Halfway up Seoul’s Namsan Mountain stands the National Intelligence Service’s (NIS) old building, which has been newly renovated. This building, previously symbolizing authoritarianism, has undergone major changes and now has become a Youth Hostel for travelers looking for an inexpensive and temporary stay. It will open its doors on February 23, 2006.
This building was constructed in 1972 as a government building for the Central Intelligence Agency (now known as NIS), and has functioned as the headquarters for twenty-four years until 1996 when NIS moved to Seochogu, Naegokdong, the southern central part of Seoul.
Since then, civil activist groups such as ‘Love Namsan’ requested that the building be used in a way that fit the image of Namsan Park. Undergoing a two-year renovation, this building turned into a modern, cozy youth hostel. The Korean government and city of Seoul financed the remodeling, costing a total of more than 8 billion won.
The youth hostel is on 5,210 squares of land, and is six floors high with a basement. The first floor holds a cafeteria and a café. The second floor holds the office for Seoul’s Youth Cultural Center (a.k.a. MIZY). The third floor consists of meeting rooms and an infirmary. Guestrooms are located on the fourth floor, fifth floor, and sixth floor. It can hold 306 visitors at one time with a capacity of 50 guestrooms. All guestrooms have internet connection and satellite digital broadcasting. A common kitchen area and a garden are located on the rooftop with a bird’s-eye-view of Namsan and Myeongdong.
For an entire room, the rates run anywhere from ￦60,000 – ￦120,000, depending on the room size of 2 persons to 8 persons. For individual stays, rates run ￦15,000 - ￦19,000.
Reservations can be made through the internet(http://www.seoulyouthhostel.com) or by telephone (+82-2-319-1318).
How to Get There
By Incheon Aiport Bus:
Take the Airport Bus 605-1, and then get off at Myeongdong Station.
Walk towards the Red Cross Building, and cross the street in front of the Red Cross and continue walking for about five more minutes. The Airport Bus for Myeongdong runs from 05:40 AM to 10:50 PM.
Take Subway Line 3 and get off at Chungmuro Station (go out Exit 4).
Walk towards TBS and National Emergency Management Center (in the direction of Myeongdong).
In front of TBS, walk up the red sidewalk towards Namsan for about ten minutes.
For more information on the youth hostels in Korea, click here!