• Seoul Tower, built in 1969, was first opened to the public in 1980. Visitors can ride a cable car up the mountain to reach the tower or hike up a challenging staircase on the mountain's western slope.

    Seoul Tower is a national icon

    Seoul Tower, built in 1969, was first opened to the public in 1980. Visitors can ride a cable car up the mountain to reach the tower or hike up a challenging staircase on the mountain's western slope.

  • Once you climb to the mountaintop and take the elevator to the observation deck, your hard work is paid off with a spectacular view of the city. On a clear day you can see for miles.

    Seoul Tower offers spectacular views

    Once you climb to the mountaintop and take the elevator to the observation deck, your hard work is paid off with a spectacular view of the city. On a clear day you can see for miles.

  • One way up to the top of Namsan is the western staircase. The hike through the forest is beautiful, but challenging as you climb hundreds and hundreds of stairs.

    Hiking the Mountain

    One way up to the top of Namsan is the western staircase. The hike through the forest is beautiful, but challenging as you climb hundreds and hundreds of stairs.

  • With the weather warming up in Korea, the opportunity to explore is better than ever. This week we take a look at the Seoul Tower and the hundreds of stairs leading up to Namsan Mountain.

    Seoul Tower is a challenging climb

    With the weather warming up in Korea, the opportunity to explore is better than ever. This week we take a look at the Seoul Tower and the hundreds of stairs leading up to Namsan Mountain.

As spring weather brings blossoms, greenery and warmer temperatures to Korea, the opportunity to get out and discover the local scenery has never been better.

Seoul's skyline is unique because of a landmark tower sitting atop Nam Mountain in the city's center. Nam Mountain is commonly referred to by its Korean name, "Namsan."

The tower, built in 1969, originally opened to the public in 1980. However, the facility received extensive renovations in 2005 and is now a must-see tourist attraction for visitors to Seoul. On a clear day, visitors can see for miles.

Seoul Tower is 777 feet tall. The observation deck rotates slowly to give a complete view of the city. There is also a restaurant above the observation deck. Two high-speed elevators whisk visitors to the top and back. Seoul Tower is also home to an underground aquarium, World Folk Museum, Fantasy Land and a 3D theater.

Visitors can ride a cable car to the tower, take a bus or taxi, drive or hike. Next to the Namsan Public Library at the base of the western slope there is a park with eateries and small zoo. The path to the staircase starts here. The stairs wind through the forest and up the side of the mountain.

Along the way, there are plenty of benches for rest and relaxation. An easier way to get up Namsan is the cable car, but the hike offers good exercise. Another option is Seoul City Bus No. 2. or a drive up the east road.

Hours for the tower observatory are 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., but ticket sales stop at midnight. There is a nominal fee for adults and discounts for children to visit the observation deck.

Korea offers many things to do throughout the year. A visit to Seoul Tower on a clear spring day is a chance to see the city in a unique and breathtaking way.

Page last updated Wed March 26th, 2008 at 00:40