Cost of living in South Korea

Summary of cost of living in South Korea

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: ₩5,040,576
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: ₩2,369,614
  • Cost of living in South Korea is more expensive than in 75% of countries in Asia (4 out of 12)
  • Cost of living in South Korea is more expensive than in 75% of countries in the World (20 out of 77)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district ₩9,411
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) ₩6,661
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast ₩5,558
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk ₩2,243
12 eggs, large ₩4,906
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes ₩6,379
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese ₩13,015
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples ₩5,944
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes ₩3,678
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket ₩2,166
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality ₩22,522
2 liters of coca-cola ₩2,819
Bread for 2 people for 1 day ₩2,980
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area ₩1,839,660
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area ₩1,187,480
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat ₩250,846
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area ₩1,200,300
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area ₩587,302
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio ₩81,680
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) ₩41,339
40” flat screen tv ₩352,573
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) ₩113,587
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) ₩13,071
Hourly rate for cleaning help ₩13,039
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) ₩41,844
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) ₩52,250
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) ₩95,365
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes ₩173,054
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new ₩30,595,300
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas ₩1,439
Monthly ticket public transport ₩80,931
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) ₩6,377
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) ₩7,390
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) ₩96,192
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) ₩21,662
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) ₩8,130
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) ₩8,324
4 rolls of toilet paper ₩1,815
Tube of toothpaste ₩2,204
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city ₩17,384
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub ₩33,460
2 tickets to the movies ₩20,876
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) ₩165,595
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert ₩67,775
1 cocktail drink in downtown club ₩10,109
Cappuccino in expat area of the city ₩5,000
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) ₩5,279
Ipad wi-fi 128gb ₩669,053
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) ₩1,500
1 month of gym membership in business district ₩61,508
1 package of marlboro cigarettes ₩4,500

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 151
2nd Seoul 146
3rd Busan 124

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.

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