Walking: Namsan Circuit

  • Start Subway Line 4 to Myeongdong, Exit 4
  • End Hoehyeon station
  • Length 6km; three hours

Following pedestrian pathways and parts of the Seoul City Wall, this hike takes you around and over Namsan, providing sweeping city views along the way and a chance to enjoy the mountain's greenery and fresh air. It's best done early in the morning, but leafy trees do provide some shade most of the way.

From the subway exit walk up to the cable car station; just before you reach here you'll see steps leading up the mountainside to the pedestrian-only Northern Namsan Circuit.

Walk left for five minutes, and pause to look around the shrine Waryongmyo, before following the road as it undulates gently around the mountain, past routes down to Namsangol Hanok Village and Dongguk University, until you reach the outdoor gym (uphill from the National Theater of Korea) where you might catch older locals outpacing younger folk on the free-to-use equipment.

You can cut out the next bit by hopping on one of the buses that go to the peak from the bus stop near here. Otherwise, turn right at the start of the Southern Namsan Circuit road and you'll soon see the Seoul City Wall, what remains of the original fortress wall of the capital. A steep set of steps shadows the wall for part of the way to the summit; at the fork continue on the steps over the wall and follow the path to N Seoul Tower and the Bongsudae signal beacons.

Grab some refreshments to enjoy at the geological centre of Seoul, before picking up the Seoul City Wall trail down to pretty Joongang Park. On the left is Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Hall.

The park continues over a road tunnel down towards the Hilton Hotel with reconstructed sections of the Seoul City Wall. Finish up taking a look at the reconstruction of Sungnyemun, Seoul’s picturesque Great South Gate, then browsing Namdaemun Market for a snack or a bargain.