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Best Airbnb in Seoul: 15 amazing places to stay in 2021 ( vacation homes, VRBOs, …)

Are you looking for the best vacation homes and Airbnbs in Seoul? You came to the right place.

Hotel rooms in Seoul tend to be small so we get a lot of questions about Airbnb in Korea’s capital.  It makes sense to look at Airbnb as an alternative for hotels.

Staying in a vacation home or Airbnb is often cheaper than staying in a hotel room. Especially if you are staying in Seoul during peak season or if you are traveling with your family or friends.

Look no further, in this Seoul Airbnb blog post we share everything you need to know about Airbnb in South Korea.

Airbnb might be the most widely known website for vacation rentals but that doesn’t make it the best or the cheapest.  To help you compare we expanded our selection to also include vacation homes from other reputable and well-trusted sites such as Booking.com, Expedia, and VRBO (which is also part of the Expedia Group).  Check and compare, lower booking and cleaning fees make these other sites cheaper than Airbnb.  Enjoy your trip!.

We answer every question you might have further in this post.

This article contains affiliate links. As an Airbnb Associate, I earn when you book through one of these links.

In a hurry? Our picks for the best Airbnbs in Seoul

Overview of the best Airbnbs in Seoul

Here’s a comparison table of all the Airbnbs that we cover in this post. Read on for a short description of all the properties.

Overview the best Seoul Airbnbs

Persons Type Amenities Price
Bukchonae

Several room types

Private room

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Private bathroom
  • Breakfast included
$
Traditional house Palace and Insadong

5(3bedr)

House

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washing machine
$$$
Myeongdong-studio

4

Studio

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Elevator
  • Washer and dryer
  • Paid parking
$
High ceiling white house High ceiling white house

4(1bedr)

Loft

  • Wifi
  • Airconditioning
  • 24-hour check-in
  • Private entrance
  • Baby safety gate
$$
Cozy duplex in Hongdae

5(2 bedr)

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Extra long beds
  • Fully equipped kitchen
$$$
Oriental modern apartment

Several room types

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Extra long beds
  • Free parking
$$
Great Airbnb in Gangnam Lux studio

4(studio)

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Portable Egg Wifi
  • Air conditioning
  • Luggage dropoff
  • Long term stays allowed
$$
Private room in condominium Hotel-quality Itaewon B&B

2(1bedr)

Private room

  • Free Wifi
  • Air conditioning
  • Laptop friendly workplace
  • Breakfast is included
  • Luggage dropoff allowed
  • Long term stays allowed
$
Garden and rooftop house Garden and rooftop house

5(2bedr)

Apartment

Free Wifi
Self-check-in with keypad
Washing machine
Rooftop

$$
Luxury Vintage Sunshine House

6 (2bedr)

House

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washer
  • Private entrance
$$$$
2 bedroom house near Lotte World 2 bedroom house near Lotte World

8( 2 bedr)

Condominium

  • Wi-Fi
  • Free parking on premises
  • Free street parking
  • Self-check-in with keypad
$$
Lotte World Lake View Loft

4(1bedr)

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Bar
  • Fitness
  • Extra long beds
  • Free parking on premises
$
Snug house

3(1bedr)

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washer
  • Free parking on premises
$
Great Airbnb apartment in Seoul Naksan balcony with private rooftop

4(3bedr)

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washer
  • Balcony
  • Rooftop
$$$$$
Great Airbnb in Seoul with balcony Terrace House 273

4(2bedr)

Apartment

  • Wi-Fi
  • Playstation 4
  • Big size balcony
  • Elevator
  • Parking lot
$$$$

Best Airbnbs in Seoul – Quick guide

We created this quick guide for those who are in a rush and don’t have time to go through the complete article.

This quick guide lists the best Airbnb’s based on interests.

We share the best district to stay in for the first time, for shopping addicts, for those who want to indulge in Seoul’s vibrant nightlife, and more.

We curated this list based on the price, the amenities, the reviews, and the English knowledge of the host. We focused on super host.

All these properties are also close to a metro station. An essential aspect to get around the city quickly.

The full details, including the pros and cons, about the various districts are covered further down in this article.

The best area to stay for first-time visitors

First-time visitors are best to stay in either Insadong or Myeongdong. Both these districts house many of Seoul’s best sights and count many restaurants.

By staying in one of these two areas you will be able to make the most of your stay in the city.

Seoul, Seoul Tower Love locks, South Korea
A view on Seoul from the base of Seoul tower

The best area to stay in Seoul for short stays

Insadong is the best place to stay if you’re in Seoul for just a few days.

Besides that Insadong is well connected by subway with other districts you are also within walking distance of lots of Seoul highlights.

Relive the charm of yesteryear in a traditional Korean Hanok house.

Staying here will add a unique cultural touch to your vacation.

The property is very well located close to the palaces and Bukchon Hanok Village.

The Hanok house is great for couples as well as those who are traveling with family or friends.  They have family rooms and they can accommodate larger groups in connecting rooms with a shared hall.

Best Airbnb Seoul Hanok house

A stay in a Korean Hanok house adds a dose of tradition to your stay.

The properties have typically been build hundreds of years ago and are in stark contrast with the gleaming skyscrapers that are now mushrooming in the capital.

The moment you cross the threshold you will step back in time.  By staying in a traditional Korean Hanok you will be able to relive the glory days of Seoul without compromising on contemporary comfort.

Below we share 2 excellent Hanok stays which are both recommended by many travelers.

Keep in mind that you’re are often sleeping on a (thin) futon mat on the ground when you’re staying in a traditional Hanok house. This might be not the perfect choice if you are a bit older or have back problems. 

(Article continues below the picture)

Seoul, Bukchon Hanok Village, South Korea
Most traditional houses can be found in Bukchon Hanok Village

Shopping addicts

There are plenty of opportunities to shop in Seoul. Each district of the city has its own style of shops.

If you are looking for souvenirs and handicraft products, you should consider staying in Insadong.

Deal hunters and art lovers will indulge in Hongdae.

If you are looking for international and local brands, shopping malls, and lots of department stores Myeongdong is the place for you.

Gangnam is the place to be for both luxury shopping and budget-savvy shoppers.

Best area in Seoul for nightlife

Looking for a party in Seoul?  That shouldn’t be a problem, Koreans work hard but they know how to party.

Different from most of the rest of the world the party scene is alive throughout the whole week.

Itaewon is a good place to start.

You will find a mixed scene, the bars and clubs are frequented by both locals and expats. This district counts plenty of nightlife opportunities and is very international.

Hongdae attracts a younger crowd because of the nearby colleges.

Students drown their sorrows with cheap booze.  The district is known for its street performances and more underground music scene. This is a great place to mingle with the locals.

Upscale party lovers with deep pockets can also head to the Beverly Hills of Korea, Gangnam.

Here you will find a list of more fun things to do in Seoul at night. 

Best Airbnb in Seoul for families with children

Families will love both Insadong and Myeongdong.

By staying in these areas you will be close to the historic center and within walking distance of most of Seoul’s highlights.  This means you won’t need to spend too much time on public transport.

Both districts are also well-connected to other districts of the city as well as Incheon airport and Seoul station, the city’s main transportation hub.

Children will love Lotte World.  The amusement park is located slightly outside the city center.

If you are looking for more things to do in Seoul, click here. 

If you want to stay close to the park you should look for accommodation in Jamsil.

Best Airbnb in Seoul

Best Airbnbs in Insadong

Bukchonae

Hanok hosted by Patrick

  • Several room types

Here we have a pretty Hanok in an amazing location perfect for sightseeing but away from the crowds.

You will stay in a comfortable room where you will sleep on a futon. The room has a heated floor, so you won’t get cold at night.

Guests love the traditional Korean breakfast.

The host is very nice and hospitable.

Booking Rating: 9

Extra amenities: 

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Private bathroom
  • Breakfast included

Unforgettable Hanok experience.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Traditional house Palace and Insadong

House hosted by Hadoo

  • 5 guests, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
Photo credits VRBO

This typical Korean house can be found next to Kyonungbok-gung palace.

Guests love the fact that it lies in a great location next to Bukchon village and many other local attractions.

The rooms are a bit small but are perfect for a family of 4.

The owner is very kind and helpful.

You will also find plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and shopping centers in the neighborhood. The bus runs right in front of the house.

VRBO Rating: 4.8

Extra amenities: 

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washing machine

If you are looking for a 5-star luxury hotel, you should probably look elsewhere but if you are looking for an authentic experience this is the place to stay.

Check prices and availability:
VRBO

Best Airbnb in Myeongdong

Stay in Pink

Entire apartment hosted by Hk

  • Maximum 3 guests, 1 bedroom, 2 beds, 1 bathroom
One of the best airbnbs in Myeongdong
Photo credits Airbnb

The apartment is conveniently located within walking distance from Myeongdong and close to a subway station. There are also plenty of restaurants nearby.

The host is very helpful and responsive if you have questions.

Rating: 4.90

Extra amenities: 

  • Portable Wifi device
  • Air conditioning
  • Elevator
  • Washer and dryer

Highly recommend place for a couple.

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Best Airbnbs in Hongdae

High ceiling white house

Entire loft hosted by Jiwon-Super host

  • 4 guests, 1 bedroom, 2 beds, 1 bath
High ceiling white house
beds,photo credits Airbnb

This is a great clean apartment in the heart of Hongdae and not too far from the subway ( 10 minutes walk ). The apartment has a spacious balcony from where you can enjoy nice views.

You will find plenty of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood.

Note that there is no lift.

Great place if you want to stay in the heart of Hongdae.

Rating: 4,82

Extra amenities: 

  • Wifi
  • Airconditioning
  • 24-hour check-in
  • Private entrance
  • Baby safety gate

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Amazing rooftop apartment in Hongdae

  • 5 guests, 2 bedrooms, 3 beds, one bathroom
Amazing rooftop appartment in Hongdae
Photo credits Airbnb

This is a centrally located Airbnb in Seoul with a rooftop that lies within walking distance from buses, trains, local restaurants, and bars.

Super friendly host that responds quickly when you have inquiries.

Well-provided with several amenities such as a toothbrush, soap, shampoo, and hairdryer.

On a warm evening, you can enjoy the view from the beautiful roof terrace.

Rating: 4.95

Extra amenities: 

  • Wifi egg
  • Air conditioning in each room
  • Private entrance
  • Washer
  • Big tv with over 150 digital channels

Please note that you need to carry your luggage to the second floor of the building, the stairway is steep and narrow.

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Best Airbnbs in Gangnam

Oriental modern apartment

Entire apartment hosted

  • Several room types

This apartment lies in downtown Gangnam close to the subway and a lot of restaurants, bars, and stores.

The apartment is cozy and bigger than a hotel room. Fully equipped kitchen and comfy beds.

Free parking is available.

Note that the apartment is on the 3rd floor and there isn’t a lift.

Booking Rating: 8.3

Extra amenities: 

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Extra long beds
  • Free parking

Nice apartment in the middle of Gangnam.

 

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Lux Studio

Entire apartment hosted by Kate

  • 4 guests, studio, 2 beds, 1 bath
Great Airbnb in Gangnam
Photo credits Airbnb

This great Airbnb has 2 full-size beds and is located close to a subway station. The place is exactly as described and spot clean.

nearby you will find plenty of good restaurants and bars.

Kate is an excellent host, and guests find her very friendly.

Rating: 4.83

Extra amenities: 

  • Wi-Fi
  • Portable Egg Wifi
  • Air conditioning
  • Luggage dropoff
  • Long term stays allowed

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Best Airbnbs in Itaewon

Hotel-quality Itaewon B&B

Private room in condominium hosted by Han- super host

  • 2 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 1 private bath
Private room in condominium
Photo credits: Airbnb

This Airbnb is located in an awesome area within 5 minutes walk from the subway station and several bus lines.

It’s one of the cheapest Airbnbs in Seoul we found.

Breakfast is included.

The hosts are described as very friendly and hospitable and they both speak very well English.

There are tons of dining, shopping, and entertainment choices in the neighborhood.

Rating: 4.97

Extra amenities: 

  • Free Wifi
  • Air conditioning
  • Laptop friendly workplace
  • Breakfast is included
  • Luggage dropoff allowed
  • Long term stays allowed

Note that the owners have a cat. If you are allergic to cats you may prefer to stay in another Airbnb.

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Garden and rooftop house

Entire cottage hosted by Unni- Super host

  • maximum 5 guests, 2 bedrooms, 2 queen size beds and 1 single bed and 1 bathroom
Garden and rooftop house
Photo credited Airbnb

This warm and cozy Airbnb Seoul rooftop cottage offers amazing views.

It’s one of the only Airbnbs in Seoul where you have the possibility to organize your own Korean-style BBQ.

No problem though if you don’t want to prepare your own food, there are lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance.

The host is said to be amazingly helpful and responsive.

Note that the entrance of the house is away from the main road with steep steps and slopes.

Rating: 4.83

Extra amenities: 

  • Free Wifi
  • Self-check-in with keypad
  • Washing machine
  • Rooftop

Beautiful place with great views of the city.

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Luxury Vintage Sunshine House

Entire house hosted by Ian- Super host

  • 6 guests, 2 bedrooms, 3 beds, 1 bath
Photo credits Airbnb

This is a great little place with a an amazing view close to a Seoul metro station.

The apartment is cozy and has everything you need for a wonderful stay.

Ian is a great and helpful host.

Note that the apartment is located on a steep hill and that it lies on the second floor with no elevator.

Rating: 4.88

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washer
  • Private entrance

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Best Airbnbs in Jamsil

2 bedroom house near Lotte World

Entire condominium hosted by Y

  • Maximum 8 guests, 2 bedrooms, 3 beds ( 1 double bed, 2 single beds, and 1 sofa ), 1 bathroom
2 bedroom house near Lotte World
Photo credits Airbnb

This place is a few minutes from a metro station and it’s a 10-15 minute walk to Lotte World.

Responsive, friendly, and helpful host.

Check out is relatively early at 10 am.

Rating: 4.80

Extra amenities: 

  • Wi-Fi
  • Free parking on premises
  • Free street parking
  • Self-check-in with keypad

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Lotte World Lake View Loft

Entire apartment

  • 6 guests, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

This stylish apartment is very well located for a visit to Lotte World. You will also find plenty of restaurants, bars, and convenience stores nearby.

Guests find the host very helpful. He is always there if you need help during your stay.

From the apartment, you can enjoy fantastic views of the Lotte world tower.

Booking rating: 8

Extra amenities: 

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Bar
  • Fitness
  • Extra long beds
  • Free parking on premises

Amazing value for money.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Cheapest Airbnbs in Seoul

SNUG HOUSE

Entire apartment hosted by 민규

  • 3 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 1 bath
Photo credits Airbnb

This is a cozy little place with awesome views of the river.

The room looks exactly as on the pictures. Nearby you will find a convenience store.

Very friendly and helpful host.

If you are looking for a budget friendly Airbnb, look no further.

Rating: 4.73

Extra amenities

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washer
  • Free parking on premises

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

If you aren’t convinced of this Airbnb, have a look at Hotel-quality Itaewon B&B

Best Airbnb apartment in Seoul

Naksan balcony with private rooftop

  • 4 guests, 3 bedrooms, 3 beds, 2 baths
Great Airbnb apartment in Seoul
Photo credits Agoda

This apartment lies in a charming neighborhood near the famous palaces. It has everything for a great stay. A balcony, a rooftop, a fully equipped kitchen, and more.

From the apartment, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city.

Very responsive hosts.

Great place for exploring Seoul.

Booking rating: 9.4

Extra amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Washer
  • Balcony
  • Rooftop
  • Free parking

This is one of the few apartments in Seoul with a balcony and a rooftop.

Check prices and availability:

Agoda

Booking.com

Terrace House 273

Entire apartment hosted by Jake- Super host

  • 4 guests, 2 bedrooms, 2 beds, 2 baths
Great Airbnb in Seoul with balcony
Photo credits Airbnb

This is a cozy and comfortable apartment with good beds. There is also a patio for you to enjoy.

The Airbnb lies in a great location. In a quiet street, but only a short walk from a metro station.

Nearby you will find plenty of restaurants, cafés and bars.

Jake is a helpful and accommodating host.

Rating: 4.89

Extra amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Playstation 4
  • Big size balcony
  • Elevator
  • Parking lot

Check prices and availability:
Airbnb

Where should you stay in Seoul?

Here we start our in-depth guide on the different areas in Seoul.

Here we share the pros and cons of each area so you can choose the best area to stay in Seoul for you based on your own interests and preferences.

Our selection of Airbnb’s in these districts is based on the numerous reviews we found online and on these other criteria mentioned above.

City Hall Seoul, South Korea
The Seoul City Hall is located at the heart of the city, within walking distance of Insadong

Insadong

By staying in Insadong you are staying in the most traditional and cultural district of Seoul.

Here you are in the heart of Seoul and within walking distance of most palaces, the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the Bukchon Hanok village, and Gwanghwamum square.  You won’t need to go far to check many of the top sights of Seoul of your list.

It’s a very touristy district with lots of tea houses, restaurants, art galleries, and souvenir shops.

Being a touristy district you will also find quite a lot of interesting museums such as the entertaining Alive Museum, the largest 4D art museum in Korea, and the Kimchi Museum where you can learn everything about this quintessential Korean dish.

Here you will find a complete Seoul itinerary. Wondering what to do in Seoul if you have 4 days, click here.

How to get here by public transport?  Nearest subway station: Anguk Station, Exit #6

Pros and cons

  • Lots of Seoul highlights on foot
  • Plenty of restaurants to choose from
  • In close proximity to some interesting Seoul attractions
  • No active nightlife

Conclusion

Insadong is a great place to stay for first-time visitors.

Families often choose to stay here because it’s a relatively relaxed neighborhood compared to other districts in Seoul.

Because you are close to many of the most important sights it is also a good choice for shorter stays.

Myeongdong Street Food Seoul South Korea
In the evening, street vendors put up their carts in the shopping streets of Myeongdong

Myeongdong

Myeongdong known for its extensive shopping is located between Insadong and Namsan Mountain.

Whatever you have in mind, it can likely be bought at this paradise for the shopaholic.

It’s easy to spend a day in the shopping streets lined with everything from regular stores over designer brands to huge department stores such as Shinsegae and the Lotte Department Store.

The district also counts some fake markets (markets selling counterfeit items). 

Here you are close to Namsan Park and the 236-meter high N Seoul Tower, an iconic landmark of the city.

The Myeongdong Cathedral is another popular sight in this district.

Read also: the perfect Seoul itinerary for first-time visitors.

In the evening, you will find plenty of street food carts along the main shopping street. You should definitely try these delicacies.

You will be surprised by the wide variety of sweet and savory snacks that are being sold.

How to get here by public transport? Myeongdong Station

Pros and cons

  • Lots of shopping opportunities
  • Many restaurants
  • Great street food
  • Less lively at night as Itaewon or Hongdae
  • Since this area is popular among both tourists and Seoulites it can be very busy until late in the night

Conclusion

Myeongdong is another good place to stay for first-timers. It is well-located in between Insadong and Mt. Namsan which combined have the majority of tourist sights.

Shopaholics and food-lovers will probably prefer Myeongdong over Insadong.

In Myeongdong you can eat your way around Seoul and you can hang out until late in the many shops, restaurants, and pubs.

This is a lively district.  Still, if you’re looking for some real kicking nightlife it’s better to stay in Itaewon or Hongdae.

Hongdae Eatery Seoul South Korea
Hongdae is close to Hongik University and counts many budget-friendly eateries

Hongdae

Hongdae near Hongik University, famous for its fine arts program, is one of Seoul’s liveliest districts.

The artsy students give this district a vibe different from the other areas in Seoul.  There’re colorful murals, loads of karaoke bars, thrift stores, and shops selling handmade art pieces.

The pubs and clubs in Hongdae are popular hangouts for the students.

The shops also cater to these budget-aware students which means that deal hunters love to frequent the shopping streets in Hongdae when they go on a shopping spree.

Hongdae is also home to the famous ‘The Trick Eye Museum’, an interactive museum that gives off impressive optical illusions.

How to get here by public transport?

Nearest subway station: Hongik University Station, Exit #9

There is a direct train connection between Incheon airport and Hongik University Station. You will be at the university in about 50 minutes without having to transfer.

Pros and cons

  • Plenty of restaurant and bars
  • Vibrant nightlife and party scene
  • Very busy and less authentic
  • Alive day and night

Conclusion

Hongdae offers a broad selection of budget-friendly accommodations.  This is the best place to stay for backpackers and young travelers who will love to mingle with the local students in the vibrant nightlife scene.

Gangnam by night Seoul South Korea
Futuristic Gangnam is also called Beverly Hills because of the upscale shops, bars, and restaurants

Gangnam

Gangnam, also called the Beverly Hills of Korea, became world-famous thanks to PSY’s song ‘Gangnam Style’.

It received that nickname not for nothing.  The shiny skyscrapers with the fancy rooftop terraces and more spacious apartments house many wealthy South Koreans.  This high-heeled clientele has attracted fancy restaurants and pubs as well as luxury designer shops.

This is where we stayed while we were in Seoul but we wouldn’t recommend doing so when it’s your first visit to the city.

Gangnam houses some popular sights such as the Bonguensa Buddhist Temple, the COEX Mall, a huge underground shopping center that besides shops also contains a movie theater, a concert hall, and an aquarium, the royal tombs of the Joseon dynasty, and the nearby Olympic Park.

A visit to the city is not complete if you haven’t soaked up the atmosphere of this district.

Staying here, however, puts you far away from the main sights the capital has to offer.  Despite the excellent metro system it still takes 45 minutes to reach Insadong.

First-time visitors will lose a lot of precious time on the metro.  Gangnam is a great area though for subsequent visits if you want to get a taste of the luxurious life of the rich and famous Seoulites.

How to get here by public transport?  Depending on where you’re staying you can either opt for Gangnam station or Cheongdam Station (Green line 7), Samseong station (Green line 2) or Sinsa or Apgujeong Station (Orange line 3)

Pros and cons
  • Upscale area
  • Appartements tend to be a tad bigger
  • Lots of good restaurants and plenty of shopping opportunities
  • Far from a lot of the major attractions
  • Not ideal for your first visit to Seoul

Conclusion

We loved our stay in Gangnam but in hindsight, we would have preferred to be closer to the palaces and other prime sights.

There’re many restaurants and bars in Gangnam, and there’s a great upscale partying scene. The major drawback is that you lose a lot of time commuting to the main sights in Seoul.

This makes Gangnam a great location to stay for those who have already seen the most important sights.

First-timers are better to stay in more central areas such as Insadong and Myeongdong.

Itaewon Seoul South Korea
View of Itaewon with Mt. Namsan in the background

Itaewon 

This is the place to stay if you want to be surrounded by a huge expat community.  Itaewon is a multicultural area where English is widely spoken.

The expat community has attracted a vast choice of international restaurants.  You will find something for everybody’s taste.

The district has a vibrant nightlife scene with many pubs and clubs frequented by locals and international guests.

Itaewon is a great place for solo travelers who want to mingle with both expats as well as other tourists.

This is not the place to be if you’re looking for a quiet stay.  The party can go on until the wee hours and you may occasionally bump into a drunk in the early morning.

Itaewon is relatively well located South of Mount Namsan.

This puts you close to Namsan Tower and you may enjoy beautiful views of the tower after dark.  Other popular sights are the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art and the Central Mosque, the only mosque in Seoul.

How to get here by public transport? Itaewon Station (Line 6) more or less marks the center of the district.  It takes about half an hour to reach the most popular sights from this station.

Pros and cons

  • International food scene
  • Plenty of restaurant and bars
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • Very vibrant nightlife, it can be noisy at night
  • Good located for Namsan but not for other prime sights in Seoul

Conclusion

Itaewon is a great location for solo travelers who want to mingle with other travelers and expats.

The international party scene makes it easy to make contact with others.

The Lotte World Tower, the tallest tower in Seoul, is located in Jamsil next to the Lotte World Amusement Park

Jamsil

The main attraction of Jamsil is Lotte World, which makes a great day trip from Seoul. 

A fun day for young and old with 3 theme parks, Lotte World Adventure, Lotte Magical Land, and the Lotte World Aquarium.

This makes Jamsil a popular place to stay in Seoul for families.

Across the street of Lotte World is the Lotte world tower, the tallest building in Korea.

The 123rd floor of this tower houses one of the most famous viewing decks of Seoul, the Seoul Sky Observation deck.

This offers impressive 360-degrees views from a height of 555 meters.

The tower is built on the top of the Lotte World Mall.  This huge mall counts hundreds of shops spread out across no less than 17 floors.  Besides shops, you will also find a cinema and an aquarium.

Lotte World holds several records for having the biggest and longest aquarium, the largest Asian Cinema, as well as the largest cinema screen.

If you fancy a night at the movies this is the place to be, this complex shows international films in English.

When staying in Jamsil you are also close to the ancient burial grounds of the Joseon dynasty and the Olympic Park, a huge park specially created for the 1998 Seoul summer Olympic Games.

How to get here by public transport? Jamsil Station, lines 2 & 8

Pros and cons

  • Quiet area
  • Close to everything Lotte World has to offer
  • Lots of shopping possibilities
  • Less centrally located

Conclusion

Jamsil is a good place to stay if you want to be near Lotte World.

You can easily spend one day in the amusement parks and another day shopping.

Although this sounds like a lot of fun I would argue that Seoul has much more to offer. Jamsil is away from Seoul’s prime sights and first-time visitors would lose a lot of time commuting up and down every day.

Is Airbnb legal in South Korea

The short answer is Yes.

The owners must meet a number of conditions though.

They need to register the place and the government needs to approve them to operate an accommodation business. One of the rules to be accepted is that the owners need to live in the same accommodation they rent out.

Landlords are expected to mention if their property is registered in their ad but we could not find this information. We recommend contacting the host if you’re concerned about the legitimacy of the property you’re looking at.

But you may wonder if it’s worth the trouble.  That’s why we looked at the possible consequences of staying at an unregistered host.

Sometimes police will address tourists who are in a non-tourist region to ask what they are doing there.  If you say that you’re staying at an Airbnb they may ask for more details to check the legitimacy of that property.

Police will never give you a hard time but the owner might be in trouble is he is not approved or not paying his taxes.

In rare cases, people were kicked out of their Airbnb. If this happens, you can contact Airbnb who will refund you and find you another accommodation nearby.

When you are hesitant about renting an Airbnb after reading the above, you could always opt for a hotel room instead.

Here you can find the best hotels in Seoul or take a look at this post in which we share the coolest hotels in Seoul.

Is Airbnb safe in Seoul

There is always the risk that the police may ring at your door when your Airbnb isn’t registered but besides that renting an Airbnb in Seoul is safe.

Seoul is a safe and well-developed city and the Airbnbs that we describe below are all in popular tourist districts close to public transport.

Changdeokgung Palace Secret Garden Seoul South Korea
By staying in an Airbnb in Insadong you’re close to the many beautiful palaces

What to look for when choosing your Airbnb in Seoul

Searching for Airbnb’s in Seoul will return more than 300 properties.  Finding a property in such a long list would be a hell of a job.

To create this selection we used some criteria to have the good properties pop out.

These are the criteria we used.

Popular tourist areas

To begin, we only selected Airbnb’s in popular tourist areas.

You can find cheaper Airbnb’s in more remote areas of the city but these have the disadvantage that you will lose (a lot of) time to get to the tourist sights.

We grouped the apartments per district and we describe the pros and cons of each area.

Superhosts

We also limited our selection to Superhosts.

Superhosts are experienced hosts that are recognized by Airbnb for their exceptional quality.  They respond quickly to guests’ requests, at least 80% of their reviews are 5-star (with an overall average of 4.8 or higher) and they rarely cancel reservations.

Especially the latter is important as this gives you peace of mind.

Nothing is more annoying than having to look for new accommodation at the last minute when your reservation is canceled a few months or weeks before your planned travel date.

English speaking host

An English speaking host was the third criteria we used.

We stayed in an accommodation in South Korea where the owner did only speak Korean.

If your host speaks English he will be able to enlighten you about the nearby sights and his favorite bars and restaurants.

Although we managed to understand each other our conversations were kept to a minimum, the payment and a short tour around the property to show the available amenities.

This personal touch is one of the main reasons we choose to say in Airbnb’s so that’s why we made it a criterion.

Private bathroom

Our last filter was a private bathroom.

We further reduced the list by looking at the reviews.

A large number of English reviews

We only picked apartments with a large number of English reviews. This was an indication for us on how well the Airbnb owner spoke English.

We ignored Airbnb’s from which we could deduce from the reviews that they weren’t registered. For example,  some reviewers mentioned that they saw signs in the hallway which said Airbnb was illegal in the building.

We have done our best to keep unregistered Airbns out of our selection but we cannot give a 100% guarantee that all properties comply with the law.

To be 100% sure that your accommodation is legal, you should contact your host and ask him.

We selected Airbnb’s and family Airbnb’s with at least 2 separate bedrooms.

When you sleep on a futon on the ground, this is clearly mentioned in the review.

Seoul Olympic park, South Korea
The Seoul Olympic park known as Olpark, a big green lung for the capital, is located next to Jamsil

Conclusion

Seoul counts a lot of great Airbnbs.

Most of Seoul’s highlights are located around Insadong and Myeongdong, which is why we recommend that first-timers stay in that region.

Seoul is a stretched-out city and if you put yourself away from the center you will waste a lot of time commuting.

If you ever come back to the city, which you probably will because it is an incredibly fascinating city, you can opt to stay in another district and in this way discover the sights region by region.

Have a great time in Seoul!

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