The Best Hostels in Seoul

Skyscrapers and Buddhist temples combine to make a skyline like no other in Seoul
Skyscrapers and Buddhist temples combine to make a skyline like no other in Seoul | © Luis Emilio Villegas Amador / Alamy Stock Photo

The South Korean capital might be known for its glitzy clubs, high-fashion malls and expensive restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel there on a budget. There are a wealth of affordable hostels in Seoul, particularly in the party areas of Hongdae and Itaewon, providing travellers with comfortable and often stylish options for a night’s sleep. From trick-eye rooms to K-pop capsules, there’s something for everyone – here’s our guide to the city’s best.

1. G Guesthouse Itaewon


G Guesthouse Itaewon dorm room with bunk beds and desk
Courtesy of G Guesthouse Itaewon/Hostelworld

G Guesthouse is located in Itaewon, a lively party district popular with foreigners. Its rooftop terrace has barbecue facilities, seating and excellent views out over the area and nearby Namsan Tower. It’s a large hostel, with plenty of opportunities for socialising: there’s a communal space including a shared kitchen, and the hostel runs frequent icebreaker events (such as Thursday movie nights). Breakfast is complimentary, and includes toast, eggs and cereal.

2. KpopStay

Budget Hotel, Hostel

K-Pop Hotel dining room with wood floors and plants, large windows
Courtesy of K-Pop Hotel / Expedia

KpopStay is located in the trendy district of Hongdae, just three minutes’ walk from Hongik University. The hostel’s capsule beds are sturdily built, comfortable, and can be curtained off for privacy. There’s an outdoor seating area, and the hostel is well located for shopping, partying and sightseeing. The décor is fun and modern, and more sophisticated than you might expect from the name. It has a complimentary continental breakfast.

3. Trick Art Hostel

Hostel, Guesthouse

Spiderman decor at Trick Eye Guesthouse, Seoul, South Korea
© Hostelworld

This quirky little hostel takes inspiration from Hongdae’s well-loved Trick Eye Museum (approximately a ten-minute walk away) to create a fun space full of interesting art. Friendly staff encourage guests to socialise, and even give out Korean traditional foods that are usually served during holidays like Chuseok or Seollal. Trick Art Hostel is close to the Hongik University subway station (seven minutes’ walk), but far enough away from Hongdae’s noisiest clubs to ensure fairly peaceful sleep. It has a nice rooftop terrace and complimentary breakfast. There’s also a laundry machine that guests can use free of charge.

5. Zzzip Guesthouse

Hostel, Guesthouse

Zzzip Guesthouse dorm with bunk beds and coat pegs
Courtesy of Zzzip Guesthouse/Hostelworld

Zzzip Guesthouse might not be flashy, but it more than makes up for it with its welcoming atmosphere and caring staff. It’s known for having a family-like atmosphere, and there are plenty of opportunities to socialise with other guests. The owners are on hand to help each guest get the most out of their time in Seoul, and are happy to suggest places to see and things to do. The hostel is located in a quiet area of Hongdae, four minutes’ walk to the nearest subway station and fifteen minutes from Hongik University station. Breakfast is included.

6. Time Travelers Relax

Hostel, Guesthouse

Time Travelers Relax communal dining area with books, plants and parquet floors
© Hostelworld

And… relax. Not just another Hongdae hostel, Time Travelers Relax is an oasis of calm in the middle of Seoul’s party district. It’s crammed full of books, plants and quirky art made by the owner himself. The atmosphere is relaxing and revitalising, with lots of natural light and stylish, Scandi-chic décor. Its sister hostel (Time Travelers Party) is close by and has frequent social events and a lively bar, where guests from Relax are welcome.

If Seoul isn’t for you, check out the best hostels and guesthouses in Busan, bookable with Culture Trip.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article