Actual Cost of Traveling Korea

How much would I spend traveling Korea?

Sung J LEE
4 years ago

Hello, everyone! We are Creatrip, a group of travel experts.

It can be super difficult for those who are unfamiliar with Korea to estimate the cost of travel before actually visiting the country.

So today we brought you a summary of travel expenses for traveling Korea! Of course, budgets can vary, but this post covers general information on accommodation, meals, cafes (dessert costs) and transportation expenses.

1. Accommodation

On average 50,000KRW (US$43.00)
(2 people, based on per person payment)

One night, per person (Room for two)

Hotel100,000 ~
starting from $85.00
Motel40,000 ~
starting from $35.00
Guest House
starting from $17.00

One of the best things about traveling Korea is that there are a variety of accommodation types to choose from all along the price ranges    

Accommodation Price Range | Hotel

Price: 200,000-400,000KRW


For five-star hotels in Seoul, a room can cost up to $150 - $350. As pricey as the rooms are per night, they also tend to offer the best service. You might be able to find deals for these high-end hotels on reservation sites such as Hotels.com for as low as $85.00 a night. 


Accommodation Price Range | Motel

Price: 40,000-90,000KRW


Blanc Hotel Gangnam, Seoul

Motels are far more inexpensive than hotels. As more accommodation businesses are popping up and competition is getting fierce, the service offered at motels now is about as good as a three-star hotel.  

Nowadays, there aren't many distinctions that really set motels apart from hotels, apart from luxury five-star businesses. In fact, many motels are listed as two or three-star hotels on booking websites. 

Accommodation Price Range | Guest House

Price: 40,000-80,000KRW


The guest house system works by renting out the entire house. If you have a bigger group, the price per person would be cheaper to rent a guest house (or airbnb) as compared to staying at a hotel or a motel.

2. Food

On average 40,000KRW (US$35.00)
(three meals per person a day)

There are food options galore for those of you shouting, "I came to Korea to eat!" 

But of course, while finding good food is always important, you can't forget about the costs.

There tends to be a lot of variation in prices for food in Korea, depending on what it is.

Therefore, this average pricing is divided up into breakfast, lunch/dinner, and late-night snacks. 

1) Breakfast (Simple Meals)

Price : Less than 5,000KRW (US$5.00)

For one person

Issac Toast2,600
Convenience Store3,000

Most Koreans keep their breakfasts relatively simple. Usually, you should be able to find something that costs around $2.50. 

A popular breakfast food, the ham and cheese toast from Issac Toast is $2.25.

Another grab-and-go Korean food, gimbap, is around $2.15. 

The cost for getting a triangle-gimbap and a thing of milk would set you back a mere $2.50. 

2) Full Meal (Lunch, Dinner)

On average 12,000KRW (US$10.00)
(per meal) 

For one person

Kimchi Soup8,000$6.80
Soy Paste Soup
Black Sausage Soup
Grilled Intestine
Pork Belly15,000$12.90
Korean Buffet
(1 chicken, for two)

You might find the typical $10.00 - $17.00 price point at many Korean restaurants are expensive, but not all foods are this pricey   Even those who never cook at home don't usually spend so much on a single meal.

Even in Gangnam, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Korea, you can still find great meals for less than $8.00.

You can get a filling meal at general rice meal restaurants (that sell Kimchi Soup, Soy Paste Soup, Black Sausage Soup, etc.) for about 7 - 8 bucks. These are the types of restaurants that local workers would stop by for lunch.

Stir-fried spicy pork

Black sausage soup

Pork belly


⭐️ CreaTIP Smaller stores or street food vendors often don't take card, so make sure to have at least some amount of cash with you (20,000 - 30,000 KRW)  

3) Cafe

11,000KRW (US$9.50)
(One drink + one dessert)

Cafe Latte5,000$4.50
Milk Tea
Cake Slice
Herbal Tea

As you guys are probably already aware, there are countless cute, hipster cafes that are a must in Korea. 

Ordering from these cafes, however, will actually cost you as much as your meal ?

Drinks between $3.50 and $6.00.

Cake slices between $3.50 and $6.80.

Of course, fancier, expensive cakes can cost up to $8.60.

3. Transportation

On average 5,000KRW (US$4.30)
(assume 3 rides per day)

One-way fare per person in Seoul (using the T-MONEY card)
(Cash will cost an extra 100 KRW)

City Buses$1.008

If you use the transportation card (T Money Card) instead of cash, you actually get a discount.

Not only is this the case in Seoul, other cities such as Busan or Daegu offer a 5-7% discount for card use  

Additionally, if you use another form of transportation within 20 minutes of scanning out, you'll automatically get a transfer discount. 

For example, the fare to ride the bus twice would be $2.06 ($1.03 * 2). But if you are transferring from the subway or another bus, the total fare for both rides will be less than $1.38.

You can get a transportation card for $2.60 at any convenience store. You need to keep it topped up to use it on public transportation. 

This has been a summary of the estimated cost of traveling in Korea. If you have questions about information not covered in the blog post, please email us at help@creatrip.com

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