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Is it cheap to live in South Korea?

Is it Cheap to Live in South Korea?


South Korea is a modern and developed country located in East Asia, with a growing economy and a rich cultural heritage. Many people are curious about the cost of living in South Korea and whether it is affordable to live there. In this article, we will explore the different factors that contribute to the cost of living in South Korea.

Housing Costs

Housing costs in South Korea can vary depending on the location and type of housing. Generally, apartments in urban areas can be expensive, but if you are willing to live outside the city center, you can find more affordable options. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Seoul can range from $500 to $1,500.

Transportation Costs

Transportation costs in South Korea are relatively cheap. The country has an efficient public transportation system consisting of buses, subways, and trains. The fares for public transportation are affordable, with a subway fare starting at around $1.20.

Food Costs

Food costs in South Korea can be affordable if you stick to local cuisine and street food. Korean food is known for being healthy and delicious, with lots of vegetable dishes and rice. Eating out at restaurants can be expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options available.

Clothing Costs

Clothing costs in South Korea are similar to those in other developed countries. Name-brand clothing can be expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options available at markets and discount stores. You can also find second-hand shops where you can buy clothes at a lower price.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs in South Korea are relatively affordable, with a national health insurance system that covers most medical expenses. However, if you need to visit a private hospital or clinic, the costs can be higher.

Education Costs

Education costs in South Korea can be expensive, with private international schools charging high tuition fees. However, public schools are free for Korean citizens and permanent residents.

Entertainment Costs

Entertainment costs in South Korea can vary depending on your interests. Movies and concerts can be expensive, but there are plenty of free or low-cost cultural events and festivals throughout the year.

Utilities Costs

Utilities costs in South Korea can be affordable, with electricity and water bills being relatively low. However, gas bills can be higher during the winter months when heating is necessary.


Taxes in South Korea are relatively high, with income tax rates ranging from 6% to 44%. However, there are many deductions and exemptions available for certain types of income and expenses.

Job Opportunities

Job opportunities in South Korea are abundant, with a growing economy and a demand for skilled workers. Many companies offer competitive salaries and benefits packages.

Culture Shock

Moving to a new country can be challenging, and there may be some cultural differences that take time to adjust to. However, South Korea is known for its welcoming and friendly culture, with many resources available for expats.


In conclusion, the cost of living in South Korea can vary depending on your lifestyle and location. However, overall, it is possible to live affordably in South Korea while enjoying its many benefits and opportunities. With its rich culture, delicious food, and friendly people, South Korea is a great place to call home.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in South Korea?

In Seoul, South Korea, a family of four is estimated to have monthly expenses of $4,080 (₩5,301,021.2) without rent. For a single person living in Seoul, monthly expenses are estimated to be $1,128.5 (₩1,466,165.8) without rent.

Is South Korea very expensive to live?

For a family of four, the estimated monthly expenses in South Korea without rent are 3,617.7$ (4,685,458.9₩), while a single person’s monthly expenses without rent are around 999.9$ (1,294,969.6₩). The cost of living in South Korea is generally 5.3% lower than in the United States, and rent is around 60.9% cheaper in South Korea compared to the United States.

Is living in Korea cheaper than the US?

The cost of living in South Korea is approximately 17.5% lower than that in the United States.

Is $100 dollars a lot in South Korea?

Based on my personal experience in Itaewon, a budget of US$100 per day should be sufficient, although the area is generally more expensive than other parts of Seoul and bargaining is recommended.

Is it hard to live in Korea as a foreigner?

Preparing before your arrival, moving to South Korea can be a smooth process overall. While in the past the country did not encourage foreign migration, attitudes have shifted as Korea has become more open to international companies.

How much is a house in South Korea in US dollars?

Typically, a small apartment or studio in Korea will cost between 1.5-2.5 million KRW (130,000-215,000 USD), while larger accommodations start at approximately 4 million KRW (340,000 USD).

Language Barrier

One challenge that expats may face when living in South Korea is the language barrier. Korean is the primary language spoken in the country, and while English is taught in schools and widely used in business settings, not everyone speaks it fluently. It can be helpful to learn some basic Korean phrases to navigate daily life and communicate with locals.

Visa Requirements

Before moving to South Korea, it’s important to research the visa requirements for your home country. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay, you may need to apply for a visa or obtain a work permit. The process can be time-consuming, so it’s best to start well in advance of your planned move.


South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are cold and snowy in some areas. Spring and fall are mild and pleasant, making them popular seasons for outdoor activities. It’s important to pack appropriate clothing for the season when planning a move to South Korea.


South Korea is generally considered a safe country, with low crime rates and a strong police presence. However, it’s still important to take precautions to ensure personal safety, such as avoiding walking alone late at night and being aware of pickpocketing in crowded areas.

Currency Exchange

The currency used in South Korea is the Korean won (KRW). It’s important to research currency exchange rates before moving to South Korea, as they can fluctuate significantly over time. It’s also helpful to have a bank account in South Korea or a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees to avoid high exchange fees.

Internet Connectivity

South Korea is known for having some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, with high-speed broadband widely available throughout the country. This can be a major benefit for expats who rely on internet connectivity for work or leisure activities.

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