I walked to the Namsan Park area from my hotel in Myeongdong, which in itself wore me out – even before the climb had started! I did see signs on the road directing traffic to Mount Namsan and it seems that it is a very popular spot for locals as well as tourists throughout the year.
At the bottom of the mountain there were lovely manicured gardens and ponds, as well as the usual buses picking up and dropping off many tourists. Namsan Park is much larger than I thought it would be, offering many hiking trails around the mountain, rather than just a basic up and down route.
There were amazing views even from half way up the mountain trail. I stopped to take some photos, whilst I was taking time out to catch my breath – and if truth be told I really was starting to lose my breath at this point! Although Namsan is not exactly Mount Everest, it still takes a lot out of you as you strain your way upwards.
Unfortunately, when I got to the top, the café was closed for renovation and only builders were allowed to enter. Shame, as I would have bought myself a drink and a little Korean snack like tteokbokki or kimbap – I certainly needed the energy boost!
Lovers’ keychains and padlocks on the railings as if to solidify their unbreakable love to each other. I can only imagine how many of those padlocks are now present. A lot of lovers and young Korean couples come to Namsan for a romantic trip and it is a tradition for people to leave a padlock (but I have no idea where you would buy one).
There were many people at the top of the mountain, many of whom had come to get even higher, by going up Namsan Tower. I did not go up myself, as I did not have enough Korean Won with me to pay the entrance fee. However, I envy the views that people must have had from even higher up there!
At Namsan Park there is also a Cable Car which can take you up and down if you don’t want to brave the walk yourself physically. I am proud to say that I walked up and down without assistance, but the cable car is completely free to use. My ultimate recommendation would be to walk up and get the cable car back down again. That way you get the best of both worlds at one of Seoul’s best hiking spots!