One of the best tourist attractions and date spots in Seoul is Namsan Tower and the Locks of Love. It marks the highest point in Seoul and is located at the peak of Namsan Mountain. It’s where locals and tourists go to for a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city.
I visited in the morning and was surprised to see that it wasn’t crowded as I had expected it to be. I read the reviews about the place and saw pictures of it online and for some reason, it looked like it was always jampacked with people. I eventually figured out why. It’s because visitors flock the tower in the afternoon to catch the sunset.
It’s pretty obvious why a lot of tourists prefer to end their day at Namsan Tower. It is a great place to hang out with family and friends as there are countless activities you can do here. Visitors have the option to go on a cable car ride that will take them all the way up to the tower. They can also take advantage of the wonderful sites and attractions available by taking their special someone here for a date. They can also check the museums and showrooms out as well do a bit of shopping here.
The view was bad the day I decided to come here unfortunately. The clouds were so thick and I couldn’t see anything. The lady in the ticket booth did warn me about the clouds and asked if it was okay. I still pushed through with it and went up the observation deck. All because I had a schedule to follow (my planned itinerary) as well as tours that had already been paid for. If I ever visit Korea again, I will probably go back here and visit when the skies are clear and blue. Remember that weather is an important factor here so please take note of that.
The admission fees are as follows (as of March 2017):
N Seoul Tower is open 365 days a year. However, opening hours may change depending on weather conditions and operating schedule.
Sun-Fri: 10:00 – 23:00
And Sat: 10:00 – 24:00
The Locks of Love is right below or right at the base of Namsan Tower.
It’s where you can find railings and fences adorned with thousands of padlocks and its keys thrown to the unknown (or should I say, the vast forest of Namsan mountain). The idea is for couples to symbolically lock their love forever. There’s no admission fee to see the place. It’s only the padlocks you have to pay for (which are reasonably overpriced), but you can also choose to bring your own.
I noticed that locals also come up here to exercise or do a bit of hiking. When I took the bus to get up here in Namsan Tower, I saw a few people on the road who were taking a nice long stroll and enjoying the cold weather of Namsan mountain. It probably took them an hour or so to get to the top, but it must have been refreshing for them as Namsan offers great views and fresh air.
There are other attractions here in Namsan Tower aside from the observatory and the Locks of Love. Here’s a screenshot taken from Imagine Your Korea.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are various ways to get to Namsan Tower. The easiest way, in my opinion, is to take Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus in Myeongdong station exit 3. Although you may have to wait a while since the bus comes every 20-25 minutes.
Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus no. 5 will drop you off at the parking lot in Namsan mountain and then you’ll have to walk for about 2-3 minutes to reach the base of Namsan Tower. It will cost each person 1,200 won in cash and 1,100 won with T-money card.
You can also choose to come by cable car. Initially, I wanted to take this route so I could enjoy the scenery on my way up, but it was closed for inspections the day I visited. To get there, you have to walk for about 10-15 minutes until you reach the boarding place when you exit at no. 3 of Myeongdong station. The boarding place is called Namsan Orumi and it is a slanted elevator that connects Namsan Tunnel 3 to the Namsan Cable car.
All photos are mine unless stated otherwise.