Cost of Living in Seoul

Summary about cost of living in Seoul, South Korea:

Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 36.36 R$ 27.27-49.65
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 227.23 R$ 159.06-454.45
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 29.54 R$ 24.99-31.81
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 17.04 R$ 9.09-22.72
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 27.27 R$ 18.18-40.90
Cappuccino (regular) 21.74 R$ 11.36-27.27
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 7.44 R$ 5.45-13.63
Water (12 oz small bottle) 3.97 R$ 2.73-6.82
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 44.69 R$ 34.41-51.61
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 11.98 R$ 8.25-16.57
Rice (white), (1 lb) 9.63 R$ 5.15-14.43
Eggs (regular) (12) 17.86 R$ 9.09-29.99
Local Cheese (1 lb) 32.51 R$ 16.49-61.84
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 21.70 R$ 10.81-37.10
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 76.65 R$ 30.92-204.08
Apples (1 lb) 18.14 R$ 8.25-26.80
Banana (1 lb) 8.43 R$ 6.18-12.99
Oranges (1 lb) 13.73 R$ 8.25-22.68
Tomato (1 lb) 15.43 R$ 7.21-24.74
Potato (1 lb) 8.58 R$ 4.12-12.37
Onion (1 lb) 6.93 R$ 4.12-10.31
Lettuce (1 head) 11.49 R$ 6.82-18.18
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 5.80 R$ 3.18-8.18
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 90.89 R$ 68.17-159.06
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 11.92 R$ 9.09-20.45
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 14.16 R$ 11.36-22.72
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 20.45 R$ 20.45-22.72
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 5.68 R$ 5.68-6.82
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 249.95 R$ 227.23-363.56
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 17.27 R$ 15.91-18.18
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 6.95 R$ 5.54-10.97
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 54.53 R$ 52.77-90.89
Gasoline (1 gallon) 25.74 R$ 23.22-28.38
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 145,425.43 R$ 131,791.79-159,059.06
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 141,707.16 R$ 118,158.16-172,692.70
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 981.58 R$ 681.68-1,755.85
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.67 R$ 0.23-0.91
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 121.12 R$ 90.89-181.78
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 297.34 R$ 181.78-454.45
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 103.51 R$ 45.45-136.34
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 49.99 R$ 40.90-59.08
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 2,291.95 R$ 1,590.59-3,635.64
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 110,091.59 R$ 54,534.54-175,531.67
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 327.17 R$ 227.23-454.45
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 236.86 R$ 136.34-363.56
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 427.76 R$ 318.12-545.35
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 657.90 R$ 454.45-999.80
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 4,862.95 R$ 2,482.59-8,180.18
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 3,428.17 R$ 2,045.05-6,206.48
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 12,710.84 R$ 9,089.09-20,450.45
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 6,970.53 R$ 4,999.00-12,412.96
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 9,775.45 R$ 6,332.98-12,665.95
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 4,845.58 R$ 3,426.20-6,332.98
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 13,915.08 R$
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.12 2.50-4.00

Prices in Seoul

This city had 1661 entries in the past 12 months by 212 different contributors.
Last update: August 2021
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53 Comments so far
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.
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:

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:
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
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.
Kaylee on May 17, 2018:
Thank you for the information I really want to move to korea but its just to far from where I am. I live in Mexico and I just want to go to a new place and really vibe it if anyboy recommends this please reply ASAP !
Pheonix on May 16, 2018:
Thank you for leaving this information I really needed to finish a project for my civics class which is due next week on friday but I always love to get ahead of class so i can just chill. Not doing anything in class is boring though. Is anyone else a K-Pop fan if so reply.

From Pheonix
akram on May 05, 2018:
Actually im living in morocco , and im thinking to move to korea , but i'm still in need of more information about life there , if someome can mail me to give me more infos ill be thankful
ps: if someone needs infos about living in morocco i'm here this is my mail "
Anonymous on Apr 24, 2018:
What are some cheaper and smaller places (city, town, etc.) in South Korea?
Tom on Apr 19, 2018:
I'm looking to move to Korea as an English teacher. I'm canadian and I'd prefer to work at a language school over teaching kids. What kind of wage should I be expecting and where in Seoul should I try to live/find work.
dmdm on Mar 29, 2018:
this is funny site, I guess.
First, I saw Paris page, it is so gloomy.

You can ask anything about seoul.. maybe I can answer it.
Jessica Hinz on Mar 20, 2018:
The wage is fake, people actually get 30% lower than this number.
Cost of living too high, not a place to live.
Mario on Feb 11, 2018:
I am living in Seoul since 2010 and the prices of grocery are only accurate in traditional markets not easily available for many people. Prices in local supermarkets chains are 15%-25% more expensive, so at the end of the month, buying basic food really drains your salary.
If anyone is planning to get a job here you should get paid at least KRW 30,000,000 a year as an entry level position to have a minimum life standard (housing costs not included).
Overtime work is (literally) endless in some jobs, so take that into account, because it could ruin your health and life condition.
Anon on Jan 30, 2018:
The cost of groceries is higher and the salaries is lower than above. In seoul it's not human's life
Kjelly on Jan 25, 2018:
(Alert: not so good English - I'm Korean)
* 1000 krw = 1 usd for convenience
(Currently 1 usd = 1058 krw)

Many people ask 'how much money is enough to live on avg in seoul'. For that, I think you need to know 'how much is minimal fee'.
I defined 'minimal' includes 2~3 meals/day, basic cellphone fee, transport fee. In that case, it only costs around 450 usd.
(Cellphone 30 usd, transport 1.25 usd * 20 = 25 usd
6 usd * 2.3 meals/day * 30 = 400 usd)

We also need to consider rental fee. If you live alone, you can get a small room(including small kitchen & toilet - usually 13~19m^2) with 400~600 usd per month. Of course, there is a deposit fee, usually starts from 5000 usd. One of past comment is explained well.

If you need further information about living in Seoul or near, you can mail me. But I only can give you a infos from native Korean's view.
Kang on Jan 13, 2018:
As Korean, Seoul is too much city in Korea.
If you want some life information of Korea city, send email to me.
Anonymous on Dec 06, 2017:
South Korea, especially Seoul is getting expensive. Based on the "The Economist 2017" measure of cost living in cities around the world; Seoul is ranked the 6th most expensive city in the world. Seoul, in terms of cost of living is more expensive than cites like New York, London, Paris and Copenhagen. I've been to Seoul many times, and some of my family live in Seoul, Incheon, and in other provinces in around the country and the cost of living is rising everyday, due to rapid development, improvement of living standards. Also due to the strengthening of the Korean currency, which just recently surpassed the Japanese yen.

If you're coming from countries like the US, UK, Europe, cost of living should be similar.

Korea is beauty place to have a good life if you have money and education. if not, then it can be very harsh to live there.

The prices here on numbeo are quite accurate but make sure before come to Seoul, to have a enough (or little bit more money) for what you want to do.
Juaneta Abigail on Sep 28, 2017:
Holla!! I am thinking of moving to South Korea in the end of 2018 or 2019, and yet I got no idea how living in Korea would be.. can someone help me??
MegatonBomb on Sep 23, 2017:
Hello, I am currently 16 and plan on moving to South Korea in 2019 or early 2020 when I am 18. I was just wondering how easy is it to find a roommate?
Megustastu on Sep 19, 2017:
Hello I am Korean living in Korea(near Seoul). And I found those costs are quite accurate.
But, two things are very various depend on the situation.

1. Monthly Salary : In small, medium companies, office workers' annual salary starts around USD20,000(Highschool degree). But in big companies like Samsung, LG, etc. the salary would start around USD35,000 or more(Bac degree). This is based on new employees.

2. Rent : This is very uneven. Usually we rent flat/studio/apartment with deposit and rent.
Deposit is the money you give the landlord in case of breaking facilities in the house or delayed rent. They will deduct the amount when you move out. This starts from USD4,500 ~ 265,000. Of course there are contracts without deposit but I guess this is hard to find and may apply high rent. Also you can adjust the rent with more or less deposit. With more deposit, less rent you pay.
Here you can check the lists of rents. These are the most famous house rental website. But they only offer Korean language.

Below are supermarket chains websites. You can order stuff from those websites and they deliver it to your home whenever the time you pick. You can see how much actual stuff cost in Korea.

And Korean people living in big cities kinda speak English. Not much hard to find someone speak English. Most of young people understand what you are saying but they just don't know how to explain. lol
Anonymous on Sep 08, 2017:
I am planning to go to south Korea I'm an engineer. I want to know do Koreans speak English there or I will have to learn Korean.
Shirley on Sep 03, 2017:
Hi, I am relocating to Seoul for work with my family in Nov. For a family of four, how much monthly expenses are needed for a family of 4 excluding the rental.
How much is the average earnings of a manager in Seoul?
Fast reply please... thanks.
Can also email to :
Muhammad Zs on Aug 17, 2017:
hi i am moving to chung-ang university for masters program. i need info is 1000 dollar is enough for first month and second my monthly salary is 700000 KRW is it enough? My housing deposit is zero, i only have to pay the rent.
Kiki on Aug 12, 2017:
War is coming .. my all friends from south trying to move to another coutry . Dont go there .. wont be safe soon