Where to stay in Seoul on a budget: best affordable hotels in Seoul

Where to stay in Seoul on a budget : best affordable hotels

Traveling to Seoul and don’t want to break the bank to pay for accommodation? While the city might not be the most budget-friendly option to consider when traveling to Asia, Seoul has affordable hotels to choose from.

Even in the most touristic areas like Myeongdong, Hongdae, or Insadog, you can find hidden gems if you are traveling on a budget.

While staying in a hostel might not be an option for everyone, it is worth knowing that South Korea is one of the safest places in the world, thus you should now worry about safety in a hostel, even if you are traveling alone.

Read also: The 8 Best Areas to Stay in Seoul

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Table of Contents

Where to stay in Seoul on a budget

Tips & tricks for saving on accommodation

But before we dive into the list of affordable hotels in Seoul, here are a few tips & tricks for saving on accommodation, no matter where you are traveling to.

Travel in less popular seasons

While South Korea is a year-round destination, many people might choose to visit during spring and fall, and less so during winter or the rainy season. Thus, chances are accommodation prices will be less expensive during these seasons.

Also, you will want to avoid popular holidays, such as Chuseok or the Lunar New Year.

Avoid traveling during the weekend

Of course, if you are spending two or three weeks in Korea that wouldn’t be possible, but if you are only looking to spend up to 5 days in Seoul, you should avoid the weekend.

Rent for longer

When you can, plan to spend a longer time in one place and rent an apartment. By doing so, you can save on the price of accommodation.

Book in advance online and take advantage of various offers

Popular accommodation sites will have plenty of offers throughout the year, all you have to do is pay attention and book when the time is right.

By booking online, you will also have the peace of mind of knowing you have a place booked. Moreover, most accommodation options offer the flexibility of free cancellation, in case something comes up and your plans change.

Stay in less popular areas

Sure, everyone wants to stay in the center of the city, within walking distance to the main attractions. However, that also comes with a higher price tag.

Move a bit further way from the city center, stay in less popular areas, well connected to tourist attractions by public transportation, and you will save.

Seoul’s map & neighborhoods

Let’s look at Seoul and its neighborhoods:

Map of Seoul Districts
By 안우석 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The main areas of Seoul are called “gu”s or districts, and there are 25 of those. Every “gu” is divided into “dongs” or neighborhoods.

Also, the city is split into 2 parts by the Han River: the northern part and the southern part of town.

Staying anywhere around Jung-gu or Yongsan-gu will cost you more. If you want to save on accommodation in Seoul, look at Mapo-gu, and even Dongdaemun-gu.

Best affordable hotels in Seoul

Stanford Hotel Seoul (Mapo-gu, DMC area)

10 minutes away from the DMC subway station, close to all the TV and radio stations in town, this 4* hotel is the place for you if you want to be in a quiet area.

Close by, you will find a nice park set up on the hill, and plenty of local restaurants to choose from.

Also, right in front of the hotel there is an Aiport shuttle bus stop, and you have plenty of bus options linking the hotel to the city center.

The Blossom Yeonnam Guesthouse (Mapo-gu, Yeonnam-dong, Hongdae area)

Guesthouses are great budget options for when you travel throughout South Korea. As a matter of fact, Koreans pefere staying in a guest house whenever they are traveling for their holidays within their borders.

This particular guesthouse is set in one of the liveliest and coolest areas in town, Yeonnam-dong. By choosing to stay here, you will be surrounded by cool cafes and restaurants, and minutes away from Hobgik Univ. Subway station.

Moreover, the Gyeongui Line Forest Park is nearby.

They offer twin, triple, or quadruple rooms with airconditioning and shared bathrooms.

Dada Stay Hongdae (Mapo-gu, Yeonnam-dong, Hongdae area)

A beautiful penthouse apartment with a stunning rooftop terrace where you can start and end your days in Seoul.

The place is perfect for a larger group or a family because it has 3 bedrooms with double or single beds.

Its location is also one of the best, along Gyeongui Line Forest Park, one of the prettiest areas to discover, packed with cafes and cool restaurants.

Roynet Hotel Seoul Mapo (in between Mapo Station and Gongdeok Station)

Perfect for those looking to stay in an affordable hotel located close to subway stations, and still relatively close to the city center.

This hotel has spacious and comfortable rooms, and previous guests were really impressed with the bathroom facilities.

Set on a main boulevard, around the hotel you will find plenty of local restaurants and bbq places.

Hotel 8 Hours (Jung-gu within walking distance to Myeong-dong and the City Hall)

If you are looking for a simple accommodation option, set in the heart of the city, within walking distance to most of the important attractions in town, this hotel is for you.

Previous guests appreciated the help they received from the hotel’s staff, but also the hotel’s location in proximity to many eateries.

If you are traveling with large luggage, you should know that the walk from the closest subway station to the hotel is of roughly 10 minutes.

Sotetsu Hotels The Splaisir Seoul Myeongdong

I’ve seen this hotel being recommended on several occasions in some of the groups I am part of and that’s how I know people really consider it a great deal for your buck.

Rooms are not the largest, so take this into account when you are traveling with your family or you need more space. However, the perfect location in proximity to everything recommend this hotel.

By staying at this hotel you will be within walking distance to 2 subway stations, and you will have access to convenience stores and restaurants near by.

Crib 49 Guesthouse (Myeongdong)

Hosted in a small building, with a rooftop terrace, very conveniently located close to the main tourist attractions, Namsan Mountain, shops, and restaurants.

You have the breakfast included in the price of the room (unlimited all day), free tea and coffee, and a common space where you can spend your free time and relax.

On top of that, you have self-service washing and drying facilities available 24/7, making the guesthouse perfect for someone traveling for a longer period.

Hotel Thomas Myeongdong

A clean and cheap 3* hotel perfectly located right in the city center, off the main road but close to major metro stations. Rooms are spacious and have a simple and clean design.

The only downside about the hotel is that taxies cannot drop you off right in front of the door, since the street is not accessible by car. Howevere, that shouldn’t be such a big issue since the main street is very close by.

The Recenz Dongdaemun Hotel

Even though the hotel has Dongdaemun in its name, the location is just a 4-minute walk from Janghanpyeong Subway Station – so keep that in mind when booking.

This hotel offers rooms with big windows and stunning city views.

While you won’t be really close to the city center, you will have the chance to experience authentic Seoul, and the subway will take you to the main tourist attractions in no time.

Other Useful Seoul Travel Resources

Where to stay in Myeongdong

Where to stay in Hongdae

Getting around Seoul – all you need to know

South Korea General Travel Information

By Ingrid & Alex

Ingrid A former financial professional, I have been passionate about photography since an early age. My fascination with Korean culture was one of the reasons Alex accepted a business role in Seoul. Alex A former corporate business executive, I am a historical fiction writer. My business career allowed us to live in Seoul and explore South Korea for one year. We fell in love with the country, its culture, food, and people, and we strongly believe you will love it too! Because we know how difficult planning a trip can be, especially to South Korea, we are here to help you out and ensure you have an awesome time there.


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