Cost of living in South Korea

Summary of cost of living in South Korea

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: ₩4,399,429
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: ₩2,046,040
  • Cost of living in South Korea is more expensive than in 69% of countries in Asia (5 out of 13)
  • Cost of living in South Korea is more expensive than in 70% of countries in the World (30 out of 96)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₩9,483
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) ₩6,559
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₩6,201
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₩2,633
12 eggs, large ₩3,973
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₩6,606
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₩10,909
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₩9,214
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₩5,079
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₩2,476
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₩25,498
2 liters of coca-cola ₩2,754
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₩3,148
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area ₩1,495,100
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area ₩1,111,570
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₩252,074
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area ₩634,731
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area ₩569,700
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio ₩113,814
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ₩30,841
40” flat screen tv ₩512,722
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) ₩113,954
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₩10,470
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₩19,321
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) ₩71,342
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) ₩65,686
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) ₩111,765
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₩179,488
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₩34,775,100
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₩1,465
Monthly ticket public transport ₩68,780
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₩5,944
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₩7,390
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) ₩20,000
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) ₩18,944
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₩8,772
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₩10,077
4 rolls of toilet paper ₩3,335
Tube of toothpaste ₩2,422
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₩14,650
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₩33,427
2 tickets to the movies ₩21,349
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₩237,681
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₩57,938
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₩11,217
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₩4,985
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₩5,256
Ipad wi-fi 128gb ₩575,683
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₩146
1 month of gym membership in business district ₩71,312
1 package of marlboro cigarettes ₩4,555

Map of Cost of Living in South Korea

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This map shows only the top cities in South Korea. We also have on this page a list of all the cities available in Expatistan:
List of all the cities available in Expatistan

The color of each marker corresponds with the cost of living in the city red markers show more expensive cities green ones show cheaper cities
Moving the mouse on top of a city will show its name and the Cost of Living Index of that city.

What is the Cost of Living Index? To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Cost of Living Ranking in South Korea

(top cities by data quality)

Ranking City Price Index *
1st Bucheon 153
2nd Seoul 142
3rd Busan 127

Price Index:

To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Are you moving to South Korea? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in South Korea of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

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Prices recently added

  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Seoul costs ₩7,000 (2 days ago)
  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Seoul costs ₩4,500 (3 days ago)
  • 1 ticket to the movies in Daegu costs ₩20,000 (11 days ago)