the breathtaking view.
The observatory offers breathtaking panoramic views of Seoul. Surrounded by picture windows, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the bustling metropolis below. Whether you visit during the day or at night, the view is simply stunning. Personally, I preferred the night view, with the city lights twinkling like a constellation of stars on earth.
The N Seoul Tower is more than just an observatory. At the foot of the tower, you'll discover the "Locks of Love", an installation where couples from all over the world hang padlocks as a token of their undying love. This tradition, which began in 2007, has resulted in a sparkling wall of colorful padlocks and ribbons, a true testament to universal love.
Nearby, amenities such as a convenience store, Starbucks and an arcade are on hand for a quick break. There are also restaurants for those wishing to enjoy a meal on site.
Within the tower itself, you'll find a range of restaurants and cafés, including the N.Grill. It was in this revolving restaurant that I enjoyed a superior cup of coffee, all topped off with a breathtaking view of the city. Although prices are slightly higher than average, the experience is well worth it.
A visit to the Namsan Tower is an experience I highly recommend to anyone visiting Seoul. The tower is both a symbol of South Korea's ambition and a tribute to its history and culture. If you're planning a trip to Seoul, be sure to make the Namsan Tower a priority on your itinerary. You won't regret it.