Let’s say you’ve decided to move to Seoul for a period of a few weeks or a few months.
Perhaps you are here for business, an extended vacation, or to study language. Where do you find accommodations? You could leave it up to the people at your company or language school to get you set up, but that leaves a lot up to chance.
With all the horror stories going around, why not take control and design your own lifestyle abroad?
But where to start? Here is a comparison of the options for short-term accommodations in Seoul.
This will usually be the most expensive type of short-term accommodation in Seoul, but also require the least amount of hassle.
The benefits are that you will have a concierge desk for local information, room cleaned each day, no deposit, and you won’t have to stay for any specific amount of time.
The downsides are that they likely don’t offer monthly rates, Wi-Fi may be an extra charge, the rooms often don’t include kitchens, and the space will be small.
These are furnished apartments with services similar to those you would find at a hotel. The rooms are usually double or triple the size of a standard hotel and offer amenities such as a full kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, swimming pool, and a fitness center.
They are often near public transportation, can be reserved online, and are more affordable for longer-term guests. While more affordable than hotels, they can still be rather pricey and still have a hotel feel. For a list of serviced apartments in Seoul, click here.
For those that are not familiar with the service, Airbnb allows people to rent out their homes to guests on a nightly, weekly, and monthly basis similar to a hotel or bed and breakfast.
The Airbnb option for a short-term apartment in Seoul will generally be more cost-effective than hotels and serviced apartments. The pros are that you will have a proper apartment (kitchen, wash machine, etc.), the living space will be larger than a hotel, you can reserve from the internet, and you can view detailed pictures and reviews before you get there.
The cons are that quality will vary, it may be in an inconvenient location, deposits are often required, and you have to commit to a specific period of time.
The least expensive option for a short-term accommodation is to get an apartment just as a Korean would. Not only is it the least expensive, but it offers you the greatest flexibility and the most home-like feel. You’ll be able to choose the neighborhood you want to live in, have a range of options of apartment types, get the best value for your money, and have more of a local experience.
The downsides to a short-term apartment in Seoul are that you will have to be responsible for paying for your monthly utility bills, you will need a 1 month security deposit, quality will vary, and you’ll usually need to be in Korea to arrange this. A short-term apartment in Seoul can be found by visiting the local real estate office and asking the agent what monthly rentals are available.
If you’re not confident in your Korean abilities, you can download our free quick-start guide here which contains tools for contacting real estate agents as well as useful vocabulary and phrases for non-Korean speakers. We also offer a consulting service to help you get set up.