Namsan (alternative routes)
If you’re looking for the main route up Namsan from Myeongdong or Seoul Station, see my page here.
This page covers the alternative routes up Namsan from the Seoul Grand Hyatt and from the Dongguk University area.
Hiking up Namsan from the Grand Hyatt
Starting from the main entrance to the hotel, you’re already halfway up Namsan:
Turn right from the main entrance and head over the footbridge:
Then bear left through the park, following the signs for N Seoul Tower or Namsan Dulle-gil (towards the botanical garden):
You pass this pond, frozen at the time of this hike in December:
Shortly beyond the pond, turn right this way:
Which eventually brings you up to the road:
Turn left and head uphill; unfortunately this road sees quite a lot of traffic, including lots of tour buses, so this is my least favourite way to walk up Namsan. It does however have a really good viewpoint:
Although, as you can see, the day I took those pictures the air quality was pretty foul. I forgot to check the air pollution level before heading out and regretted my decision! (Generally speaking for hiking in Seoul you should check the AQI here and if it’s over 100 you might want to leave it for another day if possible. If it’s over 150, hiking isn’t a good idea. Below 50 is crystal clear, from 70ish-100 you won’t get perfect visibility but it should still be nice)
You can follow the road right up to Seoul Tower, though it’s a bit nicer to take the left turning along this path through the trees next to the old Seoul Fortress Wall:
If you go past that left turn, you see this on the right:
No entry, obviously enough.
If you turned left along the path next to the wall, you then go up these steps on the right:
Which gets you up to the tourist Disneyland of N Seoul Tower. Enjoy the views, go get a coffee & a burger, put a padlock on the fence, or go up to the tower’s viewing deck (you can get discounted tickets here). If you don’t plan on going back down to the Hyatt, the most straightforward route down (other than the cable car or a bus) is the main trail down to Myeongdong/Seoul Station as covered here.
If you’ve come up a different way but want to descend to the Hyatt, you can just follow the road down past the viewpoint and then turn right here at the public toilets (this is the top of the path down through the park to the Hyatt):
Hiking up Namsan from Dongguk University
Ride Line 3 to Dongguk University Station and come out of exit 6, then turn south at the intersection and walk up the road past the Shilla Hotel for 15 minutes or so until you reach the Korea National Theater and this right turning (look for the big white letters reading 남산공원 (Namsan Park):
Turn there and head up this way:
Following it round to the left:
…and bear left along the road at this junction:
A little further up you come to these steps on the right:
Which take you up alongside the fortress wall:
The path eventually takes you up and over the wall and then dips down & back up again through the forest:
If you climbed up another route and want to descend this way to Dongguk University, from the tower start heading down the road:
Then take the path down to the left here:
And a short distance down the paved path turn right here following the sign for Hanyangdoseong (the fortress wall):
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