Cost of living in South Korea

Compare the cost of your home country to the actual living costs in South Korea, simply select your home currency and see the difference!

All data is kept up to date by local members and actual students. Our latest update was on: 30th of May 2020

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Food Price in ₩
12 eggs dozen, large 12.50 KRW
1 beer pint in local shops, markets 7 KRW
1 kg of tomatoes 8.50 KRW
Full chicken 2kg 38.75 KRW
1litre 100% fruit juice 8.50 KRW
1 package of cigarettes imported brands 25 KRW
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 7.50 KRW
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 48.95 KRW
2.5 liters of Coca-Cola 0.95 KRW
1 Bread loaf standard 9.50 KRW
Whole fat Yogurt. 500ml 12 KRW
1x6 pack Dardanelle tuna 18.50 KRW
Heinz baked beans 1 tin 8 KRW
1.5 kg Sugar 10 KRW
2 liter cooking oil 20 KRW
Yum-yum noodles per pack 2.00 KRW
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 5.50 KRW
1 liter milk 8.50 KRW
Fast food restaurant large serving/ take away 25 KRW
Utilities per month (water, electricity, gas) for 2 people in flat 165 KRW
Wi-Fi monthly fee 8 Mbps (1 month) 145 KRW
Laundry detergent (bleach, sunlight liquid, washing surf… altogether) 58.50 KRW
House Cleaning fee per day 105 KRW
Large Gas heater price range upwards. 200 KRW
Original branded Electric Fans 200 KRW
Original branded Electric kettle. 120 KRW
40 inches Beko flat screen HD TV set 2000 KRW
Single bed Blankets 120 KRW
Personal Care
Avon for women and men cologne 100 KRW
Ladies hair plaiting. 60 KRW
Ladies Sanitaryware (Pads and Tampoons) 18 KRW
Men's haircut 40 KRW
Ibuprofen, Panadol, Grandpa Pain killers box of 12 dosses 24.50 KRW
Mobile package local network providers’ talk-time, data and messages 65 KRW
1 month of gym subscription. 105 KRW
Earphones original (Samsung. iPhone) 90 KRW
Unisex Loris perfume 30 KRW
Gadgets maintenance and repairs (cellphone, laptops, tablets...) starting price. 100 KRW
Smart phones (Samsung, Xiaomi, HTC, IPhone) price range upwards 1000 KRW
Laptops (Samsung, Lenovo, Hp, Monster, Dell etc.) price range upwards 3000 KRW
Boat cruise with refreshments and finger snacks 120 KRW
Go carting 30mins 120 KRW
Movie House 3d cinema 30 KRW
Summer Festivals (jet, bumper cars, lucky deep ...(per ticket) 15 KRW
Photo shoot 120 KRW
Cappuccino / expresso/ coffee 12.50 KRW
3 course dinner local restaurant two people 96.50 KRW
3 course dinner classy, exotic restaurant two people 150 KRW
Play station 4 console without games. 2000 KRW
Spalding Basketball 200 KRW
Original branded Racket and Wilson’s tennis balls 500 KRW
Taxi fare on average 5-10km 45 KRW
Public transport per trip one way maximum fare 30 KRW
1 liter petrol/diesel 6.50 KRW
1 day rent a car cost 140 KRW
Driver’s license 2300 KRW
1 pair of jeans (Denim or similar) 150 KRW
1 pair of men’s formal shoes 215 KRW
1 pair original sport/casual shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) 280 KRW
1 classy summer dress (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) 135.79 KRW
Ladies formal shoes original and durable 120 KRW
Back-pack, gym bag (Nike, Adidas, New balance) 150 KRW

One of the most important factors that many students consider when searching for a study-abroad destination for their higher studies. Living costs vary from country to country depending on the standard of living there, in South Korea the living costs include rent, transportation, food, and entertainment expenses.

The currency of exchange used in South Korea is the won (₩) and this is used all over the country, all expenses are in this currency and you can convert based on the present rates. Also please note that certain costs might change progressively, however, these figures are what you can expect to pay while living in South Korea.

Rent Prices in South Korea

The price of rent depends on the city you reside in, larger cities like Seoul and Busan or main districts within the city cost more than other areas. If you are willing to live outside of the main district, rent will be cheaper. Finding an apartment in South Korea would mean that you might need to contact the services of a real estate agent or your university campus services for both campus and off-campus accommodations. These agents are the safest and easiest way to find housing as a student in South Korea, they speak to the house owners and help with the contracts which are most favorable for students.

Some rental prices include utilities such as water, heating, and electricity which can the negotiated by an agent. There is also the option of using apps and not dealing with real estate agents at all, popular rental apps include dabangapp, zigbang, and peterpanz.

RocApply Tips: Here are some important Korean words when renting in the country

“ wolse” – monthly rent “gwallibi” – maintenance fee “sudoyogeum” – water bill
“jeongiyogeum” – electricity bill “gyeyakseo” – contract

Food Prices in South Korea

Food is cheap in South Korea, and shopping for groceries as a student is very cost-effective as you can stock-up for extended periods and not break the bank in doing so. In a supermarket, a carton of milk costs around ₩2,500, and the price of snacks and sweets usually starts at ₩1,000. Many supermarkets in South Korea have special deals, discounts, and coupon events too so you can shop even cheaper. Some major supermarkets such as E-Mart or Homeplus, offer free home delivery for groceries.

Eating out in South Korea is reasonably priced as well, at cheap restaurants meals usually start from around ₩7,000, Fast food chains start from around ₩6,000, and the price of beer costs around ₩3,000 and upwards.

If you are not confident in your knowledge of the Korean language, you need not worry because wait-staff in Korean main districts understand English and can assist you accordingly. If you are outside of these areas you will need to order in Korea, so try to learn a few phrases especially the basic ones, the Korean people around you will be very appreciative of your efforts.

RocApply Tip: Some vocabulary for food and drink items in Korean

“dak gaseumsal” – chicken breast “sagwa” – apple “banana” – banana
“gamja” – potato “soju” – Korean locally distilled beverage

Entertainment Prices in South Korea

There are many entertainment options in Korea and one popular entertainment activity amongst students is going to the cinema. Cinema tickets usually cost around ₩12,000 and that's for regular screening, this might be a lot for some students but do not worry we have some tips to help reduce the cost.

RocApply Tips

  • 1. Buy online, if you buy online you can usually get tickets for as low as ₩7,500 and if you sign up for mailing lists or become a member you can get more discounts, sometimes 10% to 30% off.
  • 2. Check social media, many South Korean companies offer free movie tickets and snacks if you share their content on your social media.
  • 3. Look for cinema discounts, you can get cheaper tickets by going on certain dates or at certain times of the day.

Transportation in South Korea

Public transport is very convenient, effective and, cheap in South Korea. The first thing you will need to do is buy a ‘T-Money Card’, there are many types and the cheapest T-money cards can be purchased for ₩2,500 and can be used to pay for transport fares. These cards can be charged up with money before you ride and it is really easy to use. You can buy it at the nearest ticket stations in the subway.

Trips on the subway usually cost ₩1,250 for an adult and ₩720 for young people and students. Bus fares can vary depending on the company and the time of the day you want to travel. They can be from ₩1,200 to ₩2,500. You can also get discounts on these fares if you have a credit card, as some credit cards give transport discounts.

If you need to catch a taxi, “iiban” which are regular taxis start from ₩3,000 and ‘mobeom” which are deluxe taxis start from ₩5,000, you can spot deluxe taxis easily as they are black with a yellow top. If you catch a taxi late at night then there is an extra charge.

RocApply Tips: Here are some words that can help you with getting around in South Korea.
“daejung-gyotong” – public transport “beoseu” – buses “jihacheol” – subways
“taegsi” – taxis

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