Being an actor, I sub-consciously looked for an area of Seoul that was vibrant, youthful and creative when I arrived here.
No surprises then that after my first 2 days in Korea, I found myself in a guest house in Hyehwa (the theatre district around university road). Within 10 minutes from here there are roughly 80 theatres, countless music bars and always something interesting and creative going on in the street.
2 years later and I still live in the same guest house. It seems to be a lucky place for me. Whilst I have been here, countless number of filming shoots have taken place in or around the house, including one very famous SBS drama, and a famous Filipino drama which came to Korea for a special edition of the series and also filmed here. The cast and crew also stayed at the guest house.
It’s in a peaceful place minutes from the subway station and a major commercial area of North Seoul. To book accommodation at Open Guest House, click on this link.
As mentioned elsewhere, I have, with a couple of exceptions, opted against mentioning specific hotels, hostels and guest-houses on this blog because information gets outdated, places close; deteriorate; improve and prices change. Instead, I would rather direct your attention to booking websites where you can read recent reviews from people who have stayed, and also get access to information about hundreds of different sleeping options that might better serve your needs.
The best impartial source of information is probably Trip Advisor; a collection of reviews from guests, a ratings system that puts all hotels in order of quality based on those reviews, and also provides multiple links to websites where you can reserve your room. It also allows you to narrow down your search depending on your requirements. Refined searches on this website even allow you to single out accommodations with a shuttle bus service, room service, wheelchair access etc.
Trip Advisor is more useful for top range hotels, than it is for budget options. If like me, your concern only goes as far as having a roof, walls and a bed in the place you sleep, then there are hundreds of hostels now in Korea, and more are appearing all the time. Try the following websites for booking: hostelworld.com, hostelbookers.com, hostels.com and of course YHA/HI hostels.
I would say that Hostelworld has the best coverage and, as it is the most used, has better reviews. YHA/HI is an international brand, so can be more reliable. Prices vary. If you buy a membership to HI then you will also be able to stay for a cheaper price. Generally every major city in the world has an HI affiliated hostel and breakfast is usually provided in the price.