Budgetarian: Travel Tips and Budget-friendly Accommodations for Your Seoul Trip 2022

(Here's a guest post from Cath Alcachupas, originally appeared on PinoySeoul.com published with permission.)

Two years into the pandemic definitely made a strong impact on our everyday lives. Fortunately, with current developments, economies are slowly beginning to improve and return to normal. Part of these developments is tourism. Out of all industries, tourism was one of the main areas affected by the pandemic due to numerous lockdowns and community quarantines. Luckily, you can still achieve your dream bucket list to travel in South Korea when the country gradually welcomes non-essential travelers and tourists coming from the Philippines and other nations. Plus, with the ease of travel restrictions and requirements, you can finally think more about how to enjoy your trip. 


So, turn your frowns into smiles because this article will help you fulfil your Seoul Trip 2022 with some travel tips and a list of accommodations that won’t hurt your pocket.

Tip #1: Budget is key

Depending on your length of stay, allotting your travel budget is crucial. This also depends on your preference and the kind of tourist experience you want. According to SeoulInspired (2020), if you want to be as cheap as possible during your stay in Seoul, you may have to spend around 35,000KRW (US$30) per day which already includes accommodation in a cheap goshiwon (for people spending a longer period in the country) or at a Korean sauna. You not only have to consider your stay in the city, but you also need to have a gauge on your round-trip airfare and miscellaneous expenses, i.e. souvenirs. I found this interesting 2022 budget breakdown that may help you for your dream trip!

Tip #2: Plan when to visit

If you want to maximize your experience in Seoul, make sure to target your travel date. South Korea is known to have four distinct seasons: Spring (March to May), Summer (June to August), Autumn (September to November), and Winter (December to February).

  • Spring Arguably, the Spring season is considered to be the best time to visit because of its beautiful, blooming cherry blossoms, much anticipated both by locals and tourists around the world. Festivals, such as Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, Lotus Lantern Festival, and many more are very much awaited during this season. As for the weather, it’s also quite lovely with temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees.
  • Summer If you’re into humid weather and downpours, then Summertime may be perfect for you. Although it may be a bit intense since it is the hottest time of the year in South Korea, where temperatures may range between 23°C and 30°C. Also, this is the wettest time of the year, with the monsoon rains bringing half of the country’s annual rainfall during these months (“Best Times to Visit Seoul”, n.d). Festivals, such as Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, and Seoul Fringe Festival, are just some of the celebrations during this time that you can enjoy.
  • Autumn The Fall season is perfect if you prefer mild temperatures, low rainfall, and many festivals to experience. During autumn you will find the parks and mountains erupting in bursts of reds, yellows, and oranges, with local picnickers flocking to national parks. It's still pleasantly warm well into October, but you should be prepared for an extra layer especially at night (“South Korea Travel Guide”, n.d). A few festivals to watch out for are the Chuseok Festival and the Hi Seoul Festival.
  • Winter During the Winter season, the average temperature can reach a few degrees below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F). In colder periods, the temperature remains below freezing even during the day, but at night, it can drop to -20°C or -4 °F (“Climates to Travel, n.d). But the good thing is you have a lot of opportunities to ski in the mountainous areas near Seoul. Hotel prices and airfare are at good prices too along with the temperature drops. If you’re into cold weather, then this season is perfect for you. It’s highly advisable to have some sweaters and heavy coats ready to embrace this time of the year. Prices may skyrocket during Lunar New Year as tourists flock to the city to celebrate. You may want to hang tight on your budget during this period.

Tip #3: Have an itinerary (BONUS: Get a T-Money Card)

Do you want to travel without knowing where to go? Of course, not. If you’re a first-timer, it would be great to know what sites to see, what restaurants to visit, what parks to enjoy for you to really maximize your Seoul experience. So, get some research done to make life easier. I discovered this list of places to visit in Seoul that you might want to check out. Now, if you want to save money for public transportation when going to the places you need to be, getting a T-Money Card will definitely help you.

T-Money cards are the transport cards used in Seoul. They will allow you to pay for the metro, buses, taxis, and sometimes, they will even allow you to make purchases at stores (most notably, some convenience stores). A T-Money card can be purchased for as low as 3,500KRW, so, if you think that you will use public transport more than 35 times on your visit, it’s worth considering. If you are in Korea for under three or four days, then you might end up saving more by not purchasing it.

Where to Stay?

Here are some budget-friendly accommodations I discovered that you can check out:
Best Overall Cheap Hotel – Roadhouse Hongdae Sinchon
Best Cheap Hotel for Couples – Makers Hotel
Best Cheap Hotel for Business Travelers – Grid Inn
Best Cheap Hotel for Families – Holiday Inn Express Seoul Hongdae
Best Cheap Hotel for People with Pets – Seoul Blues
Best Cheap Hotel in Myeongdong (Downtown) – Guesthouse Philstay
Best Cheap Hotel in Gangnam (Downtown) – Hotel Peyto Samseong
Best Cheap Hotel Near the Airport – Lotte City Hotel Gimpo Airport
Best Cheap Hotel Near Namsan – J-Honor Guesthouse
Best Cheap Hotel Near Gyeongbokgung Palace – Han Hanok Guesthouse
Best Cheap Hotel Near Bukchon Hanok Village – STAY256
Best Cheap Hotel Near Nightlife (Hongdae) – Heima Guesthouse
Best Cheap Hotel with Pool – Hotel L7 Hongdae

You can also check these links for more hotel options:


Article Sources:
Best Times to Visit Seoul
Places to Visit in Seoul
10 Tips For Travelling Seoul on a Budget
South Korea Travel Guide
Climates to Travel (South Korea)

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