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Where to stay in Seoul?

Where to stay in Seoul?

Old Dec 4, 17, 3:59 pm
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Where to stay in Seoul?

I am really struggling with where to stay on our trip to Seoul. We are doing 5/6 days Seoul, 2/3 days Busan. I can generally do a bunch of research, and find what area I want to stay, and find the best hotel in that area, but Seoul seems so spread out, and every time I research a cool neighborhood it appears to be on the opposite end of the map from the previous cool neighborhood. Hoping some of you folks can help us.

We are an early 30's couple - we like to stay in the really fun, "hipster" neighborhoods, with cool cocktail bars, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. We aren't super interested in historical sights, but rather we enjoy wandering fun neighborhoods, either on foot or bicyle. We have no budgetary limits, (I didn't even see a hotel in Seoul for more than $500 a night, which is within our budget), but to us, it is more important to stay in the best neighborhood vs. the best hotel. Often those two overlap, but I am struggling with Seoul.

Any tips/advice?
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Old Dec 4, 17, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
I am really struggling with where to stay on our trip to Seoul. We are doing 5/6 days Seoul, 2/3 days Busan. I can generally do a bunch of research, and find what area I want to stay, and find the best hotel in that area, but Seoul seems so spread out, and every time I research a cool neighborhood it appears to be on the opposite end of the map from the previous cool neighborhood. Hoping some of you folks can help us.

We are an early 30's couple - we like to stay in the really fun, "hipster" neighborhoods, with cool cocktail bars, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. We aren't super interested in historical sights, but rather we enjoy wandering fun neighborhoods, either on foot or bicyle. We have no budgetary limits, (I didn't even see a hotel in Seoul for more than $500 a night, which is within our budget), but to us, it is more important to stay in the best neighborhood vs. the best hotel. Often those two overlap, but I am struggling with Seoul.

Any tips/advice?
If you can't decide, staying in the Gwanghwamun/City Hall/Seoul Station area is your best bet because it's between Hongdae and Gangnam and has a lot of hotels. Going between Gangnam and Hongdae can take up to a hour so it can be quite the commute.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 12:45 pm
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I'd stay at JW Dongdaemun, awesome hotel which frequently upgrades Golds to executive level. Dongdaemun is a really fun area as well as Insadong and Itaewon which are super close by. Gangnam is fairly close as well. People rave about Hongdae, but Insadong is where it's at these days.

Last edited by SQ007; Dec 5, 17 at 3:39 pm
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Old Dec 5, 17, 3:21 pm
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I'm in 30s and I find Hongdae too young for me and way out in west.
I'd stay in the gangnam area(chungdam, garo-su gil) or itaewon area and do Hongdae for a day.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 4:26 pm
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Thanks everyone. Just for clarity, I want the OPPOSITE of Times Square in NYC. Gangnam sounds like that area? I have also enjoyed reading about itaewon and it sounds interesting to us. It is surprising to me how far apart all of the interesting neighborhoods are, but that's ok. More time for exploring!

I don't want to get caught in the super touristy area. And I would rather not pick a location that is "in between." I want to be immersed in one great neighborhood, and I can travel to others for day trips.

Thanks as always for your tips and advice. I always find the best advice from the FT community.

Last edited by CanuckFlyHigh; Dec 5, 17 at 4:40 pm
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Old Dec 5, 17, 5:40 pm
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time square would be closer to myung dong in seoul where all the tourists hang out.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
Thanks everyone. Just for clarity, I want the OPPOSITE of Times Square in NYC. Gangnam sounds like that area? I have also enjoyed reading about itaewon and it sounds interesting to us. It is surprising to me how far apart all of the interesting neighborhoods are, but that's ok. More time for exploring!

I don't want to get caught in the super touristy area. And I would rather not pick a location that is "in between." I want to be immersed in one great neighborhood, and I can travel to others for day trips.

Thanks as always for your tips and advice. I always find the best advice from the FT community.
FYI, while things may seem far, Seoul is actually a fairly small city. Keep in mind, Taxis are very affordable so don't just look at travel times via trains/bus. My preferred hotel while in Seoul is the Conrad which is out in Yeouido (not really close to anything), and it's usually less than $15 to get to any part of Seoul I need to be; not during rush hour of course.
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Old Dec 6, 17, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
I am really struggling with where to stay on our trip to Seoul. We are doing 5/6 days Seoul, 2/3 days Busan. I can generally do a bunch of research, and find what area I want to stay, and find the best hotel in that area, but Seoul seems so spread out, and every time I research a cool neighborhood it appears to be on the opposite end of the map from the previous cool neighborhood. Hoping some of you folks can help us.

We are an early 30's couple - we like to stay in the really fun, "hipster" neighborhoods, with cool cocktail bars, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. We aren't super interested in historical sights, but rather we enjoy wandering fun neighborhoods, either on foot or bicyle. We have no budgetary limits, (I didn't even see a hotel in Seoul for more than $500 a night, which is within our budget), but to us, it is more important to stay in the best neighborhood vs. the best hotel. Often those two overlap, but I am struggling with Seoul.

Any tips/advice?
I sent you a PM!
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Old Dec 6, 17, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
I am really struggling with where to stay on our trip to Seoul. We are doing 5/6 days Seoul, 2/3 days Busan. I can generally do a bunch of research, and find what area I want to stay, and find the best hotel in that area, but Seoul seems so spread out, and every time I research a cool neighborhood it appears to be on the opposite end of the map from the previous cool neighborhood. Hoping some of you folks can help us.

We are an early 30's couple - we like to stay in the really fun, "hipster" neighborhoods, with cool cocktail bars, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. We aren't super interested in historical sights, but rather we enjoy wandering fun neighborhoods, either on foot or bicyle. We have no budgetary limits, (I didn't even see a hotel in Seoul for more than $500 a night, which is within our budget), but to us, it is more important to stay in the best neighborhood vs. the best hotel. Often those two overlap, but I am struggling with Seoul.

Any tips/advice?
Stay at Four Seasons Seoul. Samcheong dong, Seochon, Bukchon hanok village and the Jongno areas are all near you. Catch a short bus to Sinchon and Hongdae from there.
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Old Dec 7, 17, 4:47 pm
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Thanks everyone! Just as my research shows, it seems everyone has a different opinion on where to stay!! I think we have decided on the Park Hyatt in Gangnam, and we will use that as a home base to get to other places.
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Old Dec 8, 17, 1:00 pm
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sounds like you made your pick. I stayed at an Airbnb in Hongdae when I was there in early April. I liked the neighborhood and the apartment I was in was right at the subway stop with access to the airport train as well. So it was very convenient. I used the subway or train to go everywhere. The were a couple of little strips of bars and restaurants closeby in pretty much any direction.
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Old Dec 10, 17, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
Thanks everyone! Just as my research shows, it seems everyone has a different opinion on where to stay!! I think we have decided on the Park Hyatt in Gangnam, and we will use that as a home base to get to other places.
I just stayed there and it's a fabulous choice. Make sure you get out to Cheongdam and Sinsa dong from there and then take Line 2 to Seongsu dong (the Brooklyn of Seoul).
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Old Dec 10, 17, 11:38 pm
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Park Hyatt is nice and in a very quiet business location for night activities, BUT it's a very short subway ride on Line 2 or 9 to get around. Line 9 can take you east to west express train (and it also connects to essentially every other subway line). Line 2 runs a loop around the city, so it can take you places north and south as well.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 7:50 am
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Yes, don't forget the subway. It goes everywhere fast and doesn't get stuck in traffic. Be sure to buy a T-Money smart card, which works like an Oyster Card in London or a Suica in Tokyo.
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Old Dec 11, 17, 8:52 am
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We have actually been considering three nights at PH, and then 2 nights at Four Seasons - just to get to experience both neighborhoods. Then we will do 3 nights at PH Busan.

Do you think switching hotels is worth it in Seoul?
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