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When I was in Korea, I stayed in a hotel and at different people’s houses.  While the hotel was nice, it was in Gangnam and cost over $100 US per night.  If I were staying in Korea for a while and couldn’t stay at a friends house, this would be an expensive option.  But some who stay in Korea for a longer period without moving to Korea, chose to stay in a hostel.  Does staying in a hostel save money?  What are the pros and cons of staying in a hostel?  Would I ever consider it?  Let’s find out.

Cost of a Hostel Stay

The price will depend on a number of factors.  For instance, you may stay in a city where the cost is more than in another city.  At many hostels, you can share a room with a complete stranger, or have a private room.  While the price can vary, what is the cheapest you can stay in a hostel for?  Free.  Yes, free.  Hostels need help keeping things clean.  So they sometimes offer a free stay if you help them out 4 hours a day.  Most will not give you any money, but some will let you wash your clothes for free and some will give you free rice and kimchi.  If you don’t go that route, the price and payment options will be something you have to check out in advance.

Pros and Cons of a Hostel Stay

Pros: The price can be very cheap or free.  This is great if your ballin on a budget, or if you want to save money so you can go shopping or experience Korean fine dining, or will be traveling to other countries in Asia.  Also, a number of hostiles are located in areas where there is pleanty to do.  So you won’t have to travel too far to have a good time.  And with some being affileated with other hostels in other parts of the country, they may be able to get you a good deal if you decide to explore Korea a little more.

Cons: To get the cheap deals, you will have either have to work for for it, or share a room with other people.  If you have security concerns, that will be a problem.  Also, with the cheaper deals, you will probably have to share a bathroom with someone else.  There are hostels with private rooms and private bathrooms, but they do cost more.  Depending on the price of those, it may be cheaper to do an Air BnB in Korea if you are splitting the cost.  Also, there are reasonably priced hotels in Korea, but a lot can depend on the time of year and what’s going on in the local area.

Would I Consider Staying in a Hostel?

For me, I would rather stay with a friend in Korea more than anything else.  It’s one of the best ways to learn about  Korean authentic life and culture.  But if I’m traveling to an area of Korea where I do not know anyone, and will be there for a short period of time, I would consider staying at a hostel.  I would probably look for an option where I’d have my own room and bathroom instead of sharing those.  But I wouldn’t be afraid of losing my things too much.

Even if you are against the idea of being in a hostel, it’s always good to have options.  Many hostels can be reviewed online, so you can shop for them the same way you would a hotel.  That way if you do stay in a hostel, you’ll have a better change of enjoying your stay.