The N Seoul Tower is a communication and observation tower located on the top of Namsan Mountain in Seoul, South Korea. It’s a very popular tourist attraction featuring stunning 360° views of the city along with restaurants and shopping in a beautiful park setting.
In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Namsan Tower in Seoul including pros and cons from our visit.
Our Seoul Experience
We spent 14 days exploring Seoul in March 2023. During our second day in the city, we visited Seoul Sky in Lotte World Tower and on our last evening, we visited the Namsan Seoul Tower so we could compare Seoul’s two popular observation decks.
If this is your first time in Seoul, you should add this observatory to your itinerary because it’s one of the best views in the entire city. We’ll also show you what to expect including what we liked and didn’t like about our experience. Read more about us.
What Is N Seoul Tower?
The Namsan Seoul Tower is a striking structure that instantly grabs your attention when looking at the city skyline because the tower is situated on top of a high peak in Seoul, Namsan Mountain.
We like the Seoul N Tower because it has a unique history. It was constructed in 1969 as the first radio wave tower in Seoul broadcasting both TV and radio to the metropolitan area. Then in 1980, the tower was opened to the public and it now has become a very popular tourist attraction.
It can be a little confusing because the tower goes by many names. In 2005, a merger with the CJ Corporation changed the original name, CJ Tower to N Seoul Tower. The “N” in the nomenclature stands for New and Namsan. But you can also expect to hear Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower.
Here are a few interesting facts:
- The N Seoul Tower was the first multipurpose tower in Korea including both an observation deck and a broadcasting tower.
- Reaching an impressive height of 236.7 meters (777 ft), the Namsan Tower is one of the highest points in Seoul.
- 48% of the audio population still use broadcasting through the tower.
- It’s a romantic spot for couples thanks to the love locks.
But we think the most interesting thing about the tower is the true meaning behind the colors of the structure. Since January 1st, 2011, the N Seoul Tower changes color to alert everyone about the current air quality in the city.
Air quality index is measured in micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) and there are 4 colors you can expect to see:
- Blue = Good (0-15 µg/m3)
- Green = Average (16-50 µg/m3)
- Yellow = Bad (51-100 µg/m3)
- Red = Very Bad (101+ µg/m3)
When we visited in March, the tower was lit up green for the majority of our time in Seoul.
The Seoul Tower sits on top of Namsan Mountain. It’s nestled within the protected borders of the Namsan Park, one of the largest green spaces in Seoul. The observatory is open 365 days a year from 10:30-22:30 on weekdays and 10:00-23:00 on weekends or holidays. However, restaurant, gift shop and terrace hours may differ from the observation deck so you may need to plan accordingly.
- Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Location: Google Maps
- Subway stops: Myeongdong Station (Line 4) or Chungmuro Station (Line 3,4)
You can only access the N Seoul Tower from the bottom of Namsan Mountain near the popular Myeongdong neighborhood, so getting to the bottom of the mountain should be your first priority.
We used the subway because it’s cheap and environmentally friendly so that’s what we recommend you use too. Once you’ve made your way to the bottom of the mountain, you have a few options when it comes to getting to the top.
Climbing Up The Mountain
Car traffic is restricted within Namsan Park to help keep it a clean green space and there are three ways you can get to the top of the mountain:
- Namsan Cable Car – This is the easiest and quickest option because the ride takes about 3 minutes and ends at the base of N Seoul Tower.
- Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus – You’ll need to find the yellow bus outside Chungmuro Station (Line 3 or 4, Exit 2) or Dongguk University Station (Line 3, Exit 6). It costs 1,400 KRW and you’ll need a transportation card. If you drove a car, you can leave it in the parking lot near the bus stop.
- Hiking – Look for the main pedestrian walkway across the street from the Namsan cable car lower station. You can expect the walk to take about 30 minutes each way.
There’s no wrong way to climb Namsan Mountain so choose what’s best for your group. We chose the Namsan cable car because we were short on time, but we plan to hike up next time we visit.
Namsan Cable Car
The Namsan cable car runs abut 600m from the lower platform in Hoehyeon-dong to the top platform in Yejang-dong. There are always two cars running simultaneously with one up and one down the mountain. They have an average speed of 3.2m / second with a 48 person capacity and the journey take about 3 minutes total.
If this is your first time in Seoul, the cable car is a fun way to ride up Namsan Mountain, but finding the cable car station can be tricky. From Myeongdong Station, head for exit 3 and then continue south along Toegye-ro 18-gil St passing the Pacific Hotel on your left.
Cross over Sogong-ro 6-gil St and continue along Toegye-ro 18-gil St. Once you have passed the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, you can access a small staircase to the lower cable car station.
Before getting on the cable car, you’ll have to purchase tickets. Here are current ticket prices:
- Adult return: 15,000 KRW (US$ 11.23)
- Adult one way: 12,000 won (US$ 8.99)
- Child return: 11,500 won (US$ 8.61)
- Child one way: 9,000 won (US$ 6.74)
If you know you want to visit the N Seoul Tower, you can purchase a combo ticket from Klook which includes your cable car ride.
N Seoul Tower Tickets
You’ll also need to purchase a ticket to go inside the N Seoul Tower. We like that this tower keeps it simple because you only have two ticket options, an adult or child ticket.
Unlike other observation decks, the tickets at N Seoul Tower are purchased for same day only (unless you purchase online) and you don’t need a timed entry ticket. Discounted tickets are available for disabled visitors and people who have national merits.
Here are current ticket prices for the Namsan Seoul Tower:
- Adult: 21,000 KRW (US$ 15.72)
- Child: 16,000 KRW (US$ 11.98)
You can buy tickets onsite at the Seoul Tower once you climb to the top of Namsan Mountain. Or you can purchase tickets through Klook here which is often the cheaper option compared to buying direct. This is how we purchased our N Seoul Tower tickets and it saved us a little bit of money.
If you’re planning to visit many attractions in Seoul, you might also consider purchasing a Seoul Go City Pass or a Klook Pass for Seoul. We love using attraction passes in cities around the world to save money. You can read our New York Pass Comparison for an example on how these passes work.
Namsan Mountain Activities
Once you’ve arrived to the summit of the mountain, you’ll be overwhelmed by stunning views, restaurants, shops and numerous visitors taking selfies. To keep this guide a reasonable size, we’ll only focus on things to do inside the N Seoul Tower, but here are a few additional things you can do at the top:
- Hanbok Culture Experience Center – Located on lobby level (B1), this museum is focused on the Joseon Dynasty and features numerous photo zones. Admission fees include 2,000 KRW for adults and 1,000 KRW for children.
- Seoul Tower Plaza – This is a section of the old broadcasting tower that has been remodeled and opened to the public in 2015. We liked walking along the terrace for the beautiful panoramic views.
- Namsan Octagonal Pavilion – Originally known as Unamjeong Pavilion, this structure was moved and rebuilt on top of the mountain to commemorate Rhee Syngman.
Travel Tip: The Namsan Octagonal Pavilion is where the annual sunrise festival occurs every New Year’s Day. It’s a great place to see the first sunrise of the new year.
10 Best Things To Do At The N Seoul Tower
There are numerous activities and exhibits to keep you entertained at this observation deck including restaurants and many photo spots. Below we’ll show you exactly what to expect for your visit along with a complete photo walk through of each floor and exhibit.
In total, there are 7 different floors you can visit inside the tower as well as a various shopping experiences at the bottom of the complex. Here are the popular things to see:
1. Seoul Tower Plaza Photo Spots
Seoul Tower Plaza makes up first few floors of the N Seoul Tower. You can also find numerous restaurants and stores on 1F, 2F or 4F. Visitors are not allowed to access level 3F because it’s a restricted area still used for broadcasting functions.
These are the main photos spots in the plaza:
- Linlin Land – Snap photos with adorable figures featuring some of the world’s most endangered species.
- Larva Zone – Unique vibrant designs along the level 2 and 4 staircase.
- Tunnel of Love – A great instagram spot with shimmering lights and gorgeous red stairs.
- Bridge of Love – This lighted bridge connects level 3 and 4 of the Seoul Tower.
- Sunset Zone – Head to the terrace on level 4 to see the sunset over Seoul.
- OLED Tunnel – Numerous OLED tunnels are on display between the 1st and 4th floors.
We recommend visiting the observation deck before walking around the plaza. If you want to explore the area to take photos, you might want to plan for extra time. Use this map for your visit.
2. Proposal Staircase
If you need a place to pop the question, look no further than the proposal staircase. It’s the best place for lovers because you’ll see a stunning combination of nature and towering city views from a great vantage point.
Even if you don’t have a proposal, we recommend making a stop by the proposal staircase to see the Love Lock Bridge. You can even add your own love lock via vending machine nearby. This area was very busy when we visited N Seoul Tower and you might have to be extremely patient to get your moment.
Travel Tip: The proposal staircase is connected with the lobby at Level 1.
3. Inside Seoul Exhibit
Before heading to the main elevator that whisks you up to the observation deck, you’ll walk through an immersive media art exhibit called Inside Seoul on level 1F. It’s the newest addition to the N Seoul Tower observatory.
Over 40 laser projectors present images of Seoul via dimensional mapping and it was pretty intense. But you can also find a restroom, information center, gift shop and popular South Korean chain coffee bar, a Twosome Place on the same level.
4. Elevator Ride
Hopefully, you won’t have to wait long to get inside the elevator at N Seoul Tower because it will bring you to the main observation deck on level 5F. As the elevator climbs, you’ll experience an animated movie featuring fireworks over the Seoul skyline. Be sure to look for the N Seoul Tower as it plays!
Travel Tip: We chose to visit at sunset and had to wait 30 minutes for the elevator. So if you’re planning to visit at this time, be sure to give yourself extra time in case of long lines.
5. The Main Observatory
As you exit the elevator, you are now on level 5F. This is the main observatory featuring large windows, numerous places to sit, a Weenybeeny and a gift shop.
We like the N Seoul Tower observation deck because you can see 360° views of the entire city. There is plenty of space to move around even if it’s crowded and the tops of the windows are decorated with the distances of cites from all around the world.
It’s not a one way system so you can walk the entire circumference of the observation deck as many times as you want. If it’s crowded in one section, just come back later after the crowd has disappeared.
Travel Tip: If you’re traveling with kids, let them pick out a few sweets at the WeenyBeeny. It’s the only observation deck we’ve visited with an extensive candy selection at the top and we couldn’t resist.
6. Visit Level 4F
Once you’ve seen the views from Level 5F, make your way to the stairs and climb down to Level 4F. On this level, you’ll find more breathtaking views, a photo studio, the sky restroom and another Twosome Place.
We found this floor to be less crowded than level 5F so it might be a good area to get away from the crowds if you need a break. After you’ve seen everything at the top, there is an elevator on this level that will take you back down to the bottom.
Travel Tip: You can revisit any floor of the observation deck via the staircases if you want to take more pictures or missed something during your first trip.
7. Eat At HanCook
If you’ve worked up an appetite, you can take the stairs down to tower level 3F to try a popular Korean dining experience. HanCook is a Korean grill offering lunch and weekday specials with set menus and special pairings.
Visitors wanting to eat at this restaurant must purchase the HanCook package at the N Seoul Tower ticket booth (tower 1F) or the information desk on level 5F.
8. Get Fancy At The n. GRILL
Another dining option, the n. Grill is home to a classy French restaurant showcasing the highest vantage point of the Seoul Tower. This is the place to see the stunning city skyline filled with towering skyscrapers and twinkling stars.
You will need a reservation to eat at the n. Grill. Prior to riding the elevator, you must confirm your reservation at the information desk on 5F. To make a reservation, call 02) 3455-9297, 9298.
9. Shop For A Souvenir
If you want to pick up a souvenir to remember your amazing Seoul trip, there are a few options throughout the observation deck. Gift shops are located on level 5F, Tower 1F, and Tower 5F. These shops offer unique gift options from both Seoul and South Korea.
10. Tower 1F Food Options
After visiting the observation deck, you can check out some of the stores and restaurants located along the Tower 1F level. Compared to the tower, these are cheaper dining options that do not require reservations.
Here are the restaurants located on the bottom of Seoul Namsan Tower:
- N Burger – American style burgers
- N Sweet – Popcorn and nachos
- A Twosome Place – Coffee chain
- N Terrace – Premium sky lounge
- Cheiljemyunso – Korean noodle restaurant
Travel Tip: The Palace Dining is a casual Italian spot serving homemade pizza, pasta, ravioli and wine. It’s located on floor 2F near the roof terrace.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the Namsan Seoul Tower observation deck is about two hours before sunset. This will give you ample time to reach the top via cable car and see the gorgeous colors highlighting the skyline as the sun disappears.
Sunset also provides the softest light the day which can help you take better photographs. We visited at sunset and had to wait about 15 minutes for the cable car and then 30 minutes for the elevator. There is no limit to how long you can stay at the top of N Seoul Tower so you can take as much time as your Seoul Itinerary allows.
Travel Tip: The cable car runs until 11:00pm and you don’t want to miss it because you’ll have to walk down so always keep an eye on the time. The bus also runs until 11:00pm.
The Morgan Conclusion
A visit to the Namsan Seoul Tower is an iconic experience because not only can you see beautiful panoramic views of the city from above, but you can climb the first radio tower in Seoul.
So is N. Seoul Tower worth visiting?
Yes, the Namsan Seoul Tower is worth visiting because it offers visitors one of the best vantage points in the city as it sits on top of Namsan Mountain. The short cable car ride up the mountain is a fun activity for the entire family. At the top, you can visit numerous shops, restaurants and photo spots all while enjoying the views from the observation deck.
Here is what we liked and didn’t like about our visit:
- Unique photo opportunities and cool exhibits
- Namsan cable car ride is a great experience
- Gorgeous panoramic views of Seoul from a high vantage point
- The tower is easy to access due to it’s location in the city
- Ability to revisit each floor if you want to see it again
- Glass windows are not the best for photos due to light reflections
- Inside only viewing platform
- Photos spots can get very crowded
- Only two actual floors of the observation deck
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Namsan Seoul Tower and it was a great way to end our two week trip. While we experienced lines at sunset, they did move quickly. However, we didn’t realize there was so much to do on top of the mountain and our only regret is not giving ourselves enough time to explore the entire complex. We recommend you book tickets for the N Seoul Tower observatory online in advance with Klook for the best price.
Tips For Visiting
We’ve covered a lot of information in this guide, but here are a few important travel tips to consider for your visit:
- Take your time – There is no time limit when visiting Namsan Seoul Tower observation deck so sit back and relax as you enjoy the gorgeous views.
- Bring a jacket or coat – It can be cold at the top of the mountain because you’re at a higher elevation. Bring a coat or additional layers so you can stay warm.
- Purchase tickets through Klook – These are often the cheaper admission tickets and you’ll avoid having to wait in line for tickets at the top of the mountain.
- Visit on a weekday – If you want to avoid the crowds, plan your visit during the week. We visited on a wednesday afternoon and the crowds were tolerable.
Our N Seoul Tower Photos
We enjoyed our visit to this observation deck and took many photos. Here are a few of our favorites so you know exactly what to expect:
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Want more Seoul content? Head over to our South Korea Travel Guides to explore the very best of Seoul and beyond.
We hope this guide to the N Seoul Tower Observatory helps with planning your visit to Seouls first broadcasting tower!
Please let us know if you have any questions about the Namsan Seoul Tower or Seoul in the comments below.
Mark and Kristen
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Mark and Kristen Morgan are travel, hiking and photography experts. Over the last 6 years traveling full time, they have explored more than 40 countries and 30 US states.
Where Are Those Morgans has been featured in USA Today, Gestalten, Get Your Guide, CityPASS and Condé Nast Traveler along with various other publications. Read more about us.