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5 Amazing Lookouts in Seoul

Home > Seoul > Escape the City | Free | Fun Things To Do | Lookouts | Nightlife
by Jane Wong (subscribe)
My dogs and I are kind of a package deal. www.instagram.com/eddyandsam
Published March 29th 2017
Venture off the beaten path & check out these great lookouts
Seoul, the capital and largest metropolis of the Republic of Korea (commonly known as South Korea), is the world's 16th largest city. Comprising 605.25 square kilometres with a population density which is almost twice that of New York, it is no surprise that Seoul is home to a seemingly endless number of skyscrapers, which together make up an impressive skyline that can be admired from many different points around the city.

A quick search on Google on things to do in Seoul and there is no doubt that Mt. Namsan, home to the N Seoul Tower, will be on the large majority of lists, if not all. Although the N Seoul Tower, which, standing at 236m marks the highest point in Seoul, and as such is a beautiful place to visit, it is also extremely crowded with tourists and locals (mostly couples) alike, 365 days a year. This list will take you a little off the beaten path and introduce visitors to less well-known spots which provide equally picturesque views of the Seoul skyline, without having to fight for photo opportunities with hordes of other people. Plus, it'll be cheaper too!

seoul, south korea, lookouts, attractions, tourist, visit, free, skyline, 63 building, mapo bridge, han river, dream forest, observatory, hiking, ansan, city hall observatory, mapo bridge, view, city, asia
Seoul, the world's 16th largest city.



1. Ansan Mountain (안산)

Admission: Free
Opening Hours: N/A
Location: Dongshin Hospital, Hongeun 2(i)-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (starting point)


Ansan Mountain stands at an impressive 295.9m at an elevation of 1,430m, especially considering its close proximity to central Seoul. Being relatively unknown (especially to travelling visitors), Ansan is a hidden gem that is void of large crowds throughout the year, even during the peak season - in fact, the large majority of people you encounter on this hike, if not all, are locals who enjoy this hike on a regular basis. Providing great views of downtown Seoul due to both its height and proximity to the city, Ansan really is the perfect spot for hiking in Seoul, especially considering the multiple hiking routes that can be taken up and across this mountain.

There are several ways of reaching the observatory and/or peak of Ansan Mountain, with options depending on how much time you have set aside, what your budget looks like, and quite possibly how fit you are! However, no matter which option you choose, you will first need to take the metro to get to either Hongje Station (Line 3) or Sinchon Station (Line 2). From either station, you will need to then make your way towards the Hongje Stream (홍제천) from where your hike will begin. It's a short taxi ride away, but if you want to save money, its a manageable 1km walk from the subway station.

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View from Ansan Mountain.



2. Jeongdong Observatory (정동전망대)

Admission: Free
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm all year round
Location: 15 Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul


Jeongdong Observatory is located on the 13th floor of Seoul City Hall's Seosomun building. The indoor observation deck doubles up as a cafe, where visitors can enjoy a beverage while enjoying a birds-eye-view of the city from right within the city centre. More specifically, Jeongdong Observatory offers a full view of Deoksugung Palace and other attractions around Jeongdong, including Seoul Metropolitan Library, Chongdong Theatre, and Seoul Anglican Cathedral. Jeongdong first began to grow as a hub for Westerners coming to Seoul with the establishment of the American Legislation in 1883, with Jeongdong eventually becoming the heart of the city's expatriate community.

To get to Jeongdong Observatory, take the subway to City Hall Station (Line 1, 2), and take Exit 11. Keep walking straight until you see the Seoul City Hall's Seosomun Building, and take the elevator to the 13th floor.

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View from Jeongdong Observatory.



3. Seoul 63 Square (서울 63 스퀘어)

Admission: 13,000 won (adults), 12,000 won (teenagers), 11,000 won (children & seniors)
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm, all year round
Location: 50, 63-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul


Known by locals as the "63 Building", Seoul 63 Square is Korea's tallest and most recognised building. It measures a total height of 264 metres, and boasts spectacular views of the Hangang River and surrounding Gubaksan, Namsan and Gwanaksan Mountains. As per its name, the observatory is located on the top floor - the 63rd floor. Alongside the observatory on the top floor, visitors can also enjoy a stroll and wander through the adjacent art gallery (63 Sky Art), and enjoy a drink or a meal at the cafe. With extensive renovation and extension in recent years, the 63 Building now boasts a host of other facilities in addition to the observatory, including 63 Sea World, 63 IMAX Theatre, Buffet Pavilion (the nation's largest buffet restaurant), in addition to a host of other restaurants.

To get to 63 Building, take the subway to Yeouinaru Station (Line 5), and take Exit 2. Keep walking straight for approximately 10 minutes - the gold coloured 63 Building should be in sight ensuring that visitors don't get lost.

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View from Seoul 63 Square.



4. Mapodaegyo Bridge (마포대교)

Admission: N/A
Opening Hours: N/A
Location: Yonggang-dong Mapo-gu Seoul


Known locally as "Mapo Bridge", Mapodaegyo Bridge is a 1,400m long and 25m wide bridge that connects Yonggang-dong, Mapo-gu and Yeouido-dong that was completed in May 1970 after approximately two years of construction. It was originally named 'Seoul Bridge', but this was changed in 1984 to its current name. Mapo Bridge was the fourth bridge to be built over the Hangang River (한강). Unfortunately, Mapo Bridge has in recent years become a popular spot for suicide attempts. To combat this, government officials commissioned Park Young-ki of the Korea Suicide Prevention Group to give Mapo Bridge a new look in the form of inspirational slogans that light up (at night) as patrons pass by, all along the guardrails. They say things like, "How are you doing?", "Isn't it nice to be walking on a bridge?", and "Did you eat anything yet?".

To get to Mapodaegyo Bridge, take the subway to Yeouinaru Station (Line 5), and take Exit 2. The bridge is approximately a 10 minute walk from the station.

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View from Mapodaegyo Bridge.



5. Dream Forest (북서울 꿈의 숲)

Admission: Free
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm, all year round (except Mondays)
Location: 173, Wolgye-ro, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul


Previously known as "Odong Geullin Park", Dream Forest was renovated and reopened in October 2009 as the fourth largest park in South Korea, with many major attractions in addition to the observation deck. These include: Wolyeongji Pond, Grass Square, Wolgwang Waterfall, Deer Ranch, Exploring Path, Forest Rest, and a water park. The observatory stands at a height of 49.7m at an altitude of 139m, providing breathtaking views of downtown Seoul, Bukhansan, Dobongsan, Suraksan, and Namsan mountains, in addition to the Hangang River.

To get to Dream Forest, take the subway to Miasageori Station (Line 4), and take Exit 1. Then take Maeul Bus No. 9 or No. 11 for approximately 10 minutes, before alighting at Dream Forest Bus Stop. Alternatively, take the subway to Dolgoji Station (Line 6), and take Exit 3. Then take Bus No. 147 for approximately 5 minutes before alighting at Dream Forest Bus Stop.

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View from Dream Forest.




Which of these lookouts have you visited, or would like to visit when you next have the opportunity to visit Seoul? Do you know of any other free lookouts in the Seoul metropolitan area? Please leave a comment down below and let us know your thoughts!

Ready to venture outside of Seoul, South Korea's capital city, and explore some of its other smaller but equally vibrant cities? How about a quick stopover in Busan, South Korea's largest port city? You'd be surprised at how much you can fit in in just 48 hours!
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Why? There's more to Seoul than just Namsan Tower
Your Comment
Great article, Jane - I had no idea about any of these!
by Lucy (score: 3|1145) 506 days ago
Thanks for letting me know the 5 beautiful lookouts. Worth visiting!
by lokyl (score: 2|408) 508 days ago
Feeling very cold there, haha
by ycwong (score: 2|512) 508 days ago
sounds great
by locke (score: 1|46) 508 days ago
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