Calling all backpackers, shopaholics and people on a tight budget! Thinking of where to head to for your next vacation but don't want to break the bank? Why not head to… South Korea?
Known for its mouth-watering cuisine and street snacks, breathtaking scenery and amazing shopping, Korea is certainly an unbeatable destination that families, friends, Kpop enthusiasts and solo travellers alike love. And if you think that a week here is bound to empty your wallet, well… think again! With these seven affordable hostels costing under US$20 per night for a bed, you can allocate more money for food and shopping!
1. Brownie Guesthouse (Seoul)
Aesthetics, aesthetics and more aesthetics. For those looking for a clean and affordable hostel with on-point aesthetics, nothing trumps the stunning and brand new Brownie Guesthouse. It sports white walls, minimalist furniture and a relaxed atmosphere. Simply step in and you’ll feel like you’re in a classic Scandinavian home. Brownie Guesthouse is located only a one-minute walk from Hongik University station, within Hongdae, so you’ll find yourself close to a plethora of shopping and dining options and the best nightlife! In addition to its friendly staff and superb location, it offers free WiFi, cooking facilities, a steam room, outdoor terrace and more to boot! Do note that due to its popularity, beds get booked up extremely fast so do book your stay many months in advance.
Beds from: US$18+ (~S$24+)
Address: 3F, 24, Yanghwa-ro 23-gil, Mapo-gu
2. Trick Art Guesthouse (Seoul)
Fascinated with cool Trick Art illusions? Why head to a Trick Art Museum when you can simply stay in the Trick Art Guesthouse and be surrounded by these eye-catching and colourful art pieces! A cosy guesthouse located in the youthful district of Hongdae, Trick Art Guesthouse is not only a funky and aesthetically-pleasing hostel, it also offers air-conditioned respite after a long day of exploring Seoul. Boasting a great location close to tons of shops and cafes, free WiFi, BBQ facilities, a terrace, heating for winter and FREE daily continental breakfast – there’s nothing you won’t love or won’t be satisfied with.
Beds from: US$18+ (~S$24+)
Address: 9, Donggyo-ro 39-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 121-865 Seoul, South Korea
3. ZZIP Guesthouse in Hongdae (Seoul)
Another well-known backpackers hostel located in the buzzing district of Hongdae, ZZIP Guesthouse is a family-like hostel just 10 minutes away from one of Seoul’s most prominent nightlife spots. It is also close to many subway stations such as City Hall, Dongdaemun and Itaewon, so wherever you’re heading to, you’re bound to be there within minutes! In addition to its convenient location and exemplary cleanliness, all guests are provided with breakfast, coffee and tea, WiFi, facial towels, discount coupons for attractions, luggage storage, maps and guidebooks and more – all free of charge. For a solo traveller, this is also the perfect place to meet fellow travellers from all around the world! With vibrant lounges and social areas for its guests to mingle, you’re bound to enjoy the friendly and fun vibe which ZZIP Guesthouse radiates.
Beds from: US$19+ (~S$25+)
Address: 366-37, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-Gu, Seoul
4. Inside Backpackers (Seoul)
A cosy five-star hostel located close to buzzing Dongdaemun, Inside Backpackers offers guests the ultimate hostel experience for an extremely low price of US$15. It has numerous room options such as private rooms, an apartment, single-sex dorms and mixed dorms, so whatever your preferences are, you’re bound to have an enjoyable and comfortable stay here! It boasts a plethora of facilities too ranging from free WiFi and city maps to a Steam Room and Games Room, so a night here will never be boring. What’s more, being such a popular hostel amongst tourists, you’re bound to meet like-minded travellers from different walks of life here.
Beds from: US$15 (~S$20)
Address: 5 Sungkyunkwan-ro 4-gil, Myeongnyun 2(i)ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
5. Blueboat Hostel (Various locations)
A signature boat-themed hostel chain which has popped up in numerous cities around Korea such as Seoul, Busan, Jeonju, Gyeongju and Jeju, Blueboat Hostel is a top choice amongst travellers looking for a luxurious stay on a budget. This hostel in Seoul is centrally located in the district of Myeongdong which has a plethora of shopping and dining options. Various room options such as four- or eight-room dormitories as well as private and family rooms are available and facilities include a common room, free WiFi, air conditioning, state-of-the-art self-catering facilities and more! For those looking for a chic, clean and high-quality stay in the heart of the city, Blue Boat Hostel is definitely a good bet.
Beds from: US$19+ (~S$25+)
Address: Check website or Facebook page for the respective addresses.
6. HI Busan Guesthouse (Busan)
A brightly-lit, warm and cosy hostel in Busan, Hi Busan Guesthouse is every beach bum’s dream, thanks to its four-minute proximity to the popular Haeundae Beach! In addition to its extremely convenient location amongst a surfeit of restaurants, bars and pubs, Hi Busan Guesthouse is known for its friendly staff and stunning dorm rooms which are complete with a personal curtain, lamplight and charger outlets. It is also equipped with luggage storage, barbeque facilities at its rooftop terrace, a communal kitchen and FREE daily breakfast consisting of toast, eggs and coffee. Furthermore, being only 600 metres away from Dongbaek Subway station and 640 metres away from Haeundae Subway Station, you’ll be able to travel all around Busan conveniently! If you’re looking for a value-for-money hostel or one that’s near to the beach, THIS is for you.
Beds from: US$14+ (~S$18.50+)
Address: 15, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro 221beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, 48093 Busan, South Korea
7. Slow Citi Hostel (Jeju Island)
Looking for some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Look no further than Slow Citi Hostel in Jeju Island, which promises you a relaxing and memorable stay. This modern, pastel-coloured hostel which opened in 2014 is located along a food street in the centre of Seogwipo and is only five minutes away from a bus stop. Guests can take their pick from 16 squeaky clean rooms (private rooms and dormitories available) and look forward to a well-equipped kitchen, dining room, TV room and backyard for them to mingle! Furthermore, a steam room, laundry services, 24-hour security, vending machines, board games and breakfast are also available. This is undoubtedly one of the most value-for-money hostels in Jeju Island!
Beds from: US$17+ (~S$22.50+)
Address: 33 Cheonji-ro (307-3 Seogwi-dong), Seogwipo-si, Seogwipo-si, CJ, South Korea
With these seven wallet-friendly hostels costing less than US$20 per night, snagging high-quality and satisfactory accommodation in Korea can indeed be an easy affair. (You now have more money to indulge in KBBQ and retail therapy!) For those that haven’t experienced staying in a hostel or are hesitant to do so, trust me, after your stay at these places, you’ll be hooked.