Before coming to Korea, I have heard from a lot of people that Korea is quite expensive. Of course, we could have different definition of what expensive is. For some, a 5,000 won-meal could be relatively cheap. But for me, at least from where I came from, you could already buy a bucket of fried chicken with that amount. Thus, the answer to the question, “Is Korea expensive?” actually depends on each person. But if you want to have an idea on how much is the cost of traveling within Korea, here are some estimations with explanations.
Bulk of the cost of traveling within Korea is for the accommodation. Its cost depends on the type of place that you would want to stay, its location and the dates. For example, during peak season, expect the cost of the accommodations near popular tourist spots could go up to two to three times.
Here is an estimated cost:
- Guesthouse and Hostels: 8,000 to 50,000 Korean won per night
- Mid-range Accommodations: 51,000 to 100,000 Korean won per night
- Hotels: Over 100,000 Korean won per night
Another cost that you have to consider is the food. Again, this cost depends on each person. If you are a person who likes to eat, then you will probably spend a lot as there are many Korean dishes that are worth to try. On the other hand, if you are not into eating and more on sightseeing, you might actually forget to eat on-time. It is because there are many places in Korea that will definitely satisfy your eyes and make you forget your cravings for food. Here is an estimation of food cost in Korea.
- One simple meal: 7,000 to 10,000 Korean won per person
- Buffet restaurants: 10,000 to 30,000 Korean won per head
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An essential part of your travel budget is the transportation cost. Good thing the public transportation in Korea is very convenient and reliable. Here is an estimated cost:
- Subway Minimum Fare: 1,250 KRW (T-Money); 1,350 KRW (Cash)
- Bus Minimum fare: 900 to 2,150 KRW (T-Money); 1,000 to 2,250 KRW (Cash)
- Taxi Base Fare: 2,800 to 3,800 Base Fare (Standard); 3,900 to 6,500 KRW (Deluxe and Jumbo)
Traveler’s Sim Card or Wi-Fi
Buying a traveler’s sim card or renting a pocket Wi-Fi is optional. If you are traveling to Seoul and large cities, there are free Wi-Fi in some public areas like subway station or bus. But if you plan to travel to provinces, you might need to consider adding this to your cost of traveling to Korea. Its cost depends on the number of days and its data, call and texts inclusion.
Here is an estimation:
- 1-day Sim Card Use with Unlimited Data: 6,000 KRW
- 5-day Sim Card Use with Unlimited Data: 25,000 KRW
- 10-day Sim Card Use with Unlimited Data: 35,000 KRW
- 30-day Sim Card Use with Unlimited Data: 65,000 KRW
- Pocket Wi-Fi Rental: 3,200 KRW per day
Entrance fees depend on the places that you want to go to. There are a lot of places in Korea that doesn’t collect entrance fees so you might want to take advantage of that. But to give you an idea, here are the estimated entrance fees in some famous tourist spots in Korea.
- N Seoul Tower: 11,000 KRW
- Palaces: 10,000 KRW for all major palaces in Seoul; FREE if you are wearing a hanbok or Korean traditional clothing
- Lotte World: 45,000 to 59,000 KRW
- Everland: 56,000 KRW
- Nami Island: 13,000 KRW
- Petite France: 10,000 KRW
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If you are looking for sample itineraries and guides to help you plan your trip to Korea, refer to the links below:
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