Cost of Living in Seoul

Summary of cost of living in Seoul, South Korea:

Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 7.40 $ 5.18-11.10
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 48.11 $ 29.61-74.02
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 5.92 $ 5.18-6.66
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 3.70 $ 1.85-5.18
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 4.44 $ 2.96-6.66
Cappuccino (regular) 3.81 $ 2.89-4.81
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 1.51 $ 1.11-2.22
Water (12 oz small bottle) 0.74 $ 0.59-1.11
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 8.08 $ 5.60-11.77
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.77 $ 2.00-4.03
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.60 $ 0.84-2.69
Eggs (regular) (12) 3.95 $ 1.92-6.21
Local Cheese (1 lb) 5.63 $ 3.36-13.43
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 4.49 $ 1.98-5.88
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 18.49 $ 8.73-33.57
Apples (1 lb) 2.95 $ 1.01-4.03
Banana (1 lb) 1.67 $ 1.01-3.35
Oranges (1 lb) 2.72 $ 1.01-4.85
Tomato (1 lb) 2.73 $ 1.34-5.04
Potato (1 lb) 1.97 $ 1.01-5.04
Onion (1 lb) 1.40 $ 0.67-1.98
Lettuce (1 head) 2.36 $ 1.47-3.34
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.06 $ 0.59-1.48
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 16.28 $ 11.10-29.61
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.42 $ 1.85-4.44
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 2.78 $ 1.85-3.70
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 3.33 $ 3.33-5.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.96 $ 0.93-1.11
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 42.56 $ 37.01-59.21
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.55 $ 2.81-3.55
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 1.19 $ 0.91-1.67
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 8.88 $ 8.88-13.32
Gasoline (1 gallon) 5.19 $ 4.48-5.91
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 28,027.51 $ 27,927.95-29,607.43
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 25,273.30 $ 22,205.58-27,386.88
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 177.72 $ 111.03-222.06
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data 47.86 $ 25.91-55.51
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 23.49 $ 14.80-37.01
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 59.12 $ 22.21-111.03
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 16.58 $ 10.73-22.21
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 11.10 $ 8.88-13.32
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 378.50 $ 296.07-562.54
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 19,540.91 $ 9,770.45-29,607.43
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 60.63 $ 37.01-96.22
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 45.81 $ 25.91-74.02
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 78.55 $ 45.15-118.43
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 123.60 $ 88.82-185.05
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 784.85 $ 555.14-1,480.37
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 518.74 $ 370.09-925.23
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,629.59 $ 1,480.37-4,811.21
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,651.43 $ 1,036.26-2,960.74
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,942.86 $ 1,031.47-3,439.62
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,082.17 $ 825.18-2,062.95
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 2,832.43 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 4.47 3.00-6.00

Prices in Seoul

This city had 1904 entries in the past 12 months by 247 different contributors.
Last update: October 2023
Sources and References
Distribution of Expenses Using Our Statistical Model:
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23 Comments so far
Korean on Aug 26, 2022:
"A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,432,775.68₩ without rent."

This is just nonsense. There is no way, it costs this much to live in Seoul. A rather reasonable number would be around 800,000 to 1,000,000KRW
Anonymous on Jul 26, 2022:
I’m curious is a 130,000,000 KRW ($100,000) salary in Seoul enough to live nice?
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.
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.