Visit Namsan Park, a huge green oasis that spreads across the slopes of 860-foot-tall (262-meter) Mt. Namsan. Set on the outskirts of the city center, it features an aerial tramway, botanic flower displays, historic landmarks, an observation tower and walking trails. During the Joseon Dynasty, Namsan Park was worshipped as a shamanistic site and used as a defensive fortification. Today, it is one of Seoul’s largest public parks and attracts thousands of visitors a day.
Choose from several ways to access the park and mountain. The fastest is riding the scenic Namsan Cable Car, which terminates a short stroll from N Seoul Tower. Buses also travel from the downtown district to just south of the tower. Alternatively, discover the park’s natural beauty by strolling along walkways framed by verdant foliage.
N Seoul Tower rises 774 feet (236 meters) above Mt. Namsan’s summit. Ride the elevators to the various observation decks and admire the panoramic daylight, sunset and nighttime views of the cityscape. Purchase food at the bars, cafés and kiosks set around the tower’s courtyard. Enjoy people-watching from the steps of the octagonal-shaped Palgakjeong Pavilion.
Trails stretch out from the mountain peak and lead past hillslopes decorated with pine and cherry blossom trees. Visit the Mongmyeoksan Beacon Hill Site, one of several beacons erected by rulers of the Joseon Dynasty. The beacons served as communication towers to warn the city of imminent enemy raids. The Namsan Southern Circuit connects with Namsan Botanical Garden via a section of the old city wall.
See more of the city wall and the Waryongmyo multi-faith shrine along the Northern Namsan Circuit. In the park’s westernmost corner is the An Jung-geun Memorial Hall, which honors its eponymous Korean independence activist. Tour a re-creation of traditional Korean homes and gardens at Namsangol Hanok Village.
The park stretches south from the southern edge of the Myeongdong district. Public buses and the metro stop close to the entrances. Walk to the lower cable car station in 10 minutes from Myeongdong metro station.
Namsan Park is open daily. There is a fee for the cable car, tower and Hanok village.