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
Photo of Phoebe Taylor
16 October 2018
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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.

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.

KpopStay

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.

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.

Zaza Backpackers Hostel

Zaza Backpackers Hostel room with two single beds, tv and kitchenette
Courtesy of Zaza Backpackers Hostel/Hotels.com

Zaza Backpackers Hostel is right by Namsan Park and within walking distance of Myeongdong shopping district. It doesn’t offer dormitory-style accommodation, but has a number of room options that can accommodate up to four people. Each room comes with a small kitchenette and washing machine. The continental breakfast is simple, but includes peanut butter as well as jam (a rarity in Korean hostels). Bathrooms are equipped with hair dryers.

Zzzip 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.

Time Travelers Relax

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.

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