Cost of Living in Korea

Korean Costs

General cost of living in Korea

Visitors from overseas will find Korea reasonably priced for most goods and services. South Korea is cheaper than Japan for most costs including accommodation, food and travel.

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Getting around in Korea

Buy a specific Korea rail pass before you come.

Korea hotel bookings here


Value for money in Korea

Many visitors from Europe and the USA will find Korean prices appealingly low. You get a high degree of service and efficiency for the money you pay. The food in Korea is reasonably priced and well-worth eating.

Korea - Some prices (Dec 2012)

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Hite beer in South Korea.

Food & Drink

Beer (OB lager 355ml): 1,228 won.
Beer in a bar: 4,000+ won.
Cocktail in a bar: 7,000+ won.
Coffee & cafe: 2,643 won.
Coke (Coca Cola 350ml/can): 421 won.
Cookie (Orion Choco Pies 1 box): 1,550 won.
Fried Chicken: 9,286 won.
Gimbap: (Rice rolled with seaweed): 1,843 won.
Hamburger: 2,257 won.
Ice Cream (Haetae Bravo Cone): 571 won.
Instant Coffee (Dongseo Maxim Original 175g): 6,076 won.
Jajangmyeon: (Chinese noodles in black sauce): 3,000 won.
Juice (sugar free 1.5L): 2,010 won.
Milk (Seoul Milk 1000ml): 1,348 won.
Mineral Water (500ml): 358 won.
Ramyeon Instant Noodles: (Nongshim Sin Ramyeon 120g): 401won.
Samgyeopsal: (Sliced pork 200g): 5,714 won.
Soju (Korean white distilled liquor, 1 bottle): 819 won.
Steak in a top class restaurant: 30,000+ won.

Other everyday items & services in Korea

20 cigarettes: 1,200 won.
Airport departure tax: (15,000 won, but 7,500 won if you use the KCAT).
Battery: (1 set of 2 Alkaline AA battery): 963 won.
English language paper: 500 won.
Gasoline 1 liter: 1,311 won.
Hair Cut: 7,000 won.
Hilton Hotel, Seoul (double) 225,000+ won.
Karaoke Bar: 12,143 won.
Laundry: (a suit): 5,857 won.
Local phone call: (50 won for 3 minutes).
Photo print: (3x5 size): 179 won.
Public Bath: 3,357 won for adult, 2,086 won for child.
Taxi flag fall: 1,600 won.
Underground (subway) ticket: 600 won.


Tips for saving money in Korea

If you are on a budget consider some of the following tips:
Dispense with your duty free, cigarettes and most types of alcohol are cheaper in Korea than tax-free in most airports.

If you want to get drunk, start the process in your hotel rather than drink exclusively in bars.
Film, batteries and blank CDs/tapes/DVDs are all cheap in Korea.
Consider camping. Try to avoid shopping in convenience stores, look for discount supermarkets.


Books on Korea