Where to stay in Seoul

As the capital and the largest city in South Korea, it's no surprise that there are over 20 districts (gu) in Seoul, and each further separated into smaller neighborhoods (dong), all with a distinct feeling and characteristics

Popular neighborhoods in Seoul

Jung-gu

Good for
  • Historic Sites
  • Shopping
  • Entertainment
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Jung-gu is an expansive district in Seoul’s city center that showcases both the modern South Korea known for upscale shopping malls and climbing high-rises, and the traditional South Korea of elegant palaces and serene spaces. The plaza at the European-style City Hall is a popular spot for live events, and to its south, the Myeondong neighborhood bursts with upscale department stores and boutiques. Visitors wanting to take in a little history can tour the 15th-century Deoksugung palace, famed for its National Museum of Art, and take a stroll to the Namdaemun gate, which is stunning at night.

Hotel prices in Jung-gu

3 stars
from
$60
4 stars
from
$83
5 stars
from
$216
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Gangnam

Good for
  • Nightlife
  • Boutiques
  • Shopping
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Gangnam is Seoul’s hippest, wealthiest enclave, a neon-bathed neighborhood south of the Han River that’s full of thumping nightclubs, cutting-edge boutiques, and high-rise skyscrapers. Business is important here, as reflected in the growing skyline, bustling mall, and sharply dressed businessmen, but so is nightlife—which is some of the best in the world. This is a prime place for scoping out the latest fashions and K-pop records. Apgujeong-dong is peppered with fashionable boutiques, and the COEX mall is filled with upmarket shops. Night owls can head to futuristic clubs that host DJs from around the globe.

Hotel prices in Gangnam

3 stars
from
$71
4 stars
from
$89
5 stars
from
$214
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Jongno

Good for
  • Historic Sites
  • Architecture
  • Museums
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Jongno is in the north of Seoul’s central historic district, and is home to some of the city’s most magnificent palaces. Gyeongbokgung dates from the 14th century, and was the grandest of the Joseon Dynasty-era palaces. Despite being destroyed multiple times, the palace has been beautifully restored, and also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum. The sprawling Dongdaemun market is a haven for shoppers, while the lively and hip Hyehwa district attracts theater-lovers and culture vultures—a great place to take in the district’s nightlife.

Hotel prices in Jongno

3 stars
from
$54
4 stars
from
$110
5 stars
from
$230
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Dongdaemun

Good for
  • Markets
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
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Dongdaemun is South Korea’s largest shopping district, spanning a 10-block area around Dongdaemun Gate in central Seoul. The modern district features over 25 shopping malls and 30,000 shops, where you can trawl for designer clothes, buy a poodle, have your fortune read, see a classical concert at the outdoor hall, or catch the latest blockbuster at a multiplex. Dongdaemun is also known for its colorful night market and its eclectic street-food scene, and its bustling Mukja Golmok alley is a great spot to plan your shopping strategies over some mandu dumplings and kimchi.

Hotel prices in Dongdaemun

2 stars
from
$41
3 stars
from
$51
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Yeoksam

Good for
  • Nightlife
  • Live Music
  • Business
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Running through Yeoksam is Teheranno, a bustling modern street that houses many of Seoul’s fast-rising Internet companies, as well as offices for Google, Samsung, Citibank, and LOEN Entertainment—one of Seoul’s biggest music companies. The LG Arts Center hosts live musical performances, and Woodstock is a funky area bar that plays 60s rock. Yeoksam is in set in the center of Seoul, and the surrounding Gangnam-gu district is one of the trendiest in the city. It’s a great place to people watch or enjoy the nightlife, but if you’re looking to relax, head to the peaceful Bonguensa temple.

Hotel prices in Yeoksam

2 stars
from
$57
3 stars
from
$69
4 stars
from
$94
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