Seoul is one of those cities that seems to fly under the radar.

Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore – these are the Asian cities most Westerners think of visiting in Asia… but Seoul should absolutely be on your list as well.

It’s one of the coolest cities when backpacking or traveling to Asia, which is exactly why I made the list of the 20 best hostels in Seoul.

But with 25 million residents and thousands of accommodation choices, it can be overwhelming for backpackers to know where to stay, which is exactly why I made this list of the 20 best hostels in Seoul.

I organize each hostel into different travel-categories, so you can identify what your specific needs are, and book your hostel with confidence, so you can focus on eating kimchi, and visiting princess restaurants and racoon cafes.

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Seoul

Best Hostels in Seoul
Welcome to the future, Seoul is a top backpacking destination of 2020

What to Look for in the Best Hostels in Seoul

The tenth most visited city in the world, Seoul is known for its love for electronics, fast wifi, and deliciously spicy food. With so many interesting things to see in Seoul, it is a backpacker’s paradise, and a great base point to see many of South Korea’s other underrated destinations. Seoul is interesting, fun and very, very affordable.

Here are some things to keep in mind while trying to backpack Seoul on a budget

  • Price – Somewhere in between the price of Tokyo and Bangkok lies Seoul. Food can be super cheap, but shopping and late night’s out is what can quickly break your bank. Seoul can be done on $30 but $40 a day will give you a bit more breathing room.
  • Location – Seoul is absolutely enormous. If you have any specific sights you wish to see, try and find a hostel near, but if you can’t don’t panic. Seoul has arguably the best public transportation system on the planet, so you’ll be able to get anywhere you need quickly and cheaply.
  • Amenities  – My favorite hostel hack (and #70 on this list) is finding free breakfast. Thankfully a majority of the best hostels in Seoul offer free breakfast. Also, keep an eye out for any hostels that have free laundry facilities.
Things DO go missing sometimes…

lock iconPsst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!

The 20 Best Hostels in Seoul

You might struggle to understand Seoul’s official marketing slogan—I Seoul U—but luckily, finding a terrific hostel in Seoul is easy. We’ve done the legwork for you, finding the best hostels in the South Korean capital and breaking them down into different types so you can be sure that you book a Seoul hostel that’s just right for you. Let’s meet our Seoul accommodation picks.

Overall Best Hostel in Seoul – Bunk Guest House

Bunk Guest House best hostels in Seoul
With a great price and endless amenities, Bunk Guest was an easy choice for best hostel in Seoul for 2020
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Bicycle Rentals

A top South Korean hostel, Seoul, Bunk Guest House is in the life and Seoul of the city: Hongdae. It may be quieter in the low season, but during the high season, it springs to life, with Korean BBQs and other fun parties on the roof terrace. Visit Seoul’s most popular places on a range of tours or grab a free city map and explore independently; public transport is close to hand. Secure and safe, Bunk Guest House has a communal kitchen with everything you need to cook up a feast, a chilled-out lounge, a hot tub, and a steam room. Breakfast and Wi-Fi are included and bicycles are available to rent. There are so many reasons why it’s the best hostel in Seoul in 2020.

Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Seoul – ZZZIP Guesthouse

ZZZIP Guesthouse best hostels in Seoul
Plenty of freebies, ZZZIP is one of the best hostels in Seoul for solo travelers
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free Tea and Coffee
  • Discount Vouchers

A reasonably priced hostel with mixed and female-only dorms, the freebies at ZZZIP Guesthouse help to shave even more off the costs of visiting Seoul. Tuck into an included breakfast before heading out with your free city map, and come back to free tea and coffee. Keep your Instagram feed interesting thanks to the free Wi-Fi. Enjoy discounts to some of Seoul’s hottest attractions, including Lotte World and Dragon Hill and soak up the energy in nearby Hongdae. Indoor and outdoor seating are available, and there’s a shared kitchen and a book exchange.

Providing a perfect balance, ZZZIP is among the best hostels in Seoul for solo travellers who want to combine mingling and lone time.

Best Cheap Hostel in Seoul #1 – Backpackers Inside

Backpackers Inside best hostels in Seoul
Great location and a solid price – Backpackers Inside is one of the best cheap hostels in Seoul
  • $
  • Single Sex Dorms
  • Steam Room
  • Games Room

The award-winning Backpackers Inside isn’t only one of the coolest hostels in Seoul, but it’s also among the most affordable for broke backpackers. Dorms are single gender. Situated in Daehangno, shopping, culture, and history is almost on the doorstep. Facilities include a well-equipped kitchen, a games room with a PlayStation, Wii, and good old-fashioned board games, a washing machine, steam room, book exchange, and free Wi-Fi. The atmosphere is peaceful and calm so you’re sure of a good night’s sleep at this best budget hostel in Seoul.

Best Cheap Hostel in Seoul #2 – Whitetail Backpacker and Hostel

Whitetail Backpacker and Hostel best hostels in Seoul
Whitetail Backpackers is another fine cheap hostel in Seoul.
  • $
  • Free Breakfast
  • PlayStation
  • Book Exchange

A top budget youth hostel in Seoul, Whitetail Backpacker and Hostel is run by keen travellers who are switched on to the various needs of today’s modern explorers. The clean and safe hostel is located in a quiet residential area, yet is only a ten-minute walk from popular Hongdae. In addition to free Wi-Fi there are also public computers that you can use and lockers to keep all your devices and other important stuff safe. The large common room is good for both finding a quiet spot to get some work done and mingling with other travellers.

Best Cheap Hostel in Seoul #3 – Sweet Comfort

Sweet Comfort best hostels in Seoul
Sweet Comfort tops our list of the best cheap hostels in Seoul!
  • $
  • Inclusive Breakfast
  • Luggage Storage
  • Bike Parking

A relative newcomer to Seoul’s hostel scene, Sweet Comfort is, as the name implies, a comfy and cosy base from which to explore some of Seoul’s most happening neighbourhoods. Hongdae’s numerous entertainment and leisure options are just a short skip away, and the rest of sprawling Seoul is easily reached by public transport. A filling and free breakfast each morning, free Wi-Fi, lockers, cable TV, self-catering amenities, and more little extras really do make your stay here comfortable.

Best Hostel for Couples in Seoul – Seoul Dalbit

Seoul Dalbit best hostels in Seoul
With an enchanting moon and nighttime theme, Seoul Dalbit is a great hostel for couples
  • $$
  • Included Breakfast
  • Key Card Access
  • Tour Desk

One of the best hostels in Seoul for couples seeking a little starry-eyed romance, Seoul Dalbit has an enchanting moon and nighttime theme. Join in with tours and parties or do your own lovebird thing. Solo travellers will also feel at ease here; there are various en-suite private rooms to choose from, each with a TV and devices to access the internet, as well as female-only dorms. Fill up each morning on the free breakfast, chill with a glass of soju in the common room, and save money by cooking your own meals in the kitchen.

Best Party Hostel in Seoul – Time Travelers Party Hostel In Hongdae

Time Travelers Party Hostel In Hongdae best hostels in Seoul
Time Travelers Hostel is a party hostel you won’t forget, and one of the best party hostels in Seoul in 2020
  • $$
  • 24-Hour Reception
  • Onsite Bar and Café
  • Pool Table

Located in lively Hongdae, this is, true to its name, one of the best hostels in Seoul for party-loving travellers. The sociable bar keeps the tunes pumping and the beer flowing, and you’re just a stone’s throw from some of Seoul’s best clubs, bars, and restaurants. Members of staff are like buddies, going on bar crawls, hosting Korean BBQs, challenging guests to a game of pool, darts, or foosball, and doing loads more fun stuff. The washing machine is free to use and there’s free Wi-Fi. The artwork is cool and there’s a communal lounge and kitchen. Seoul’s Time Travelers Party Hostel In Hongdae really is a place for party animals.

Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Seoul – Time Travelers Relax

Time Travelers Relax best hostels in Seoul
Table space and free wifi – our pick for top Digital Nomad hostel in Seoul
  • $$
  • Wide Selection of Books
  • Luggage Storage
  • Laundry Facilities

A top hostel in Seoul for bookworms and introspective thinkers, Time Travelers Relax is a terrific place to take time out to refresh and rejuvenate. It’s not dull though; within easy reach of Hongdae there are plenty of nightlife options as well, giving you the best of both worlds. Grab your new mates and take cool pictures with the trick art, explore trendy Sinchon, and share a home-cooked meal. Fancy some alone time? Choose from the wide selection of books and get lost in the pages and stay connected with the free Wi-Fi. While not a Digital Nomad mecca, it’s a good place to get some work done and is a great Digital Nomad hostel in Seoul.

Best Hostel with a Private Room in Seoul – Hostel Haru

Best hostel with private room Hostel Haru
  • $$
  • Amazing window views
  • Downtown location
  • Free breakfast!

Located in vibrant downtown, Hostel Haru is one of the highest rated hostels in all of Singapore! Centrally located, you are close to all of the action and you can also SEE it all from the hostel’s amazing window views. The private rooms are lovely, but if you have a change of heart they also have dorms and a buzzing common area so that you can still get to some socializing!

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More of the best hostels in Seoul

Here’s some more awesome hostels in Seoul for you to try too:

Duri Guest House

Duri Guest House best hostels in Seoul
Quiet and cozy, Duri is one of the best hostels in South Korea
  • $$
  • Free breakfast
  • Single-Sex Dorms
  • Laundry Facilities

Duri Guest House is awesome for travellers that want to meet others but don’t particularly love spending the night with large mixed groups; dorms are single gender and sleep four. There’s a kitchen/dining room as well as a lounge and terrace. Free snacks and tea are available, and breakfast is included in the reasonable room rate. Bike parking, free Wi-Fi, and fun summer BBQs are other benefits of staying at this Seoul backpackers’ hostel.

Philstay Dongdaemun DDP

Philstay Dongdaemun DDP best hostels in Seoul
Philstay is for females only and a top hostel in Seoul
  • $$
  • Subway Access
  • Free Breakfast
  • Females Only

A top Seoul hostel for a getaway with the girls or for ladies to meet other female pals, Philstay Dongdaemun DDP only has dorms for women. Key card access and lockers add to your peace of mind. Shop till you drop at the nearby clothes market—it’s the biggest in Asia! Chillax inside and out, either in the lounge or on the terrace, and share a meal in the communal kitchen. Meals are also available if you’re lazy to cook or venture out. There’s free Wi-Fi and computers to use, and you can leave luggage here safely if taking a side trip.

Travelholic Guesthouse

Travelholic Guesthouse best hostels in Seoul
Clean, modern and super quiet, Travelholic Guesthouse is one of the best youth hostels in Seoul
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Games Room
  • Café

Close to Seoul’s centre, Travelholic Guesthouse is a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle. Ideal for travellers who value their beauty sleep and downtime, it’s a recommended hostel in Seoul for people who would prefer to chill than party. Beautifully clean and tidy, there’s a female-only dorm as well as mixed dorms. Unwanted visitors are kept out by the key card access and all guests have a large locker. Freebies include a filling breakfast and Wi-Fi. Thanks to the free airport transfers you don’t need to hunt high and low for a great Seoul hostel near the airport—go straight to the city’s heart and soul!

Family and Friends House 2

Family and Friends House 2 best hostels in Seoul
Another female-only hostel, but highly reviewed
  • $$
  • Female-Only Dorms
  • Free Breakfast
  • Luggage Storage

A top hostel in Seoul for female travellers, one of the most unique things about Family and Friends House 2 is the chance to get dressed up in a traditional Korean outfit. It’s not that we’re saying guys wouldn’t enjoy this too, but there are only female dorms here. A pick-up service is available to make life a little easier. Close to Seoul’s highlights, the hostel has a common room and kitchen, tour-booking services, and security lockers. Borrow a hairdryer to make sure you get the perfect selfies. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi are extra add-ons that make Family and Friends House 2 attractive.

Lazy Fox Den

Lazy Fox Den best hostels in Seoul
Cozy with free breakfast and free lockers, Lazy Den is a top hostel in Seoul
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free Parking
  • Laundry Facilities

Chilled out, cosy, and welcoming, the Lazy Fox Den is within easy reach of Hongdae and public transport links. Mixed and single-sex dorms are available, and guests each have a locker. Mingle and swap travelling tales over a board game, unwind in the steam room, chill on the terrace, and, if you’re not feeling too sloth-like, make use of the laundry facilities to stay fresh and fragrant for the rest of your adventures in South Korea. There’s even an iron to keep you looking tip top. Other convenient comforts include a kitchen, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and lockers.

Xeromine Guesthouse Itaewon

Xeromine Guesthouse Itaewon best hostels in Seoul
More chill than party, Xeromine Guesthouse is one of the top hostels in Seoul for 2020
  • $$
  • Noon Checkout
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Roof Terrace

Accessing Xeromine Guesthouse Itaewon by public transport is a breeze and Seoul Tower and Insadong are close to hand. Homey, cosy, calm, and clean, Xeromine is also one of the best hostels in Seoul for keeping toasty warm in the wintertime. Hair dryers help to keep the chill away. More suited to backpackers seeing a more meditative vibe than all-night parties, the relaxed hostel has a shared kitchen, roof terrace, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a washing machine.

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NG House

NG House best hostels in Seoul
  • $$
  • BBQ
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Intimate Vibe

A fairly small hostel with small dorms as well as private rooms, NG House has everything you need for a short stay in Seoul, including a common room, communal kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and laundry facilities. Arriving early or departing late? Leave your stuff safely in the luggage storage area so you don’t miss a second of Seoul’s excitement. The noon checkout is later than many of Seoul’s hostels.

Lian Guesthouse

Lian Guesthouse best hostels in Seoul
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Currency Exchange
  • Free Laundry

Lian Guesthouse has small dorms for four or six, perfect if you don’t enjoy sharing with large groups and listening to multiple snores! Round-the-clock security helps you sleep more soundly too. Put a spring in your step with the delicious free breakfast and keep on top of your washing with the free laundry facilities. There’s a shared lounge with a TV where you can mingle, as well as a communal kitchen and a cute garden.

Dream Comfort

Dream Comfort best hostels in Seoul
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Games Room
  • Traditional Architecture

Step back in time to the Korea of the 1970s with a stay in the olde-worlde Dream Comfort. Light and airy, the modern facilities are far from old fashioned, though. There’s free Wi-Fi, a games room with foosball, cable TV, a well-equipped kitchen, and key card access. Public transport is easy to reach and the hostel is in Seoul’s youthful area of Hongdae. Various private rooms are available as well as the four-bed dorms. Relax in the steam room or the terrace and satisfy any late-night cravings at the vending machine if you can’t wait till morning for the free breakfast.

Kim’s Family Guesthouse

Kim’s Family Guesthouse best hostels in Seoul
  • $
  • Steam Room
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Luggage Storage

The lower prices at Kim’s Family Guesthouse make this a great option for budget backpackers who prefer to stay a little out of the action. That said, it’s just a couple of blocks to Hongdae. Dorms are for four or eight and all beds have privacy curtains. The property is accessed by key card and the friendly members of staff will make you feel right at home. Whip up a simple meal in the kitchen and have fun with mini golf, ping-pong, and racquetball. What more could you want from a Seoul backpackers hostel?

Seoul I Guesthouse

Seoul I Guesthouse best hostels in Seoul
  • $$
  • Traditional Korean Décor
  • Free Breakfast
  • Two Common Areas

Just a short walk from Seoul’s most vibrant area, Hongdae, you only need to step out of the door of Seoul I Guesthouse to din cafes, bars, restaurants, and a pretty park. Unwanted intruders are kept out by the pincode-style entry pad. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and a basic breakfast is included each morning. Meet other travellers and admire the views from the roof terrace, or socialise in the inside lounge. How about a movie marathon? There are heaps of films to choose between. It’s a recommended hostel in Seoul for travellers who like to meet others but also have plenty of downtime.

What to Pack for your Seoul Hostel

Here’s some gear our editors take hostelling.

Travel Pillow

1. TRTL Travel Pillow: Nothing is worse than a sleep-deprived and grumpy backpacker. Do yourself a favour and get some decent rest with this comfortable TRTL travel pillow. The ergonomic design (fancy!) makes it possible to sleep upright, which can be a real struggle with normal neck pillows. Having this cool pillow makes long bus rides or flights way more enjoyable – and who knows, maybe you’ll even be looking forward to it next time. If so, leave those guys a good review.

AR Towel

2. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Having your own towel on your travels is a game changer. The Active Roots Microfiber Towel is perfect for travellers who are looking for a lightweight, quick-drying and extremely soft option. The antibacterial material is super water-absorbent and resists odor buildup because of its antimicrobial material. Ain’t technology cool?

Playing Cards

3. Playing Cards: Name your ideal night: I’m for a few cheap beers and some card games. Oh, and you don’t even have to be drinking to enjoy a game – having cards with you traveling definitely helps out on those long airplane or beach days! Make sure to snag a waterproof deck to protect from the pool, ocean or Chang.

Active Roots Water Bottle

4. Active Roots Water Bottle: Sturdy and durable, the Active Roots water bottle survives the roughest adventures while keeping your drink cold or hot for at least 24 hours. Vacuum-sealed and made from stainless steel, the bottle can fit 25oz, which is plenty to keep you hydrated. Super cool bonus: the bottle isn’t just super useful, it helps to reduce the single-use plastic waste – save the planet by filling up your bottle.

Headphone Spltter

5. Headphone Splitter: You’re the one with the Netflix account and your friend wants to watch too? But you don’t want to share headphones? And you’re good people who wouldn’t disturb your dorm mates? That’s not going to be a problem with this Headphone Splitter! Plug in two pairs of headphones at the same time, so both of you are able to listen to music or watch shows simultaneously. It comes in handy and won’t weigh you down.

Noise Cancelling Earbuds

6. Noise-Cancelling Earbuds: You’ll have some pretty sorry roommates – it happens from time to time. These noise-canceling earbuds help mitigate the damage. The comfortable and ergonomic design won’t hurt your ears while sleeping no matter how long you keep them in. Increase the quality of your sleep by listening to some relaxing music at night or just enjoy the silence.

Why you should travel to Seoul

Similar to Tokyo, Seoul is a city from the future, and it’s hostel scene is top notch. Hopefully this list of the 20 Best Hostels in Seoul helps you weed through the options, and made a confident decision, so you can focus on going to racoon cafes’ and other awesome Seoul shit like that!

And remember, if you can’t choose which hostel to book at, due to all of it’s freebies, our number one recommendation is Bunk Guest House.

Bunk Guest House best hostels in Seoul_1

Travel Safety Tips for Seoul

And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

For a little extra information on the current safety situation in South Korea, check out our dedicated security guide here!

More Epic Hostels in South Korea and Asia

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Seoul.

Planning an epic trip all across South Korea or even Asia itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Asia, check out:

Over to you

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Seoul has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!

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