Where to Stay in Seoul, South Korea: The Best Hotels & Areas

Getting ready to explore the capital of South Korea? While it’s easy to fill your days plying through ancient palaces, eating delicious Korean street food or filtering through the latest fashions, one big challenge awaits first-time visitors: choosing where to stay in Seoul.

At first glance, the endless sprawl in the South Korean megapolis can send the most grounded of travellers into panic. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.

To help you pick out your perfect accommodations, we’ve whipped up this complete guide to best places to stay in Seoul, South Korea. In it, we’ve included tips for choosing among the best areas & neighbourhoods in the Korean capital and recommendations for the best hotels in Seoul from budget to mid-range to luxury…

Best places to stay in Seoul

Like most big cities, Seoul is an eclectic mix of unique neighbourhoods. From the artistic beat & street art of Hongdae and the traditional shops & galleries of Insadong to the fashion boutiques of Myeongdong and the glitzy malls of Gangnam, whichever area you choose to stay in Seoul will shape your perception of the city.

Night @ Yeoido

With the efficient—if, at times, crowded!—public transportation, there aren’t many places within central Seoul that are off-limits.

In any case, we’ve rooted out the following 9 popular neighbourhoods and districts as the top places to stay in Seoul for travellers. All of these areas are central enough to hustle you through all the top Seoul attractions—either by foot or with public transportation. Within many of these areas themselves, you’ll discover opportunities to get lost within the backstreets to get a little taste of Seoul off-the-beaten-path.

The best areas to stay in Seoul include:

Insadong

✔ Best area to stay in Seoul for traditional Korean culture & food and for first-time travellers

As more and more of Seoul’s traditional heart disappears in a wave of development, neighbourhoods like Insadong are growing in appeal. Sure, Insadong has become a bit more touristy lately. But don’t let that sway you from staying here on your trip to Seoul.

Autumn in Insadong

Exploring the traditional backstreets of Insadong is one of the most rewarding cultural experiences in Seoul. Weaving in and out of the alleyways forking from Insadong-gil sets you in front of traditional tea houses, antique stores, souvenir shops and food stalls.

On top of all that, Insadong, set in Jongno-gu district, is close to some of the city’s popular must-see attractions including Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Jogyesa Temple, and Changdeokgung Palace. Insadong is the perfect area to stay for culture-seekers visiting Seoul!

Recommended hotels in Insadong

With its traditional façade, Insadong focuses on budget and mid-range guesthouse-style accommodations rather than the gleaming luxury skyscraper variety. Expect to pay a little more for the convenience spending a night in this beautiful and highly-central area during your stay in Seoul.

  • Insadong Hostel: This full-featured hostel serves up everything from shared dorms to cheap private rooms with private bathrooms. It’s located directly on Insadong Cultural Street.
  • Sunbee Hotel Insadong Seoul: This stylish 3-star hotel features spacious modern rooms and an excellent location on Insadong’s main strip.
  • Centermark Hotel Insadong Myeongdong: A centrally-located 4-star hotel that’s wedged into a perfect location between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. Both the centre of Insadong and Myeongdong are within a 10-minute walk. Rooms are cozy and modern with top-notch service.
  • Orakai Insadong Suites: A hip and contemporary aparthotel showcasing luxurious self-catering apartments that feel like a home-away-from-home. Besides the great location, the suites offer use of an indoor pool, sauna, and fitness centre for the duration of your stay.

Myeongdong

✔ Top area to stay in Seoul for shopaholics & for experiencing Asian urban modernity

If you need more of a buzz for your stay in Seoul, set your sights on Myeongdong. One of Seoul’s most popular central neighbourhoods, Myeongdong is a mecca for shopping and food.

Shopping addicts will love the bustle of area. As you walk along Myeongdong Shopping Street, you’ll find all the latest fashions and cosmetics—and at reasonable prices! Myeongdong is also home to several major department stores including the main branch of Lotte Department Store and Shinsegae Department Store.

Shopping in Myeongdong

Foodies who decide to stay in Myeongdong will also find their nirvana. Myeongdong has some of yummiest street food in Seoul and some of the city’s most popular restaurants, cafes, eateries, and exciting night markets including Namdaemun Market. As you eat your way through Myeongdong, you’ll get to enjoy everything from the tastiest South Korean delights to Japanese street snacks.

With Seoul Station a couple subway stops away, this neighbourhood is the perfect place to stay for day-trippers who want to escape the capital on a day trip.

Recommended hotels in Myeongdong

One of the reasons that Myeongdong is one of the best areas to stay in Seoul is for its wide inventory. You’ll find everything from budget guesthouses to 4- and 5-stars. Most properties fall in the mid-range. Prepare to spend a tad more to stay in Myeongdong.

  • Aloft Seoul Myeongdong: A contemporary 4-star luxury hotel in Seoul with a style that’s a step above your usual chain hotel. The hotel occupies a superb central location in the centre of the buzzing neighbourhood.
  • K-Guesthouse Seoul City: One of the most value-laden budget hotels in the area. Rooms are fairly no-frills but are super clean and modern.
  • Bodeum Guesthouse Seoul Tower: A unique modern hotel with an interesting mix of contemporary and classic elements. Excellent quiet location in the shadow of Namsan and N Seoul Tower.
  • The Westin Chosun Hotel Seoul: One of the top luxury hotels in Seoul, this top place to stay in Myeongdong features everything a top-tier five-star should including an indoor pool, spa, and several top-notch restaurants.

Hongdae

✔ Recommended area to stay in Seoul for budget travellers & hipsters

Want to lay your head down in Seoul’s hippest neighbourhood? Look no further than Hongdae. Located in Mapo-gu in the western area of central Seoul, Hongdae is a youthful and energetic neighbourhood with a zestful arts and entertainment scene.

In many ways, this neighbourhood, named after Hongik University, is the bi-polar opposite of Insadong; it’s at the forefront of Korean culture rather than riding on the traditional coattails of it.

Hongdae Area

Dip into its trendy cafes, restaurants, art galleries, fashion boutiques or nightclubs and you’ll see why this area is a great choice for first-time travellers and culture lovers alike. The energy is infectious, if at times (more than) a little eccentric.

While wandering in the streets around your digs, you’ll be bombarded by street performances, art displays, and trend-setting street food options. All in a day’s work when you decide to stay in Hongdae during your South Korea trip.

Recommended hotels in Hongdae

Once you recognize the youthful exuberance of Hongdae, it won’t come as a surprise that the area specializes in cheaper guesthouses often with shared facilities. For a larger mid-range and luxury selection, you’ll, unfortunately, need to look elsewhere.

  • L7 Hongdae: A brand-new 4-star hotel from Lotte that’s, overall, the best place to stay in Hongdae. It’s stylish, hip & perfectly located to take on the area’s buzz with its modern rooms.
  • Gateway Korea Guesthouse: A small property that feels more like a homestay than a hotel. The centre of the district, via the Hongik University Subway Station, is just 5 minutes away by metro.
  • Lian Guesthouse: Another small owner-run guesthouse that strives for a homey feel. Guestrooms all feature city views with some offering a balcony for relaxation.
  • Hao Guesthouse: A clean and comfortable guesthouse featuring both shared dorms and private accommodations with private bathrooms. It sits in the best location among our favourite places to stay in Hongdae.
  • RYSE, Autograph Collection Seoul: A stunning luxury boutique hotel filling a long-neglected high-end gap in the Hongdae accommodations scene. The whole experience at RYSE exudes an elegant modernism from the moment you step in the door. You don’t want to miss this one.

Gangnam

✔ Best neighbourhood to stay in Seoul experience nightlife & the city’s modern side

There’s more to Gangnam than the style that Psy cryptically introduced us to in the West. Gangnam is the modern soul of Seoul. It’s home to the Korean capital’s most impressive skyscrapers, most upscale shopping boutiques, and its most vibrant nightlife and raucous nightclubs.

(Not to mention some of the top hotels in Seoul.)

Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam

By day, in the business district of Seoul, Gangnam, deals are made; when the sun sets, Gangnam is a different story.

In Gangnam, Seoul’s crazy party scene rips open. The streets and clubs fill up with electricity and highlight Korea’s lesser-known love for the nightlife and consuming beverages of the alcoholic persuasion.

Even if nightlife isn’t your cup of soju, there’s plenty more to do in Gangnam. The district is home to several great shopping malls including Starfield COEX Mall and branches of major Korean department stores like Lotte and Shinsegae. Scattered among the glitz and glamour cultural attractions also await including Bongeunsa Temple, Seoul Arts Centre, COEX Aquarium, and the Seolleung and Jeongneung Royal Tombs.

Recommended hotels in Gangnam

With its preoccupation for business, it shouldn’t be shocking that Gangnam is home to a great selection of mid-range & luxury accommodations options. It’s a great option if you’ve got won to spare and need something more luxurious.

  • Big John’s Place Guesthouse: Although it sounds more like a hostel in Texas, Big John (actually a Korean!) will make your time in Seoul as memorable as any host could. All rooms are clean and comfortable. Facilities are shared with other guests.
  • Ryu Guest House Gangnam: A clean and modern guesthouse located close to Apgujeong Subway Station in Gangnam. Unlike many other small local properties, rooms offer private baths and city views.
  • Dormy Inn Premium Seoul Garosugil: A stylish 4-star hotel that’s offers the premier luxury value in the Gangnam area. Rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Seoul skyline. Hotel includes an on-site spa, sauna, and restaurant.
  • Park Hyatt Seoul: A luxurious 5-star hotel whose sleek & modern guest rooms truly bring the Gangnam style to life. Floor-to-ceiling windows glint breathtaking views of the Gangnam skyline. With three superb restaurants on-site, serving international cuisine and Asian favourites, as well as a gym & a pool that peer precipitously onto the city, the Park Hyatt is the best place to stay in Gangnam and an accommodations experience you don’t want to miss.

Jongno-gu

✔ Best place to stay in Seoul for traditional sightseeing & good quality mid-range accommodations

Although Insadong is the most famous corner of Jongno-gu, staying almost anywhere in this central district puts you front and centre for tackling the city, whether you have one day in Seoul or a week.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Jongno-gu is home to some of Seoul’s most popular tourist attractions like Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Gate, Changdeokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Cheonggyecheon Stream, and Jogyesa Temple. If there’s anywhere to uncover the magic of old Korea, it’s here.

What makes the Jongno-gu area interesting is that it mixes its traditional side (much of it dating to the Joseon Dynasty) with Seoul’s modern face. You’re as likely to glimpse a gleaming glass office building or trendy restaurant in Jongno-gu as an ancient palace or temple.

Add on top of that its central location and a selection of some of the city’s top hotels, and it’s no wonder that Jongno-gu is a favourite place to stay for travellers passing through capital of South Korea.

Recommended hotels in Jongno-gu

As an area that stretches across much of central Seoul, there’s a huge selection of everything from hostels and cheap guesthouses to some of the top 5-star hotspots here.

  • Hostel Tommy: A newly-renovated hostel with both shared and private accommodations. Run by a gracious host who always makes guests feel at home during their stay.
  • Sky Guesthouse: One of the most unique guesthouses in Seoul. Located in Bukchon Hanok Village, these accommodations feature traditional Korean-style rooms with heated floors and mats. Unlike in most other hanok, bathroom facilities are private.
  • Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun: An elegant 4-star boutique hotel that’s located steps away from some of Seoul’s most popular tourist attractions. Rooms exude a warm ambiance and are outfitted with contemporary furnishings and fixtures. Excellent value for staying in the centre of town.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Seoul: Quite possibly the best luxury hotel in Seoul. Besides its picture-perfect views and setting, this 5-star property features 4 on-site restaurants, dry & wet saunas, and world-class fitness facilities including a 3D golfing simulation.

Itaewon

✔ Recommended place to stay in Seoul for younger travellers & partiers on a budget

A favourite for foreigners, Itaewon showcases Seoul’s grittier side more than any other central neighbourhood. Itaewon sits near the main American army base in Seoul, explaining its familiarity among expats, many of whom spend their evenings plying through Itaewon’s restaurants and drinking in its edgy nightclubs.

Itaewon

There’s a slice of nearly everything when you decide to stay in Itaewon, but the area’s reputation and less central location might leave you preferring to hang your hat elsewhere. It’s perfect for younger travellers looking to deep dive into Seoul’s party culture & nightlife while finding some of the cheapest accommodations in Seoul. There’s also a handful of interesting attractions nearby including the War Memorial of Korea, Namsan, N Seoul Tower, and Central Masjid.

Recommended hotels in Itaewon

The accommodation scene in Itaewon appeals mostly to budget travellers. Much of the selection includes budget guesthouses that make it a tad cheaper to stay here than elsewhere in Seoul. In the mid-range, there’s minimal inventory, and, for luxury, your choice is next to nil.

  • Amazon Guesthouse: A clean and modern hostel close to Itaewon Station. Both shared dorms and private rooms with kitchenettes are offered.
  • MOSC Guesthouse: A newer property that features clean private rooms with both shared and private facilities. Located close to Central Masjid (Mosque).
  • G Guesthouse Itaewon In Seoul: A super central Itaewon choice outfitting guests with a choice of shared dorms or private rooms with private en-suites. A flashy artistic style gives this place cool vibe that’s often missing in the budget market. (The rooftop terrace with views of N Seoul Tower helps, too.)
  • Hamilton Hotel: A landmark place to stay in Seoul that’s recently been freshened up and modernized to take on a new century. Rooms at the Hamilton Hotel are clean & contemporary, and the seasonal outdoor pool is a nice touch for travellers looking to cool down in the dead heat of summer.

Jung-gu

✔ Top district for a stay in Seoul close to great food, shopping & even a little nature

Along with Jongno-gu to the north, Jung-gu forms Seoul’s city centre. Jung-gu is, on the whole, the quieter of the two alternatives. Pockets of tranquil residential areas are set among the bustle of its crazier corners like Myeongdong and Dongdaemun.

Dongdaemun Digital Plaza

There’s more variety, too. Whereas Jongno-gu leans heavily towards the historical, Jung-gu is an area with a little of everything for your stay in Seoul.

The shopping and food trail in Jung-gu is one of the finest in Seoul. Some of Seoul’s best markets including Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Market, and Gwangjang Market are all nearby. A few standout historical sites linger here, too. In the area, you’ll enjoy look back at the soul of old Seoul at Deoksungung Palace, Namsangol Hanok Village, and Sungnyemun Gate.

And with the towering heights of Namsan to the south, nature makes an unexpected urban call to adventurers who settle on Jung-gu. The mountain is one of the best places to go hiking in Seoul and a fantastic (if brief) escape from the bustle.

Recommended hotels in Jung-gu

Like Jongno-gu, Jung-gu stretches through half of central Seoul. There’s a wide variety of accommodations with everything from cheap hostels & small pensions to Seoul’s most luxurious digs.

  • Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Namdaemun: A delightfully contemporary hotel perfectly situated to take on Jung-gu’s most popular attractions. Rooms are decked out with rich wood grains and feature spectacular views of the city including Namsan, N Seoul Tower and Namdaemun Gate. Get the best price guaranteed and collect Marriott Rewards by booking directly on Marriott.com.
  • Gloryinn: A simple modern hotel offering excellent value for private accommodations in central Seoul. Located within close walking distance of several markets include Dongdaemun Market.
  • Hotel Skypark Kingstown Dongdaemun: A modern 4-star hotel that’s surprisingly budget-friendly for its great location just steps from Dongdaemun. Terrace offers amazing views onto the cityscape including Namsan and N Seoul Tower.
  • The Shilla Seoul: A top contender for one of the best luxury hotels in Asia. Everything—from the decor and views to the spa & fitness facilities—is simply divine. Don’t miss out on one of the world’s finest Korean meals at the on-site La Yeon, a rare triple Michelin star restaurant.

Yongsan-gu

✔ Top-rated area & place to stay in Seoul for a quieter urban experience with good value accommodations

Outside of its expat-friendly enclave of Itaewon, Yongsan-gu isn’t one of the most popular areas to stay in Seoul for travellers. The district is snuggled between glitzy Gangnam area to the south and the one-two punch of Jung-gu & Jongno-gu to the north.

War Memorial in Yongsan-gu

Although it gets less attention among travellers than either option, Yongsan-gu appears to be on the up-and-up with some major development projects that promise to put this area on the map. There’s a handful of interesting museums in the areas like the National Museum of Korea and Leeum Samsung Museum of Art as well as interesting places to shop like Yongsan Electronics Market.

If you’re looking for a district for your trip that’s (at least for the meantime) more traditional and quieter (Itaewon excluded) than other central areas, Yongsan-gu is a good choice. What you’ll get here offers good value for your stay in Seoul.

Recommended hotels in Yongsan-gu

Like the smaller Itaewon area within it, Yongsan-gu caters to the budget end of accommodations in Seoul. There’s only a small handful of mid-range and luxury options in Yongsan-gu, which don’t necessarily offer better value than those in a more central area.

  • Haha Guesthouse Itaewon: A small inn run by a passionate owner who loves to make her guests feel at home. The beautiful garden and terrace feel miles away from the urban bustle nearby.
  • Majung Haus Seoul Station: A hip and colourful little guesthouse sporting an excellent location in Yongsan-gu. Fifth floor terrace with views of N Seoul Tower sets this one apart.
  • 24 Guesthouse Seoul Station Premier: A simple and clean pension that’s located within steps of the main train station. Reservations include a free breakfast.
  • Four Points by Sheraton Namsan: A brilliant 4-star hotel conveniently located at Seoul Station. Rooms are clean and modern, and feature all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.

Mapo-gu

✔ Favourite area to stay in Seoul for a quieter stay outside of the tourist centre

Although it’s a little less central than other areas like Jung-gu and Jongno-gu, Mapo-gu offers some of the widest selection of accommodations in Seoul.

Mapo-gu’s biggest claim to fame is Hongdae, a cool neighbourhood centred around Hongik University with a strong alternative vibe.

Sky Park in Mapo-gu

Outside of getting close to this chilled out district, consider staying in Mapo-gu for good value accommodation in a quieter district. Transportation connections to the core of Seoul are great, too.

All of Seoul’s most popular A-list tourist attractions are a short metro ride from Mapo-gu. There’s even a few within the area itself including the Modern Design Museum, Love Museum, Trickeye Museum, and Sky Park.

Recommended hotels in Mapo-gu

Only Jung-gu has a better selection of accommodation than Mapo-gu. A large percentage of these properties are in & around Hongdae, possibly the chillest area in Seoul. Most fall within the budget to mid-range with little offered in the luxury segment.

  • Best Western Premier Seoul Garden Hotel: A modern 4-star hotel with some of the most luxurious accommodations and facilities in Mapo-gu.
  • UWA Guesthouse: A simple no-frills inn that provides comfortable dorms and private rooms with shared facilities. Located a short walk from Hongdae, the most popular area in Mapo-gu.
  • Cocoa Guesthouse: A bright and clean property in the centre of Mapo-gu. An endless variety of rooms are available from shared dorms to private rooms with en-suite bathrooms.
  • Lotte City Hotel Mapo: A contemporary 4-star hotel conveniently attached to a shopping centre and located next to a metro station (Gongdeok). Accommodations are well-appointed with contemporary fixtures and large windows featuring excellent city views.

Best hotels in Seoul

Budget

Hostel Vanilla 1 Dongdaemun

Address: 28-7, Changsin-gil, Jongno-gu, 03106

With a central location and incredibly cozy rooms combining elegance with technology, Hostel Vanilla 1 Dongdaemun succeeds in staying abreast with the futuristic vibes of Seoul. This newly-built, family-run accommodation is perfect for solo travellers and couples wishing to experience the feel of a comfortable home.

Bed @ Hostel Vanilla 1 Dongdaemun

About 700 meters from Hostel Vanilla 1 Dongdaemun is one of Korea’s top fashion destinations, Dongdaemun Street, where you can score branded clothing at surprisingly low prices.

And don’t worry about appeasing your tastebuds either. Plenty of snack bars, restaurants, and eateries serving delicious Korean food and other Oriental fare await.

Locating the hotel may be difficult first as the streets here are weirdly organized. But the sight of the smiling staff waiting to welcome you is sure to lift your spirits!

Makers Hotel

Address: 33, Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, 03139

Among a cacophony of hotels jostling to make a mark in one of the most economically fulfilled cities of Asia, Makers Hotel is budget-friendly accommodation that lives up to its claims. Rooms are comfortable and stylish, equipped with all the essentials—whether you’re a solo backpacker or travelling to Seoul for work.

Makers Hotel

The number one reason for staying at Makers Hotel though is its prime spot in Jongno-gu, Seoul’s most exciting area for sightseeing.

In early mornings, the street appears dull and routine while in the evenings, it takes on a life of its own. Head out the door to watch nearby local street vendors whip up Korean delicacies to appease the hungry stomachs of weary travellers stopping for a bite after a tiring day of touring the city.

K-Guesthouse Seoul City

Address: 241, Chungmu-ro 9 gil, Jung-gu, 04543

Situated in the heart of Jung-gu, K-Guesthouse Seoul City combines the convenience of a excellent location with clean & comfortable rooms that don’t stretch your travel budget. Unlike many guesthouses in the area, all the units are equipped with newly-renovated private bathrooms.

K Guesthouse

K-Guesthouse includes an excellent breakfast in its price, but don’t stuff yourself too much before tackling your day.

The property is sandwiched between the culinary goodness of Insadong to the north and Myeongdong to the south; there’s plenty of Korean food around to keep your tastebuds guessing!

Mini Hotel Insa

Address: 26, Insadong 14-gil, Jongno-gu, 03146

With an ultra-convenient location and cozy rooms refurbished in a rural Oriental style, Mini Hotel Insa wins the hearts of locals and foreign travelers alike. Tucked away in a by-lane of Jongno-gu, this hotel features property-wide WiFi, laundry facilities, and an in-house café where guests can kick back in leisure and imbibe the aura of the city.

Mini Hotel Insa

In the mood for some tourist action? Head out the door of Mini Hotel Insa and saunter down to nearby Changdeokgung Palace to capture some Instagram-worthy shots or visit the Jogyesa Temple to revel in the glow of the lanterns in the evening.

Hostel Tommy

Address: 66, Donhwamun-ro, Jongno-gu, 03134

Daring to earn a unique name for itself with dormitory-style guestrooms and an enviable location, Hostel Tommy is perfect for travellers looking to cut accommodation costs without compromising quality or comfort. Located in the Jongno district, this hostel is a stone’s throw from the Jongno 3-ga Subway Station on subway lines 1, 3 and 5, offering easy access to the city.

Hostel Tommy

One of the main reasons you’ll love Hostel Tommy is that it’s within easy reach of many of the most popular attractions in Seoul. Jongmyo Shrine, Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Changdeokgung Palace are within walking distance. Additionally, it’s a few minutes from some of the major art galleries and cookie-cutter Korean restaurants that line Insadong Street.

Mid-range

YOLO Guesthouse

Address: 2-8, Toegye-ro 20na-gil, Jung-gu, 04631

We’re not sure if YOLO has the same meaning in South Korea, but the YOLO Guesthouse sure makes you feel like it. Located in close proximity to the most happenin’ shopping malls and recreation centres in the capital, this hotel offers warm and cozy rooms that exude a Southeast-Asian aura.

YOLO Guesthouse

One of the main reasons to love YOLO Guesthouse is that some of Seoul’s major tourist hotspots are located within quick walking distance from it. Whether you want to shop and snack in Myeong-dong or relax in Namsan before hiking up to N Seoul Tower for dinner, you’re in the right place to do it.

Sky Guesthouse

Address: 56, Bukchon-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, 03052

Looking to enjoy Seoul in a classic setting without draining your wallet? Sky Guesthouse is one of the worthiest choices in Seoul. Set in Jongno-gu within the atmospheric Bukchon Hanok Village area, this classic Korean accommodation impresses with inspired Asian architecture and decor that transports you to simpler times.

Sky Guesthouse

Rooms at Sky Guesthouse display classic Korean style (heated floors and mat bedding) and are, unlike many hanok guesthouses, fitted with private bathrooms.

Even the location itself is noteworthy. It’s set upon a lovely historical street reminding us of times lost in the chaos and upward movement of the capital of South Korea.

Naru Guesthouse

Address: 8-12, Yanghwa-ro 12-gil, Mapo-gu, 04043

If you’ve grown weary of busy street-side hotels, the calming charms of Naru Guesthouse rejuvenates like none other in Seoul.

Spectacular cherry- and rose-blossoms greet you as you approach your home-away-from-home in Korea’s capital.

Naru Guesthouse

Besides the lush garden that transports your mind miles from the city, Naru Guesthouse feels more like staying at a friend’s than in a small inn amidst one of the world’s biggest cities, from its cozy rooms to its bright and spacious common areas.

A prime setting in the funky Hongdae neighbourhood, unofficial capital of weird in South Korea, adds to this hotel’s undeniable appeal.

Grid Inn Hotel

Address: 9-6, Jong-ro 18-gil, Jongno-gu, 03192

A majestic, high-rise hotel situated in the heart of Seoul, Grid Inn Hotel charms visitors with an urban, yet peaceful, atmosphere. Rooms feature tasteful contemporary stylings and soundproofing to keep the bustle of the city from disturbing your rest.

Grid Inn Hotel

Besides chowing down at the on-site GRID INN cafe & pub, the prime Jongno-gu location of Grid Inn Hotel puts mind-blowing local delicacies inches from your mouth at Bangsan Market or the alleyways of Insadong both within a short walking distance.

Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse Hongdae

Address: 4F, 39-3, Seongsan-dong, Mapo-gu, 121-843

There’s nothing grand about Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse Hongdae. Yet with its ultra-convenient location, Korean-style rooms and hospitable staff, this small property is guaranteed to bowl you over.

Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse

The rooms at Lee Kang Ga Guesthouse Hongdae are minimalist and tasteful, but the real kicker is the stunning rooftop garden. Filled with wispy trees and colourful flowers, the space makes it hard to believe you’re staying in the city. What’s amazing is how quiet it is—all while still chillin’ out a few steps from exciting buzz of Hongdae.

Luxury

Aloft Seoul Myeongdong

Address: 56, Namdaemunro, Jung-gu, 04535

Coming from a chain that’s at the forefront of the hotel industry, it’s no surprise that the Aloft Seoul Myeongdong is one of hippest places to hang your hat in Seoul and slots in among the city’s best hotels.

Located in lively Myeong-dong, this top-notch 4-star hotel brings the area’s urban vibrance into its midst, reflected in the trendy design of its rooms and common areas.

Aloft Seoul Myeongdong

Besides the thoughtful & edgy contemporary detailing at the Aloft, the on-site W XYZ bar & lounge is the perfect place to mingle after a long day of sightseeing. There’s even a fitness centre to shake off that extra soju-induced holiday weight before sauntering off to the beaches elsewhere in South Korea.

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul

Address: 97, Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, 03183

A luxurious, high-rise hotel set in the heart of the Gwanghwamun neighbourhood, Four Seasons Hotel Seoul combines old oriental charm with the vibrant mood of the 21st century. Enclosed within this glamorous five-star space are luxury suites and rooms, each featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and vivid Korean motifs that create an aura that’s equal parts contemporary and traditional.

Four Seasons Hotel

It’s the top-notch amenities of the Four Seasons that set it apart among the top 5-star picks for where to stay in Seoul. Whether you want to revel in a personal sanctuary of calmness at the sauna, enjoy a world-class meal at one of the four delightful on-site restaurants or tee off at the world’s finest courses at the on-site 3D golf simulator during your stay, the Four Seasons goes beyond all expectations.

The Shilla Seoul

Address: 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, 04605

Named after the prosperous Shilla dynasty, the luxurious The Shilla Seoul is the perfect amalgamation of trend-setting luxury and ancient Oriental heritage. The interiors of all 464 rooms at this top-notch 5-star hotel are inspired by the East-meets-West concept. They each feature contemporary European-style furnishings with thoughtful Asian accents.

The Shilla

Outside of its well-appointed rooms, The Shilla puts itself on the Asian hospitality map with its on-site restaurant, La Yeon. Awarded a prestigious three Michelin stars, this fine dining restaurant serves up some of the tastiest Korean fare in the country.

Round that off with its complete fitness centre (including an indoor golf range) and near-perfect setting in the Jung-gu area, and it’s not hard to see why this gem gets ranked among the best 5-star hotels in Asia and is one of the top choices for where to stay in Seoul.

G2 Hotel Myeongdong

Address: 24, Supyo-ro, Jung-gu, 04555

Greeting guests with a brightly-lit contemporary lobby, G2 Hotel Myeongdong pushes forward a strong first impression. And the feeling only continues throughout this elegant 4-star hotel as you settle into its well-designed contemporary rooms.

G2 Hotel Myeongdong

Although the G2 Hotel showcases a small restaurant on-site (Lejiu Collection), it would be a shame to not take advantage of the hotel’s supreme location. Five minutes by foot, you’ll hit the centre of Myeong-dong, one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Seoul, to eat yourself into a Korean food buzz or shop for the latest fashions until all your won is gone.

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Seoul Myeongdong

Address: 27, Myeong-dong 8-gil, Jung-gu, 04536

Designed like a futuristic resort, the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel in Myeongdong promises a tranquil stay away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The atrium-style ceiling, dotted with pendant lights, grabs your attention as you usher in. But it’s the 21st-floor lobby, a wonderful spot to enjoy panoramic views of the cityscape, that steals all the brownie points.

Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel

The rooms at the Solaria Nishitetsu are designed to exude a warm and welcoming feel, with metallic shades used in abundance to highlight soft undertones. And let’s not forget the superb setting. The hotel lies adjacent to lots of popular shops, restaurants, pubs, and department stores for your shopping, dining and touring pleasure. The subway is a stone’s throw away, letting you access the heart of the city from this 4-star hotel in a jiffy.

Ryan O'Rourke

Ryan O'Rourke is a Canadian traveller, food & drink aficionado, and the founder & editor of Treksplorer. Join Ryan as he explores the world two to three weeks at a time from his home base of Canada with Treksplorer's independent and unsponsored mid-range luxury travel guides including itineraries, things to do, where to stay, when to visit, and hiking & walking trails.

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