North (N) Seoul Tower: Korea's Space Needle at Night

 Japan loves its observation decks; Tokyo has about a dozen between office buildings and the two iconic transmission towers. Korea has one of its own, lit up beautifully in the evening, which goes by the name N Seoul Tower.
 However, the North Seoul Tower is less about the view and more about being a romantic destination for a date. Koreans seem to like to go places on dates, like amusement parks, museums, and the zoo.
 Seoul doesn't have an iconic skyline outside of the tower itself, so being unfamiliar with the city means I spent my time up at the top looking at nameless buildings and random city streets. During the day I possibly could have identified some of the landmarks I had visited or would later see, but at night it's just a lot of city lights. That's not to say it was a waste of money; I just wish I had known more about the city or had visited during the day.
 The tower itself is pretty short but it's placed on top of a mountain in a park. There are some very dark areas in a few of the above photos which outlines the edges of the park; it's possible to walk up or down the mountain. My visit was in winter and I wouldn't advise trying it at that time of year. If time allows on a future visit, I would like to hike the mountain too. The base of the tower and the top both have souvenir shops and places to get food.
In winter you could have hot chocloate, though I'd prefer hot chocolate. The 3800 won price is about $3.80 in US money. While you're up at the top of the mountain, look for the thousands of padlocks where couples have professed their love by, well, locking a padlock to something.

There's also a teddy bear museum at Seoul Tower, and a few historically significant points in the vicinity.

To get to the tower at the top of Namsan Mountain, you can take a shuttle bus from Myeong-dong Station exit 3, Chungmuro Station exit 2, Seoul Station exit 9, Itaewon Station exit 4, or Hangangjin Station exit 2. It costs 950 won in cash, but it's cheaper if you use a transportation card and transfers are available.

From Exit 3 of Myeong-dong Station, you can also walk a ways to a cable car (8500 won round trip, 6000 won one way); this route includes using a free slanted elevator that is pretty slow. The shuttle buses are cheaper and faster. If you really want to walk up/down the mountain, it looks like the shortest route is from Seoul Station, though finding good details online is pretty tough.

North Seoul Tower is open daily, 10:00-23:00 (10:00-24:00 Fridays and Saturdays). The six restaurants open by 11:00 and close at 23:00 (22:00 for the snack bar). The observatory costs 9000 won ($9) for adults.

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