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Cost of Living in Seoul, South Korea

Prices in Seoul

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IndexInfo
Consumer Price Index (Excl.Rent): 80.77
Rent Index: 45.36
Groceries Index: 90.46
Restaurants Index: 53.40
Consumer Price Plus Rent Index: 62.88
Local Purchasing Power: 132.23

Currency: Default Currency      Switch to US measurement units
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Restaurants [Edit] Avg.
Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 7,000.00 ₩
5,500.00
8,000.00
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 40,000.00 ₩
21,812.90
50,000.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6,000.00 ₩
5,300.00
7,000.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 3,000.00 ₩
2,500.00
4,000.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 5,000.00 ₩
3,500.00
8,000.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4,470.18 ₩
4,000.00
5,000.00
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1,611.82 ₩
1,200.00
2,000.00
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 890.53 ₩
600.00
1,090.64
Markets [Edit] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 2,583.60 ₩
2,000.00
3,000.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 2,649.00 ₩
2,200.00
3,500.00
Rice (white), (1kg) 3,558.75 ₩
3,000.00
4,670.00
Eggs (12) 3,210.00 ₩
2,500.00
3,600.00
Local Cheese (1kg) 15,568.26 ₩
10,000.00
19,000.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 9,560.39 ₩
8,000.00
12,000.00
Apples (1kg) 5,955.56 ₩
3,500.00
8,000.00
Oranges (1kg) 5,171.51 ₩
3,000.00
8,543.55
Tomato (1kg) 5,522.75 ₩
4,400.00
7,000.00
Potato (1kg) 3,149.80 ₩
2,200.00
4,500.00
Lettuce (1 head) 2,252.56 ₩
1,220.51
3,500.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1,175.00 ₩
600.00
2,000.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 18,000.00 ₩
14,646.08
30,000.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2,664.29 ₩
1,650.00
3,500.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 4,187.50 ₩
3,000.00
6,000.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 4,500.00 ₩
3,000.00
4,700.00
Transportation [Edit] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1,100.00 ₩
1,050.00
1,200.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 45,000.00 ₩
40,000.00
55,000.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3,000.00 ₩
3,000.00
3,200.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1,200.00 ₩
750.00
3,000.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 11,143.00 ₩
9,000.00
20,000.00
Gasoline (1 liter) 1,714.07 ₩
1,500.00
1,900.00
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 32,500,000.00 ₩
25,900,000.00
35,000,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [Edit] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 251,274.65 ₩
200,000.00
309,090.91
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 172.00 ₩
100.00
288.00
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 25,000.00 ₩
20,000.00
30,000.00
Sports And Leisure [Edit] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 81,378.17 ₩
60,000.00
100,000.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 10,000.00 ₩
10,000.00
10,000.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 10,000.00 ₩
8,000.00
11,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [Edit] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 113,750.00 ₩
70,000.00
150,000.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 64,008.78 ₩
49,079.02
90,000.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 111,250.00 ₩
60,000.00
150,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 122,383.06 ₩
100,000.00
160,000.00
Rent Per Month [Edit] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,245,248.84 ₩
900,000.00
1,635,967.50
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 766,041.46 ₩
600,800.00
900,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,394,607.98 ₩
2,257,937.84
5,000,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,955,496.03 ₩
1,500,000.00
2,300,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [Edit] Avg.
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 17,196,251.74 ₩
12,000,000.00
22,000,000.00
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 5,661,939.98 ₩
3,000,000.00
7,000,000.00
Salaries And Financing [Edit] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 3,161,387.97 ₩
2,200,000.00
4,271,774.28
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 4.52
4.00
5.00

These data are based on 998 entries in the past 18 months from 159 different contributors.

Last update: May, 2015

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36 Comments so far

#Duck on Apr 17, 2015 :
Hi Nikhil, I'm a Korean. Sorry to say but I think it (940USD) will not be sufficient or just marginal to live in Seoul depending on the housing. As Iason commented below last year, rent for one bed room in Seoul is: deposit 5,000~20,000USD + 400~600USD/monthly. So if you spend about 500USD for a rent, then 440USD/month remains, which means you can use only about 15USD per a day. I think 15USD/day is pretty marginal to live a day, because a cheap meal served in a university usually costs about 3-4USD and you certainly will need to use transportation or buy something. Drink, smoke or type of food is not a problem. The problem is that I didn't count deposit. Normally a land lord in Korea asks deposit in addition to the monthly rent. That's why I said your monthly scholarship may not be sufficient. However, there is a way. If you can live in a university dormitory, much amount of your money will be saved. So I strongly suggest you to book the dormitory before you leave your country. Cheers!
#Nikhil on Apr 06, 2015 :
Hi All,
I have been offered a PhD position in Seoul, Uni of Konkuk. The monthly scholarship is about 940 USD. Will this amount be sufficient. I drink, smoke and I am a vegan.
#Donna on Feb 06, 2015 :
In Philippines the apartment cheap is 2000 pesos only. In won 48,000.
#Wee on Jan 08, 2015 :
Hello,

Just to help out a few people hear asking if 400£ or 400$ is enough for monthly expenses in Seoul. My answer to that question is most definitely NO.

Compared to New York and London

Cheaper:

Cigarettes
Transport
Domestic beers

More expensive:

Utilities

Rent (the actually 'rent' is cheaper but the deposit will set you back anything between $30,000-$100,000. That's to rent. Not to buy. They have a pretty funny rent/deposit system. If you take a loan out to pay this deposit, then you need to take into account the interest on the loan; so it's the quoted rent + interest on the loan for the deposit. Or you find a place without the insane deposit but the rents for those places are much more than the quoted prices here.)

Realistically speaking, if you would like to maintain the life style that you have in New York or London, you're looking at about 80-90% of those places. If you're a student, $1000 should be about enough.
#Stanis H on Dec 30, 2014 :
I will be studying a Masters Program in Seoul in 2015-2016. Is us$ 500 reasonable for monthly living expenses?
#anna on Dec 01, 2014 :
the usual scholarship living expense money is only about 8.000.000 (usually dorm alr included, breakfast and lunch too)
#kyle on Nov 23, 2014 :
If u like to drink. U will spend at least 700dollor a month
#kyle on Nov 23, 2014 :
Actually i just visited Seoul 4mths ago. Room rent (1room including kitchen inside)cost 700~1200american dollor. For a month a person needs 1500~2500dollar including everything
#khansa on Nov 22, 2014 :
it's more expensive to live in south korea compared to my country :(

in my country, Indonesia, you can buy a pack of marlboro at 15000 rupiah or about 1500 won,
1 litre of gasoline at 8500 rupiah or about 850 won, corona beer at 24000 rupiah or about 2400 won, a bowl of rice+fried chicken+a glass of ice tea you just pay about 12000 rupiah or 1200 won.
a good quality leather shoes (local made) you can pay just 300000 rupiah or about 30000 won.
one kilogram of good quality rice at 12000 rupiah or 1200 won
a plate of "nasi padang" + ice water 14000 rupiah or 1400 won
200grams of good quality powder milk for baby at 35000 rupiah or 3500 won
bus ticket for 20km just 7000 rupiah or 700 won
eggs (12pcs) = 15000 rupiah or 1500 won
rent a car for 24 hours 250000 rupiah or 25000 won

but almost electronic devices and transportation vehicles in my country are labeled with other countries brand, like samsung acer toshiba blackberry nokia honda hyundai yamaha etc , non of its are with local label though almost its parts are made here :)

our streets full of cars and motorcycles with japan and korea brands
you cant find a car or a motorcycle with indonesian own brand hehe

by the way, this is very usefull page for people around the world to compare the live cost in several country

keep posting bro ...
#Iason on Oct 26, 2014 :
Rent for one bed room : deposit 5,000~20,000USD + 400~600USD/monthly
if you wanna resident in Kangnam, one bed room : 100,000USD of deposit only or deposit 2,000~4,000USD + 1000~1300USD/monthly

If you are native english speaker, you can have a opportunity in english tutor (even you need a certification) and it could you earn enough money to stay in korea.
#lan on Aug 07, 2014 :
Thanks so much for helping us to calculate the prices for every city we want to move in ..What a useful website :)
#Titiksha on Jul 20, 2014 :
I am from India and i want to study law in Seoul...so cud u pls help me telling dats wat will be the basic expenses in one month
#hsn on Mar 18, 2014 :
Actually I like seoul more than my hometown. I think seoul is the beat place for living.
#Steve on Jan 22, 2014 :
Your page is very uselfull , Could you add an another field to convert the money to another for example USD dollars?
#melanie on Dec 31, 2013 :
wow! i was surprised at how similar the cost was compared to how it is in America, then again in certain areas the cost was much higher or lower than here. With food and transportation it's pretty much the same, but with housing and gasoline (etc.) is was very different.
overall, this website REALLY helped! that was a lot of info. Thanks!
#Amal on Dec 29, 2013 :
Hi ... I do really love this wibsite :) i want to go to korea one day :(
#betty on Dec 24, 2013 :
hi am a 7grade student and am going to go to s.korea 1year with my family and i will like to know where cheap house are located and there price b/c my family is poor and we dont have enough money to spend on expensive houses
#Anonymous on Dec 21, 2013 :
I went to Seoul and other parts of S. Korea over the summer. One thing I can say about restaurants is that they are very cheap. We had a seafood soup for 2 that only cost 12,000 won which at the time was about $7, and there was no tip! It is custom not to tip. Busan was about the same for cost as well. The spas too are really really cheap ($6-$17) and you can usually stay for an indefinite amount of time. The downside to all of this is that most people are extremely materialistic and you are considered scum if you don't have a lot of money.
#Sirine Bellil on Dec 01, 2013 :
I like to know the cost of leaving in Seoul for a PHD student , will £400 sterling a month be enough.Thank you
##ChoiNipes on Nov 20, 2013 :
It's really expensive. O_o In the Philippines 1Kg of Chicken is equivalent to 130 PESOS while in Korea 1kg of Chicken is equivalent to 404 PESOS in Philippines money. That's really expensive.
#jack host on Nov 06, 2013 :
hi,
i am going to have a journey to (seoul)south korea for 25 days to one monthes, i want to live at guest house and use the bus insted of taxi. can you tell me how much dose it expense?
#sonia barua on Oct 26, 2013 :
Hello I want to come to Seoul for PHD study for 3 years. So I want to know that what is monthly the living expenses in Seoul specially for students? Can I able to live in 480 US dollar?
Please give me estimate figure
#73737 on Oct 17, 2013 :
Taxi start fare's just become 3000won
#josue on Oct 16, 2013 :
hi, i would like to know how much does hardwood charcol cost over there.
thanks
#Marcello on Oct 08, 2013 :
I would like to know how much money I have to pay to rent an open space to use like restaurant 100 sqm in the City Centre
#GD on Oct 08, 2013 :
Prince: depends on how much you buy for your first place. Expect to spend between 800,000 to 1,000,000 on the first month to buy household goods/necessities. After that, if you're prudish/anti-social on your social life outside of work, you can expect to spend about 300,000 to 400,000 a month after that.
#ewald on Sep 23, 2013 :
Living expense in seoul are rocket high .. Better compare to Tokya...

US is best place comparing Korea..
if you earn 4000$ a month
avg life costs more in Seoul than in New york..
#Prince on Aug 24, 2013 :
hello , i m moving to south Korea<and i will be living in seoul, i will love to know how much do you thing i have to have to live for 1st two to three months
#Leo on Aug 02, 2013 :
Slangey, one pack of marlboro is 2,700. not a 20 pack.

frank, there's a huge differences between an apartments(one-room) and student room.
25 sq-meter (average size of) one-room apartment monthly rent charges starts from $500

fully embedded option room (such air conditioner, tv, refriges, living stuffs) starts from $800.
if you looking more nearest apartment from major university, you need additional, about 40%.

monthly living charge for 25 sq-meter (elec,gas(hotwater),apartment management) is $100.
starting price means lower limits in market.
Without Deposit money, short term rent based price.

if you looking long term rent, (deposit types, traditional rent) minimum deposit money starts from $9,000 (10,000,000won)
every $9,000 deposit money will decreasing a rent price $90.
(deposit types room needs period agreements, basically 1~2 years)

student room is 7 sq-meter one-room, starts from $200.
with out deposit.
#Rol on Jul 31, 2013 :
Seem like the cheapest product in Korea is comestic product if compare with other country.
#Slangey on Jul 11, 2013 :
Ciggies are so cheap 2,500 or so for a 20 pack Malborough lights. It's no wonder so many people smoke!
#frank on Jul 03, 2013 :
hello i wish to know about the living standard for a fresh start student coming to south Korea.precisely a university student of first year.
#Stella on Jun 18, 2013 :
Would like to know how much money you have to paid as a deposit for renting an apartment in Seoul. The rent /month is $1.000.000 wons.
#Billie Bob / Bobby on Apr 13, 2013 :
I'm checking the living standard in Seoul because I'm thinking of staying there for a long visit .
#Joost on Mar 22, 2013 :
When we were there the fruit was absolutely expensive, more in the range of 10,000 won for 1kg of Apples. Although that was at a regular supermarket. It may be that you should buy it at the street shops.
#Jeff on Feb 29, 2012 :
1 pack of 20

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