Actual Cost of Traveling Korea
How much would I spend traveling Korea?
3 weeks ago
Sung J LEEfromIncheon

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It can be super difficult for those who are unfamiliar with Korea to estimate the cost of travel before actually visiting the country.


So today we brought you a summary of travel expenses for traveling Korea! Of course, budgets can vary, but this post covers general information on accommodation, meals, cafes (dessert costs) and transportation expenses.


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1. Accommodation

On average 50,000KRW

(US$43.00)
(2 people, based on per person payment)

One night, per person (Room for two)

TypeKRWUSD
Hotel100,000 ~
starting from $85.00
Motel40,000 ~
starting from $35.00
Guest House
20,000~
starting from $17.00


One of the best things about traveling Korea is that there are a variety of accommodation types to choose from all along the price ranges    


Accommodation Price Range | Hotel

Price: 200,000-400,000KRW

(150-350USD)/Night 

For five-star hotels in Seoul, a room can cost up to $150 - $350. As pricey as the rooms are per night, they also tend to offer the best service. You might be able to find deals for these high-end hotels on reservation sites such as Hotels.com for as low as $85.00 a night. 

hotels.com


Accommodation Price Range | Motel

Price: 40,000-90,000KRW

(35-80USD)/Night

Blanc Hotel Gangnam, Seoul

Motels are far more inexpensive than hotels. As more accommodation businesses are popping up and competition is getting fierce, the service offered at motels now is about as good as a three-star hotel.  

Nowadays, there aren't many distinctions that really set motels apart from hotels, apart from luxury five-star businesses. In fact, many motels are listed as two or three-star hotels on booking websites. 


Accommodation Price Range | Guest House

Price: 40,000-80,000KRW

(35-70USD)/Night

The guest house system works by renting out the entire house. If you have a bigger group, the price per person would be cheaper to rent a guest house (or airbnb) as compared to staying at a hotel or a motel.


2. Food

On average 40,000KRW

(US$35.00)
(three meals per person a day)

There are food options galore for those of you shouting, "I came to Korea to eat!" 

But of course, while finding good food is always important, you can't forget about the costs.

There tends to be a lot of variation in prices for food in Korea, depending on what it is.

Therefore, this average pricing is divided up into breakfast, lunch/dinner, and late-night snacks. 


1) Breakfast (Simple Meals)

Price : Less than 5,000KRW (US$5.00)

For one person

MenuKRWUSD
Issac Toast2,600
$2.25
Gimbap2,500
$2.15
Convenience Store3,000
$2.50


Most Koreans keep their breakfasts relatively simple. Usually, you should be able to find something that costs around $2.50. 

A popular breakfast food, the ham and cheese toast from Issac Toast is $2.25.

Another grab-and-go Korean food, gimbap, is around $2.15. 

The cost for getting a triangle-gimbap and a thing of milk would set you back a mere $2.50. 



2) Full Meal (Lunch, Dinner)

On average 12,000KRW (US$10.00)
(per meal) 

For one person

MenuKRWUSD
Kimchi Soup8,000$6.80
Soy Paste Soup
8,000
$6.80
Black Sausage Soup
8,000
$6.80
Grilled Intestine
14,000
$12.00
Pork Belly15,000$12.90
Bulgogi15,000$12.90
Korean Buffet
16,000$13.80
Chicken
(1 chicken, for two)
20,000
$17.20


You might find the typical $10.00 - $17.00 price point at many Korean restaurants are expensive, but not all foods are this pricey   Even those who never cook at home don't usually spend so much on a single meal.

Even in Gangnam, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Korea, you can still find great meals for less than $8.00.

You can get a filling meal at general rice meal restaurants (that sell Kimchi Soup, Soy Paste Soup, Black Sausage Soup, etc.) for about 7 - 8 bucks. These are the types of restaurants that local workers would stop by for lunch.

Stir-fried spicy pork

Black sausage soup

Pork belly

Chicken

⭐️ CreaTIP Smaller stores or street food vendors often don't take card, so make sure to have at least some amount of cash with you (20,000 - 30,000 KRW)  


🙌Where do locals go for lunch? Euljiro food recommendations!

🙌Only 12 USD (90 HKD)for all-you-can-eat Korean buffet?! Exclusive Creatrip deal!

🙌Chicken Delivery Service


3) Cafe

11,000KRW (US$9.50)
(One drink + one dessert)


Menu
KRW
USD
Americano
4,500$3.50
Cafe Latte5,000$4.50
Milk Tea
5,000$4.50
Cake Slice
6,000
$5.00
Herbal Tea
5,000
$4.50


As you guys are probably already aware, there are countless cute, hipster cafes that are a must in Korea. 

Ordering from these cafes, however, will actually cost you as much as your meal 😅

Drinks between $3.50 and $6.00.

Cake slices between $3.50 and $6.80.

Of course, fancier, expensive cakes can cost up to $8.60.


🙌Discounts at popular Korean cafes


3. Transportation

On average 5,000KRW (US$4.30)
(assume 3 rides per day)

One-way fare per person in Seoul (using the T-MONEY card)
(Cash will cost an extra 100 KRW)


USDHKD
Subway$1.008
City Buses$1.008


If you use the transportation card (T Money Card) instead of cash, you actually get a discount.

Not only is this the case in Seoul, other cities such as Busan or Daegu offer a 5-7% discount for card use  

Additionally, if you use another form of transportation within 20 minutes of scanning out, you'll automatically get a transfer discount. 

For example, the fare to ride the bus twice would be $2.06 ($1.03 * 2). But if you are transferring from the subway or another bus, the total fare for both rides will be less than $1.38.

You can get a transportation card for $2.60 at any convenience store. You need to keep it topped up to use it on public transportation. 




This has been a summary of the estimated cost of traveling in Korea.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!




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