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Why are Hotels so Cheap in Korea? Check Out What We Found!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Korea is a top-rated tourist destination. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Every year, millions of people visit Korea to experience its unique culture and see its beautiful scenery.
Korea is a country with a rich history and culture. It is home to many ancient temples, palaces, and beautiful natural scenery. Seoul, the capital of Korea, is a modern metropolis with vibrant nightlife and many historical sites.

Despite all of these attractions, hotels in Korea are relatively cheap. In a world where the average hotel room costs $137 per night, it's no wonder that people are often surprised to find out that hotels in Korea are so cheap. Finding rooms for as little as $30 per night is not uncommon. So, what's the reason behind this?


A few factors contribute to the low cost of hotels in Korea. Here are a few of the most important ones:

1. The Won is a Relatively Weak Currency Compared to the US Dollar

Korean Won Currency

South Korea is a relatively cheap place to travel, and one of the biggest factors influencing this is the won. The won is South Korea's currency, currently sitting at around 1432 won to one US dollar. That means that for every dollar you spend in the US, you could win over a thousand in South Korea. This makes things like hotels much cheaper than they would be in other countries. You can find basic hotel rooms for as little as 20,000 won per night, less than $20. It's no wonder that hotels are so cheap in Korea!

2. Competition Among Hotels

Seoul Gangnam City Street at Night, South Korea.

In Korea, travelers can find a wide range of hotels to choose from, whether they are looking for a luxurious five-star experience or a simple, budget-friendly option. Hotels constantly strive to offer the best possible rates with so much competition, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. In addition, many hotels in Korea offer freebies and perks, such as free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast, that can help to save even more money. You can often find these deals by booking directly with the hotel or through a travel website.

3. Some Hotel Rooms are Small by International Standards

Hotel room with two beds in Seoul, South Korea.

When it comes to hotel rooms, size matters; in general, some hotel rooms in Korea are significantly smaller than in other parts of the world. This is one of the main reasons why hotels in Korea are so affordable. While a small hotel room may not be ideal for everyone, it can be an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers. In addition, many of the smaller hotels in Korea offer superior service and amenities, making them fantastic value for your money.

4. Many Affordable Lodging Options

Colorful guesthouse in Hongdae, Seoul, South Korea.

In addition to hotels, some other lodging options are available for budget-conscious travelers. These options include guesthouses, hostels, and pensions. Guesthouses are often family-run businesses that offer simple accommodations at affordable prices. Hostels are similar to guesthouses but typically have a more youthful atmosphere. Pensions are a type of lodging that is unique to Korea. They are often family-run businesses that offer both private rooms and dormitory-style accommodations. Pensions typically have a more relaxed atmosphere than hotels and are a great option for travelers who want to experience Korean culture firsthand.

5. Korean Culture Values Thriftiness

Woman by hotel window

Korean culture values thriftiness and saving money over spending money unnecessarily. This philosophy extends to the hospitality industry, where guests are typically not expecting luxurious accommodations or services. That is why hotels are so cheap in Korea. Even though the accommodations may not be as lavish as in other countries, hotels in Korea still provide the essentials that guests need for a comfortable stay. In addition, many hotels offer additional amenities such as free breakfast and Wi-Fi, which can help save guests even more money.

All of these factors contribute to the affordability of hotels in Korea, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. Whether you are looking for a simple guesthouse or a luxurious five-star hotel, you can find great deals on accommodation in Korea.

Tips for Finding Cheap Hotels in Korea

Panorama of Gangnam City at Night Seoul, South Korea.

To find the best deals on hotels in Korea, it is essential to research and compare rates. The following tips can help you find the best deals on hotels in Korea:

1. Use a Travel Website

A travel website can be your best friend when finding cheap hotels in Korea. Travel websites allow you to compare rates from different hotels in one place, making it easy to find the best deal. In addition, many travel websites offer exclusive deals and discounts that you can take advantage of.

2. Search for Hotels in Smaller Cities

If you are willing to stay in a smaller city or town, you can find some great deals on accommodation. While Seoul is one of Korea's most popular tourist destinations, it is also one of the most expensive cities to stay in. If you are on a tight budget, consider staying in a smaller city or town where hotel prices are typically lower.

3. Look for Hotels That Offer Discounts

Many hotels in Korea offer discounts to guests. These discounts can be based on various factors, such as length of stay, time of year, or room type. If you are flexible with your travel dates, you may be able to find a hotel that offers a discount. Be sure to ask about discounts when you are booking your hotel room.

4. Book Your Hotel in Advance

If you know when you will be traveling to Korea, it is best to book your hotel room in advance. This will allow you to take advantage of early bird discounts and other deals typically offered to guests who book early. In addition, booking your hotel room in advance gives you more time to compare and find the best deal.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why hotels are so cheap in Korea. From the cultural preference for thriftiness to the abundance of budget-friendly accommodations, there are plenty of ways to save money on your hotel room in Korea. Following the tips above, we hope you can find the best hotel deals in Korea. Above all, have a fun time and we wish you all the best on your trip! If you're heading to Seoul on your next trip, consider reading our article on top things to do in Seoul.

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