South Korea is a wonderful land of rich contrasts … it has diverse landscapes, including lush national parks, gorgeous beaches, and soaring mountains, modern and vibrant cities combined with historic destinations, a culture that, although sharing many similarities with China, is completely unique, delicious food … and more!
Here are many terrific places to visit across South Korea, and it is likely that you’ll find yourself wishing that you had loads more time to explore this spectacular country. Whether you’re staying for a few days, a few weeks, or longer, check out this handy guide to the cheapest places to stay when travelling around the country:
A goshiwon is a cheap bet in most of the major cities. They are usually found fairly close to main transportation links and universities. Originally started to cater to students’ housing needs, they are now an affordable accommodation option for travellers too. You can find those that are available for longer terms as well as those where you can bunk down for just the night. The concept is similar to a dormitory, except that you have your own private room. The rooms are usually very small, but they are typically clean. Other facilities are shared between the rooms. As well as a shared bathroom there is more often than not a shared kitchen – this is another great way to save money as you can spend a few nights cooking your own meals rather than eating out all the time. You will usually find a few basic provisions in the kitchen. Occasionally, you may find a goshiwon where rooms have a private bathroom. Most goshiwons have internet access and there may also be somewhere to do your laundry, perfect for if you’re planning to stay for a short while.
There are hostels in most parts of the country. The dorm sizes vary, but as well as being a cheap choice, hostels are also a great way to meet other travellers. Some have basic cooking facilities for guests to use.
Mainly a longer term option for students, it is still possible nevertheless to find some rooms that are available for shorter periods. Similar to goshiwons, the major difference is that two meals a day are included at a hasuk jip. This can be a great option for people who are really trying to watch the pennies. Rooms are small and basic, and bathrooms and kitchens are shared.
Motels can be found all over South Korea and are usually very close to all main bus stations and train stations. They are a very popular option with travellers due to the very low prices. A major benefit of a motel room is that they have a private bathroom. The rooms are generally pretty well furnished. Sometimes referred to as Love Motels, don’t let the name put you off. Yes, they are often used by Korean couples who are looking for somewhere to enjoy a little intimacy, but the fact that they are so private means that you certainly won’t be disturbed or feel uncomfortable in any way!
Spas / Saunas
It might sound like a really odd option, but if you’re just looking for somewhere to catch a few hours shut-eye, these can be a great money-saving option. Called jjimjibang in Korean, they are open around the clock. Although you’re likely to just have a pillow and the floor, it does give you somewhere to rest for a few hours.
Kind of like a homestay, these are not only cheap but are also a good way to experience a more traditional way of Korean life. Facilities are basic and you probably won’t have so much privacy, but they are generally in very good locations and are excellent value for money.
Finding decently priced accommodation doesn’t need to be a chore with these tips for sleeping cheap in South Korea.