My First Airbnb Experience

Sunday, 7 February 2016

When we started planning our trip to Korea, I originally had hotels near Myeongdong (명동) in mind, but because Airbnb was such a popular option and I figured that someone's apartment would be cleaner than a hotel where thousands of people would've stayed at, I decided to give it a go. The apartment we decided on was this one because many of its previous guests left positive comments and it was at a good location—about a one minute walk to Chungmuro Station (충무로역) and about a 10 minute walk to the heart of Myeongdong. The reason why I chose to stay near Chungmuro Station and not Myeongdong Station (명동역) is because the former has 2 lines and it would make going to other places easier. Myeongdong Station only has 1 line.

We arrived at the apartment around 4:00pm, there were no dramas with the check-in process because our host had previously given us all the information we required to access the apartment. The apartment looked exactly like the images provided and was also very clean. As it was my first time using Airbnb, I was really grateful that our host was so responsive. About a month before our check in date, our host even provided us a bunch of information regarding the apartment, like details about the portable wifi, TV, laundry, and how to throw out the garbage. (FYI, Korea has very strict laws about garbage disposal.)

The only inconvenience we encountered was that we were questioned by the Tourist Police on the second or third day about our stay in the apartment. I know it's almost impossible for Airbnb monitor the legality of the apartment listing (because apparently in Korea, unreported Airbnb rentals are illegal), but I just feel like guests should at least have some assurance that we're not staying in a house or apartment that could be subject to investigations by the police. That being said, I'm not deterred from staying at another Airbnb because of the incident above, but I will be more cautious about the short-term rental laws of the country I intend to visit in the future.

Overall, our stay at the apartment in Seoul was very pleasant. It felt homey, safe and comfortable. Also, we got to experience the amazingness of Korea's heating system, also known as ondol (온돌). Don't forget to check the apartment/hotel you intend to stay at has a floor heating system because it's super important if you're staying in the country during the colder months of the year.


  1. Hello, may I ask how did you reply the Tourist Police in the end and what did the Tourist Police do afterwards?



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