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Budget Accommodations in Seoul

During the planning stages of my trip, i checked out tons of guesthouses via tripadvisor.com. I gradually narrowed down my choices to the following few. Though i have not stayed in most of them, i would love to try them out in my next trip. All of these guesthouses offer affordable room rates, are conveniently located near subway stations and airport bus stops and have clean-looking rooms. (Alright, actually most guesthouses have these attributes)

(Click on the names to be directed to the respective websites!)

1. Backpackers Korea (Dongdaemun)
Nearest Subway Station: Sinseol-dong
This was the guesthouse that i stayed in during my first week in Seoul. I stayed in their single ensuite which came with a private bathroom. They had a washing machine and they also provided detergent. the location is really great as it is walking distance away from Sinseol-dong station. Best of all, the single room is relatively spacious. I enjoyed my quiet and peaceful stay at BK and i am always happy to return to a comfortable bed after a day of travelling.
Amenities in the room:
- mini fridge
- desk and chair
- bed
- wi-fi
- clothes hook
- private bathroom

2. I Love DongDaeMun Hostel (Book via Agoda)
Nearest Subway Station: Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
This guesthouse is a relatively new guesthouse. I was casually surfing the net when i stumbled upon an advertisement for a newly-opened guesthouse. In fact, i think i am one of their first few guests. I stayed in this hostel during my last week in Seoul. The single room came with a private bathroom as well but it is smaller in size as compared to that in BK. The room rate however, is just as attractive. Although getting to the guesthouse requires one to cross a major intersection and walk through an alley (not too deep in), the location is fantastic as is just a stone's throw away(if you can throw a stone about 300m away from you) from the 3 huge shopping malls at Dongdaemun. The nearest subway station is Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, which happens to be situated on THREE subway lines.
Amenities in the room:
- mini fridge
- bed (i find their bed very comfortable to sleep in)
- wi-fi
- clothes hook
- private bathroom

3. Dongdaemun Hostel
Nearest Subway Station: Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
Alright, i have to say that the rooms look pretty spectacular for the price that they are charging. Location-wise, this hostel is also located near the legendary Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station. I suspect that this hostel also functions as a Goshiwon/Haksujib. I would love to stay here during my next visit!

4. B & J Guesthouse
Nearest Subway Station: Hansung Univ.
The rooms look really cosy in this guesthouse and it seems like it is located in a residential area, which could be a good experience for those who want a quieter and more local environment.

5. Come Inn Guesthouse
Nearest Subway Station: Hong-ik Univ.
This guesthouse is located in the Hongik university area. SO ALL YOU PARTY-GOERS SHOULD CHECK THIS PLACE OUT!! I haven't actually stayed here but judging from the pictures, the rooms look pretty neat and cosy. There is a 'market' every weekend at the Hongik playground where artists sell their handmade crafts/artwork.

6. Ann Guesthouse
Nearest Subway Station: Hong-ik Univ.
This guesthouse has got tons of great reviews on tripadvisor.com. I wanted to stay in this guesthouse but they did not have a single room and i did not want to live in a mixed dormitory.

7. JK Guesthouse
Nearest Subway Station: Sinchon
A beautiful guesthouse that overlooks a soccer field. If you are looking to join kickabout sessions, this would be it.

8. ShinChon Guesthouse
Nearest Subway Station: Ewha Women's Univ.
This guesthouse is located near the university's shopping streets. They also have female dormitories. It would be a good opportunity for solo travellers to meet new people here.

9. Eugene's House
Nearest Subway Station: Hyehwa
The room rates here are much pricier than those i have listed, probably because it is a Korean traditional house. Nonetheless, i would say that it would be worth the money if you are eager to experience living in a traditional house. There are also some culture experience programs that guests can take part in (100,000 won per person).

10. Hi Seoul Youth Hostel
Nearest Subway Station: Yeongdeungpo Market (2 stops away from Hongik Univ. station)
This is the closest you can get to an actual hotel. The room rates are slightly higher than the rest (55,000 won for a single room with an attached bathroom), but take a look at the pictures and you will see why. I considered staying with them and hence we exchanged a couple of emails. I was very pleased with their prompt replies and good service.

11. Kimchee Guesthouse
Nearest Subway station: Hongik Univ (Hongdae branch),  Jongro 5-ga (Dongdaemun branch), Euljiro 3-ga (Myeongdong branch), Sookmyung Women’s Univ. (Seoul Station branch)
This is an immensely popular guesthouse that you might want to check out. They have a total of 4 branches and the room rates are really attractive!

Needless to say, there are tons of other great lodging options, but these are the few that i actually considered before making my choice. It is best to ask if they have what you need before you make a reservation. Even if you are still in the planning stages, your email exchange with them could give you a clearer idea of the suitability of the accommodation. The things that i mainly look out for are affordability and the availability of a private bathroom. The location does not really affect me much but of course, it will be a huge bonus.

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Hi Seoulo traveller

I chanced upon your blog while researching for my backpacking/wwoof trip to Korea. It has been really helpful and insightful. Can I find out more about your homestays, especially how to look for a host family?


By Anonymous WIlliam, at March 31, 2013 at 12:26 AM  

Hi William,
I am still in the midst of writing my homestay post.

You can head over to
to browse the host list by region.

All the hosts on the KTO website have been screened and approved by the KTO. Different hosts charge differently. Be sure to email them to find out if they have what you need (wifi, etc)! I stayed at Mr Julian Kim's home in Seoul and Mrs Theresa Kim's home in Busan. I am extremely fortunate to have chosen to stay with them because they are the best hosts that i can ever ask for. :)

By Blogger Emily Lim, at April 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM  

Thanks Emily..I will definitely go check it out. Initially, I planned to go do couchsurfing but this seems better. Hopefully I get to have a great home stay experience like you did :D

By Anonymous William, at May 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM  

Hello William, I hope you will have a wonderful homestay experience (:

By Blogger Emily Lim, at May 21, 2013 at 3:15 AM  

Hi Emily,

I am a singaporean travelling to South Korea in December for 15 days. After reading and researching this page abt accomodation, i have decided to choose HI seoul youth hostel. Thank you so much for the detailed recommendations. Can i seek some advice from you regarding the following matters?

- how much do i need to bring if i am there for two weeks? I would be doing minimal shopping, more of sight seeing and lazing ard.

- i would be in seoul for 7 days then Busan for 4 days, then back to Seoul. Are there any other areas worth a visit or a stay?

- can i buy a sim card for IE access and global calls over at Korea?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I look forward to your replies!

By Blogger Cheong Peiqi peggy, at August 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM  

Hello Peiqi!

You're welcome! I emailed them in the past and they are very prompt in their replies. I hope that you will have a fantastic time at HI Seoul Youth Hostel! i think there are some culture exchange programmes available there too.

- hmmm i think for accommodation, since it's more or less budget accommodation so:
accommodation = ~750
food (assuming you don't splurge on expensive cuisine = 15 x 25 = ~375
one meal costs around 7000won which should be about $8. i presume $25 would be a safe estimate for two meals a day, some (awesome and cheap) street snacks and cake/coffee at a cafe (:
tickets = depending on the places you want to visit, i think ~150 to be safe? (if you are thinking of going to water parks or amusement parks)
shopping = ~1000/1500 to be safe even though you claim that you'll be doing 'minimal' shopping hehehe.
transport = ~8 x 15 = 120 if you travel like crazy and take buses and trains everywhere.

- remember to check ticket price for your transport to Busan. i think the ktx is the most expensive mode of transport. i took the intercity train and it's about 40 bucks. i think for a 2-week stay, Busan is enough (: There is a lot to explore in Busan and Seoul (:

- i think you can a phone with a sim card at the airport itself. I'm not too sure about this but that was what i heard from my friend when i saw her with a phone. an additional data plan would probably cost more. if you need to call your family and friends, maybe getting a international call card (10,000won) would be better. you can use it at any public phone booth! otherwise you can save money (and trouble) by calling them with viber chat if you have a smartphone because the hostel would have wifi!

i hope this helps!

By Blogger Emily Lim, at August 20, 2013 at 3:00 AM  

Hello Peiqi, please read my reply below (:

The figures are quite a safe estimate. I always believe that you should bring more than what you need because you never know what you might want to buy/do there. Leave no room for regrets (:

By Blogger Emily Lim, at August 20, 2013 at 3:04 AM  

Hi Emily,

Thank you so much for taking the effort and time to reply me. I really appreciate it!
These information would help me greatly!



By Blogger Cheong Peiqi peggy, at August 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM  

Dear Emily,

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to reply me. I am sure these information would help me greatly.

Can i check with you on the intercity train to busan? Can i purchase the tickets only after i have reached seoul for the first few days? Or its better to purchase before my journey to korea? As well, how long will the journey be approximately?

Thanks babe, really appreciate the replies!


By Blogger Cheong Peiqi peggy, at August 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM  

Hello Peggy!

for the ktx tickets, you can book them online at this website:

but i am not too sure how it works otherwise because i have never tried it. but you can always call the KTO hotline.
do check out the KTO page here for more information:

for the intercity BUS, you can purchase them on the day you leave for busan itself at the bus interchanges. bus takes about 4.5-5 hours. the KTX high speed train probably takes about 2 hours if i am not wrong. but it will cost much more. perhaps double the price. you will have to check the websites because i am not too sure!

have fun in Korea~~ (:

By Blogger Emily Lim, at August 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM  

Hello Peggy, I replied below:

By Blogger Emily Lim, at August 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM  

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"Budget Accommodations in Seoul" was Posted On: Monday, March 18, 2013 @2:07 AM | 11 comments

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