Naksan is not the tallest mountain in Seoul. It's not even close. It is rather unassuming and matter-of-factly easy to miss. To actually miss visiting this mountain, though, would be a real shame. It is a surprisingly very rewarding mountain to visit.
In fact, the members of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty appreciated Naksan very much. They visited the mountain quite often to relax.
Not only was Naksan a mountain that provided relaxation and leisure back in the day, but it was also a defensively important place. Naksan, along with Bugaksan, Inwangsan, and Namsan, served as guardian mountains to Seoul. The ancient Seoul fortress wall can still be seen running across the ridge of Naksan.
Whether it is for historical, cultural, or recreational reasons, put Naksan on your list of places to visit while in Seoul.
The Scouting Report
Nagaksan is a rather short mountain. It is a mere 125 meters high. Despite that, it provides surprisingly inspiring vistas of Seoul.
It is not that big, either. And the majority of the mountain has seen development; therefore, there is not much "natural" hiking to be found on Naksan. Most of the trails are paved paths that sometimes double as roads.
One of the biggest draws of Naksan is the old fortress wall that used to protect the old city of Seoul. The wall has been restored after suffering from years of neglect and runs along the ridge of the mountain. A very scenic walking trail runs along the full length of the wall.
Another popular spot for visitors is Ehwa Mural Village. This enclave of buildings on the western slope of the mountain is a popular spot for aspiring artists. Various murals and other art projects adorn the walls and streets in the village. To make seeing all the murals a little more comfortable, a number of quaint coffee shops and restaurants can also be found in Ehwa Mural Village.
Elsewhere on the Web
- Naksan Park - by Visit Korea
- Seoul Fortress Wall Footpath - Naksan Course - by Visit Korea
- Naksan Park - by The Seoul Guide
- Off the Beaten Path: Naksan Park and Mural Village in Seoul - by Dream! Go! Live!
- Urban Art and City Views at Naksan Park - by Seoul Searching
- Naksan Park, visiting a part of Seoul Fortress - by A Few of My Favorite Things
- Seoul "Girls Trip" Day 3; Naksan Park... - by Fun Flying Four
- In Search of Seoul's City Wall (Naksan Trail) - by Two Brown Feet
Naksan has been heavily urbanized. In fact, Naksan Park, which sits on top of the mountain, was founded in 2002 in order to preserve what was left of the green space on and around the mountain. Two of the mountain's encroaching urban areas are actually quite pleasant destinations themselves: Daehangno and Ehwa (Ihwa) Mural Village.
Check out the Naksan photo album to see more pictures.
Also, see Seoul Scout: Naksan.
How To Get There
Where: Seoul-si, Seongbuk-gu and Jongno-gu
From Line 4 - Hyehwa Station (혜화역):
From Line 4 - Dongdaemun Station (동애문역):
From Line 1 - Dongdaemun Station (동대문역):
From Line 6 - Changsin Station (창신역):
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Originally posted May 20, 2015
Updated December 6, 2015