South Korea is one of the most underrated backpacker destinations. It’s relatively undiscovered too! How many fellow backpackers have you met who have been to South Korea? At best they’ve had a quick layover in Seoul – right?

South Korea is an incredible destination with an emerging backpacking culture. Still in its infancy, there are some hostels out there having teething problems. This is why we have created this kick-ass guide to the 24 best hostels in South Korea. You can book with total confidence and ease.

You best get ready for the adventure of a lifetime, South Korea is a whole other world. From Seoul to Busan, from Jeju Island to Daegu, you will experience things you will not believe in this exciting and vibrant country.

So folks, let’s not waste any more time. Here are the 24 top hostels in South Korea!

Quick Answer – What are the Best Hostels in South Korea?

The Top Hostels in South Korea

While the backpacking scene in South Korea isn’t nearly as well-carved as other many Asian destinations, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an awesome hostel scene. It’s not just Seoul either; all over South Korea are places to stay with backpackers in mind.

So, first up, the crème de la crème. It’s the very best of the very best hostels in South Korea!

The Overall Best Hostel in South Korea – Bunk Guest House (Seoul)

The Overall Best Hostel in South Korea - Bunk Guest House (Seoul)
Bunk Guest House Seoul is our pick for the overall best hostel in South Korea.

Bunk Guest House is the overall best hostel in South Korea. This iconic hostel is perfect for travelers of every style and delivers all the facilities you could ask for.

The free breakfast is a great little bonus, as is the late check-out service. At the tours and travel desk, the wonderful staff can give you a rundown on what’s happening in Seoul during your stay.

This modern space is a refreshing change to your traditional backpacker’s hostel and you’ll be stoked with your choice. It’s a cracking place from which to kick around Seoul’s attractions. Don’t miss out on drinking on the rooftop!

The Best Cheap Hostel in South Korea – SUM Guest House (Jeju Island)

The Best Cheap Hostel in South Korea - SUM Guest House (Jeju Island)
SUM Guest House Jeju Island is our pick for the best cheap hostel in South Korea.

SUM Guest House is the best budget hostel in South Korea. Compared to some other countries in Aisa, South Korea is not the cheapest to explore (but maybe not as expensive as you think!) Within South Korea, Jeju Island is one of the more expensive destinations too.

This is why SUM Guest House is the best hostel in South Korea for you. Offering insane value for money and a great selection of facilities, SUM Guest House is a winner through and through.

In fact, SUM Guest House is the best hostel in South Korea near the airport… Jeju airport that is. It’s just a couple of stops away on the train.

The Best Party Hostel in South Korea – Time Travelers Party Hostel (Seoul)

The Best Party Hostel in South Korea - Time Travelers Party Hostel (Seoul)
Time Travelers Party Hostel Seoul is our pick for the best party hostel in South Korea.

Time Travelers Party Hostel is the best party hostel in South Korea. This super welcoming and highly sociable hostel is perfect for party people.

The incredible team of staff even organize a traditional Korean BBQ every Friday night! This is the ultimate social occasion in South Korea. You don’t want to miss out on such an authentic experience.

The basement bar is always fully stocked with traditional Soju and beer too. This is the place to stay in South Korea if you want to get chatting with your fellow hostel crew. This is the most fun hostel in Seoul!

The Best Hostels in Seoul

Seoul is a magnificent city that deserves every traveller’s attention. Whether you’re passing through on a layover, or it’s the first stop in your backpacking South Korea adventure, Seoul is a must-visit.

From top-notch street food, to authentic Korean neighborhoods and cyberpunk urban jungles, there’s a lot to offer the humble traveler backpacking in Seoul. It’s global behemoth of a metropolis so book the right accommodation in Seoul!

Zzzip Guesthouse

Free breakfast and solo traveler vibes.

Zzzip Guesthouse - the best hostel in Seoul for solo travelers

Zzzip Guesthouse in Seoul is an ideal South Korea backpackers hostel for solo travelers. Open, friendly, warm and welcoming, solo travelers will find a true home from home at Zzzip Guesthouse.

The hostel attracts a fantastically diverse collection of guests throughout the year. You will leave with new friends spread across the world.

The hosts Jina and Brian are conscious to create an inclusive atmosphere and encourage all of their guests to come together at breakfast time. So encouraging in fact they made it free. There’s no excuse to not meet and connect with new people while visiting Seoul.

Backpackers INSIDE

An awesome and cheap hostel in Seoul.

Backpackers INSIDE - the best cheap hostel in Seoul

Backpackers INSIDE is one of the best budget hostels in Seoul. Backpackers INSIDE makes the South Korean capital city very affordable indeed. This place is not only cheap but all kinds of fun too.

There is a Wii in the common room and they serve a fantastic espresso in the coffee shop. Get caffeinated and get playing – if you can’t mess around when you’re traveling, when can you?

There are even private rooms available. Backpackers INSIDE in Seoul is a top pick for sure. A popular choice, you best book your bed ASAP. You don’t want to pay any more than necessary for your bed!

Seoul Dalbit Dongdaemun Guesthouse

A budget-friendly choice for couples traveling in South Korea.

Seoul Dalbit Dongdaemun Guesthouse - best hostel in Seoul for couples

Seoul Dalbit Dongdaemun Guesthouse is the top hostel in Seoul for couples. Offering private rooms with high levels of comfort this gem of a hostel can get booked up in advance. If you want to stay in this epic hostel you can’t chance it – book today.

The private rooms are bright and open. All offer you a private bathroom, in addition to WiFi access and a free breakfast too. You and your lover can book all your city tours at the travel desk at reception. Dongdaemun Old Gate is only a 500m walk away and is not to be missed.

Neo Seoul Guesthouse

Affordable private rooms and top-notch facilities await.

Neo Seoul Guesthouse - top South Korea hostel with cheap private rooms

Neo Seoul Guesthouse is a highly recommended hostel in South Korea with private rooms. This epic hostel offers a heap of great facilities and ticks all the right boxes for even the most high maintenance of travelers.

Chilled out and relaxed to the max, Neo Seoul Guesthouse will have you feeling like a local in no time. Nearby to dozens of the must-visit landmarks in the South Korean capital, Neo Seoul Guesthouse puts you right at the heart of the action. You can book guided tours and day trips at the in-house travel desk.

Do your research for a killer trip to Seoul!

map iconAnd the best places to visit in Seoul.

calendar iconSchedule-lovers, plan your itinerary for Seoul.

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The Best Hostels in Busan

The second-biggest city in South Korea, Busan is the cultual and economic epicenter of the southeast. Colorful, chic, and cut by gorgeous nature – mountains and twinkling beaches – choosing where to stay in Busan can be tricky. There’s so much awesomeness!

Find a hostel in Busan that’s in a good location (because it’s almost as big of Seoul) and soak up the city’s vibes. When you’re finished, you can just catch the ferry to Japan!

Hostel The Local

An all-round top hostel in South Korea for visitors in Busan.

Hostel The Local - top South Korea hostel in Busan

Hostel The Local is the best hostel in South Korea for travelers visiting Busan’s best sights. This modern and upmarket hostel ticks all the right boxes. You will find plenty of people to connect within the hostel’s cafe. Both guests and the staff hang out here.

The dorms are super cool. Each bunk comes with its own lockable security cupboard that is big enough to fit your pack and more. Each bunk also comes with its own reading light and plug socket. The WiFi is free and unlimited and reaches all corners of Hostel The Local.

Melon Guesthouse

Free breakfast, free airport transfer, free maps… Freebies galore!

Melon Guesthouse - best cheap hostel in Busan

Melon Guesthouse wants you! They want you to stay so much that they will even pick you up from the airport for free! This epic youth hostel in South Korea has a list of freebies that you will not believe; the free airport transfer is just the start!

When you check-in here you’ll also be gifted with a free breakfast and free WiFi access. This is in addition to the free city maps, late check-out service, hot showers, security lockers, and super friendly staff too. Wowzer!

Melon Guesthouse may just be the coolest hostel in Busan. Don’t miss you – book your bed now.

INDY Hotel & Guesthouse

A guesthouse AND a Korean sauna!

INDY Hotel & Guesthouse - best hostel in South Korea with a jimjilbang

INDY Hotel & Guesthouse in Busan is a great youth hostel in South Korea for couples. Offering hotel standard accommodation with a hostel vibe, INDY Hotel & Guesthouse is a great option if you are traveling with your significant other.

During the high season, INDY Hotel & Guesthouse offers all their guests the chance melt it out in their traditional Korean sauna: a jimjilbang. This authentic experience is not to be missed. Busan is becoming a super popular backpacker destination: book your bed ASAP!

Backpackers House

For pumping backpacker vibes in Busan.

Backpackers House - best hostel in Busan for solo travelers

Backpackers House in Busan attracts a young and happy crowd of travelers. There are memories to be made here, that’s for sure. Book now! The bar gets pretty pumping, and you best find your love of Korean dance music ASAP!

Backpackers House is a truly international South Korea backpacking hostel, playing host to travelers from the east and from the west. It is a real cultural melting pot and it is amazing to experience. The dorms are super cute and offer just the right amount of space – arguably they are on the compact side.

The Best Hostels in Gyeongju

For history-buffs and lovers of the Old World, Gyeongju is the best place to go in South Korea. This city is positively stacked with ancient cultural goodies! Tombs, temples, traditional architecture, palaces, ruins… it’s all here.

Mixed together with modern infrastructure, it all makes for one of the more visually curious places to visit in South Korea. It’s big though. Give yourself enough time to enjoy Gyeongju.

Han Jin Hostel

A warm home-away-from-home for solo travelers in Gyeongju.

Han Jin Hostel - top South Korea hostel for solo travelers

Han Jin Hostel in Geyong-ju is a top hostel in South Korea for solo travelers. This hostel is ideal for travelers who want to connect with locals and fellow travelers too. This is a simple hostel but provides you with everything you could need. The late check-out service is a treat too.

The dorms are generous in size and the beds are comfortable. The shared bathrooms are always clean and there are hot showers available too. The hosts are really welcoming and knowledgeable about Geyong-ju. Anything you need, just ask!

Blue Boat Hostel

Minimal but cozy and with South Korea’s budget backpackers in mind.

Blue Boat Hostel - best hostel in Gyeongju

Blue Boat Hostel is one the best hostels in South Korea in 2024 as a whole. It doesn’t matter what kind of traveler you are or what your style is. Offering a free breakfast and self-catering facilities, this is a great option for budget-conscious travelers backpacking South Korea on a budget.

The whole hostel has a sense of warmth and homeliness that you will surely enjoy. It’s minimalistic, ultra-clean, and ultea-comfy. WiFi is free and unlimited and can be accessed throughout the hostel.

Guesthouse Santa

The best budget hostel in Gyeongju.

Guesthouse Santa - cheap hostel in Gyeongju

Guesthouse Santa is a highly recommended hostel in South Korea that is also one of the greatest budget options in the country too. The free breakfast keeps costs down for starters, as does the free WiFi.

You can do your washing at Guesthouse Santa which will keep costs down too. Finally, you are welcome to prepare your own meals in the guest kitchen. This is the best way to save wmoney hile on the road, and you’ll be introduced to a whole new pot noodle experience in South Korea.

The bus terminal is a short walk away. Perfect! No need to fork out on taxis while staying at Guesthouse Santa in South Korea. YAY!

Guesthouse Momojein

Futons > Bunk Beds

Guesthouse Momojein, Gyeongju - Best Hostel in South Korea for Couples
Guesthouse Momojein Gyeong ju is our pick for the best hostel for couples in South Korea.

Guesthouse Momojien is the best hostel in South Korea for couples. Offering cute and super affordable private rooms, inclusive of breakfast, it is not hard to see why Guesthouse Momojien is a favorite.

The private rooms offer traditional futon style sleeping. This technique is great for people with sore backs. People like…ummm…weary backpackers who have been lugging their life halfway around the world!

Guesthouse Momojien will offer you and your lover the chance to experience authentic South Koren life in the gorgeous destination of Gyeong-ju all the while still getting to soak up the good vibes of the hostel life.

The Best Hostels in Jeju Island

Jeju Island sometimes gets referred to as “The Hawaii of South Korea”.  Popular as a domestic holiday destinations in South Korea, Jeju Island has been drawing tourist in for a long time and with good reason. It’s gorgeous!

Lush countryside, exqusitie beaches, endless hiking trails, and even climbing South Korea’s biggest mountain are just some of the many awesome things to do in Jeju Island. However, as you may expect with any place compared to Hawaii, Jeju Island is not a cheap place in South Korea to visit. So mitigate those travel costs by staying at any one of Jeju Island’s backpacker hostels!

Kims Cabin

A simple and friendly hostel in Jeju Island.

Kims Cabin - best hostels in Jeju Island

Kims Cabin is the best hostel in South Korea if you are planning on visiting Jeju Island. This modern and happy hostel offers awesome room rates and even a free breakfast too.

This is a chilled sociable hostel. You’ll make a heap of new friends if you pitch up in the cafe for an hour or so. Home comforts are available at Kims Cabin like laundry facilities and hot showers. Of course, WiFi is included in your room rate.

There is a minimalist theme to the hostel but you know what they say, less is more. You’ll love it here. Get booking your bed now.

Yesjun Guest House

Put your money to good use!

Yesjun Guest House - cheap accommodation in Jeju Isand

Yesjun Guest House is an ideal youth hostel in South Korea for solo travelers. This authentic hostel offers everything you could possibly ask for and more. The free breakfast is just the beginning.

Yesjun Guest House has both a cafe and a travel desk in-house. The garden area is a welcome treat if you are arriving in Jeju Island from the chaos of Seoul or Busan.

The hostel even donates a portion of its profit to a local NGO who help to provide food for underprivileged children and young families in the area. Sleep well and feel good at Yesjun Guest House.

Backpacker’s Home

A low-key party hostel in Jeju Island.

Backpackers Home - best party hostel in South Korea

Backpacker’s Home on Jeju Island is a top hostel in South Korea for party people. This chilled out and a fun loving hostel is a place where like-minded travelers can connect and party Korean style.

Be sure to ask the staff directions to the local hangouts as there are heaps nearby, in the meantime you’re welcome to BYOB. But remember to be respectful.

The outdoor terrace is a top spot for sharing a beer or two, as is the common room and the communal kitchen. This is a truly international backpackers hostel that attracts a global community through its doors.

Rainbow in Jeju

Mixing the hostel vibes and romance for backpacking partners-in-crime.

Rainbow in Jeju - best place to stay in Jeju Island for backpacking couples

Rainbow in Jeju is the coolest hostel in South Korea for couples. Really homely and super welcoming, you and your lover will be able to totally relax here.

Just look at their private rooms. They’re so cute! All of the private rooms at Rainbow in Jeju offer a private ensuite bathroom and WiFi access too.

You and bae can have a relaxed breakfast at the Rainbow Cafe before heading out and exploring Jeju Island. Be sure to swing by the tours desk to make sure you’re maxing out on your time in this stunning destination.

The Best Hostels in Daegu

Daegu, the fourth-biggest city in South Korea, feels more local than Seoul or Busan. There are still tourist draws in Daegu, sure, but there’s also a wonderful little pocket of pure South Korean magic.

A thriving downtown area, traditional medicine markets, and a vibrant student population makes Daegu an excellent destination in South Korea for backpackers who prefer a bit more locality.

Danim Backpackers

The best hostel in Daegu.

Danim Backpackers - best hostel in Dageu

Damin Backpackers is a top hostel in South Korea for solo travelers. A cute and cozy hostel with a strong community feel, Danim Backpackers makes for a great base.

Nearby there are dozens of bars and traditional Korean BBQ restaurants that you can experience with your new friends. The staff are some of the kindest you will ever meet. You’ll love it here.

The free breakfast adds great value for money, as does free WiFi and the free luggage storage facilities. The dorms are compact but more than comfortable for your stay in Daegu.

Go Hostel

The best CHEAP hostel in Daegu.

Go Hostel Daegu - top budget hostel in South Korea

Go Hostel in Daegu is a highly recommended hostel in South Korea for budget conscious travelers. Ticking off the three budget backpacker essentials (free breakfast, free WiFi and a self-catering kitchen) Go Hostel is an obvious choice if you are heading to Daegu.

Modern and minimalist but offering high levels of comfort, Go Hostel has been created with the modern day backpacker in mind. Each individual bunk in the dorm rooms comes with a privacy curtain, a power socket and a reading light too.

As you have come to expect from South Korea, the WiFi at Go Hostel is fast, reliable, and always free.

The Style Guest House

Can you feel the style?

The Style Guest House - a cool hostel in South Korea

The Style Guest House in Daegu is an ideal South Korea backpacker hostel for travelers who want a private room. The private rooms at The Style Guest House are cozy and compact. They offer everything you could ask for including free WiFi access and air conditioning.

Be sure to get chatting with your fellow guests over the free breakfast each morning of your stay. Or perhaps over a local beer or two in The Style Guest House bar of an evening.

The in-house travel agent can assist you with everything from city tours to airport transfers. Get chatting – you never know what you will discover in Daegu.

The Best Hostels in Sokcho

Sleepy Sokcho. Sokcho should be a major tourist spot in South Korea – it’s the gateway to the magnificent Seoraksan National Park – but it’s not. Instead, it’s just fishing village vibes through and through… Except it’s a city.

But, well, it’s a fishing city. And Korea has stupidly tasty food… So what are you waiting for? It’s time to visit Sokcho!

WITH U Hostel & Guest House

The best hostel in South Korea for working travelers.

 Best Hostels in South Korea for Digital Nomads - WITH U Hostel & Guest House
WITH U Hostel and Guest House Sokcho is our pick for the best hostel for digital nomads in South Korea.

WITH U Hostel & Guest House believes in creating authentic and wholesome connections as they believe that is what traveling is all about. Isn’t that what being a digital nomad is all about? We think so.

This is why WITH U Hostel & Guest House is the best hostel in South Korea for digital nomads. Offering free, super fast WiFi and a great space to work in is just the beginning!

WITH U Hostel & Guest House provides towels, a clothes rack, LCD television and an ensuite bathroom in every room. The dorms are generous in size and the private rooms are pretty affordable too.

The House Hostel

A hostel and hidden gem of South Korea.

The House Hostel - best hostel in Sokcho

The House Hostel is a highly recommended hostel in South Korea if you are looking for a private room. One of only a handful of hostels in Sokcho, The House Hostel is a great find. The private rooms are a great deal and even include a complimentary breakfast.

The eclectic decor and super friendly staff will make you feel right at home. This is possibly Sokcho’s best-kept secret.

South Korea is fast becoming a popular backpacking destination and Sokcho won’t lay low for long. What are you waiting for? Book your bed for the best price today!

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Active Roots Security Belt

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Before You Book Your Hostel in South Korea

What a tremendous selection of South Korean hostels! It’s a fantastic little scene in South Korea. You tend to find more nuanced travelers than elsewhere in Asia and still with plenty of authentic vibes left.

So that’s it; you’re ready to go hostelling in South Korea, right? Not so fast! There are still a couple of remaining points to touch on.

One is safety: South Korea is very safe to travel, however, you can never bee too prepared. The other point is packing… There’s nothing worse than forgetting the toothbrush!

Map of Where to Stay in South Korea

Map of Where to Stay in South Korea
1.Seoul, 2.Busan, 3.Gyeongju, 4.Jeju Island, 5.Daegu, 6.Sokcho

What to Pack for your South Korea Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

Why you should travel to South Korea

Because it’s awesome and, even better, it’s underexplored by backpackers. South Korea gets overlooked as an Asian destination; it’s not as cheap as Southeast Asia and not as legendary in pop-culture as Japan. Yet, still, there are simply some kickass places to stay in South Korea for all budgets!

We like to offer you the most amount of choice, but we don’t want your trip planning to get confusing. Let’s keep it simple, the overall best hostel in South Korea is Bunk Guest House – Seoul. Book this bad boy first and then have a think about the rest.

A tourist attraction temple in South Korea looking beautiful in autumn

Be sure to bookmark this guide to the 24 best hostels in South Korea! You can refer back later when you’re kicking around so you never miss out on staying in any of the amazing hostels in South Korea.

Oh, and if you’ve gone backpacking in South Korea recently, or are about to, leave us a comment down below! Tell us about what awesome places you stayed on your trip to South Korea. We like to stay informed. Have fun, folks, and don’t forget to savor the pancakes!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for South Korea

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Looking for more info on travelling to South Korea?

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!