Cost of Living in Seoul

Summary about cost of living in Seoul, South Korea:

Restaurants
Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 9,000.00 ₩ 6,000.00-15,622.48
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 70,000.00 ₩ 40,000.00-140,000.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 7,500.00 ₩ 6,000.00-8,900.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 4,000.00 ₩ 2,000.00-8,000.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 7,000.00 ₩ 3,000.00-12,000.00
Cappuccino (regular) 5,055.71 ₩ 3,000.00-6,878.68
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 1,857.66 ₩ 1,200.00-3,000.00
Water (12 oz small bottle) 993.72 ₩ 700.00-2,000.00
Markets
Edit
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 10,774.80 ₩ 7,570.83-13,248.94
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 3,188.25 ₩ 1,509.38-5,443.11
Rice (white), (1 lb) 2,185.25 ₩ 1,133.98-4,127.21
Eggs (regular) (12) 4,843.50 ₩ 2,680.00-8,254.41
Local Cheese (1 lb) 6,792.01 ₩ 3,628.74-18,143.72
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 6,378.64 ₩ 2,676.20-9,071.86
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 24,199.68 ₩ 9,071.86-45,359.29
Apples (1 lb) 3,966.80 ₩ 2,041.17-6,803.89
Banana (1 lb) 2,221.47 ₩ 1,360.78-3,855.54
Oranges (1 lb) 3,620.88 ₩ 1,814.37-6,558.95
Tomato (1 lb) 3,845.75 ₩ 1,360.78-6,803.89
Potato (1 lb) 2,214.95 ₩ 907.19-3,129.79
Onion (1 lb) 1,589.96 ₩ 771.11-2,267.96
Lettuce (1 head) 3,083.38 ₩ 2,000.00-5,000.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1,419.05 ₩ 740.00-2,000.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 20,000.00 ₩ 12,000.00-35,000.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2,677.93 ₩ 1,600.00-3,500.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 3,318.28 ₩ 2,000.00-5,000.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 4,500.00 ₩ 4,500.00-6,000.00
Transportation
Edit
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1,300.00 ₩ 1,250.00-1,500.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 55,000.00 ₩ 55,000.00-80,000.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3,800.00 ₩ 3,800.00-4,000.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 1,609.34 ₩ 1,219.88-2,253.08
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 12,000.00 ₩ 10,000.00-18,500.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 6,842.00 ₩ 6,056.66-7,684.39
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 38,000,000.00 ₩ 32,000,000.00-44,000,000.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 34,906,250.00 ₩ 34,906,250.00-38,000,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Edit
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 233,041.67 ₩ 170,000.00-300,000.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 164.38 ₩ 100.00-220.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 27,178.56 ₩ 20,000.00-50,000.00
Sports And Leisure
Edit
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 76,923.07 ₩ 35,000.00-100,000.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 21,915.62 ₩ 10,000.00-30,000.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12,500.00 ₩ 10,000.00-15,000.00
Childcare
Edit
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 504,000.00 ₩ 400,000.00-687,867.54
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 25,684,803.49 ₩ 20,000,000.00-35,000,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
Edit
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 71,166.62 ₩ 50,000.00-110,000.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 56,166.62 ₩ 30,000.00-90,000.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 92,542.94 ₩ 60,000.00-120,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 131,714.27 ₩ 100,000.00-200,000.00
Rent Per Month
Edit
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,073,809.52 ₩ 700,000.00-2,500,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 718,436.53 ₩ 400,000.00-1,700,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,316,764.68 ₩ 2,201,176.13-6,000,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,115,384.62 ₩ 1,000,000.00-3,500,000.00
Buy Apartment Price
Edit
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 2,718,038.88 ₩ 2,322,556.67-4,645,113.34
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,326,903.25 ₩ 1,152,917.13-2,787,068.00
Salaries And Financing
Edit
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 3,554,863.05 ₩
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.21 2.50-4.00

Prices in Seoul

This city had 1553 entries in the past 12 months by 186 different contributors.
Last update: June 2022
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38 Comments so far
Anonymous on Jun 11, 2022:
Apartment prices in Seoul for the past four years
It went up very high
When purchasing an apartment in Seoul, the price per m² is about 40,000 dollars, and the center of Gangnam-gu is about 65,000 dollars per m²
Peter Kim on May 21, 2022:
As for the property price, it is rising rapidly. To rant a flat you would need large amount of deposit. It starts from around 8500 USD = 10,000,000KRW depend on size and location. Also, there is Korean unique ranting system, namely 'Jeonse', which need far more deposit (60~70% of the property price) but there's no monthly rental fee so it is popular option if you have some spare money.
Contract period is usually 2years and you have right to extend once.
Peter Kim on May 21, 2022:
I am a upper middle class in Seoul. And compare to Berlin and Sydney cost of living here is much higher especially fresh fruits and meat products. But it is quite safe city with low crime rate. And services are very fast. Free wifi is available virtually everywhere. If you leave a MacBook on a table in a Cafe nobody touches it. Women can stroll around safely midnight. In a nutshell it is convenient city if you have enough budget.
Anonymous on Nov 28, 2021:
I am a Korean who is very upset about the price of meat. Pork is $3 for 100g and this is crazy. I am very dissatisfied because I eat meat like a North American.
J on Jun 19, 2021:
Say goodbye to fruits and vegetables and eggs then you are good to go.
Anonymous on Feb 14, 2021:
Average mid class here, moved to seoul 10 years ago, getting 40k a year working in a small company, family of 4 (2children),great health and transportation system, can't complain so far except its overpopulated and the air quality is not good.
Anonymous on Jan 23, 2021:
Totally accurate. Been living in Gangnam for 4 years. Rent is dependent on your key money.
Anonymous on Jan 21, 2021:
I'm looking for identical twin Seoul women to live with me.They must be gorgeous intelligent and calm.One set of twins will do and in their early 20's.
Anonymous on Jan 02, 2021:
Yes Seoul is more expensive than other countries but you get what you pay for. Seoul is a very nice and developed city full of progression,a modern city.If you're looking for cities on a budget try Cambodia, Vietnam, or Bangkok.But none of those cities can compare with Seoul's modern and efficient transportation systems and only Japan comes close.
Seoulsaram on Nov 27, 2020:
You should know about the amount of deposit when you are trying to get a rent room in Korea. It is quite massive than other countries. That's a trade off for relatively cheap rent price.
Seoul Song on Oct 29, 2020:
Everything is quite correct but apartment price.
It is increased a lot for last a year
idk on Aug 31, 2020:
is it per month? because i don't see like a per (amount of time) anywhere and im confused lol.
Anonymous on Jun 15, 2020:
Cost of living in seoul –

Minimum wage is about $8, 8 hours * 25 days (when you work for 5 days a week, you get paid for extra day)

$1,600 is the minimum wage per month

Private child care starts from 1800~ 3000 depending on the number of kids, and what nationality you are.

400 USD is not even close.

And preliminary school for expats start from 35,000 to 40,000 usd, equivalent to the tuition level in US.
V on May 26, 2020:
Hi again.
Could someone please message me at KKT @missborja? I really need the answers on my query below comment. Just need the numbers soonest.
Thanks.
V
V on May 26, 2020:
Hi. Is this data still accurate? I am trying to check on the monthly expenses for a 3-month stay in Seoul next year for a quick study. Appreciate your help on the matter.Thank you.
Anonymous on May 10, 2020:
Hi everyone, I’m really eager to move to South Korea from UAE and I would like to know what type of visa do I need to apply for and what are the chances of getting a better job as i wouldn’t mind staying in any of the cities. Thank
Anonymous on Apr 24, 2020:
for argument about salary.
if you are healthy and get a job at construction industry as a unskilled worker,
you can get a 220~260k won at a month. (26days/month)
and minimum wage is about 160k at a month. (5days/week) (in every industry)
Anonymous on Apr 24, 2020:
veteran seoulite//
buger shop in Hongdae is not a ordinary korean restaurant.
for ordinary korean, 8k won is reasonable price for lunch at the seoul.
Anonymous on Mar 30, 2020:
Someone told me that average salary of management person coming out of SKKU is around 60000$ per month? is this true?
Anonymous on Jan 13, 2020:
http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/median-income-by-country/

I have lived in this country for a long time and yes this is an expensive country and salary is quite high. Median household income is 8th in the world. Check the stats above
Daniel P Goodman on Sep 17, 2019:
These comparions are so Western-centric they are basically worthless. For example, look at the groceries being compared:

- Milk
- White Bread
- Cheese
- Tomatos
- Bananas
- Beef

Sound like a typical Korean diet to you? Me neither... of course groceries for eating a Western diet will be more expensive in EAST ASIA.

And ₩2,388 for .5L of domestic beer at the grocery store? More like 1.5L for domestic at near that price.

Also, Seoul has the most expensive 1kg of Potatoes... in the world. Apparently. Seems like a dubious claim to me.
Maya on Aug 13, 2019:
#Kjelly what's your email!? I have some questions
Swede on Aug 11, 2019:
Are these numbers correct for rent? Seems very cheap!
veteran seoulite on Jul 22, 2019:
Seoul is far more expensive than these numbers indicate. 3,000won for an imported beer? Double that. 8,000won for an inexpensive meal??? Where? Kimbab-nara? Come on, now. Even the average Hongdae burger joint is charging 12-18,000 for a burger and fries these days and that is far from fine dining. Unless you're living like a beggar, you won't come anywhere near these low consumer prices. The reality is Seoul is very expensive by world standards and if you want to live comfortably, you will need a bare minimum of 4,000,000 won/month just to stay out of debt.
Leon on May 20, 2019:
skip this
its trap
to get the salary it described you might work 13hours every day and of course have to go work saturday and sunday.
and you will be very sick and all the money goes to hospital
aishwarya on May 11, 2019:
How much does it totally cost to live in south korea for four people(family) in city for 2 months travelling and seeing all places as a tourist(including food,shopping,accomodation)
Anonymous on Apr 12, 2019:
# Loren Seoul will take a devastating blow to it's economy by late 2019.I've made my money and then some over the past 15 years.Before years end I'll sell my house and business and leave.The $1,500 per month number will apply then.
Anonymous on Apr 12, 2019:
# Loren I don't know where you get your numbers from honestly.I'm a foreigner lived in Seoul 15 plus years now.$1,500 USD per month won't get it.I make $300,000 USD per year.You're entitled to your opinion but overall it's upper middle class in Seoul.Outside of Seoul much less.
Loren on Apr 12, 2019:
I am not promiting the city nor have any reason for it. I am just telling people that numbers are not exaggerated. We are talking about average here. Yes. You can merely make 1500 USD per month if you work as a foreign worker while those working in global corporations can eaily make 7000 to 8000 a month. It is tight for a large number of people. I know. But the average shown above seems just about right to me. The gap between the rich and the poor is a social problem here abd whoever expecting to make money as a foreigner should not come here. 2500 is the average of one guy with 10,000 and other seven with 1,400.
Anonymous on Mar 26, 2019:
#Loren is correct about salaries.Time to leave Seoul and go back to Hong Kong Loren.I left two weeks ago because the salaries don't match cost of living.
Loren on Jan 01, 2019:
Whoever clamming the salary is exaggerated don't know much of this city. Maybe people around your English institutes get paid not as much because they are one of low paied jobs here. I have moved here from Hong Kong 12 years ago and work for a financial firm handling numbers so I think I know much more of this city when it comes to income. In fact, it is still common for people to report less of their income and I assume that actual income would be even higher. Remember, it is the 8th highest paid country in the world according to IMF's recent data.
Anonymous on Dec 08, 2018:
The monthly income is a bit exaggerated.
From the annual report for yearly income, Korean earn about 3.2k( 30k usd) krw and 2.5k (22k usd).
Monthly income should around 2m krw.

The truth is the half of people cannot make even that money, means less than 2m krw.
The workers who work for global big companies or some specialists make twice or bigger money of that( 4m ~ 10m krw / 3.7k ~ 8k ) .

Why this happening is that Korea is one of the highly exports nations.
Absorb global money => strong KRW => increases price index => demands of wage enlargement =>
global company press down products costs => sub contractors hold increasing wage but big companies.

If you guys get a job at one of the global big companies, you can afford a pretty nice life.
Anonymous on Nov 28, 2018:
Seoul is a nice place to live.
The Salary data in Numeo is not high.
if you work for well-known large companies or good one, your salary level is way higher.

It is a capitalistic country. so if you are capable or young, you can have more opportunities.
If you want to add an Asian experience in your resume, Seoul is one of the best city in Asia.
Anonymous on Nov 26, 2018:
One of the most expensive cities even considering the gdp per capita. Low low PPP...
Jessica Simpson on Nov 04, 2018:
The salary is a joke in Seoul, fake data ...
People here don't make that money at all.
Only IT workers, most people only make half.
RR on Aug 25, 2018:
I am Korean.
I lived in Seoul for 30 years. My English is bad. Sorry.

The problem in Korea is the house price.
It starts at $ 450. It is a very small room.
And the deposit starts at $ 3,000~5,000

But the price of eating out is not bad.
The price is $ 7 or $ 10.

If you are frugal and do not live luxuriously.
You can live for even $ 800 a month. (Excluding deposit rental fee)
But your life will be little pain.
and no have fun.
evan on Jul 03, 2018:
Hi
I'm 18/5 years old and would probably move to S. Korea next year. I live in Iran and I'm really trying to get a scholarship which I think it would be the one that only pays for tuition fee of the university (wanna study music). With this, how much do I need to have for just having a place for sleep and a single meal everyday? (Yes just a place for sleeping like a 3×1 room will work for me/ I don't have problems with walking long distances and wearing the same cloth for a whole year, so pathetic HAHA) and how hard I can find a job that actually provides me with the money needed and a little bit more for saving?(i gave it a second thought. Is their anyone who will let me stay in the work place for the nights? Or we just see it in k-drama?)
Oh I forgot! I can speak Persian and Arabic too. Can I work as a traslator or A language teacher (persian and english)?
My Email is tiktaak13@gmail.com
thank you!
Kev on Jun 03, 2018:
While most stuffs here are technically right, some of these stuffs are just irrelevant to the norms of living in S.Korea.

Most absurd thing I see is about the examples they used for the comparison of price of cars: VW Golf and Toyota Corolla. Both are considered "upscale" in Korea since they are priced higher than most domestic brand vehicles like Hyundai's or KIA's. Korea tax heavily for the import vehicles in order to protect their domestic brands' market, resulting in ridiculous prices for the most cars that are considered basic in other countries. Given that Korean domestic car manufacturer's known practice of cutting corners in their domestic products (yes, they do make it better for the export products, and it's always been a hot subject to be discussed in car forums in Korea), these import brands are considered more reliable and upscale. This result in pretty interesting vehicle lineups for the import brands. They really go for the upscale image for their brands as import manufacturers, ditch their most basic cars (they won't even sell very well anyways since Koreans don't like to have compacts/hatchbacks due to the pervasive assumption of bigger cars being safer in accidents, and bigger car having more "road authority") and make their lineup starting from mid-sized sedan and compact SUVs, priced almost x1.5 compared to their counterparts in North America. You'll see something like meticulously maintained Honda mid 2000's CR-Vs in Korea, while in the city I'm currently at, they're nothing more than 10-year beaters that are starting to show their age in paint bubbles or rusted out wheel wells. If you want to have a car in Korea, be prepared to buy either Hyundai or Kia, or Chevrolet (due to Korea-US free trades agreement, they are rather affordable there) made sub-par than their NA counterparts, or to pay whopping x2 price for the most basic import cars you'd usually see in any NA cities. Most of Korean domestic vehicles' price start at about the same as any other entry cars in NA market.

On a similar note, don't expect to buy any import goods for a reasonable price there... you'd better love Korean domestic products (which have gotten quite competitive in recent years, I gotta say) or you'll be paying above average for your groceries.

Next being the most important subject, housing. Rent per month for 1BR here seems about right, but for 3BRs in Korea, you'd almost never go for monthly rent. There is a form of leasing an apartment which you'd make a deposit for about its half to about 75% of its market value to the owner, called "전세" (pronounced "Jeon-seh"), that you just forget about the monthly rent and get back that deposit when you move out. These are becoming the norm of getting a dwelling for newer families in Seoul. Also in relation to the rents, while it looks cheaper to rent a place in Korean in comparison to other big NA cities, the minimum wage in Korea, which is not listed here, is still at about 7 USD. If you'd be working a minimum wage job in Korea, you'd be working about the same hours to earn yourself a living as you would in any other big NA cities.

Meanwhile, some stuffs like fast internet, cigarettes, eating out, fashionable clothing and public transports, are much more affordable than where I'm currently living at. If you're dependent on any of those, you'd be enjoying your life there. Great thing about Korea is that there is abundance of cheaply priced eateries which are already so much better in comparison to similarly priced ones in NA (in relation to the different minimum wages). You'd be hanging out with your friends a lot, which is never a bad thing, especially as an immigrant or a foreign worker. Also for the internet, I'd get 10x speed for the half price in Korea in comparison to what I'm paying for my plan in my current city. You'd be spoiled if you frequent video streaming services or downloading games on Steam.

The other things that I didn't mention are quite well addressed in Megustastu's comment down there. I might have dropped out a few things that are also equally important as those stated above... but I'm too drunk right now to go over my rant checking everything. Let me know if there's anything that you'd like to know. I might check back later sometime.

These being said, as a Korean who lived there for 25 years and moved over to somewhere in NA few years back, I really do miss my country. Not a day goes by nowadays without me pondering about the idea of giving up and going back. I miss my friends there, and the ability to speak to people without checking my grammar, pronunciation and intonations in this foreign language I speak. But then, I like being able to drive my convertible breathing clean air (yeah, being able to breath clean air is also a thing in NA) which never would have been possible if I had stayed in Korea. I also like the selection of great domestic craft beer which is priced at about 2.5 USD per 350ml bottle over here. Something I'd never get in Korea.