Asia,  Destinations,  Hotels, Hostels & BNBs,  South Korea

Where to stay: South Korea hostels & hotels for solo female travelers

Here’s a list of hotels, AirBNBS, and hostels that I stayed in while traveling in South Korea from April to May 2023. I’ll update this post with more hotels whenever I go back to South Korea.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I get a small percentage of that at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.)

Things to note:

  • Since prices change so frequently I haven’t bothered to note what I paid for each room, but in general I TRY to stay at $40 USD or less per night.
  • I prefer single rooms with an ensuite normally BUT this time around I stayed mostly in hostels due to high hotel prices. This worked at great for my budget as the hostels were generally under $30/night AND I got to make a lot of new friends.
  • Normally, if I’m staying in a particular area for longer than a few days, I try to get a place with a kitchen. I skipped this in Korea because freshly made food was relatively inexpensive– especially compared to grocery store food.
  • I use Booking.com, Agoda, AirBNB, and Google Maps to search for places to stay, and I make sure to check my major credit card’s travel portal in case I can use CC points to save a bit of money.

Hotels with a little ♥ in front of them are recommended in particular.

Busan

K-Guesthouse Seomyeon 1. Single room with an ensuite bathroom– my first shower/toilet combo style bathroom, actually! This hotel is located just one street over from a major roadway and along a decently-busy night market style street. The actual room was fairly comfortable and the included breakfast was standard for Korea (toast, coffee/tea, cereal). Weekends were very loud with nearby bars having karaoke competitions but otherwise it wasn’t terrible. Did NOT like that my room opened right up in the breakfast/lounge/front desk area; it felt weirdly exposed and I could hear everything.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Gimpo

AIRPORT Guesthouse. Shared 4-bed female dorm with free breakfast. I stayed one night to be closer to the airport before my flight to Jeju; this is basically all people either coming in or going to the airport so the social interaction between guests is fairly low. Typical Korean breakfast included tomatoes from the owner’s garden and nice things to spread on the toast, including Skippy peanut butter. Walkable distance to a few food options, including convenience stores and a Burger King, but it’s not a tourist-y kinda area.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Gyeonju

Doobaki Hostel. Shared 4-bed female dorm with free breakfast and a huge lounge on the bottom floor. Really didn’t like the bathroom in this one and the doors to the dorms didn’t lock OR stay closed, but otherwise it was a standard hostel. There was A/C but they don’t turn it on until June or July, so we were roasting. Some interesting decorations and an enthusiastic owner which is nice. They have two (skittish) cats as well!

Jeju City, Jeju Island

Yeha Guesthouse. Shared 6-bed female dorm with free breakfast and cheap laundry (3,000W for drying, free washing). Beds weren’t super comfortable and I was eaten alive by mosquitos, but it’s centrally located right next to a bus station, two grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, etc. The lounge area is set up so people can hang out and talk– I made several really good friends here– and the staff is really nice. I would stay again despite the moz bites!

Jeonju

Nearest Guesthouse. Shared 4-bed female dorm with free breakfast and cheap laundry (washing only, no dryer). Fairly standard hostel with a good lounge area so people can meet, decent bathrooms, etc. Located right next to a major shopping street with plenty of restaurants, and a big Daiso just on the other corner. The owner was very nice and moved me down to the bottom bunk when the original person who booked it canceled. Ha!

Seogwipo, Jeju Island

Backpackers Home. Shared 6-bed female dorm with free breakfast. HUGE hostel with multiple floors, three lounges, laundry facilities, an outdoor garden area, etc. and yet it was the emptiest hostel I’ve been in yet. Seemed like it was recently renovated as it was very new-looking, with comfortable beds. Well-located if you want to do hiking or sightseeing on the southern part of the island, otherwise way too far from everything unless you have a car. Bathroom smelled of sewer. Oh! And they have several large dogs, who are very friendly but who insist on following you into the hostel and/or breakfast area. ;D

Seoul

Able Guesthouse Hongdae. Shared 4-bed female dorm, with free breakfast and very cheap laundry. Honestly, a little grungy and worn down, but it was one of the cheapest hostels in Seoul at the time so I kinda expected that. Located on the edge of the busy part of Hongdae, so it’s easy to walk to the main street(s) with food and shopping. My dorm mates were super nice and I made several good friends, but it wasn’t the most restful place as about 3/4ths of the hostel went out to party every night and didn’t come back until 10:00 am. 😀

Jongno Stay. Shared 6-bed female dorm, with free coffee/tea and a kitchen. Cheap-ish laundry available as well. Fairly well-maintained shared spaces, including a nice lounge with a TV and good-sized shower rooms, but the whole bottom floor stank of sewer (not uncommon unfortunately). Very nice staff!

Quiet accommodation near Sungkyunkwan University No. 1 (AirBNB). A studio apartment at the top of a hill right next to a university in a residential neighborhood. Free washing machine! (No dryer.) Had a kitchenette, but I ended up eating at nearby restaurants/convenience stores rather than buy groceries. Quite a climb to get up there but it was quiet and cozy, and a decent price for a major city stay. Local bus route goes straight to the metro station.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Zibro S. Shared 4-bed female dorm with free breakfast and free washing machine (no dryer). Located near a metro station at the edge of Hongdae (maybe 20 minutes opposite direction from Able Guesthouse), within walking distance to the main shopping/eating area but closer to a standard residential area. Very quiet hostel that seemed to have mostly students staying in it. Bathrooms smelled of sewer (as is typical).


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Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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