The modern megalopolis of Seoul is one of Asia’s urban jewels. The city has a population of 10 million people, but the greater conurbation is home to way beyond 25 million. Therefore, there are understandably a large number of cool neighbourhoods to be based while staying in Seoul and a large number of hostels spread across them.
Knowing where is best to stay, as well as whether you’re getting value for money, is not easy. That is why our Seoul expert has been brought in to apply his extensive knowledge of the city to help find you the best option. Our list of the best five hotels in Seoul aggregates a number of considerations including amenities, comfort, cleanliness and price.
The JA Coex
Dorms from $29/ night
Kicking off the list is the JA Coex in the surpisingly hostel-sparse Gangnam area, south of River Han. The location is minutes from the huge COEX Mall and convention centre. There are good transport links from here to the rest of Seoul too. The hostel has a modern, fresh feel to it, and the rooms come really well equipped for a hostel, including mosquito nets for the summer months (much needed, even in in Seoul), toiletries, heating and air conditioning. The hostel also has a good shared kitchen space with tea and coffee making facilities.
Dorms from $19/ night. Privates from $46/ night
Zzzip enjoys a great location in Hongdae, the main nightlife hub of Seoul. With a number of major universities in the area, Hongdae is the main point of congregation for clubs and bars catering to them. There is a great atmosphere in this part of the city and Zzzip is right on the doorstep. Dorms are pleasant and soundproofed. The hostel also offers a great breakfast as part of the price. Private rooms are also available here. There is a terrace and shared kitchen on site.
Dorms from $13/ night. Privates from $37/ night
Right away we should probably explain that this hostel is run by Mr. Bong. Dorm rooms have a more traditional feel to them; rather than having bunk beds, people sleep on comfy mattresses lined along a wooden sleeping platform. Often the layout of rooms is unusual and endearing without ever being uncomfortable. The hostel is right in the Hyehwa theatre district (Seoul’s very own Broadway). There are plenty of great restaurants and bars right outside. Bong Backpackers also has excellent wifi.
Dorms from $19/ night
Haus Guesthouse is located in the Itaewon region, which is known locally as the area where most of the foreigners live in Seoul, due to the large US army base located close by. In reality the area is a diverse mix of cultures, including Korean. Haus offers smaller-sized dorm rooms of no more than six beds along with a breakfast that has consistently been rated highly by previous guests. There is free wifi throughout and all rooms have heating and air conditioning. There is also a shared kitchen for guest use.
Dorms from $32/ night. Privates from $83/ night
Hostel Haru is a fantastically comfy hostel that offers a really wide range of accommodation options from single private rooms to dorms of between six and as low as two people. Prices are a little higher than some of the other options on this list, but those extra won go a long way. Breakfast is included in the price, rooms are really snug and well-appointed and there are plenty of little extras like toiletries, bedside sockets and slippers.