Seoul has a reputation as one of the most expensive cities in Asia to visit, but with a little guidance, it’s easy to find the best budget hotels in Seoul. Luckily, many of Seoul’s main attractions, like the National Museum of Korea, War Memorial of Korea, and Jogyesa Temple, are completely free to visit. So, you can squeeze even more out of your holiday in Seoul by booking a cheap hotel that is both budget-friendly and full of character.
Where to Find the Best Budget Hotels in Seoul
Seoul is different from other major cities in that there is no defined city center or “downtown” area. Instead, Seoul is divided into districts, each with their own separate charm and attractions. There are 25 districts (gu) in Seoul, but these five neighborhoods are especially popular with tourists due to their proximity to attractions, parks, shopping, restaurants, nightclubs – and their selection of some of the best budget hotels in Seoul.
Cheap Hotels in Seoul: Affordable Myeongdong Guest Houses, Hotels & Hostels
Myeong-Dong: If you’re looking for a great place to shop, try looking for a cheap hotel in Myeong-Dong. Located in Jung-gu, Myeong-Dong is the most popular shopping area in Seoul. Take a walk down Myeongdong Shopping Street, which is lined with boutiques and department stores, then head to Namdaemun Market for an incredible experience in Korea’s oldest and largest traditional market – it is home to over 10,000 shops and restaurants!
Myeongdong Good Stay Guesthouse: Conveniently located just a 3-minute walk from Myeongdong Subway Station (Exit C), this affordable guesthouse/hostel is a great option for budget-conscious travelers. Beds in a dormitory-style room with 8-12 people start at $15 USD per night, and private rooms are available starting at $50 USD per night. Breakfast and free Wi-Fi are provided, and there is an open kitchen and laundromat area. Private lockers are also available to store your luggage.
Feliz Casa: If you don’t want to share a room with someone else, consider booking a private room at Feliz Casa. With rooms starting at $32 USD, you get great value for your money. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi are provided. There are also kitchenettes in all rooms, daily housekeeping, a family room, and a BBQ area. It is located about 500m from Dongguk University Subway Station, just east of Myeongdong Shopping Street.
Blueboat Hostel Myeongdong: Located just steps from Chungmuro Subway Station, this bright and clean hostel is the perfect home base for your Seoul adventure! Myeongdong Shopping Street is located just outside the entrance, so you won’t have to carry your shopping bags far. There is a communal cafeteria area, a laundromat, postal service, and a convenience store right next door. With 10 rooms to choose from and beds starting at $30 USD per night, you can’t go wrong.
Cheap Hotels, Hostels and Guesthouses in Itaewon
Itaewon: Itaewon is the place to be if you want to try authentic international cuisine from dozens of countries, connect with other travelers, and experience Korea’s amazing nightlife. Located in Yongsan-Gu, Itaewon is Seoul’s most multicultural neighborhood. It’s filled with foreigner-friendly restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. From here, you’ll have an easy route to Namsan Tower, and if you visit in October you may be able to catch the Itaewon Global Village Festival, an impressive celebration of cultures from around the world.
SP@Itaewon Guesthouse: This great hostel is geared toward foreign visitors who want to connect with other travelers. It is bright, clean, fun, and located right in the middle of Itaewon Shopping Street, where you’ll find a wide variety of international restaurants and nightclubs. Despite its prime location, this is a very affordable hostel! You have your choice of shared accommodations starting at just $10 USD per night, or private rooms starting at $30 USD. As an added bonus, it’s just steps away from Itaewon Subway Station, so you have easy access to all of Seoul’s top attractions.
Itaewon N Guest House: Conveniently located near Itaewon Subway Station, this guest house offers a variety of rooms at different price points, starting at just $15 USD per night! Free Wi-Fi is provided as well as lockers and clothing racks for your belongings. There are communal areas where you can mingle with other guests, and the hostel is located within walking distance of all the best nightlife Itaewon has to offer.
Itaewon Land Spa & Guest Room: This unconventional choice will have you sleeping in one of Korea’s largest and most popular traditional spas (jjimjilbang). It is located just steps away from Seoul Central Masjid and Itaewon Subway Station, in a vibrant and exciting neighborhood. Many visitors don’t know that these spas often double as a hotel, with beds that can be rented for a short nap, or for longer stays! Relax in the sauna, hot clay, stone, and salt rooms, then find your way to the private rooms, which start at just $10 USD per night. You won’t regret it!
Best Budget Hotels and Guesthouses in Hongdae
Hongdae: Located in Mapo-gu, Hongdae is in the middle of Seoul’s university belt, with a huge student population. As a result, its personality is driven by youth culture with cute and quirky restaurants, cafes, and shops lining the streets. Head to Hongdae Mural Street to take in some of Seoul’s most beautiful street art, then head to the Hongdae Free Market on Saturdays between November and March to check out a huge variety of original handmade crafts, jewelry, accessories, and artwork by local artists.
Kimchee Hongdae Guesthouse: With rooms starting at just $8 per night, it’s hard to argue against a stay at this clean and colorful guesthouse! Accommodations are shared, but there are private lockers available to keep your belongings safe. The guesthouse boasts a great game room and communal area, as well as free Wi-Fi and a beautiful garden just outside. As an added bonus, this hostel is only a short walk (about 5 minutes) from the Trick Eye Musem and Hongdae Free Market!
House 740: This boutique hotel is very affordable with private rooms starting at just $60 USD per night. The hotel, which is located near the Trick Eye Musem and Hongik University Subway Station, boasts free Wi-Fi for all of its guests, a private garden, a cafe, a bar, and a restaurant. It is also surrounded by unique and creative cafes, art shops, and more.
K-Hostel: This hostel offers private rooms for all of its guests, as well as free Wi-Fi and breakfast, plus a huge variety of helpful services like airport transfer, grocery delivery, and more. With rooms starting at just $50 USD per night, it’s a great deal! Located a short walk from Hongik University Steet, this hotel is right in the middle of Hongdae – so it’s easy to find your way to public transit and explore Seoul by foot.
Budget-Friendly Insa-Dong Hotels and Cheap Hostels
Insa-dong: First-time visitors to Seoul should definitely consider staying at a hotel or hostel in Insa-dong. Located in Jongno-gu, Insa-dong is surrounded by cultural and historic sites including Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Changdeokgung Palace. There are many different temples, shrines, museums, and historic sites to discover here.
Seoul YMCA Tourist Hotel: With 30 private rooms starting at just $30 USD per night, this hotel is in a prime Jongo-gu location surrounded by galleries, museums, and beautiful natural features like Cheonggyecheon Stream just outside its doors. Each room features free Wi-Fi, television, and a fully stocked kitchenette. If you want to enjoy Korea’s historical landmarks without shelling out an arm and a leg or sacrificing your privacy, this is a great affordable choice!
Yehadoye Guesthouse: Centrally located in the heart of Jongo-gu, this guesthouse is the perfect place to stay if you want easy access to restaurants, shopping, Changdeokgung Palace, and Gyeongbokgung Palace. The private rooms, which start at $25 USD per night, come equipped with free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is provided every morning, and the accommodations are very clean and comfortable, with free laundry facilities if you need them.
Insadong Hostel: For just $15 USD per night, you can stay right in the heart of Insa-dong in a beautiful area surrounded by art galleries and museums. Both private and shared accommodations are available. It’s located just steps from Anguk Subway Station, and a couple blocks away from Jonggak Subway Station, so getting around Seoul to check out landmarks like Changdeokgung Palace is easy and convenient. Free Wi-Fi and breakfast are included, as well as private luggage storage.
Gangnam’s Most Affordable Accommodations
Gangnam: Located in Gangnam-gu, Gangnam is Seoul’s upscale modern center, complete with designer brands, towering skyscrapers, celebrities, and stylish nightclubs. Be sure to do some shopping at the Starfield COEX Mall, Asia’s largest underground mall, and check out Bonguensa Temple if you need a break from the action of the city. Gangnam is the most expensive area in Seoul, but there are still affordable accommodations to be found!
The Ja in Gangnam Guesthouse: This guesthouse couldn’t have a better location. Just steps from Gangnam Subway Station and the Gangnam Underground Shopping Area, it offers great value with beds starting at $20 USD per night. You’ll have shared accommodation, but there is free Wi-Fi and breakfast provided in the common area as well as private lockers for your belongings. Despite its central location, the rooms themselves are very quiet and it’s a great place to lay your head down.
Blooming House Residence: This hotel, located very close to Yeoksam Subway Station and just 10 minutes from Gangnam Street, is a great place for people visiting Gangnam on business. It’s not too close to major attractions, so the street itself is quiet. However, it is still close enough to public transit to get where you need to go quickly and easily! Private rooms start at $50 USD per night. Continental breakfast is provided, and there is free Wi-Fi in every room as well as daily housekeeping.
G 601 Guesthouse Gangnam: This stylish hostel has beds starting at just $15 USD per night, which is nearly unheard of in Gangnam! It’s located just steps from the Gangnam Underground Shopping Area, so you won’t have to carry your shopping bags far. The rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi and a locked safe for your belongings, and the hostel has a lively common area where you’re sure to meet new friends. It’s also located very close to Eonju Subway Station, which makes exploring all Seoul has to offer very easy!