Seoul offers plenty of sleeping options that are both affordable and characterful. Go traditional at a hanok guesthouse where you’ll sleep on yo (padded quilts and mattresses) on the floor, with an underfloor heating system (ondol) to keep you snug. Rooms will be small and bathrooms perhaps shared, as they are at Seoul’s best backpacker hostels clustered in Myeong-dong and Hongdae. The young staff will speak English and can give advice about getting the most out of your stay.
Love motels cater for couples seeking some by-the-hour privacy, but they also accept conventional overnight guests. Some of the extravagantly decorated rooms are a bargain compared with what you’d pay for similar facilities at a top-end hotel. Some love motels, however, require a late check-in, around 9pm; earlier check-ins will cost more.