OWL Magazine Korea

The Jeongdong Observatory in Seoul City Hall

The Jeongdong Observatory, a hidden gem in Seoul, can be found in the Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building. Located on the 13th floor of the Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building, the “Jeongdong Observatory” allows a panoramic view of Jeongdong itself.

From the height of the 13-story building, you can enjoy a picturesque view of Deoksugung Palace, Jeongdong Street, and Seoul Plaza. It’s a place known for its stunning scenery. Particularly, as it provides an observatory in the central area of Seoul where it’s relatively rare to encounter skyscrapers, it offers an even more exceptional view.

“The 13th Floor of Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building: Jeongdong Observatory”

You can find the Jeongdong Observatory on the 13th floor of Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building. The way to get there is not difficult. If you follow the path known as “Deoksugung Stone Wall Road,” located to the left of the Daehanmun Gate, which leads to Deoksugung Palace, you can find the Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building on the left.

Once inside the Seosomun Building, take the elevator to the 13th floor, and you’ll arrive at the observatory.

“The Jeongdong Observatory Cafe, ‘Darak'”

The scale of the Jeongdong Observatory is relatively modest, to the point where the term “observatory” may seem somewhat awkward. It could be described more as a small café than what we typically think of as an observatory.

Upon reaching the observatory, you’ll encounter the small café “Darak.” Operated by Seoul City Hall, this café offers beverages like Americanos. Since it’s run by the city government, the coffee prices are also quite reasonable. You can enjoy a basic menu item like an Americano for 2,500 KRW per cup.

One interesting detail is that the cashier’s name displays “Mayor Oh Se-hoon,” the current mayor of Seoul.

“Enjoying the View of Deoksugung and City Hall Front from the Window”

At the Jeongdong Observatory, there are seats by the window. You can sip your coffee or beverage while gazing out at the view. It’s an advantage to have a tranquil place in the heart of the city, where you can take a moment to relax and enjoy a scenic break overlooking Deoksugung Palace.

“Opened in 2013, but…”

The Jeongdong Observatory on the 13th floor of Seoul City Hall Seosomun Building opened in 2013. However, it was temporarily closed for a while due to the outbreak of COVID-19. But now, with the situation gradually improving, it has reopened for visitors.

“Entry to the Jeongdong Observatory through the Public Reservation System”

It reopened on November 26, 2022, and is currently operating on a reservation basis by time slots. The hours available for the general public are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM every weekend, while it remains closed on holidays and weekdays.

Reservations can be made through the Seoul City public reservation system, allowing a maximum of 39 reservations per hour. Considering vulnerable groups like the elderly and disabled, an additional 5 people can enter on a first-come, first-served basis on-site, allowing a total of 44 people to enter at once.

“Seoul City Hall, Jeongdong Observatory”