Accommodation in Seoul – 3 Great Options

By Mark Wiens 12 Comments
Accommodation in Seoul, South Korea
Accommodation in Seoul, South Korea

Note: Photo above is from Phil House – my favorite place I stayed while in Seoul!

One of the biggest concerns for travelers visiting any new city is figuring out a decent and safe place to sleep. While I don’t normally do much planning, when I visited Seoul, South Korea, I did end up doing some research to check out the accommodation options.

Yes, there are lots of options for places to stay, but for a city as mega as Seoul, I didn’t think there were all that many budget accommodation choices. On top of that, accommodation is not cheap in Seoul, so it is a tough city to visit if you’re on a really tight budget.

So here are 3 places I stayed while I was in Seoul to give you some ideas!

Accommodation in Seoul
Private Apartment in Seoul

1. Private Apartment

There are a few nifty websites these days that offer private short or even long term rentals. The benefits are that you get your own private condo or even house in a neighborhood, instead of having to be crammed up in a hotel room on a main street.

I booked a small condo with 9Flats.com located in the Itaewon neighborhood for the first part of my stay. It was just a 5 minutes walk from the subway station, and though on a side street, it was just a short distance from businesses, shopping, Korean food and international restaurants.

Price: About $60 per night for 2

Mini Room in Seoul
Mini Room in Seoul

2. Mini Private Room

Mini Room in Seoul
Mini Room in Seoul

Looking to pay hostel dorm bed prices, but with your own private room?

About the cheapest option for private room accommodation in Seoul is to book a mini room.

Here’s a link to the mini room I stayed in for a few nights in Seoul.

It’s even smaller than it looks in the photos! I could seriously touch 4 out of 6 of the walls at one time.

Staying in a Seoul mini room is great if your’re not planning on spending much time in your room, but you just need a place to crash at night and keep your things.

Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Seoul, so you can be out of you mini room as long as possible!

Great bonus was that the mini room included wifi and free access to steamed rice and kimchi throughout the day – giving you the option to save some money on meals. There’s also a full kitchen if you would like to cook.

You can watch my video of staying in a mini room in Seoul.

Price: Range of prices, I paid about $28 for 2, but if you’re traveling solo you can get a room for about $15 per night.

Phil House in Seoul, South Korea
Phil House in Seoul, South Korea

3. Guest House / Hostel

Phil House in Seoul, South Korea
Phil House in Seoul, South Korea

Like I just mentioned, guest houses and hostels seemed to me to be quite pricey in Seoul – but that’s coming from a Southeast Asia perspective, probably from Europe or North America, the prices are still decent.

In Seoul you can expect to pay $12 – $20 for a decent dorm bed, $30 –  $50 for a single room, and $40 – $70 for a double room for 2.

I spent quite a lot of time researching for the best option on websites like Hostelworld and Hostelbookers, and finally settled on Phil House,* a newly opened modern hostel.

It was fantastic, great location, nice staff, and extremely clean.

I might add that one of the most incredible features was the fancy Korean toilet with the seat warmer and the powerful nozzle bidet – no need to squat at this hostel!

Price: Dorm bed – $11 per night, Double room – $50 per night

I stayed in Seoul for a total of 2.5 weeks and had a chance to experience all three forms of accommodation.

Booking your own private apartment is a great way to have some privacy and be able to cook your own meals. The mini room was the cheapest option, and while small, it was still adequate. Phil House was all-around a wonderful and very comfortable modern guest house.

Each of the 3 are good options depending on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend when you’re in Seoul!

For more Seoul accommodation check out this link.



12 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Sam Lewis

    2 years ago

    mark? whats the name of the officetel? the 2nd one? im planning to stay in seoul for 5 days.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Sam, not sure if that place is still functioning, but you can find very similar places on Airbnb.com like this: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/7960631?s=lWJu

      • saif

        1 year ago

        Your comment:hii mark i am your follower i have watch all videos on youtube and i m impressed. I m indian guy i take my bag without say to family. I went to nepal. It fun to follow u in nepal. But i cant find that potato puff at budda stupa. Now planning to go thailand

  • Owen Lipsett

    4 years ago

    Great recommendations!

    A very Korean (and very cheap) thing to do is to spend the night at a jimjilbang (bathouse). It’s very basic accomodation (you get a mat and a capsule that’s more like a cubbyhole at best), but you also get to enjoy the mineral baths and saunas to your heart’s content (well, for 12 hours anyway). I think of it as Korea’s analogue to Japanese capsule hotels.

    I live an hour from Seoul and I’ve spent a number of surprisingly comfortable nights at these. In particular, I recommend Siloam near Seoul Station W13,000 (excellent mineral baths) (http://silloamsauna.com/site_en/main/main.asp – good if you have an early flight, there’s actually a jimjilbang at the airport, but it’s uncomfortable and poor value at W20,000)

    I also like Itaewonland in Itaewon W 8,000 (http://www.itaewonland.com) – the baths aren’t as nice, but the sleeping room is quieter and oxygenated

    You can find more information about the whole experience here: http://wiki.galbijim.com/Jjimjilbang

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Owen, cool, thanks for sharing. I heard about staying at these bath houses, but didn’t have a chance. Will give it a try next time!

  • Deborah

    5 years ago

    Re: Korea. Have been going there since 1999 and finding affordable accommodation in Seoul has always been a bit of an issue. The places you have shown look really good and I have noted the names. As a slightly older traveller, I can’t do the $5 room (dorm-style places) anymore …

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks Deborah, I’d highly recommend checking out 9flats.com or Airbnb.com, they each offer some great alternatives to staying in hotels and pretty good deals too!

  • Leif

    5 years ago

    Hey Mark, thanks for posting this. These places look really nice. I often end up staying at what they call a Goshiwan, which is a very small and windowless room meant for poor university students. It’s awful but they do give you free spicy soup and it’s all only 5 dollars. You get what you pay for I guess. Next time though, Im checking out these places, life is too short 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Wow man, $5 for a room in Seoul, that’s way cheap – if I would have known about that I probably would have at least checked it out. Looks like it was similar to the mini-room I stayed in, but I couldn’t find it that cheap! I really liked Phil House, if you go back.

    • Jihye

      3 years ago

      Ahh i wanna know about that 5 dollars rooms, could you inform me please ㅠㅠ

      • Mark Wiens

        3 years ago

        Hi Jihye, I’m not so sure about $5, that’s pretty low for Seoul. Have you ever used couchsurfing.com?

        • Jihye

          3 years ago

          I’m a member of this website but have never tried. By the way i contact that goshiwon you recommended. They’re really kind. Thank you for recommendation 🙂 i found another goshiwon cheaper than there by 5 dollars in Hyehwa. I’ll stay this goshiwon probably. ^^