Situated in Jongno-gu, Naksan Park is one of the best places that offers the bird’s eye view of downtown Seoul. It is an underrated place especially among foreign tourists. However, it is well-known for its stunning sunset view and breathtaking night city view among the locals. Moreover, it is a peaceful family park where you can relax and enjoy both history and culture while being surrounded by city walls in Joseon Dynasty that remain partially in Seoul.
The park is relatively easy to find as it is located just a stone’s throw away from Hyehwa Station. You can reach the summit either by bus or by hiking. It is an arduous climb, so make sure you are in your most comfy shoes if you plan to hike. There are 3 main observation points. There are walkways all the way up to the top or you can take a more relaxed, gentle slope.
I do not recommend elderly to hike because it is exhausting and some of the slopes are extremely steep. For me, I took the bus all the way up to the summit and walked down on foot.
|By bus||Jongno 03 (all the way up to the summit)|
|By hiking||Hyehwa Station (Line 4, exit 2)|
10 to 15 minutes walking distance from the Marronnier Park
Here is the address for your utmost convenience: 41 Naksan-gil, Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
A Brief History
The word “Naksan” originates from its camel hump-like appearance. It was founded in June 2002 to preserve the remaining green spaces after most of the mountain was demolished during the Japanese Occupation. In the past, the Joseon royal family usually enjoyed the sunset view at the mountain. Naksan was one of the four guardian mountains of the capital of Joseon Dynasty along with Namsan, Inwangsan and Bugaksan.
During the Joseon Dynasty, the fortress wall was built around the capital city to protect it from invasion of enemies. The remnants of the wall can still be found along the park, connecting Hyehwamun Gate and Heunginjimun Gate by a distance of 2km. Nowadays, the locals usually jog, walk and use the outdoor sport facilities provided in the park.
Naksan Park at a Glance
Naksan Park is famous for its wonderful city view where you can see tall buildings, apartments and skyscrapers. This is the picture I took before the sun sets. The sky was already a little dark that time because I went there right before sunset time. If you look at the left side of the picture, you can even see Namsan Tower from the park.
There are many Instagrammable worthy photo zones in the park as well. These are some of the pictures I took.
I was really lucky to be able to catch the exquisitely beautiful sunset view.
While Naksan Park is a great place to visit during daytime, it becomes alive at night when the darkness falls and soft city lights start glowing through the night sky. I started to climb down when the lights on the wall turned on. It creates a romantic atmosphere where you can walk along the wall while holding hands with your loved ones.
Nearby Food Recommendation
After my hike down Naksan Park, I was starving and was looking for food to fill up my empty stomach. Then, I came across this restaurant called Jjubu 쭈부 (abbreviation for 쭈구미 부대찌개) which specializes in webfoot octopus Korean army stew. It is a popular restaurant and has featured on SBS TV program (Live Today Episode 2191, 생방송 투데이). The stew was very flavorful, and it was finger-licking good. The webfoot octopus was fresh, chewy and added a sense of saltiness to the stew. We ordered the big portion for 5 person which costs 35000 won.
Address: 53 Daehak-ro, 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Personally, I spent a really amazing time in Naksan Park where I enjoyed the bird’s eye view of Seoul to the fullest and captured plenty of panoramic shots. It is undoubtedly the best spot in Seoul to have a quiet stroll amidst spectacular city landscape with your friends or even your loved ones! Note that there are many tourist spot attractions nearby the park like Iwha Mural Village, Daehakro (대학로) and Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).