Monday, May 18, 2015

Namsan: Park, Tower, and Village

These tropical bodies (which, sadly, does not translate to beach bodies) started out at 930 in the morning as little Eskimos, bundled in thick coats, scarves, boots, and gloves. We left our little igloo (that felt like a very cold cave) to explore nearby Namsan Park, whose paths, our host told us, will lead us to N Seoul Tower in just 20 minutes.

Directions to Namsan Park:
Hoehyeon Area: Take subway line 4 to Hoehyeon Station and take exit 4, then walk for 20 minutes. 
Hannam Area: Take subway line 6 to Hangangjin Station and take exit 2. Then take bus #0014 and get off at Hyatt Hotel (Botanical Garden). Bus comes every 10 minutes and the bus ride takes about 10 minutes. 

Baekbeom Square on the northwest side of Namsan Park
is where we started our journey on foot

Twenty minutes by her legs she means! We started off from Sowol-ro (Sowol Road) following an ascending trail to Baekboem Square on the northwest side of Namsan Park. From Baekbeom Square, we followed the path, crossed a road, and found ourselves outside Global Village Folk Museum. Then more walking, taking us an hour and a half up so many steps to get to N Seoul Tower with the help of too much excess fat weighing us down and too many autumn leaves making us stop, pant, strip, stare, and shoot every few meters.

Directions to N Seoul Tower:
By subway and cable car: Take subway line 4 to Myeongdong Station and take exit 3. Walk about 10 minutes to the cable car station.
By subway and bus #2: Take subway line 3 or line 4 to Chungmuro Station and take exit 2. Hop on the Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus no. 2. You can also get on Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus no. 2 at Dongguk University Station (line 3, exit 6).
By subway and bus #3: Take Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus no. 3 from any of these stations: Seoul Station (line 1 or line 4, exit 9), Itaewon Station (line 6, exit 4), Hangangjin Station (line 6, exit 2).
By subway and bus #5: Take Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle bus no. 5 from any of these stations: Myeongdong Station (line 4, exit 3), Chungmuro Station (line 3 or line 4, exit 2).

We did not go up the tower observatory (admission fee of KRW9000; open from 10AM to 11PM, or up to 12MN on Fridays and Saturdays), but instead took photos of trees and leaves, refueled at one of the restaurants, and sat around for an hour and a half before going off again to burn off our lunch calories, take a gazillion more photos of trees and leaves, and to find our third and last Namsan stop.

From N Seoul Tower it was an easy (but hard on our oldie knees) walk down paths and steps surrounded by leaves of many colors on the ground and on trees. In an hour or so, we found ourselves in deserted backroads surrounded by houses and no directional signs. We had to stop several times to catch open WiFi signals and find ourselves in relation to Namsangol Hanok Village.

Namsangol Hanok Village
28, Toegye–ro 34–gil, Jung–gu, Seoul
Wednesdays to Mondays 9AM to 8PM
Free admission
Directions to Namsangol Hanok Village: Take subway line 3 or line 4 to Chungmuro Station, exit 3 or 4.

We eventually found Namsangol Hanok Village, a collection of five traditional Korean houses from different parts of the city that have been relocated at the foot of Namsan mountain. I was almost tempted to rent a hanbok from a shop just outside Namsangol Hanok Village, and pretend to be some ancient Korean in an ancient village. But I thought I'd soon feel silly and did not want to add more to the pile I was carrying, which was most of my Eskimo outfit.

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

South Korea Quickie 2014
Wisdom from the Road #22
Seoul: Lessons From My Seoul Airbnb Experience
Seoul: Gwangjang Market
Seoul: Namsan: Park, Tower, and Village (you're here!)
Gyeongju: Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto
Wisdom from the Road #29
Busan: Mr Egg Hostel (Nampo)
Busan: Scenic Sites of Busan: Taejongdae and Oryukdo
Busan: Wishes at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Busan: 40gyedan–gil and Beyond
Busan: Gamcheon Culture Village
Busan: An Ignoramus in Busan
Daily Dose of Kindness in South Korea
Squeezing Three Cities and One Wallet in Five Days
Busan: What's in a (Business) Name? Busan


  1. Oooh~ I badly need to save up for our Korea trip next year.

  2. Hi,

    Is it right, Namsan Park is directly linked to N-Seoul Tower?

    1. Hi Charmaine. Yes, it is. If you have time and energy to spare, walk through the park to get to N Seoul Tower.

  3. Hello, is Namsangol Hanok Village directly linked with Namsan Park? Or is it located anywhere near the park? Thanks.

    1. Hi! No, it is not directly linked to Namsan Park. But it is near I mean more than an hour's walk along the walking trails on the east of the park then out to the main road then you have to go around to find the entrance of Namsangol Hanok Village. Best to have Google Maps when you do this. When we went we just followed our instincts and asked around, once we were out of the park's walking trails we found ourselves in deserted backroads and rows of houses...a little lost...but still found our way to Namsangol Hanok Village. :)

    2. Hey Mustachio, thanks for the response and tip. Much appreciated. Checked your profile and found out you're from Cebu as well. :) Will be traveling to Seoul mid-Oct this year and am checking places to visit and stumbled upon your blog. Lovely photos by the way!

    3. Glad you found your way here! :) Yes, I am Bisayang dako heheh. I added a map, if that would be any help to you hehe. But because I don't have a photographic memory I just put straight lines for the trails heheh. You will see on the map that from Namsan Park to Namsangol Hanok Village it's still a bit of a walk and have to go around to get to the hanok village's entrance...

      Enjoy your trip! It's a lovely season to visit!

  4. Hi, I was wondering if you actually travelled in May, when you posted this, just cause it looks like autumn colours because I will be in Seoul in September and I'm curious what the scenery will be like in Sept, if it looks like your pictures then the path is worth walking.

    1. Hi Izzie. This trip happened end of October. Leaves might still be green in September.

  5. hi, i'll be going to seoul in November 10-15th 2017..can i still enjoy such beautiful autumn scenery during those dates?? thank you

    1. Hi. Thanks for visiting the blog. Yes, I would think so.