I have recently completed my 1 year of travels around the world, and I’m now going through some of my expense reports for each city. After Lisbon, I went to Seoul, Korea. Seoul can be pretty affordable if you choose it to be. I was able to book accommodations in Hongdae for under $500 for a month (29 days). And food would average $4-8 for one person. If you’re going to Seoul with friends it will obviously cost more depending on what you want to do. However, I still ate and went out with friends and it ended up not breaking the bank!
Without further ado, here is my spending report for Seoul, South Korea.
Cost of Living in Seoul, South Korea (Spending Report)
Things to Note
- If you’re going to Seoul by yourself, try to find the restaurants that are especially made for just one person as most restaurants sell meal sets for 2 or more people.
- Many people don’t speak English. Sometimes it is hard to order at restaurants cause a lot of times menus don’t include English as well. If you don’t speak Korean, you can use the pictures or do what I did and memorize Korean entree names for foods I wanted to eat!
- Hongdae is a student city that is fun and affordable to stay in, while Itaewon is a good place for expats.
|Green tea latte||5|
|Xiao Long Bao||18|
|Mandu and Kimbap||4.5|
|Mango Shaved Ice||11|
|Kimchi Fried Rice||5|
|Bulgogi and Udon||6|
|Ginseng chicken soup||15|
|Beef noodle soup||8|
Food Total: $338.40
|Alcohol and Cover Fees||15|
|Beer (2 drinks)||8|
|Clothes and makeup||55|
|Beer and whiskey||12|
Entertainment Total: $170
|Shampoo and Body wash||3|
|Face wash, lip balm, lipstick, nail polish remover||11|
|Vaseline, vitamins, mouth wash, floss||10|
|Gel Masks for mom||18|
Entertainment Total: $198
|London to Milan||$37.00|
|Milan to Korea||$382.00|
Transportation Total: $464
|AirBnB 10/7 – 11/5 (29 days)||$463|
Accommodations Total: $463
Overall, my trip to Seoul costed around $1,633.40 for 32 days including the transportation from Europe, AirBnB accommodations, food, entertainment, rides, and other miscellaneous items. This averaged out to $56.32/day. A lot of the spend was from my two flights getting myself out of Europe and straight to Asia (London to Milan, Milan to Korea, around $419). Without those flights, I would have only spent around $1,200, which would have averaged at $40 a day.
I would definitely recommend Seoul for digital nomads or for longer term stay. Korea is great for digital nomads because of its 24-hour cafes and amazing internet. There was also this Google free coworking space that was awesome – I discovered it late but I would definitely go there frequently if I were to go back. Also of course, the food is amazing, public transportation is easy, and many other nomads are there if you reach out through nomadlist and Facebook groups.