Cost of living in South Korea

Summary of cost of living in South Korea

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: $5,856 (₩7,155,556)
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: $3,686 (₩4,504,565)
  • WARNING!  These estimates are based on data that may have some inconsistencies at the moment. They already provide a decent estimate but they are not currently bullet-proof.
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Exchange rate:0.00082 USD / KRW
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Food
KRW USD
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₩11,980 ($10)
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) ₩6,615 ($5.41)
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₩5,632 ($4.61)
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₩2,759 ($2.26)
12 eggs, large ₩6,542 ($5.35)
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₩7,203 ($5.89)
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₩16,031 ($13)
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₩8,264 ($7)
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₩3,965 ($3.25)
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₩3,108 ($2.54)
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₩34,167 ($28)
2 liters of coca-cola ₩3,437 ($2.81)
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₩4,184 ($3.42)
Housing
KRW USD
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area ₩4,454,430 ($3,645)
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area ₩2,796,960 ($2,289)
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₩253,895 ($208)
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area ₩1,589,470 ($1,301)
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area ₩779,612 ($638)
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio ₩86,783 ($71)
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ₩32,020 ($26)
40” flat screen tv ₩219,090 ($179)
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) ₩89,516 ($73)
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₩16,029 ($13)
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₩14,433 ($12)
Clothes
KRW USD
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) ₩69,705 ($57)
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) ₩54,258 ($44)
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) ₩82,310 ($67)
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₩127,854 ($105)
Transportation
KRW USD
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₩35,091,300 ($28,718)
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₩1,965 ($1.61)
Monthly ticket public transport ₩63,651 ($52)
Personal Care
KRW USD
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₩8,245 ($7)
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₩4,500 ($3.68)
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) ₩76,762 ($63)
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) ₩21,034 ($17)
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₩10,694 ($9)
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₩8,457 ($7)
4 rolls of toilet paper ₩5,308 ($4.34)
Tube of toothpaste ₩8,235 ($7)
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₩12,817 ($10)
Entertainment
KRW USD
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₩32,969 ($27)
2 tickets to the movies ₩29,287 ($24)
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₩379,963 ($311)
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₩89,730 ($73)
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₩17,897 ($15)
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₩6,563 ($5.37)
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₩5,017 ($4.11)
Ipad wi-fi 128gb ₩795,597 ($651)
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₩236 ($0.19)
1 month of gym membership in business district ₩116,074 ($95)
1 package of marlboro cigarettes ₩4,500 ($3.68)

Moving to South Korea with your children?

International Schools in South Korea

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 Seoul 133
2nd Busan 97
3rd Daegu 86

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.

Prices recently added

  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city in Seoul costs ₩7,000 (1 day ago)
  • Cocktail drink in downtown club in Seoul costs ₩20,000 (1 day ago)
  • Nice dinner at an italian restaurant, dinner for two in Seoul costs ₩50,000 (1 day ago)
  • Basic dinner out in neighborhood pub, dinner for two in Seoul costs ₩40,000 (1 day ago)
  • Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city in Seoul costs ₩35,000 (1 day ago)
  • Short visit to private doctor in Seoul costs ₩100,000 (1 day ago)
  • One-way ticket in public transport in Seoul costs ₩1,250 (1 day ago)
  • Public transport in Seoul costs ₩60,000 (1 day ago)
  • Hourly rate for domestic cleaning help in Seoul costs ₩15,000 (1 day ago)
  • Utilities, monthly for 2 people in 85 m2 in Seoul costs ₩250,000 (1 day ago)

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