Next time you’re in Seoul, skip the usual Hongdae, Myeongdong or Gangnam and check out these hipster districts in Seoul instead.

It’s no secret that we love the buzzing South Korean city with its K-Pop stars, extensive beauty industry, latest fashion trends, tasty food, and idyllic cafes.

Being a Seoul-lover myself, I can vouch for it when I say that there’s only so many times you can visit Hongdae, Lotte World, or the streets of Myeongdong without getting bored of the same few places!

Entrance of Pizza Express

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From the quaint hanok (traditional house) alleys of Ikseon-dong to the cafes and hipster streets of Mangwon-dong, there’s plenty more in Seoul for us to explore!

The next time you’re in Seoul and looking for something new, switch it up and stay in these non-mainstream yet equally cool neighbourhoods!

All prices below are per night, per pax!

Accommodation Near Ikseon-dong

Streets of Ikseon-dong - Where to stay in Seoul

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One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Seoul but also one of the hippest! The quaint Ikseon-dong Hanok Village is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike.

Think traditional Korean-style architecture meets a modern Seoulite’s lifestyle: pretty cafes, small galleries, restaurants and little artisanal shops nestled in Hanok-style houses. It’s an absolute delight to browse the area — and not as crowded as other “traditional” attractions like Bukchon Hanok Village or Gyeongbokgong Palace!


When here, check out popular cafes and restaurants in the vicinity like Dongbaek Souffle Bakery, Changhwadang, and Ikseondong Ssal Sanghoe.

Read also: 23 Best Things To Eat In Seoul’s Most Popular Districts

1) Hostel Haru

Common Area in Hostel Haru - Where to stay in Seoul

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Hostel Haru is one of the top-rated hostels in Seoul with its cosy modern interiors, convenient location, delicious breakfast, and all-around cleanliness. In fact, just looking at the cute lounge area above gives me good vibes!

Shared room in Hostel Haru - Where to stay in Seoul

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One of the best things here is the privacy from individual bedside curtains. No need to feel guilty about keeping your lights on when everyone is asleep or if you need some early shuteye! Private rooms are available too for those who need more privacy.

Cost: From S$46/pax
Address: 10F, 61, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Jongno-Gu, 03189 Seoul, South Korea

2) Seoul Story Hanok Guesthouse

Seoul Story Hanok Guesthouse - Where to stay in Seoul

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This option is great for those travelling in groups of four or more. At Seoul Story Hanok Guesthouse, you can choose from two, three and four room villas that fit up 13 people! You don’t get traditional futons but the ondol (a traditional Korean heating system) for warm floors!

Seoul Story Hanok Guesthouse

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Seoul Story Hanok Guesthouse is also within walking distance to Ikseon-dong Hanok Village and Insadong. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option for solo travellers 🙁

Cost: From S$42/pax
Address: 3-19, Yulgok-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Jongno-Gu, 03060 Seoul, South Korea 

3) Seoul Loft Apartments

Seoul Loft Apartments - Where to stay in Seoul

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Seoul Loft Apartments (SLA) is located a little farther away from Ikseon-dong than the two options above but its stylish loft interiors make up for it. Many reviews applaud the friendly staff, insanely big rooms, and its nearby location to Changgyeonggung Palace and Gwangjang Market. If you’re looking for somewhere a little nearer to popular attractions whilst still having the option of exploring hipster neighbourhoods, consider SLA!

Seoul Loft Apartments Rooftop

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One of the highlights of SLA is the awesome rooftop space with sunbeds, yoga mats, good views and twinkling fairy lights. Perfect for chilling and unwinding after a long day out from exploring Seoul!

Cost: From S$66/pax
Address: 158, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Jongno-Gu, 03081 Seoul, South Korea

Accommodation Near Yeonnam-dong

Streets of Yeonnam-dong - Where to stay in Seoul

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Anybody who’s been to Seoul knows that the Hongdae district is one of the prime spots for shopping, nightlife and food. But few know of the Yeonnam-dong area right next to it, even though it’s becoming one of the trendiest places amongst Korean millennials!

Compared to the buzzing electric atmosphere of Hongdae, the Yeonnam-dong neighbourhood has a charming and unique old-school vibe that feels untouched by the neon signs or loud music from its more popular neighbour.

4) Huayuanhouse HQ

Shared room in Huayuanhouse HQ

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While shared dorms are available at Huayuanhouse HQ, it’s also perfect for travelling with friends or as a couple. The shared rooms are built functionally (check out the effective use of space above!) and cosily with everything from fluffy quilts to private curtains, desk, and lights!

Private rooms in Huayuan House HQ

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Couples can consider booking the more spacious private rooms with wider beds and the same cosy interiors.

Cost: From S$34/pax
Address: 3F 31, Yeonnam-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 03990 Seoul, South Korea

5) Serena Sweet Home 4

Serena Sweet Home 4

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Does this apartment look straight out of a Tumblr feed or what? This singular unit’s located in an excellent location with the metro, bars, restaurants, and shops centred around it!

Serena Sweet Home 4

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This two bedroom apartment accommodates up to six people. And the highlight? A projector screen that’s perfect for warm movie nights with your pals 😍.

The bedroom is just as cosy as the outside with plenty of natural light in the day, throw pillows, clean cotton sheets, and cute plants to brighten up anyone’s mood.

Cost: From S$15/pax
Address: 301, 136-4, Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 121-210 Seoul, South Korea 

 Accommodation Near Mangwon-dong

Mangwon Market in Mangwon-dong

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With the peaceful Han River on one side and the Mangwon market on the other, it’s no suprrise Mangwon-dong is popular with the young Seoulites for romantic dates or casual outings.

6) Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge

Inno Hostel and Pub Lounge - Where to stay in Seoul

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Inno Hostel & Pub Lounge is lauded as the best accommodation in the area for affordable yet comfortable conditions. The bunk beds are cute little private capsules that are raved about for its surprisingly generous space and comfort.

The bar adjacent to this accommodation comes with a constant flow of cheap beer, fun games, and good vibes provide ample opportunities to meet new people!

Inno Hostel and Pub Lounge

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Probably a surprising point is how the bathroom is well equipped with a makeup zone featuring curling irons, hairdryers and beauty products! Trust me, this is pretty rare to find in a hostel 🤩.

Cost: From S$17/pax
Address: 37-7, World Cup-ro 8-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04029 Seoul, South Korea 

7) Ilyo Stay

Ilyo Stay

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If you prefer more peace and quiet, then Ilyo Stay is the perfect hostel for you. Located in a peaceful residential area, the spacious rooms are decked with handmade wooden furniture and lets in plenty of natural light in the day. Very zen and calming if you ask me.

Showers in Ilyo Stay

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Address: 338-77, Mangwon-dong (47-4, Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu), Mapo-Gu, 121-820 Seoul, South Korea

Accommodation Near Sinsa-dong

Streets of Sinsa-dong

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Sinsa-dong is a quaint district that’s become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. On the European-like streets of Garosu-gil, you’ll find artisanal boutiques, vintage shops, design stores and trendy bars, restaurant and cafes. This district is definitely more upmarket, but it’s also where you’ll find the stylish and non-mainstream products.

8) Patio 7 Hotel

Room in Patio 7 Hotel

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For under S$100/pax Patio 7 Hotel is where you can get your money’s worth. With similar prices to the hostels and Airbnb, you get a room fitted with a fridge, flat-screen cable TV, fully stocked free minibar, and even an ondol!

Rooftop pool in Patio 7 Hotel

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There’s even a rooftop pool overlooking the city!

Cost: From S$72.50/pax (breakfast included!)
Location: 74, Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-Gu, 06049 Seoul, South Korea

9) Villa Muha (Airbnb)

Villa Muha Airbnb

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This minimalist and cosy gem of a house is just nice for two. Comes with a stocked kitchen and artistic furniture that really make you feel like it’s your own home!

Villa Muha Kitchen

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This apartment is females only so customers always get a safe and calm environment to live in. Time to grab your BFF and hit Seoul up!

Cost: From S$42.50/pax/night (min 2 nights)
How to get there: Walk 3 minutes from Sinsa Station

Accommodation Near Hannam-dong

Hannam-dong area in Seoul

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Near the bustling boozy streets of Itaewon is where you’ll find the sophisticated and artsy Hannam-dong area. Here is where art, music and coffee meet in a cultural blend of hipster cafes, creative concept stores, unique galleries and more!

10) Mosc Hostel

Mosc Hostel - Where to stay in Seoul

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Mosc Hostel is conveniently located near the metro and bus station with many halal restaurants around the vicinity, so Muslim readers take note! The rooms carry a modern rustic vibe, and they’re spacious and comfortable to chill or do work in.

Mosc Hostel - Where to stay in Seoul

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There are also private rooms available if you don’t want to sleep on a bunk bed, and did we mention there’s free breakfast and rooftop access?

Cost: From S$29/pax (breakfast included)
Address: 31-1, Usadan-ro, Yongsan-gu, Yongsan-Gu, 04406 Seoul, South Korea

11) Itaewon Emotional House (Airbnb)

Itaewon Emotional House on Airbnb

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Couples can consider this cosy apartment that exudes warmth both in its interiors and amenities. You’ll get a comfortable bed with an electric blanket, hot water and the entire space swathed with warm hues.

Itaewon Emotional House on Airbnb

Photo credit: Airbnb

There’s even a beam projector in the living room so you and your boo can Netflix and chill…

Cost: From S$35/pax (excl. S$40 Cleaning fee and S$12 Service fee)

12) Itaewon Heaven 2 (Airbnb)

Itaewon Heaven Airbnb

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If you’re travelling with friends who live for the ‘gram, then this Airbnb apartment will be an instant hit. Not only is it in a convenient location to Hannam-dong itself, it’s also a spacious and uber pretty apartment!

Itaewon Heaven Airbnb

Photo credit: Airbnb

The spacious apartment comes with two bedrooms, a sofa bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom. But another major selling point? A rooftop view of the sprawling city landscape for sick photos of the sunrise and sunset!

Rooftop views at Itaewon Heaven Airbnb

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Cost: From S$51/pax (excl. S$23 Cleaning fee and S$19 Service fee)
How to get there: Walk 5 minutes from Itaewon Station

Accommodation Near Sangsu-dong

Sangsu-dong in Seoul

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Sangsu-dong is monikered as the Brooklyn of Seoul for good reason. Once an industrial neighbourhood with many old factories and quiet residential areas, it’s since taken on an almost bohemian vibe over the years thanks to several unique cafes and the artists/intellectuals types that have settled down here.

13) Zibro S

Zibro S hostel in Seoul

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It’s not often you get a cheap hostel that also has stellar reviews. Zibro S is one of the most highly raved hostels in the vicinity for its convenient location, cleanliness, delicious breakfast spread, and comfy beds with mattress heaters (even for the bunk beds)!

Zibro S hostel

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What makes it even better is that the showers are stocked with free towels, soap and hairdryers too! Aside from shared bunks, private rooms are available as well.

Cost: From S$21
Address: 14, Wausan-ro 10-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04068 Seoul, South Korea

14) Airbnb

Airbnb in Sangsu-dong

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This Airbnb’s a little different because it’s one of three rooms shared within an apartment. You get the price of staying in a hostel but the amenities and comfort of an Airbnb home! Not to mention the room is super aesthetic and outfitted with comfortable beds and blankets. It’s also located right next to the Sang-su Station and Hongdae mainstreet is less than five minutes away!

Cost:~S$22/pax (excl. S$7 cleaning & $4/night service fee)

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Hannam-dong district

Take a break from the touristy hotspots and explore these offbeat hipster districts in Seoul! I’m personally looking forward to visiting the artsy Hannam-dong district and try out one of the many affordable hostels in Seoul.

Photo credit: @leineia via Instagram

Any other cool accommodations to recommend in Seoul? Let us know in the comments!

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