Seoul’s Namsan Tower & Locks of Love

One of the first impressions my sister had about Korea on her recent visit here was that it was loud, busy and bright. Korea can definitely be overwhelming. There is so much going on everywhere right around you, and I think this compounds the inability to process just how massive the city of Seoul really is–it can be hard to process that this madness goes on for many miles in all directions.

This is one of the reasons I think that the 63 Building and Namsan Tower (or “North Seoul Tower”) are so special. They sit high above all the madness and provide 360 degree views of city, as far as you can see. I knew I wanted to take my sister and her new fiance(!) to the tower so they could experience these views for themselves. Plus, my sister got all sappy about the idea of the love locks and really wanted to add one to the “Love Lock Trees.”

view of Seoul

Namsan tower love lock trees

So we crowded into the cable car and made our way up the mountain to Namsan Tower. We checked out the old smoke signal towers, the pagoda, and the life-size cartoon Haechi, Seoul’s mascot.

Matt and Andrea by smoke signals

Conor and Jillian by smoke signal towers

Gate to the smoke signal towers

Matt, Jill and Conor

Conor and Jillian with Haechi

Once they saw the love lock trees, Jillian and Conor decided straight away to buy a lock and add it to the trees. Matt wasn’t nearly as sold on the idea, but I finally convinced him we should get one too.

Jill and Conor's lock

Jill and Conor's lock

Conor and Jill at Seoul's love lock trees

Conor and Jill with Seoul's love lock trees

Namsan tower love lock trees

Matt and Andrea's lock

Matt and Andrea's lock

Matt and Andrea by Namsan tower love lock trees

Matt and Andrea

Namsan Tower love lock trees

After locking down our love, we rode up to the top of the tower to take in the views, people watch and take cheesy pictures. Although most of the stuff at Namsan Tower are massive tourist traps, those views will never get old, and they’re a nice breathe of fresh air from the crowded streets.

Inside Namsan Tower

inside Namsan Tower

inside Namsan Tower

Andrea, Jill and Conor at Seoul Tower

Andrea and Jill at Seoul Tower

Matt and Andrea at Seoul TowerView of Seoulview of Seoul

view of Seoul

To get to the Namsan cable car, take the Seoul subway Line 4 to Myeongdong Station, and take exit 3. Go south along Toegye-ro 18-gil street to the Pacific Hotel and turn left. Walk along Toegye-ro 20 gil street until you see the Ministop, and then turn right and walk along Toegye-ro 20-na-gil street. At the end of the street, you will see the stairway to the cable car.

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  1. The locks have expanded–when I was there, they only covered the fence, now I see they’ve taken over the nearby trees. At this rate, 10 years from now, the city of Seoul will consist almost entirely of locks. Evey free surface will be covered; even the people will have locks dangling from their clothes.
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