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Is it cheap to visit South Korea?

Is it cheap to visit South Korea?

South Korea, also known as the “Land of the Morning Calm,” is a popular tourist destination for its rich cultural heritage, scenic beauty, and modern infrastructure. But the question arises, is it cheap to visit South Korea? In this article, we will explore various aspects of traveling to South Korea and see if it’s affordable for budget-conscious travelers.


The transportation system in South Korea is well-developed and affordable. The most common mode of transportation is the subway, which has an extensive network that covers most of the major cities. The fares are reasonable, with a single journey costing around KRW 1,250 (USD 1.1). Buses are also widely available, and their fares are similar to that of the subway. Taxis are relatively expensive, but they are still cheaper compared to other developed countries.


Accommodation in South Korea can be expensive, especially in major cities like Seoul and Busan. However, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available such as hostels, guesthouses, and homestays. These can cost anywhere between KRW 15,000-50,000 (USD 13-45) per night. If you prefer a bit more comfort, mid-range hotels can be found for around KRW 80,000-150,000 (USD 72-135) per night.


Food in South Korea is delicious and affordable. You can find street food stalls selling a variety of Korean snacks for as low as KRW 1,000 (USD 0.9). For a proper meal, local restaurants offer dishes for around KRW 8,000-15,000 (USD 7-13). If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, then expect to pay around KRW 50,000-100,000 (USD 45-90) per person.


South Korea has many tourist attractions that are either free or have a low entrance fee. The palaces in Seoul, for example, charge around KRW 3,000-5,000 (USD 2.7-4.5) per person. Museums and art galleries also have similar prices. If you’re interested in visiting amusement parks or theme parks, then expect to pay more, with prices ranging from KRW 30,000-60,000 (USD 27-54) per person.


South Korea is a shopping paradise for those who love fashion and beauty products. You can find affordable clothes and cosmetics in local markets and street shops. Popular shopping areas like Myeong-dong in Seoul have plenty of options for all budgets. If you’re looking for luxury brands, then expect to pay similar prices as in other developed countries.


The nightlife scene in South Korea is vibrant and diverse. There are plenty of options for drinking and dancing, with many clubs and bars staying open until dawn. Prices for drinks vary depending on the location and the type of establishment. In general, expect to pay around KRW 5,000-10,000 (USD 4.5-9) for a beer or cocktail.

Currency exchange

The official currency of South Korea is the Korean Won (KRW). Currency exchange booths can be found at most airports and in major cities. Banks also offer currency exchange services, but their rates may not be as favorable as exchange booths. It’s recommended to exchange money at the airport or in the city center to get a better rate.

Language barrier

South Korea’s official language is Korean, and not many locals speak English fluently. However, most tourist areas have English signage and menus, and many young Koreans speak at least basic English. It’s recommended to learn a few basic Korean phrases to make communication easier.

Seasonal prices

The prices of flights, accommodations, and attractions can vary depending on the season. The peak tourist season is from June to August and from December to February (for winter sports). Prices during these periods can be higher compared to other times of the year. Shoulder seasons like March to May and September to November offer lower prices and fewer crowds.

Visa requirements

South Korea has visa-free agreements with many countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and most European countries. Citizens of these countries can stay in South Korea for up to 90 days without a visa. However, some countries may require a visa, so it’s best to check with the nearest South Korean embassy or consulate before traveling.


South Korea is generally a safe country for tourists. Violent crimes are rare, and thefts are mostly petty crimes like pickpocketing. However, it’s always recommended to take precautions like keeping your belongings safe and avoiding dark alleys at night.


In conclusion, South Korea is an affordable travel destination with plenty of options for budget-conscious travelers. Transportation is cheap, food is delicious and reasonably priced, and there are plenty of free or low-cost tourist attractions. Accommodation can be expensive in major cities, but budget-friendly options like hostels and guesthouses are widely available. With proper planning, it’s possible to have an enjoyable and affordable trip to South Korea.

How much will a trip to South Korea cost?

There are different tour packages available for South Korea, including a 6-day trip that focuses on the highlights of Seoul, a 7-day trip that offers a glimpse into the dreams of South Korea, and a 9-day trip that includes exciting activities. Prices for these packages range from ₹72,000 to ₹99,000, with discounts available for some tours.

Is South Korea expensive place to visit?

South Korea offers an extensive and budget-friendly transportation system, a diverse selection of restaurants, and a wealth of affordable activities and sights, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. To make the most of your budget, check out a helpful guide filled with tips for visiting South Korea without breaking the bank.

How much money do I need to take to Korea for 7 days?

If you have a moderate budget, 120,000 krw should suffice, while for those with a more luxurious budget, a minimum of 200,000 krw should be adequate. It is advisable to carry at least $200 in cash, which can be used in situations where cash is not accepted or in case of emergencies.

Is South Korea expensive for foreigners?

South Korea is recognized as a country with a high cost of living, and its capital, Seoul, is often ranked among the world’s priciest cities. The Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranked Seoul as 14th amongst 227 cities in 2022.

How far does the US dollar go in South Korea?

The South Korean won (₩) has a value of approximately US$0.0008, meaning that visitors can exchange one US dollar for around ₩1200.

What month is the cheapest to fly to Korea?

If you want to find affordable flights to South Korea, it is recommended to book at least five weeks before your departure date for the best deals. The busiest times to travel are June and July, so prices may be higher during those months. The most budget-friendly time to fly to South Korea is typically in April.


Tipping is not a common practice in South Korea. In fact, it is often considered rude to leave a tip. Most restaurants and cafes include a service charge in the bill, and taxi drivers do not expect a tip. However, if you receive exceptional service from a tour guide or hotel staff, it’s acceptable to give a small gift or souvenir instead of a tip.

Public Etiquette

South Koreans place great importance on public etiquette and manners. It’s essential to be respectful and courteous, especially in public spaces like restaurants and public transportation. It’s considered impolite to talk loudly or use your phone in quiet areas like the subway or library. When visiting temples or other cultural sites, it’s important to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering.

Medical Care

South Korea has an excellent healthcare system with modern facilities and well-trained medical professionals. However, medical care can be expensive for foreigners without travel insurance. It’s recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies before traveling to South Korea. Pharmacies are widespread, and most over-the-counter medications are affordable and readily available.

Internet and Communication

South Korea has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world, with free Wi-Fi available in most public spaces like airports, cafes, and subway stations. SIM cards for mobile phones are widely available at airports and convenience stores, and they offer affordable data plans for tourists. Most Koreans use messaging apps like KakaoTalk or Line for communication rather than traditional text messages.

Cultural Events

South Korea has a rich cultural heritage with many traditional events and festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the annual cherry blossom festival in April, where thousands of cherry trees bloom across the country. Other notable events include the Boryeong Mud Festival in July, the Busan International Film Festival in October, and the Seoul Lantern Festival in November.

Nature and Adventure

South Korea has breathtaking natural scenery and outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. The country has numerous hiking trails, including the famous Bukhansan National Park in Seoul. Water sports like surfing, kayaking, and scuba diving are popular on the southern coast, while winter sports like skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed in the mountains during the winter season.

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