The Fortress Wall of Seoul
Korea,  Travel Chronicles: Summer 2023

Seoul City Wall Trail Guide

The Fortress Wall of Seoul, or Seoul City Wall Trail is a series of walls made of stone, wood and other materials, built to protect the city of Seoul against invaders, first built in 1396. This 18.6-kilometer-long wall follows the ridges of Inwangsan, Baegaksan (Bugaksan), Naksan, and Namsan Mountains. Hiking the Seoul City Wall Trail is a breathtaking way to explore Seoul on foot, while getting a little taste of the history.

The best place to get on to the Seoul City Wall Trail is by getting on subway line 4, and getting off at Hyehwa Subway station, exit 2. From there, it is a short 10-minute walk to one of the entrances of the Fortress Wall of Seoul, more exactly, here in Naksan park. The walk before getting to the entrance, the neighborhood of Hyehwa is lively and filled with many university students, a great place to spend time and shop for inexpensive items. As you walk towards the entrance to Naksan Park, there are also signs pointing to the right way.

Signs to Naksan Park
Signs to Naksan Park

Entering the Seoul City Wall Trail from the entrance of Naksan Park (here), and walking South will lead you to Heunginjimun, the restored gate that was part of the Fortress Wall of Seoul. It was built during the Joseon Dynasty, and conveniently right next to the Dongdaemun station, trains 1 and 4. Starting from this point in Naksan Park ensures that you wont get tired walking the whole trail, and you still get see the summit, and the walk is mostly downhill.

You know you are heading right way to the entrance when you start going off the main road and start walking up a slight hill. As you follow the signs to Naksan, it will eventually lead you to stairs to walk up into the park. It is quite a steep way up with a good amount of stairs, but it isn’t too bad. It’s a peaceful walk up with many trees and flowers growing into the ramp and stairs. I got to the steps to the entrance of the The Fortress Wall of Seoul at 7pm, so I can enjoy the sunset (July 2023) and got to the end of the trail, at Heunginjimun at 8:45pm after a very leisurely walk.

stairs to The Fortress Wall of Seoul in Naksan Park
Stairs to The Fortress Wall of Seoul in Naksan Park

When you get to the top, you will see the Fortress Wall of Seoul in front of you. On the left side, there is a small workout area, and when I went, there was an older woman who was using this area for her workouts. Make sure to head to your right when you get to the top of the stairs to head towards Dongdaemun.

Entrance to The Fortress Wall of Seoul
Entrance to The Fortress Wall of Seoul

The walk in the beginning is going to be a little uphill walk but there are many areas where you can admire the view or sit down to take a break. The atmosphere of the area is so nice, and not crowded at all, and you many see many people jogging as well. Being able to see the city of Seoul from such a high height is so peaceful and beautiful.

The Fortress Wall of Seoul City Walk of Seoul
The uphill walk

There are many scenic points within the Seoul City Wall Trail, where you can admire the city scape of Seoul, as well as the mountains surrounding the city. You can even see Namsan tower in the distance from a few points of the walk.

The Fortress Wall of Seoul View of Namsan Tower
View of Namsan Tower from the Fortress Wall of Seoul

Along with the many nature on your walk, you might even meet some cats relaxing in the area!

Seoul City Wall Trail Cat
A Cat relaxing at the Seoul City Wall Trail

As you walk towards Dongdaemun, look out for some stairs that point to the Naksan Mountain Summit. The view from above is breathtaking and worth the mini hike. The summit has a great view of the small plaza as well, and a great place to people watch. I stayed at the summit past sunset, and I wish I was able to stay for longer, but mosquitos started to come out and bite me.

Naksan Mountain Summit
Stairs that lead to the Naksan Mountain Summit

The sunset view and day views of Seoul City Wall Trail are amazing, but the night view is worth experiencing as well. I recommend doing the Seoul City Wall Trail at the Fortress Wall of Seoul during sunset so you can experience it both day and night.

Nighttime View from Naksan Mountain Summit
Nighttime View from Naksan Mountain Summit

As you continue walking towards Dongdaemun, there are restaurants and cafes by the road. Although I was there at night and almost everything was already closed, I’m sure during the daytime, the cafes and restaurants get busy, and houses beautiful views of the city.

The Fortress Wall of Seoul Nighttime cafes and restaurants
Nighttime cafes and restaurants

You’ll know you’re getting close to the finish line when the trails get thinner, and you start to start to hear the city noises of Seoul. Once you get to Heunginjimun, cross the big intersection, and you will be right in front of the Dongdaemun station, you can take train line 1 or 4 back to our accommodation for a well-deserved sleep.

The end of The Fortress Wall of Seoul
The end of The Fortress Wall of Seoul

This is part of my Travel Chronicles: Summer 2023 series! Check out the rest of my blog post of my summer 2023 adventures!

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