Over the years of traveling I have stayed in a LOT of hostels. There have been awful ones; like the Hostel in Rome, Italy with a homeless man sleeping in the staircase and used drug syringes nearby. This could have been avoided, but our friend booked it and didn’t do his research. The Internet and Hostelworld.com make it so easy, convenient and cheap to book a hostels or accommodation. Luckily, since that awful experience in Italy I have had great luck with most hostels. This week I am recommending my favorite hostels in Seoul. I have personally stayed in all of these hostels and they come with my stamp of approval! Seoul offers a lot of great places to stay, but not all hostels are created equal. Location is a big factor for finding the top hostels in seoul since it is so massive. I prefer hostels with a good location and fun atmosphere!
($16 a night with great view of Seoul at [email protected] Hostel in Itaewon)
When booking Hostels I always book via HostelWorld.com since they offer the biggest selection and (currently) no booking fees! On HostelWorld, after selecting the city/dates I sort by “Best Rating” then scroll down until I find the price that fits my budget. After this I check the description and reviews to make sure it is a good hostel. This is the easiest way to find a good hostel that is affordable. I recommend staying in hostels with above a 75% Hostel World customer rating. Practically all hostels offer free basic breakfast, which is normally bread, jelly, milk, and cereal.
Hongdae offers one of my favorite areas, the location is perfect and offers a lot for any traveler. The Hongdae area is surrounded by Hongik University students and therefore has some great bars, clubs and good Korean restaurants. Also, being located really close to the airport is a plus. The express metro from Hongkik University makes it extremely convenient to make it to an early flight. My three favorite Hostels in Hongdae are KpopStay (Full Review Here) and both Kimchee Hostels. They are both fairly close to each other and offer similar facilities.
KpopStay Hostel: (89% Booking.com, Prices range from $30-35 per night)
After entering the Kpop Stay hostel for the first time I knew I had arrived at a hidden gem in the heart of Hongdae. The hostel is a beautiful two-story house with a large deck and front yard. The porch is great for having a few beers or just relaxing with some new friends. When I arrived the hostel staff greeted me with a warm welcome, towel and complimentary water. After getting settled in I took a nice stroll around the place; the upstairs has a really nice lounge area and outdoor balcony. Overall the interior looked really new and had a beautiful modern decoration with a Kpop themed ambiance and of course some Korean pop concerts playing on the flat screen. Regardless of your fascination with Kpop, this is a great hostel!
(Front of the Kpop Stay Hosetl)
Kimchee Hongdae: (Both 85% HostelWorld Rating, prices range from $14-$40 depending on room style)
Kimchee Hongdae Guesthouse and Kimchee Sinchon Guesthouse are both great places to stay at in Hongdae. The locations for the either guesthouses are near the Hongkik University Metro stop which is perfect for exploring this vibrant and energetic district! The rooms I stayed in at both locations were a 8 bed mixed dorm. The rooms offered plenty of room and great value (14,000 or $14 a night). The common room normally makes or breaks a hostel. Both of these hostels had a decent common room mixed with the kitchen. The common room at the Sinchon location was a lot bigger and better in my opinion.
Itaewon is the foreign district that is full of bars, clubs and restaurants from all over the world! At first I was reluctant to stay in the foreign area since I had heard some sub par reviews from Korean friends about the area. But after spending a week here I learned there is more than meets the surface or reputation of Itaewon. When you first arrive at Itaewon, you might not feel like you are in Korea since the crowd is so diverse. After coming from the smaller city of Gwangju, it was strange to see so many expats in one area! I had a great time in Itaewon and the hostel was one of the main reasons.
[email protected] Guesthouse (92% HostelWorld User Rating, prices range from $16-$35 depending on room style) [email protected] is by far the best hostel I have stayed at in Korea. The owner, location and set up all made this hostel almost perfect. 16,000 or $16 a night got us a great 6 bed mixed room. The highlight of this hostel is the nice common room, which creates a very social atmosphere. Also, the owner was extremely helpful and provided us with some great recommendations! The hidden gem of this place is the roof though, head upstairs one flight for a beautiful view of Korea. There is a ping pong table and this is a perfect spot to pregame or just relax!
“Gangnam Style” infamously sung by Korean pop star Psy, depicts “Gangnam Style” as an upscale and lavish lifestyle, which can be found throughout the district. Gangnam offers some high-end clothing retailers and world-renowned clubs along with a lot of restaurants and bars. The Gangnam area has something for everyone!
Kimchee Gangnam Guesthouse (88% HostelWorld User Rating, prices range from $25-$50 depending on room style. My friend and I opted for the Deluxe twin bed private room which had it’s own bathroom for 60,000 Won ($30 per person a night). This hostel is brand new and was super clean. The basement and area is the highlight to this hostel. The basement boasts a huge common room/kitchen which was a nice place to relax and meet some other travelers. All of these hostels can be booked easily via HostelWorld.com. Where is your favorite Hostel or area to stay in Seoul? Leave a comment below!