Next time you’re in Seoul, skip the usual Hongdae, Myeongdong or Gangnam and check out these hipster districts in Seoul instead. Psst. Get up to 20% Cashback on bookings from 14 – 25 July 2023 — more details at the end.

First published: 15 March 2020

It’s no secret that we love the buzzing South Korean city. There’s so many things to do in Seoul — spotting K-Pop stars, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and feasting in traditional restaurants and idyllic cafes.


Photo credit: @slccoree via Instagram

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!

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!

Seoul Mangwon Hangang Park Cherry Blossoms - Where to Stay in Seoul

Photo credit: @yoan_png via Unsplash

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.

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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$147/night
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.

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Cost: From S$411/night
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$175/night (min. seven nights — ideal for longer stays)
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$27/night
Address: 3F 31, Yeonnam-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 03990 Seoul, South Korea

5) The Blossom Yeonnam Guesthouse

The Blossom Yeonnam Guesthouse Private Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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Just a 15-minute walk from Hongdae Street is The Blossom Yeonnam Guesthouse. Both dormitory rooms and private rooms (for up to four people) are available. Some rooms include a private balcony with a table and chairs!

The Blossom Yeonnam Guesthouse Rooftop Terrace - Where to Stay in Seoul

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There’s even a lounge, kitchen, laundry services and rooftop terrace for guests to utilise.

Cost: From S$67/night
Address: 3-6, Donggyo-ro 45-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 03983 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 surprise Mangwon-dong is popular with the young Seoulites for romantic dates or casual outings.

6) Hi Jun Guesthouse

Hi Jun Guesthouse Exterior - Where to Stay in Seoul

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Are you a fan of all things Kpop? You’ll want to stay at Hi Jun Guesthouse — the first floor houses a Kpop cafe that frequently hosts events celebrating bands like BTS, NCT and SEVENTEEN.

Hi Jun Guesthouse Guest Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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According to reviews, the rooms here are large and clean and the host is really friendly. The guesthouse is a short walk from Mangwon and Hapjeong stations, and there’s a convenience store right beside it.

Cost: From S$56/night
Address: 105, Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04003 Seoul, South Korea

7) Batwo Stay

Batwo Stay Living Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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Staying at Batwo Stay is what I’d imagine it’ll be like to visit a Korean grandmother. The common living and dining area looks more like a home than a guesthouse, and the owner is praised for being warm and helpful.

Free breakfast is provided — bread, eggs, cereal, coffee and juice!

Batwo Stay - Dorm Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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There are private rooms and four-bed dormitory rooms available. Both room types are clean and spacious!

Cost: From S$39/night
Address: 67-5, Yeonnam-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 03991 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.

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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$132/night
Location: 74, Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-Gu, 06049 Seoul, South Korea

9) White Linen House

White Linen House- Studio - Where to Stay in Seoul

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If your dream house aesthetic features neutral colours and minimalistic furniture, you’ll love staying at the White Linen House. It’s especially great for groups, with studio-style apartments that accommodate up to six guests.

White Linen House Studio Living Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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The apartments include facilities like dining table, washing machine, drying rack, Netflix access — the perfect home away from home.

Cost:From S$255/night (min. two nights)
40, Nonhyeon-ro 149-gil, Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-Gu, 06040 Seoul, South Korea

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) G Guesthouse Itaewon

G Guesthouse Itaewon- Dorm Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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Fans of Itaewon Class might recognise G Guesthouse Itaewon — this hostel was featured several times in the drama series!

Guests can enjoy baggage storage, free breakfast, private lockers and an en-suite bathroom.

G Guesthouse Itaewon- Rooftop Terrace - Where to Stay in Seoul

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The highlight of this Seoul accommodation is its massive rooftop terrace with unobstructed views of the city, including N Seoul Tower! The hostel regularly hosts barbecues here for guests. 

Cost: From S$28/night
Address: 14-38, Bogwang-ro 60-gil, 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

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

Cost: From S$46/night

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.

12) 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$35/night
Address: 14, Wausan-ro 10-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04068 Seoul, South Korea

13) Cocoa Guesthouse

Cocoa Guesthouse Lounge Area - Where to Stay in Seoul

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Cocoa Guesthouse offers cosy Korean-style rooms with either bunk beds or traditional futon mats. It’s a good accommodation option in Seoul for both solo travellers who want a private room, or groups of up to six!

Cocoa Guesthouse Room - Where to Stay in Seoul

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There’s also a shared kitchen (with a stove, microwave and water dispenser) and laundry facilities.

Cost: From S$64/night
Address: 3F, 19-9, Wausan-ro 17-gil, Mapo-gu, Mapo-Gu, 04049 Seoul, South Korea

Save on flights, activities and accommodation on your next trip to Seoul

Myeungdong Street Singapore South Korea VTL Itinerary

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.

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Girl in Hanbok at Korean Folk Village - Day Trips out of Seoul

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Flights to Seoul

Plane alley - Da Lat Itinerary

It’s a 6.5hr direct flight from Singapore to Seoul and quite a few airlines offer this route — such as Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Asiana and Korean Air. 

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

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