OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul’s Landmark “N Seoul Tower” on Namsan

“N Seoul Tower” is a transmission tower located on Namsan in Seoul, known as one of the landmarks representing Seoul. Its official name is “Namsan Seoul Tower,” but it is commonly referred to as Namsan Tower.

Formerly known as “Seoul Tower (YTN Seoul Tower),” it is now a prominent attraction in Seoul with the official names “Namsan Seoul Tower” and “N Seoul Tower.”

“Namsan Tower, Completed in 1975”

Construction of Namsan Tower began on December 15, 1969, and it was completed on July 30, 1975. Like many towers, “Namsan Seoul Tower” was also built for the purpose of broadcasting transmission.

Before the construction of Namsan Tower, there were broadcasting transmission towers in various places around Seoul. However, in the 1970s, a policy was implemented to consolidate and organize these transmission towers, leading to the construction of a tall tower on Namsan by Dongyang Broadcasting, Donga Broadcasting, and Munhwa Broadcasting, serving as a key transmission center for the capital area.

“Initially, No Observation Deck at Seoul Namsan Tower”

Initially, the tower was constructed for broadcasting purposes, and therefore, it did not have an observation deck. Later, a tourist observation deck was built, and in 1975, the current appearance of Namsan Tower was completed.

However, in the early days, the observation deck was not opened due to security concerns. On clear days, it offered a clear view all the way to the Blue House, prompting President Park Chung-hee at the time to prevent its opening.

The observation deck was eventually opened, but even today, there are no telescopes installed for viewing in the direction of the Blue House.

“Observation Deck Opened in 1980”

The observation deck of Namsan Seoul Tower was finally opened on October 15, 1980. Initially, there was an outdoor observation deck, allowing visitors to step outside, but it was closed in the late 1980s due to safety concerns.

Currently, visitors can access the Namsan Tower observation deck for a fee. The admission fee for adults is currently 16,000 won.

“Facilities at Namsan Seoul Tower”

In addition to the observation deck, Namsan Seoul Tower offers a variety of facilities. These include Starbucks, galleries, gift shops, arcades, restaurants, and more, all densely packed in the tower.

Each floor is occupied by the following facilities:

  • 1st Floor: Starbucks, Gong Cha, Adal, GS25, Panorama OLED, OLED Tunnel
  • 2nd Floor: Owls Donkatsu, Queens Kitchen Gift Shop, OLED Circle
  • 3rd Floor: Broadcasting-related facilities
  • 4th Floor: Gallery K, Game Plaza, Nationwide Local Tour VR Promotion Center, OLED Wave
  • 5th Floor: Path to the observation deck, Information Desk, Inside Seoul, N Sweet Bar, N Gift (Souvenir Shop), Two Some Place
  • T1: Ticket Booth, Jeil Jeonmyeonso, N Terrace (Cafe & Bar), N Burger, Two Some Place, N Gift (Souvenir Shop), N Sweet (Macaron Shop)
  • T2: The Place Dining (Italian Restaurant), Roof Terrace
  • T3: Hancook (Korean Restaurant)
  • T4: Observation deck, Two Some Place, Sky Restroom, N Photo Studio
  • T5: Observation deck, Tower Gift (Souvenir Shop), Weeny Beeny, N Photo
  • T6: Building GOP (Military Area)
  • T7: Observation deck, n.GRILL (French Restaurant)
  • T8: Authorized Personnel Zone

“Namsan Tower’s Air Pollution Indicator”

As evening falls and the sun sets, Namsan Tower is illuminated with colors that hold meanings. The colors displayed vary depending on the current air quality:

  • Blue: Good
  • Green: Moderate
  • Yellow: Caution for fine dust
  • Red: Very poor air quality

“The View from Namsan Seoul Tower”

While the view from Namsan Tower’s summit is magnificent, the view of Seoul from Namsan Park is equally breathtaking. Interestingly, from the tower’s higher vantage point, Seoul may appear smaller due to the extreme height.

Nevertheless, if you have not visited the Namsan Seoul Tower’s observation deck, it’s worth a visit. You can take an elevator to the observation deck, which takes about 30 seconds. During this time, you can enjoy a video shown on the screen installed on the elevator ceiling.

Once on the observation deck, you can use coin-operated telescopes. Additionally, there are souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to enjoy a cup of tea or have a meal with a spectacular view.

“Namsan Tower’s Love Locks”

Another sight at Namsan Seoul Tower is the “Love Locks.” Couples come to Namsan to pledge their love and attach locks, making it a must-visit spot for couples.

If love endures and continues, returning to find the lock placed during the early days of the relationship can become a cherished memory.

The Love Locks have been featured in various entertainment programs. It was introduced in the program “We Got Married,” which showcased celebrities virtually getting married. Additionally, it was featured in the program “Welcome, First Time in Korea?” which introduced the Love Locks.

“Namsan Seoul Tower in Disney”

Namsan Seoul Tower has also been featured in a Disney animation. Mickey Mouse and friends visiting Namsan Tower were depicted in animation. The animation presents a story revolving around the Love Locks at Namsan Tower.

Though the Korean used in the piece is simple, it is impressive that Disney’s characters created a work set in Korea, featuring Namsan Tower as the backdrop.

“Namsan Tower Bongsudae (Beacon Tower)”

In the park at the summit of Namsan Tower, you can see remnants of the old Joseon Dynasty Bongsudae base. Namsan Bongsudae was the final destination of the torch relay where torches gathered from all over the country were lit.

Every year, a ritual called “Namsan Bonghwashik,” which prays for reunification, is held. Additionally, a simplified torch ceremony is held every day at 11 a.m., although the torch is not actually lit.

“How to Reach Namsan Seoul Tower”

There are several ways to reach Namsan Seoul Tower, broadly divided into three options:

The first is by walking. There are various routes for walking up. You can walk from the direction of the National Theater or take the path behind the Hilton Hotel from Seoul Station. Alternatively, you can find a route by passing through Namdaemun Market from Hoehyeon Station.

The second is by using a bus. This is the most convenient and economical method. You can take bus number 01, a circular bus, to reach the tower. The fastest bus is “01” which can be taken from the Chungmuro Station Daehan Theater side bus stop.

After boarding the bus, get off at the convenience store stop, and after climbing a steep hill for about 5 minutes, you will reach the summit.

The third option is by using the Namsan Cable Car. While it is relatively expensive, it is the most convenient and quickest way to reach Namsan Seoul Tower. Additionally, you can enjoy the view while ascending via the cable car.

Nearby Myeongdong Station exit 4 or Hoehyeon Station exit 1, there is a “Namsan Ormi” leading to the cable car station near Namsan 3rd Tunnel. By using “Namsan Ormi,” you can easily reach the cable car boarding area without having to climb a hill.

When you take the cable car up, you can get off slightly below Namsan Seoul Tower. After climbing a few stairs, you can pass Namsan Bongsudae and enter Namsan Tower.

Namsan Seoul Tower is a representative landmark of Seoul. If you have never visited, it is definitely worth a visit. Especially for tourists visiting from abroad, it is an essential attraction in Seoul.

“Namsan Seoul Tower, a Landmark Representing Seoul”

  • Address: 1-3, Sann, 2-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-3455-9277
  • Operating Hours: (Mon-Sat) 12:00 – 22:00, (Sun, Public Holidays) 11:00 – 22:00
  • Website: https://www.seoultower.co.kr