Winters are cold and summers are warm in Seoul. Temperatures average in the high 70s during the peak summer months of July and August. This is also a popular time for tourists to visit the city, meaning hotel prices will rise as demand increases. When booking a hotel in Seoul during these popular months, you'll need to plan well before arriving in the city. Book cheap hotels in the winter months for the best deals or during early spring and late fall. These months may not feature perfect weather but the city is enjoyable year-round.
Seoul is a massive city and there is no shortage of budget accommodation options around town. To save money on hotels consider the newly renovated motels of Seoul. Many motels are cheap, clean, and accommodating for visitors. These once highly avoided motels are now considered a great option for those who don't want to sacrifice on location or amenities. Another great, cheap option in Seoul is a guesthouse. Most guesthouses in the city lie north of the Han River. This is an ideal place due to the proximity to many of Seoul's popular attractions and traditional sites. Guesthouses offer the amenities one could expect anywhere in the world and are often less than $50 USD per night. South of the Han River in Gangnam will be more difficult to find a guesthouse, making the north side of the Han River a perfect spot to find a budget room in Seoul.
Gangnam is full of high-priced restaurants and shopping. Avoid areas like this because there is so much more to Seoul than overpriced sight-seeing. Seoul is actually an affordable vacation spot, easily explored on a budget. Make your first stop Gyeongbokgung. This palace is one of Seoul's main attractions and is very cheap to enter and explore. Gyeongbokgung is centrally located making it a great first stop for seeing the city of Seoul on a budget. From Gyeongbokgung Palace take in the city by foot or take the affordable subway to make the longer treks across town. Gyeongbokgung is the perfect starting point for a full day of seeing what Seoul has to offer.
Seoul has some of the world's most delicious dining options. Korean barbecue is a favorite in many cities around the world. However, how do you dine out for every meal in Seoul while maintaining a budget? First, be sure to avoid the Gangnam neighborhood. Gangnam is good for window shopping but a terrible place to dine unless you're trying to impress. Eat out in any other neighborhood in Seoul and cheap food is readily available. Meals in most areas cost less than 15,000 won ($13 USD) and as low as 9,000 won ($8 USD). Favorite cheap menu items include pork strips grilled right at your table and every meal comes with plenty of side dishes. Want to go even cheaper? Street food is delicious and cheap in Seoul. Meat lovers and vegetarians alike will love the plentiful assortment of street food readily available all over the city. Stick to street food and you will never be hungry or break your budget.
Seoul's international airport is one of the finest in the world. Wonderful amenities allow you to relax on your layover, including free showers, WiFi and napping areas. This world-class treatment does not mean transportation is expensive. The express train will take you to city center for less than $10 USD. Purchase an AREX Express Train ticket on arrival from the vending machine in the arrival hall or at the customer service lounge. This is a much more affordable option than taking a taxi or hiring a private car. Save money right away in Seoul by taking the train. Not only will the train save you money while traveling to and from the airport, it's one of the most affordable ways to see the city sights on a budget during your stay.
Finding a cheap accommodation in Seoul is easy, if you know where to look. There are budget motels and guesthouses all over the city. Some guesthouses are very similar to what one would expect from a hostel in other parts of the world. They may include a shared sleeping dorm and shared common area. For those looking for a more traditional hostel or backpacker accommodation, Seoul has its share of cheap hostels as well. Expect shared dorms to cost $10-20 USD per night and a private room to run as much as $30 USD per night. Keep in mind hostels are per person, which means those traveling in a group will often find a budget motel is a better deal than a hostel. Hostels are wonderful for solo travelers and couples on a budget. With so many cheap hotels, motels, and guesthouses in Seoul, look into all of your options when booking a room.
The Airbnb options are plentiful in Seoul, each with its own character and qualities that make travelers feel at home in a foreign city. A quick search of Seoul will turn up more than 1,000 rentals for under $75 USD per night. Many Seoul apartments are small by any city standard around the world but have everything you need for a home base. Most Airbnb options in Seoul cost around $50 USD per night in a central location. This is a great alternative to a shared hostel dorm and for around the same price. If you would like to experience an Airbnb and truly travel on a budget, choose from many private rooms available via Airbnb. Private rooms are under $25 USD per night on Airbnb and are the best of both worlds. They offer cheap accommodation near the city center of Seoul and allow you to live like a local during your stay in a true Korean apartment. Airbnb offers an ideal alternative to hotels and hostels and still allows anyone to travel cheap in Seoul.
Seoul has no shortage of cheap hotels in the city. Every neighborhood, with exception to Gangnam, is affordable for travelers on a budget. For those looking for tradition in the heart of a popular tourist attraction look no further than Bukchon Hanok Village. This traditional Korean neighborhood is an amazing place to explore on foot and has everything one is looking for in terms of Korean tradition. Guesthouses here will run higher than areas surrounding Gyeongbokgung but they will not disappoint. Gyeongbokgung Palace is a great place to start a day tour of Seoul and an excellent site to book your home base in the city. There are quality hotels, motels, guesthouses, and hostels all located near Gyeongbokgung and only a short walk from Bukchon Hanok Village. Rooms can easily be booked for around $50 USD per night without sacrificing quality or location. Booking a cheap room near top attractions in Seoul is doable for travelers of any budget.
Seoul is not often considered a budget destination, but that doesn't apply to the savvy traveler. Backpackers can find a cheap room at the wide verity of guesthouses and hostels. Budget-minded travelers will be happy to find affordable hotels and motels that fit their needs without sacrificing location and quality. Those willing to spend a little more will find it doesn't take a lot to stay in a high-end traditional guesthouse or an accommodating hotel in the city-center. Seoul offers cheap accommodation options for all types of travelers and a seemingly endless number to choose from. This is what makes Seoul a budget traveler's ideal destination.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.