When you plan to go to South Korea, accommodation represents an important part of your planning (and budget). Keep on reading to know our tips for finding accommodation in South Korea.
Let’s first take a look at the types of accommodation you can find in South Korea, depending on the length of your stay!
WHAT ACCOMMODATION FOR A SHORT STAY?
Here are the different existing accommodations for a short stay (a few weeks to 90 days), from the most economical to the most expensive.
1 / THE GUESTHOUSE (게스트 하우스)
The most economical accommodation available in South Korea!
The guesthouse is the right place to meet people of various nationalities (Korean and international), to chat and who knows, sometimes to make friends!
Positive point Budget friendly
2 / THE HOSTEL (호스텔)
The hostels are very similar to guesthouses in their operation. Usually, these establishments offer dormitories and also private rooms at reasonable prices. Depending on the establishment, some rooms may be smaller than those of a standard hotel and breakfast may also be offered (a good point if you want to save money).
3 / THE MOTEL (모텔)
The motels are very numerous in South Korea so it is not always necessary to book. Ideal for small budgets, unlike hotels, their large number makes it easy to find them. Be careful though because some of these establishments are also Love hotels (often at lower levels) which may be surprising.
Motels are 80% love motels (and some small hotels too). To find out, you have to look at the prices. If they offer 대신 (lower price) it is generally for 1 hour so it will be more of a love-motel.
The other, more classic option is to rent accommodation via the Airbnb site . Because, yes, you can find a room or an apartment to rent in the heart of the city. Plan ahead because demand is high and the best accommodations sell out quickly, especially during holiday periods.
Some places currently also allow quarantining in an Airbnb, check out our guide related to it:
You can also take a look at the Housing Anywhere site to see other offers.
5/ THE HOTEL (호텔)
Also a classic solution. As everywhere else, hotels have stars and depending on the number of stars, prices vary significantly, including the comfort of the room.
WHAT ACCOMMODATION FOR AN ORIGINAL STAY?
For a stay that is out of the ordinary or just for a few nights, you can experience original nights in South Korea thanks to these atypical accommodations.
Here are the top 5 !
1 / SAUNA / JJIMJILBANG ( 찜질방 )
The saunas or the more luxurious version, jjimjilbang , are very common in Korea and have almost all dormitories. You pay an entrance fee (between 8,000 and 20,000 won depending on the stranding) to enjoy the sauna and you can also spend the night there (comfort is simple). Of course, even if it is only a few nights, it can be an interesting and memorable experience!
2 / HANOK (한옥)
If you want to make the most of your stay and live an authentic experience, hanoks are for you. These are traditional Korean houses, it will allow you to experience the old-fashioned Korean way of life and the rituals surrounding everyday life.
Note: The mattresses are thin in some places and you sleep on the floor.
3 / HOMESTAY (HOME STAY)
You can live with Korean families who rent rooms at varying prices. For those travelers who want it, it is a good opportunity to share the daily life of a Korean family, share their culture, and meet new people. You can check out the offers on Homestay Korea and BnB Hero websites .
4 / TEMPLESTAY
If you want a unique experience, the Templestay program is for you.
You will be able to stay in a traditional temple in Korea through a program and live like the residents of the temple while learning about Buddhist culture (meals are included in the price). Some temples also offer cultural activities such as martial art lessons, traditional Korean art…).
Note: For the templestay it takes around 50,000 krw per person (40 euros). Dinner and breakfast are included.
Note also that the vast majority of temples impose a schedule (getting up at 4 a.m., ceremonies and other activities may be compulsory), telephones generally prohibited, and sleeping is generally done on the floor, in single-sex dormitories.
WHAT ARE THE SITES TO FIND THESE SHORT-TERM ACCOMMODATIONS?
Before embarking on your research, it would be interesting to set some basic criteria to facilitate your research:
- Your budget (range per night or week)
- The time spent in one city
- Decide how far you want to be from the city center and the monuments you want to visit (accessibility by public transport, walking distance, etc.)
In general, the usual sites offer a lot of accommodation offers in South Korea. It’s up to you to find the one that suits you between:
WHAT ACCOMMODATION FOR A LONG STAY (MORE THAN SIX MONTHS)?
Looking for long-term accommodation in South Korea should be approached differently. First of all, you have to choose the neighborhood in which you would like to stay and above all, which is compatible with the planned budget , the future place of work or the future university / school.
Then, the rental system in South Korea is clearly different than that in France since it is divided into two possibilities: the jeonse and the wolse .
THE JEONSE SYSTEM 전세
With this system, when you sign your contract, you hand over a large sum of money to your landlord which is supposed to cover the rents in your contract. So expect to have to leave anywhere from 30,000,000 won to over 100,000,000 won (between $ 25,000 to $ 70,000) for the duration of your contract (which will typically last over a year).
The advantage of this system is that you do not have to pay rent during the period of your installation and that your deposit will be returned to you when you leave the accommodation.
THE WOLSE SYSTEM 월세
In this situation, we give a deposit, called deposit or key money (which corresponds to at least 6 months’ rent) and we pay rent + monthly charges (heating or air conditioning). In Seoul, the bond prices for a studio apartment, depending on the neighborhood, the square footage , can vary from around 4-5,000,000 won (3,500 euros) to over 10,000,000 won (8,000 euros). At the end of the contract, the deposit is returned to you.
As for the rents, depending on the accommodation, they can range from 400,000 to 800,000-900,000 won per month (350 euros to 750 euros). To this, it is necessary to count the charges concerning gas, electricity and water ( maintenance fees ) and sometimes Internet or even a subscription for television which will not always be included.
As you can see, no matter what type of accommodation you are looking for, if you plan to stay in South Korea for more than six months, you must incorporate the deposit – which can be more or less expensive – in your budget.
NOW LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE MOST ECONOMICAL TO THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOUSING.
1 / THE GOSHIWON 고시원 / HASUKJIB 하숙집
By far the most advantageous solution for staying in South Korea for more than six months.
This involves renting a room in a house run by Koreans, most often an ahjumma . For about 200,000 to 300,000 won minimum (160 to 240 euros) per month, you have a small bedroom that has a bed and a desk, but the bathroom and kitchen are shared. You have wifi and a place to wash your clothes. Depending on the goshiwon / hasukjib , you can have a window, a larger or smaller room… Usually, there are goshiwon and hasukjib near universities.
Some goshiwon offer rice and kimchi while hasukijb include two meals a day. Many students stay in goshiwon , and given the reasonable rental price, this is an option to consider for a long-term stay on a budget.
To remember :
- no deposit!
- rice, kimchi or even 2 meals included (for hasukjib )
- no charges to be expected in addition to the rent
- 200,000 – 300,000 won minimum
2 / ONE-ROOM 원룸
This is a basic studio sometimes furnished (or not) and generally equipped (kitchenette, fridge). The studio is a solution for those who would prefer to keep their privacy. Rent prices are really varied but you have to count from a minimum of 500,000 won and you have to pay a deposit (variable depending on the district and the area).
To remember :
- deposit required ( 2,000,000 won min.)
- rent + charges
3 / COLOCATION / INTERNATIONAL RESIDENCE 국제 기숙사
Another economical solution. If you are not afraid of living in a community and you have a small budget, shared accommodation is for you! You rent a private room or you share one, the other rooms of the house/apartment are shared. The rent will be a little more expensive than that of a goshiwon / one-room but the comfort is there. In addition, it is an opportunity to meet new people from all over the world!
To remember :
- lower deposit
- rent: 300,000 won minimum
4 / OFFICETEL 오피스텔
The officetel is larger, equipped and furnished, which explains why its rent is more expensive than that of the one-room . They have the advantage of being located near businesses or metro stations and generally, and it’s very pleasant to live there (there may even be a gym!).
To remember :
- deposit ( min 3,000,000 won )
- rent + charges ( 500,000 won min.)
5 / APARTMENTS 아파트
A much more expensive option but if you have the means, you can enjoy the most luxurious comfort. Apartments in South Korea are actually (very) large apartments: they have two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and a living room. These are therefore accommodations more intended for families. Some real estate agencies offer really well-appointed duplexes, suites and apartments, but obviously, depending on the neighborhood, the price of the rent and the deposit will be very high.
To remember :
- very high deposit
- rent + high charges
WHAT ARE THE SITES TO FIND THESE LONG-TERM ACCOMMODATION?
In summary, keep in mind your criteria to facilitate your search: available budget, preferred district (s), the distance between university and business, location of the property (proximity to shops, public transport, etc.), duration of ‘installation etc …
Also be aware that staying in Seoul will cost more than staying in another city in Korea. In addition, some areas of Seoul, more popular than others, will have very high rents and deposits.
I hope this article has helped you in finding your future accommodation in South Korea. If you know of other sites or have stayed in South Korea before, don’t hesitate to share your opinions, tips and experiences!