* This post is written by Jeopoi Ordaniel, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
Most travelers don’t view Korea as a backpackers’ country. In fact, travelers usually see Korea as an expensive destination. Well, think again! The Soul of Asia, the world’s 2nd largest urban agglomeration (after Tokyo), is actually backpacker friendly. Travelers’ guesthouses in Seoul might not be as cheap as those in Bangkok or Manila, but they offer a pretty much decent alternative to expensive hotels… not to mention they’re much cleaner and safer than those in other countries.
There are two districts in Seoul that are famous among backpackers. One is Jongno (Anguk Station near Insadong and Sinseoldong Station near Kyung Hee University/University of Seoul). And another one is Seoul’s night life center, Hongdae. If your interests revolve around culture, history and people, I recommend staying at Jongno Area. Jongno is near Dongdaemun Market, the biggest shopping district in Seoul. It is also near many famous tourist spots like the Cheonggyecheon Stream, Gwanghwamun Square, City hall and Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you are a party person, then of course, Hongdae must be heaven for you. Well, that is if you are prepared to pay entrance fees to clubs ranging from 10,000~20,000 Won. But you can just drink in any of the bars there if you prefer a chillax scene.
Here is a list of Backpackers’ hostels and guesthouses around Seoul that I got from Backpackers’ Planet.
Backpackers Korea – 1054 Sungin-dong, Jongno-gu (2 min from Line 1 Sinseoldong stn exit 11), Tel.+82 10 4942-2268, +82 10 5001-0307. Friendly cool English speaking staff, free breakfast, free wifi, free laundry, air-con, hot water, rooftop terrace. Dorms from ₩17,000/night private from ₩29,000/night with own bathroom.
Hostel Korea – 178-65 Sungin-dong, Jongno-gu (4 min from Line 1 Sinseoldong stn exit 11), Tel.+82 2 762-7406, +82 2 766-7406. Friendly English/Chinese-speaking staff, Free breakfast, free wifi, free laundry, air-con, hot water, . Private from ₩25,000/night, Ensuit private from ₩30,000/night. I have stayed here once. It’s a decent place. You just need to feel at home as the hostel staff are not really very strict and they actually don’t care about what you do.
Mr. Kim’s Friends Guesthouse – 446-11 Seokyo Dong Mapo-Gu Seoul (Metro Line 2 Hongik University, exit 1; or airport bus #6002, to Seogyo Hotel ₩10,000), ☎ +82 2 70 4123-9059, +82 11 9059-7191. Facilities: Internet access, guest kitchen, fax service, card phones, bicycle hire, cable TV, DVD`s, common room, library, linen included, security lockers, BBQ area, washing machine/dryer, 24 hour security, towels hire, hairdryer for hire, parking, free parking, bicycle parking, air conditioning, iron/ironing bard, tours desk, luggage storage, 24 hour reception. Dormitory from ₩15,000, private from ₩20,000.
Seoul Backpackers – 205-125, Namchang-Dong, Jung-Gu, Seoul, Korea (Metro Line 4, Hoehyeon stn). Take exit No 4 and walk down the road; turn left into the next road and you will find the hostel on that road after about 100m. Tel. +82-2-3672-1972. Backpacker hangout with English-speaking staff. Single/double ₩40,000/₩50,000 with own tiny bathroom. Free breakfast, internet and laundry.
Seoul Guest House – 135-1 Gyedong, Jongno-gu (Metro Line 3, Anguk stn), tel +82 2 745-0057 . Basic rooms with air-con in a traditional Korean-style house from ₩35,000/night. Shared bathrooms, Internet (WiFi), TV etc. For a higher price you can get a room with a private bath, television and computer with internet. Some find it spartan, other like its homey feel, friendly owner and big, fluffy guard dog.
Wind Road & Flower Guesthouse – 1F 85-5, Myeongryun-dong 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Tel +82 2 6407-2012~3. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dorm from ₩15,000/night, free internet. Laundry also available (but not free). The friendly staff speaks good english.
Yim’s House – 33 Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu (Metro Line 3, Anguk stn), tel. +82 2 747-3332. Rooms are clean and spacious, and Mr. Yim speaks fluent English. En-suite singles are ₩30,000 while doubles are ₩38,000.
Golden Pond Guesthouse – 188-40, 14/5 Myeongryun-dong (Metro Line 4, Hyehwa stn, exit #4), Tel. +82 2 741-5621 Cell. +82 10 9921-5621. Golden Pond is one of the newest and cheapest (₩17,000 for a dorm) hostels in Seoul. A comfortable, family style atmosphere, with decent bathrooms and a friendly owner make this hostel hard to beat. Two computers available for Internet use and wireless throughout. This place is near a lot of universities so shops and restaurants are a plenty. 10-minute walk from Changgyeong-gung. No curfew.
Bangrang hostel – 397-12 Chungnim-Dong, Chung ku (Metro Line 2, Chungjeongro stn, exit 5), ☎ +82 2 6614-2246, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11:30AM. A brand new hotel,o pened Jan 2010. distinguished interior. 1 min from subway station, 2 min from airport bus stop, can go any tour top attraction within 15 min. Prices start at ₩18,000.
Blu Guest House – 464-63 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu (Metro Line 2, Hongdae stn, exit#1; Line 7, Hapjeong stn), tel. +82 70 7692-9484, +82 11 9921-5621. Free wifi, free laundry, aircon/heating, lockers, breakfast, no curfew. From ₩18,000.
Hongdae Guesthouse – 159-6 Dongkyo-dong 159-6, Paradisetel unit 302, Mapo-gu (Next to Line 2 Hongdae stn exit 1), ☎ +82 2 336-0003 (email@example.com). Checkin: anytime; checkout: 11AM. Clean, spacious rooms with high ceilings, ondol heating, aircon, hot water. English spoken. From ₩19,000.
Kims’ Guest House – 443-16 Hapjeongdong, Mapo-gu (Metro Line 2/7, Hapjeong stn), tel. +82 2 337-9894. This comfortable guest house, run by a friendly English-speaking family, is located in the western part of Seoul, 15 minutes walk from Hapjeong subway station. The dormitory (₩15000), single, double and triple rooms (₩27000/₩37000/₩47000) all have air-conditioning and heating. Guests share a kitchen, toilets and showers and have free use of cable TV, washing machine and internet. Breakfast (jam, toast & coffee) is included. No curfew. Discounts for stays over 1 night.
Soul Guesthouse – Unit#505, 159-6 Paradisetel, Dongkyodong, Mapogu,Seoul(Metro Line 2, Hongdae stn, exit 1), tel. +82-10-5137-0604, . Female Dormitory. ₩20,000 per night per person. Clean and close to subway. Located at central Seoul.
ZAZA Backpackers – 32-3, Namsandong-2ga, Jung-Gu, Seoul, Korea (Metro Line 4, Myeongdong stn Exit 2). Tel. +82 2 3672-1976 Brand new facilities, helpful English speaking staff help you to feel right at home. Free internet & wifi, 24Hr access, Private bathroom in each rooms. 24 hour security, towels and hairdryer for hire, parking. Tour info and booking service. Free international phone.
Namsan Guesthouse – 50-1 Namsandong 2-ga, Chung ku (Metro Line 3, Myeong-dong stn, exit 3), tel. +82-2-752-6363, . Superbly located in the shadow of Seoul Tower in Namsan Park, this hostel has the usual draws: free internet access, free breakfast, kitchen & laundry and advice with tours. There are no singles but a 4-share costs ₩60,000 while a twin or double costs ₩40,000. All rooms are ensuite. Manager Robin is eager to help and speaks near-perfect English.
Sources: Wiki and Backpackers’ Planet
* The original piece can be read at http://insidemybackpack.blogspot.com/2011/03/backpackers-accommodation-in-seoul.html