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How much money do I need to live in Seoul?


Living in Seoul can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the financial implications of moving to this bustling city. From housing costs to transportation expenses, there are a lot of factors to consider when determining how much money you need to live comfortably in Seoul.

Housing Costs

One of the biggest expenses you’ll face when living in Seoul is housing. Depending on the neighborhood you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from ₩500,000 to ₩3 million per month for a one-bedroom apartment. If you want a larger space or a more central location, you may need to budget even more.

Transportation Expenses

Seoul has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, subways, and taxis. While the cost of using public transportation is relatively low, it can still add up over time. If you plan on using taxis frequently or driving your own car, you’ll need to factor in additional expenses like gas and parking fees.

Food and Dining Costs

Seoul is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine, but eating out can be expensive. While street food and fast-casual options are relatively affordable, sit-down restaurants can cost upwards of ₩30,000 per person. Additionally, if you enjoy cooking at home, you’ll need to budget for groceries and kitchen supplies.

Entertainment Expenses

From museums and galleries to concerts and sporting events, Seoul offers a plethora of entertainment options. However, attending these events can be pricey. Movie tickets are typically around ₩10,000 per person, while admission to museums and other attractions can range from ₩5,000 to ₩20,000.

Healthcare Costs

Seoul has a high-quality healthcare system, but it can be expensive for foreigners. If you’re not covered by a Korean health insurance plan, you’ll need to pay out of pocket for doctor’s visits and medical procedures. It’s important to budget for these expenses, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Utilities Costs

In addition to rent, you’ll also need to pay for utilities like electricity, water, and internet. These costs can vary depending on your usage and the size of your apartment. On average, you can expect to pay around ₩200,000 per month for utilities.

Education Costs

If you have children, you’ll need to factor in the cost of education. International schools in Seoul can be quite expensive, with tuition ranging from ₩15 million to ₩30 million per year. Additionally, there are fees for uniforms, textbooks, and extracurricular activities.

Personal Care Expenses

From haircuts and massages to gym memberships and skincare products, personal care expenses can add up quickly in Seoul. If you have specific beauty or wellness routines, make sure to budget accordingly.

Communication Costs

Staying connected with friends and family back home can be pricey in Seoul. International phone plans can be expensive, and data usage can add up quickly. If you plan on using your phone frequently or need high-speed internet at home, make sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Taxes and Insurance

If you’re working in Seoul, you’ll need to pay taxes on your income. Additionally, it’s important to have insurance coverage for things like health and property damage. Make sure to factor in these expenses when determining how much money you need to live comfortably in Seoul.

Saving Money in Seoul

While living in Seoul can be expensive, there are ways to save money. Shopping at local markets and eating street food can be affordable alternatives to eating out at restaurants. Additionally, using public transportation instead of taxis can help cut down on transportation costs.


Overall, the cost of living in Seoul can vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences. By understanding the various expenses you’ll face, you can create a budget that allows you to live comfortably and enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Is it affordable to live in Seoul?

It is a well-known fact that South Korea is a pricey nation, with its capital city, Seoul, often rated among the most expensive cities in the world to reside in. In 2022, Seoul was placed 14th out of 227 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey.

Is 50000 won a lot in Korea?

The exchange rate for the US dollar in Korean currency is ₩50,000 (KRW), which is equivalent to approximately $40.69. These are the main denominations in Korean currency.

Is 300 million won a lot in Korea?

Reality Titbit reports that 300 million won would be equivalent to approximately $243,188 in US dollars, which is quite a considerable amount of money for an individual. Nevertheless, the challenges presented in Physical: 100 should not be underestimated. This information was reported on January 27, 2023.

How much does a 1 bedroom apartment cost in Seoul?

As of February 2021, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Seoul, South Korea was approximately 510,000 South Korean won, an increase from the previous month’s average of approximately 480,000 South Korean won. This information was reported on February 28, 2023.

Is it hard to live in Korea as a foreigner?

If you plan ahead, relocating to South Korea should be relatively straightforward. Although the country used to be resistant to foreign migration, this attitude has shifted as it has started to attract more international businesses.

Can I move to Korea without a job?

If you are interested in moving to Korea without a job, one option is to obtain a D-10 Job Seeker Visa. This visa allows you to stay in Korea and search for employment opportunities.

Additional Tips for Living in Seoul

1. Look for shared housing options: One way to save on housing costs is to find a roommate or shared housing option. This can help cut down on rent and utility expenses.

2. Use discount apps: Seoul has a variety of discount apps that offer deals on everything from food and entertainment to transportation and shopping. Be sure to download these apps and use them to save money.

3. Take advantage of free activities: Seoul has plenty of free activities and events, including museums, parks, and festivals. Check out these options to save money on entertainment.

4. Shop at local markets: Local markets offer fresh produce, meat, and other goods at lower prices than supermarkets. Take advantage of these markets to save money on groceries.

5. Consider a budgeting app: Keeping track of your expenses can be challenging, but a budgeting app can help you stay on top of your finances. Consider downloading an app like Mint or YNAB to help you stay within your budget.

By following these tips and being mindful of your expenses, you can enjoy all that Seoul has to offer without breaking the bank.

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