The Payment of Scoot in South Korea: My 2024 Funds Breakdown

The Payment of Scoot in South Korea: My 2024 Funds Breakdown

I changed into so excited to reach to South Korea.

I haven’t been to many places where I’ve felt this form of cohesive mix of veteran and unusual, but South Korea is one amongst them. Steeped with 5000 years of custom and historical previous, but built-in with smartly-liked song, technology, and infrastructure, it’s a country that surprised and happy me at every flip.

And Seoul? It’s one amongst my approved cities on the earth. At the same time as you happen to contemplate Fresh York Metropolis is the jam that never sleeps, neutral wait until that you just’ll likely be found in Seoul. All the procedure in which via my first discuss over with to the country, I landed within the South Korean capital hopeful for to dispute three or four days in metropolis, but ended up leaving after three weeks. Yes, I loved this metropolis so powerful that I merely couldn’t lift myself to scurry away.

I’d be walking the bustling streets of smartly-liked neighbourhood Hongdae within the early hours of the morning and realise that there changed into nowhere on earth rather admire it. Boulevard performers are sharing their most efficient routines to the latest K-pop songs, outlets are luminous and originate, karaoke is in all places, and clubs derive traces out the door. Talk about a sensory overload, but within the absolute ideal methodology.

On my return discuss over with, though, I knew I desired to stare extra of this beautiful country. South Korea is so powerful bigger than it’s biggest metropolis.

From the animated homes in Busan to the scenic coastal views and tea plantations on Jeju Island to the towering mountains of Seoraksan National Park: I loved every destination I visited within the country. Prepare to be swept away by all that Korea has to present, from Korean BBQ, K-pop, karaoke, palaces, temples, and arcades.

Nevertheless how are the costs? In this publish-pandemic world, the pricetag of budge has been skyrocketing, but this country has managed to live rather cheap.

As of late, I’m going to be revealing precisely how powerful you would possibly possibly well well question to dispute on a droop to South Korea.

I’ve been recording each buck, peso, and baht that I’ve spent on my travels since 2011 (I now derive over 65 budget breakdowns on the build!), aiming to present you a suitable bid of how powerful you would possibly possibly well well question to dispute in every country one day of the arena. As of late, it’s South Korea’s flip and I’m so excited to begin sharing.

Elevate yourself a cold bottle of soju because this publish’s a prolonged one!

Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul, and where veteran meets unusual

What’s Incorporated in this Put up

This budget breakdown covers how powerful I spent on lodging, transportation, activities, and food one day of my trips to South Korea.

The quantities within the manual are listed in U.S. bucks, merely for the reason that huge majority of my readers are from the U.S. I’ve also included costs within the South Korean won (KRW) — the native currency — as you’ll be the utilize of that one day of your time within the country.

At the time of writing (February 2024):

  • 1 USD: 1,300 KRW
  • 1 EUR: 1,450 KRW
  • 1 GBP: 1,675 KRW
  • 1 AUD: 875 KRW

Yes, this does originate calculating the costs of things rather tricky at the same time as you happen to’re in South Korea! For me, I saved in mind that 10,000 KRW is roughly 8 USD (€7, £6, or 11.50 AUD) and it made determining the costs of things a ways more uncomplicated.

One mercurial show I attain desire to originate about budge in South Korea is that it’s roughly advanced to pay for things! Korea is, this day, a cashless society — every person pays with playing cards and there aren’t loads of places which would possibly possibly well well be soft to accept money.

Now, that is probably going to be all properly and accurate if it wasn’t for the indisputable truth that the vast majority of fee terminals don’t accept international financial institution playing cards. Apple Pay is terribly small and Google Pay doesn’t exist at all.

Yes, in actual fact.

I’d sing that we were ready to successfully utilize our debit/credit playing cards 30% of the time in South Korea — and it made no distinction whether or now not we were the utilize of our U.K., Australian, or Fresh Zealand playing cards.

So, what to realize?

Honestly, there isn’t an clever solution. Search data from that every time you are attempting to aquire something, you would possibly possibly well well must try four playing cards until one amongst them works. Lift loads of money with you in case none of your playing cards are authorized. It didn’t discontinue up being a giant arena for us, as we were ready to pay with money every time our playing cards were declined, but it with out a doubt changed into annoying to derive to continuously kind out fee rejections in all places we went!

Okay, let’s start! Up first: lodging!

The Cheapest Accommodation Choices in South Korea

Relish practically every country on the earth, costs derive elevated publish-pandemic in South Korea, so you’ll be paying neutral a little of additional for the entirety than you would possibly possibly well well derive performed about a years within the past. Despite that, costs are decrease than most Western countries, so lodging within the country quiet presents up accurate price for money.

Let’s start on the decrease discontinue of the spectrum. At the same time as you happen to’re fascinating to position within the effort and time, it’s doable to lead clear of paying for lodging entirely.

Couchsurfing exists in South Korea and permits you to follow a local for free, time and all but again drowsing on their sofa and having fun with a local’s insight into life in their country. It’s now not the most soft of residing conditions, but when your budget’s tight, it’s price sending out about a requests to hosts to stare if the leisure comes of it. You would possibly possibly well well be ready to browse via the 150,000+ Korean hosts on the Couchsurfing build.

Housesitting is a extra upmarket possibility, aimed in the direction of mid-differ and luxury travellers. Housesitting involves caring for anyone’s home for free while they’re away, time and all but again (but now not continuously) having a look after their pets, too. It’s most efficient for prolonged-term travellers or retirees, as you would possibly possibly well well’t make a choice and settle dates and locations, so you’ll must derive loads of flexibility as to where you scurry and at what time of yr. At the same time as you happen to attain derive that freedom, though it’s an beautiful methodology to decrease down your budge costs, take in some home comforts, and live admire a local for some time. Relied on Housesitters is the ideal build for getting began with housesitting, as they derive the ideal series of listings.

After which we derive hostels. In South Korea, you’ll detect hostels one day of the country, discovering them on little islands, huge cities, and even one day of the nationwide parks. They’re one amongst your most efficient alternate strategies for saving money.

All costs are in U.S. Greenbacks, by the methodology, as that’s where the vast majority of my readers are from.

Hostels in Korea are on a par with the comfort of main cities in East Asia, and also you would possibly possibly well well question to dispute between $18 a night for a dorm mattress for a properly-reviewed hostel, with the associated fee rising a little bit to about $24 a night for completely the most efficient of the ideal.

By methodology of non-public rooms in hostels, you’ll be having a derive a look at $30 a night for a tidy, normal room in a accurate space, so at the same time as you’re travelling with associates or alongside with your accomplice, you would possibly possibly well well discover it more inexpensive to seize some privacy over settling for two beds in a dorm room. $70 a night will gain you an exceptionally properly-reviewed non-public room in a hostel.

I utilize HostelWorld to discover the least costly hostels, as they in general tend to derive the ideal series of listings on the lowest costs.

After which there are motels, which I’m going to soar into subsequent.

RYSE Resort is the jam to care for within the Hongdae neighbourhood of Seoul

The Payment of Accommodation in South Korea

I chanced on motels in South Korea to be elegant more inexpensive. You won’t gain a budget, cheap rates that you just attain in places admire Southeast Asia, but costs are in general decrease than extra costly countries in Western Europe.

  • As mentioned, properly-rated hostels reach in at a median price of $18 a night for a dorm mattress, while non-public rooms are around $30 a night.
  • Inexpensive guesthouses are in general around $50 a night.
  • Four-megastar motels are between $150 and $200 a night
  • And five-megastar motels are $250-350 a night

As continuously with these posts, I admire to share where I individually stayed within the country and what I believed of every of my lodging choices. On my most latest droop, I splurged in Seoul because I desired to care for in two of the ideal-rated motels within the country, but saved my lodging costs rather low within the various locations I visited.

Seoul (Hongdae): RYSE Resort (240,000 KRW, or $183 per night)

At the same time as you happen to’re going to care for wherever in Hongdae (my approved Seoul neighbourhood), RYSE Resort is the jam to be. It’s one amongst the ideal motels within the metropolis! It’s within the suitable space, within the center of Hongdae’s cafe-and-nightlife scene, but so properly-insulated that you just don’t hear any of it. The rooms had a latest, industrial produce, sizable views over the metropolis, and there derive been hundreds presents, from facemasks (here is Korea, despite the entirety!) to native video games to even a bottle of wine. There’s a rooftop bar with one of the crucial ideal views in Seoul, one amongst the ideal geared up resort gyms I’ve ever veteran, and the personnel were amazing. I’d completely care for here all but again on future visits!

Seoul (Myeongdong): Resort 28 (189,000 KRW, or $144 per night)

Our itinerary in South Korea observed us spending two separate stints in Seoul, so for our 2nd discuss over with, I dragged myself away from my loved Hongdae and gave Myeongdong a try — here is the neighbourhood to scurry to in sing so that you just can shop ’til you fall then utilize ’til you’re… replete! We selected Hotel28, which is the ideal-rated possibility within the space; one amongst the Tiny Luxury Resorts of the World. It’s a cinema-themed resort (you gain baggage of free popcorn at the same time as you happen to signal in!) in one amongst the ideal areas for titillating within the metropolis. The rooms are huge, the john had the ideal bathtub ever, and the personnel were so sweet. It’s correct by one amongst the metropolis’s most efficient night markets, too, which changed into so powerful enjoyable to utilize my methodology around! The resort gym changed into sizable, too.

Gyeongju: Maison Mini Resort (62,000 KRW, or $49 per night)

Dave and I loved our care for on the beautiful Maison Mini Resort in Gyeongju and chanced on it to be an incredible mid-differ lodging possibility. The rooms were spotless and cleaned on a regular foundation one day of our care for. The proprietor changed into so sweet and welcoming, and the shared kitchen and laundry facilities were positively appreciated. Having gain admission to to a correct espresso machine changed into seriously precious! The guesthouse is a 10 minute hump from all the improbable sights of Gyeongju and a five minute hump from the main bus dwelling, so it made for a giant despicable while we were in metropolis. I’m able to’t counsel this jam extremely enough!

Busan: Urbanstay Seomyeon (61,000 KRW, or $47 per night)

Relish Seoul, Busan is a wide veteran metropolis with numerous neighbourhoods to make a choice from. Seomyeon, nonetheless, is the ideal space for unusual visitors to metropolis — it’s in a useful space for visiting all the most smartly-most smartly-liked spots and has numerous animated nightlife and restaurants to detect. Urbanstay is correct beside a metro dwelling, which makes getting around even more uncomplicated. The rooms are tidy, smartly-liked, and normal — very minimalist! — with lightning-fleet Wi-Fi. There in actual fact aren’t any personnel on the resort, so you’ll be emailed a key code to gain into your room, which works properly. The bathing machines are, as continuously, very powerful appreciated!

Our cosy room at Smile Resort, terminate to Seoraksan National Park.

Seoraksan National Park: Smile Resort (70,000 KRW, or $53 per night)

At the same time as you happen to’re going to be hiking in Seoraksan National Park, you’ll desire to be staying as terminate to the park entrance as doable. Sadly, this space of South Korea appears to be like to be plump of mediocre lodging alternate strategies. Gentle, Smile Resort changed into the ideal possibility that changed into terminate to the entrance while now not being obscenely costly. While the interior changed into neutral a little of veteran and tired, it changed into a beautifully acceptable jam to care for! The owners were welcoming and form, the free breakfast (a rarity in South Korea) changed into positively appreciated sooner than a wide day of hiking, and it’s only a five-minute hump from the bus that takes you to the nationwide park entrance. Rooms even derive a non-public kitchenette and fridge, which changed into precious for keeping our water chilly in a single day.

My accomplice, Dave, wrote an in-depth itinerary on programs to dispute 10 days in South Korea after our most latest droop, so attain take a look at that out at the same time as you’re hunting for advice programs to construction a droop to the above places!

Seoul Obtain is the main prepare dwelling within the capital, so you’ll likely circulate via here loads of times for your droop!

The Payment of Transportation in South Korea

I’m anyone who doesn’t gain an poor lot out of budge days in odd places, but even I’m able to admit that travelling around South Korea is a joy! From the buses to the high-scamper trains to the excellent subways: getting around this country is useful, soft, and hassle-free.

Your first detect with the transportation procedure will likely be on the airport. There’s two alternate strategies for getting the prepare from Incheon World Airport to Seoul: the Airport Railroad Reveal (AREX) or the All Finish Prepare. The frail takes 43 minutes and costs 9,500 KRW ($7.20), while the latter is half the associated fee at 4,150 KRW ($3.15) and takes 53 minutes.

I counsel leaping on the All Finish Prepare, then, as it’s more inexpensive, takes neutral 10 minutes longer, and runs extra time and all but again than the AREX so will in all probability gain you into Seoul sooner anyway.

I wouldn’t counsel taking the bus or the taxi, as both are extra costly and slower than the prepare. The bus costs 10-15,000 KRW ($9) and takes around 80 minutes, while taxis price a whopping 70,000 KRW, or $55, and steal around an hour.

Mine and Dave’s T-Cash playing cards in South Korea; I equipped mine from the airport merchandising machine while Dave’s got here free with his SIM card own.

What to Know About T-Cash Cards

Earlier than we scurry any extra, it’s time for a primer on T-Cash! Here is my one budge a must-derive in South Korea and I extremely counsel getting your fingers on one sooner than you scurry away the airport.

A T-Cash card is designed to originate your public transportation experiences seamless. You merely aquire your T-Cash card from any comfort retailer, or the merchandising machines on the airport, and then you would possibly possibly well well utilize it on subways, buses, taxis, and even merchandising machines and grocery shops — all one day of the country. Merely tap your card on the T-Cash scanner and also you’re accurate to scurry!

I counsel hunting for yours on the airport, where there are T-Cash merchandising machines located beside the All Finish Prepare (and then you’ll pay for acknowledged prepare budge with the cardboard). You’ll pay 4,000 KRW ($3) for the cardboard.

Whenever you’ve equipped your card, steal into story to top it up with some money. I topped-up with 40,000 KRW ($30), which changed into the correct amount for two weeks within the country — I had 2,000 KRW left over on the tip. At the same time as you happen to attain discontinue up with any money left for your T-Cash card on the tip of your droop, you’ll gain that refunded to you at any subway dwelling (alongside with the airport) in Seoul.

I mentioned within the bid caption above that Dave’s T-Cash card got here free with his SIM card own. He equipped his SIM card upfront from LG and picked it up within the arrivals hall on the airport. The SIM card included limitless data (35,000 KRW or $25 for 10 days of usage) plus a Korean cell phone number — the latter of which is surprisingly precious in Korea (you time and all but again desire a local cell phone number simply to affix a queue for a restaurant!) but tricky to gain from many various suppliers.

The internal of the KTX prepare on our budge from Seoul to Gyeongju

The Payment of Trains in South Korea

At the same time as you happen to’ll be venturing originate air of Seoul then odds are, you’ll be travelling by prepare. Here is one amongst the ideal programs to detect the country, thanks to the smartly-liked carriages and like a flash products and services. And question your trains to be punctualneutral as in nearby Japan, this country thrives on an on-time departure.

I’m a giant fan of the KTX — the Korean Scoot Reveal — which whips you up and down the length of the country at speeds of 300+ kilometres an hour (190 mph). It’s the priciest possibility, for sure, however the length of time you’ll establish will likely originate it price it.

As an illustration, the KTX from Seoul to Busan — running from the discontinue to the bottom of the country — takes neutral over two hours (at a cost of 59,800 KRW/$forty five). In comparability, the identical buses and slower trains total the budge wherever between four and 6 hours (but costing 28,000 KRW/$21).

Purchase your KTX tickets via the reliable Korail internet build to rating the least costly fare — we had no problems the utilize of it with our international debit/credit playing cards.

I’ll fleet mention the existence of the Korea Rail Pass (KR Pass) here, which works equally to the Japan Rail Pass or a Eurail Pass. You would possibly possibly well well be ready to make a choice from either a consecutive circulate or a flexible circulate, but to be neutral, the costs are one day of a similar quantity as the actual individual tickets, so I didn’t peep the purpose. At the same time as you happen to’ll be racing one day of the country and visiting a pair of places in a single day, it would possibly possibly well well very properly be price it, but it with out a doubt wasn’t for us.

Adults (28+) Formative years (13-27) Young of us (6-12)
Versatile 2-day circulate 121,000 ($90) 96,000 ($73) 61,000 ($46)
Versatile 4-day circulate 193,000 ($145) 154,000 ($115) 97,000 ($73)
Consecutive 3-day circulate 138,000 ($105) 110,000 ($83) 69,000 ($52)
Consecutive 5-day circulate 210,000 ($160) 168,000 ($127) 105,000 ($80)
The internal of our deliver bus from Seoul to Sokcho — these seats were huge-soft!

The Payment of Buses in South Korea

You would possibly possibly well well be ready to steal the bus to merely about wherever in South Korea.

There are two kinds of prolonged-distance buses within the country: deliver and intercity; on account of time constraints, we opted for the deliver possibility for every budge we took (intercity buses are more inexpensive but steal methodology longer because they originate stops all alongside the methodology; deliver buses steal you without prolong to your destination). Our two-hour deliver bus from Seoul to Sokcho (21,000W, or $16) changed into bordering on luxurious with vast, soft reclining leather-essentially based seats, hundreds legroom, and even energy sockets.

Yow will detect bus departures either via Kobus (deliver buses handiest) or Bustago (deliver and intercity buses). On the assorted hand, you would possibly possibly well well handiest own via these websites at the same time as you would possibly possibly well well derive a Korean financial institution card and a local number — yes, it’s annoying and handiest the tip of the iceberg when it involves Korea making budge sophisticated for international visitors.

We veteran these reserving websites, subsequently, to stare which departure time we desired to neutral for and to examine there derive been quiet tickets available. We then equipped the tickets from the bus dwelling an hour or so beforehand — departures in general walk a pair of times an hour so you don’t derive to fright too powerful about buses being booked.

To give you a sense of ticket costs, here are some life like one-methodology costs for about a routes you would possibly possibly well well steal:

  • Seoul to Busan: 33,000 KRW ($26)
  • Seoul to Gyeongju: 20,000 KRW ($15)
  • Busan to Daegu: 12,000 KRW ($9)
  • Seoul to Jeonju: 20,000 KRW ($15)
The native bus dwelling in Gyeongju

The Payment of Flying in South Korea

South Korea isn’t a huge country. And with fleet and frequent overland alternate strategies available one day of, you doubtlessly won’t must flit slightly time and all but again — if all of it. Nevertheless at the same time as you plot on going to improbable Jeju Island (which you would possibly possibly well well quiet), then flying is the highest methodology to gain there.

A one-methodology express flight from Seoul to Jeju will price around $42, and at the same time as you’re flying from Busan, a one-methodology fare is roughly $33.

By methodology of assorted alternate strategies to flying, you attain derive the ferry from Busan. At a budge time of around 12 hours, though, and a cost of 60,000W ($forty five), there’s no precise reason to position yourself via the discomfort.

Seoul’s metro is tidy, smartly-liked, and straightforward to make utilize of

The Payment of the Metro in South Korea

The underground techniques in Seoul and Busan are in a league of their own. With out a doubt, Seoul has one amongst the most intensive subway techniques on the earth — it’s tidy, smartly-liked, and safe. At the same time as you happen to don’t derive to make utilize of it one day of bustle hour, it’s elegant quiet, too. It’s one amongst the ideal and most atmosphere friendly programs to gain around Seoul, and except about a local bus trips, I relied on the subway one day of my complete stint within the metropolis.

Fare is calculated by distance, so a subway mosey of decrease than 10 km will price 1,350 KRW ($1) with 100 KRW added on for every additional 5km (you’re unlikely to steal a budge this a ways, though). When taking the subway over a conventional day of sightseeing, I time and all but again averaged around 5,000 KRW ($4) per day.

Total, my day to day transportation costs in South Korea worked out to: $10.20 per day

When in Korea… prepare to utilize!

Long-time readers of the build will already know that food is my main driver to budge. It won’t reach as any surprise, then, to learn that my approved bid to realize in Korea changed into utilize.

There are so powerful of incredible native dishes to sample in this country that I time and all but again chanced on myself panicking that there weren’t going to be enough meals within the day. By the tip of my weeks within the country, I changed into officially inducting South Korea into my checklist of the discontinue five places to utilize on the earth (the others being India, Vietnam, Mexico, and Greece).

Yes, you’ve received your complete classics you’ve doubtlessly detect sooner than, admire kimchi, bibimbap, and bulgogi, and also you’ll be ready to discover them on practically every boulevard you hump alongside. Nevertheless for me, the delight got here in wandering true into a crowded restaurant with none thought what changed into on the menu, sitting down and being presented with one amongst the ideal dishes I’ve ever tried. Yes, I’m having a derive a look at you, samgyetang.

One of our approved meals in all of Korea changed into the hen dakgalbi from Shin Migyeong in Hongdae

Clearly, Korean BBQ reigns supreme and provides a huge-enjoyable food skills — I positively counsel making an strive it as a minimum once at the same time as you’re within the country. Derive around a table with a community of associates, sing yourselves an inordinate quantity of meat, marinate it in numerous sauces, then prepare dinner it up at your table for your individual little grill.

And let me roar you that Korean fried hen can derive ruined me for all of my future fried hen experiences. Earlier than arriving within the country, I’d made a roar to never utilize the same bid twice while I changed into there. After my first taste of crispy fried hen, nonetheless, I chanced on myself meekly titillating all of it but again about a days later. It changed into neutral so freaking accurate!

The kimchi in South Korea is amazing and I changed into time and all but again blown away by the depth of flavour that changed into contained in such an easy dish. You’ll be given about a versions of it (cabbage and radish) as a free side with practically every meal you sing, and it changed into practically continuously a flavourful highlight for me.

One seriously legend food skills we had within the country is depicted within the bid on the very top of this share — the one where I’m surrounded by about 35 various dishes! Hongsi Hanjungsik in Gyeongju presents up a extinct Korean dinner birthday celebration, walk out of the proprietor’s home, with so many high-quality, tasty things to try. And despite the multitude of dishes, we didn’t reach away feeling overly plump. At a cost of 20,000W (or $15.50) every, it felt admire phenomenally accurate price!

Yep, we sure ate properly in South Korea!

So let’s gain into the food costs.

In normal, at the same time as you’re titillating out at a Korean restaurant, look to dispute around 10,000 – 15,000 KRW ($7.50 – $11.50) for a meal. When titillating at a extra Western restaurant (which you completely would possibly possibly well well quiet now not attain for the reason that Western food in Korea is presumably the worst I’ve ever eaten — a ham and cheese sandwich I ordered changed into drizzled with condensed milk!) then you would possibly possibly well well dispute 20,000 KRW ($15) for a meal. Rapid food, boulevard food, or a smaller meal will differ around 5,000 – 7,000 KRW ($4 – $5).

Here’s some examples of what we spent on one of the crucial various dishes we tried:

  • Fried hen for lunch: 10,000 KRW ($7.50)
  • Bibimbap for lunch: 9,500 KRW ($7)
  • Bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) as a boulevard food snack: 5,000 KRW ($4)
  • Dakgalbi (tear-fried hen) for dinner: 6,500 KRW ($4.50)
  • Unlimited Korean BBQ on a weekday lunch: 15,000 KRW ($11.50)
  • Samgyetang (hen ginseng soup) at a admire restaurant for lunch: 19,000 KRW ($14.50)
  • Boulevard food snacks: 3,000 KRW ($2) every
  • A pint of native draft beer in a restaurant: 4,000 KRW ($3)
  • A bottle of soju in a restaurant: 4,000 KRW ($3)
  • A 750ml bottle of makgeolli in a restaurant: 4,000 KRW ($3)
  • An extremely admire cocktail in a world-class bar: 23,000 KRW ($17.50)

Dave and I are time and all but again intermittent fasters after we budge, so we most regularly ever opted for breakfast while we were travelling in South Korea. As an quite quite a lot of, we’d derive a huge meal for an early lunch and time and all but again hit the boulevard food carts for dinner. Our day to day meal costs were most regularly then as little as 15,000 KRW ($11.50) a day but averaged out at 25,000 KRW ($19) a day.

I changed into so impressed by Gyeongbokgung Palace, one amongst the many royal palaces in Seoul

The Payment of Actions and Entrance Charges in South Korea

By methodology of activities in South Korea, there’s so powerful to care for you entertained — and it’s elegant life like, too.

If there’s one dispute to despicable off your checklist at the same time as you happen to’re in Seoul, it has to be the royal palaces. For neutral 10,000 KRW, it is most life like to aquire a combo ticket that presents you entrance to Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung (and its separate secret garden), Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, and Jongmyo Shrine. To chat over with every of these individually would price 14,000 KRW, so it’s properly-price getting the combo and crossing all of them off. We managed to stare all of them in a single day of hardcore sightseeing, and while we were surely templed-out by the tip of it, we were quiet soft we’d made the disaster to realize so.

At the same time as you happen to handiest derive a small length of time, then neutral head to Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung — the two most spectacular of the palaces. You’ll be ready to discover the spectacular changing of the guard within the morning at Gyeongbokgung, then steal a tour of the improbable secret garden at Changdeokgung within the afternoon.

TikTok-famed Starfield COEX Mall in Gangnam is a must-discuss over with at the same time as you admire to shop!

Many visitors to Seoul dispute their time procuring, titillating, and partying. Here is one livable, appealing metropolis, stuffed plump of improbable skincare products, world-class classic shops, beautiful boulevard eats, and further karaoke bars than you would possibly possibly well well presumably imagine. There’s a lot to care for you entertained.

Merely strolling via the various neighbourhoods provides a technique to care for costs down. I loved spending my time cafe-hopping in scholar-filled Hongdae, procuring in bustling Myeongdong, choosing up extinct souvenirs in Insadong, and admiring the boulevard art in Itaewon.

One explicit highlight from my most latest droop changed into walking the 10 kilometre, or seven mile, Cheonggyecheon Circulate, which runs via downtown Seoul from Cheonggye Plaza to Dongdaemun. As soon as a busy highway, it has since been transformed true into a smooth oasis, where associates reach to sit down down again beside the water, surrounded by plant life, timber, and enjoyable water aspects.

Most visitors to South Korea desire to hit up the DMZ: the border between South and North Korea, and namely the Joint Security Home (JSA) — these famed blue barracks where North and South Korean troopers stand face-to-face. It’s the closest you’ll gain to North Korea with out in actual fact entering it.

You’ll desire to be cautious, then, at the same time as you happen to realize e book your DMZ tour. There are numerous these normal DMZ excursions running (priced at 76,000 KRW/$56), however the closest you’ll gain to North Korea is standing on a hill and having a look into the country from afar with binoculars. You won’t discuss over with the JSA on these trips. It is, nonetheless, a third of the associated fee of the JSA excursions, so a giant possibility for budget travellers. These non-JSA excursions are extremely smartly-liked, so attain e book early to make certain you’re taking care of to gain a rental. You would possibly possibly well well be ready to test availability for your budge dates the utilize of the widget beneath:

The JSA-explicit excursions are even extra smartly-liked, but unfortunately, they’re currently (as of early-2024) on live. Here is a regular incidence, especially one day of these publish-pandemic years. It’s handiest been originate to vacationers for roughly three months in total since 2020!

VVIP Scoot and Hana Tour are the two JSA tour operators to scurry alongside with, so attain take a look at out their websites sooner than your droop, neutral in case the excursions are up and running all but again. Excursions price 195,000 KRW ($150) per individual and final for a plump day.

Yes, here is Korea! The highlight of my time in South Korea changed into hiking in Seoraksan National Park

I knew I desired to gain out into nature while I changed into in South Korea, as I didn’t desire my complete droop to point of curiosity around immense, bustling cities. This country, despite the entirety, is 70% mountains. Seoraksan National Park offered the suitable opportunity to realize neutral that. It’s a two-hour bus mosey from Seoul and at the same time as you happen to come, you’ll feel as though you’re in a complete various country.

With an entrance fee of neutral 3,500 KRW ($2.50), this changed into an life like methodology to stare a share of the country that few vacationers make a choice to detect. The scenery changed into incredible and some days in metropolis enabled us to take care of all the most smartly-most smartly-liked hikes.

Speaking of immense, bustling cities: Busan!

Busan time and all but again finally ends up being most of us’s approved space in South Korea and there’s plenty to realize at the same time as you’re there. From coastline-hopping your days away (my approved free dispute!) to hitting up bustling fish markets; titillating allll the boulevard food then exploring amazing animated villages, blanketed with murals. Busan is wisely-price visiting, that’s for sure. Nevertheless for us? We fleet realised that nearby Gyeongju changed into extra our vogue of jam.

I couldn’t gain enough of laidback Gyeongju!

Dave and I adored Gyeongju, a compact metropolis that’s supreme for some respite after about a days in Busan. Gyeongju is stuffed plump of cultural websites and sights, from royal tombs to extinct observatories, to 1 amongst the most spectacular Buddha statues we’ve ever viewed. The huge majority of sights in metropolis were free to chat over with, so we spent very little money while we were there, too — an added bonus!

And I’m able to’t write about South Korea and now not encompass elegant Jeju Island — the enduring volcanic island off the southern flee of the country that’s known for its beaches, waterfalls, and mountains, as properly as its native delicacies. Exact wait until you are attempting the native shaded pork! There’s heaps to realize on the island — you would possibly possibly well well dispute two weeks on Jeju alone — but so powerful of it is focused around landscapes and scenery (so powerful hiking!) that you just would possibly possibly well well with out anxiousness discuss over with on a budget.

With all that being acknowledged, here’s a breakdown of the main dispute costs you would possibly possibly well well detect in South Korea:

  • Entry to Donggung Palace, Gyeongju – 3000 KRW ($2)
  • Bulguksa Temple & Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju – 5,000 KRW ($4)
  • Gyeongju Expo Park – 8,000 KRW ($6)
  • Daereungwon Tomb Complex, Cheomseongdae Observatory, Woljeonggyo Bridge, Gyochon Oldschool Village – Free
  • Royal palaces combo ticket, Seoul – 10,000 KRW ($7.50)
  • N Seoul Tower – 21,000 KRW ($16)
  • Kimchi Museum entrance – 5,000 KRW ($4)
  • Nanta cooking expose – 44,000 KRW ($34)
  • Lotte World entrance – 62,000 KRW ($47)
  • Bukchon Hanok village, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Cheonggyecheon Circulate, Battle Memorial of Korea, National Museum of Korea, Seoul – Free
  • Entrance to Seoraksan National Park – 3,500 KRW ($2.50)
  • Busan Sky Pill – 15,000 KRW ($11.50)
  • Songdo cable automotive, Busan – 15,000 KRW ($11.50)
  • Busan Tower Observatory – 7,000 KRW ($5)
  • Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Gamcheon Cultural Village, Busan – Free
  • Jeongbang Waterfalls entrance, Jeju Island – 2,000 KRW ($1.50)
  • Camellia Hill entrance, Jeju Island – 7,000 KRW ($5)
  • Jeju Folks Village, Jeju Island – 12,000 KRW ($9)

As you would possibly possibly well well peep, there’s very little that’s going to interrupt the financial institution in South Korea — there’s hundreds free sights and any entrance costs are life like.

Over my two weeks in Korea, I averaged neutral $3 a day on activities and entrance costs.

The Payment of Miscellaneous Costs in South Korea

An eSIM: A few years within the past, I made the change to eSIMs and it’s an act that’s vastly improved my travels.

I veteran to disfavor having to dispute my first few hours in a brand unusual country wandering around in search of a technique to gain connected. There’s discovering a retailer that would possibly possibly sell you one, language barriers to accommodate (I changed into surprised to peep South Korea has one amongst the ideal language barriers I’ve ever encountered!), various kinds of ID and data you would possibly possibly well well must lift, scams to navigate, and… properly, it’s a headache.

For the time being, I own my SIM playing cards upfront via AloSIM, which sells native e-SIMs for travellers. What meaning is that you just would possibly possibly well well aquire your SIM card on-line sooner than that you just’ll likely be found in South Korea, and then as quickly as you land in Seoul, can change for your cell phone and be on-line sooner than the plane’s even reach to a quit. It’s worked flawlessly for me in over a dozen countries, alongside with South Korea.

I paid $15 for 5 GB of data for 30 days in South Korea. Readers of By no methodology Ending Footsteps can gain a 5% bargain on AloSIM eSIMs by the utilize of the code FOOTSTEPS.

On the assorted hand.

There’s one little ingredient I must mention. Earlier than arriving in South Korea, I learn dozens of articles insisting that you just need a local Korean cell phone number to successfully budge within the country.

Most of the taxi apps require a local number (especially in sing so that you just can pay by card within the app), and most smartly-most smartly-liked restaurants operate a waitlist where they name or text you on a local number when a table is fascinating — at the same time as you don’t derive one, you would possibly possibly well well’t join the queue!

Dave namely equipped an LG SIM card that gave you a local cell phone number and… we veteran it terminate to zero times. It turned out, we didn’t must name a taxi even once and none of the restaurants we went to had ready lists. A few takeaway joints that we went to required a local number to jam an sing, but that changed into it. I’m soft we had as a minimum one SIM card with a Korean number for peace of mind but we also didn’t in actual fact need to make utilize of it, so I don’t contemplate it’s as powerful of a budge a must-derive as of us sing.

Scoot insurance: At the same time as you happen to’ve learn any various posts on By no methodology Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a giant believer in travelling with budge insurance. I’ve viewed a ways too many Mosey Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers which would possibly possibly well well be impulsively stranded in a international country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg and not utilizing a methodology of getting home or paying for their healthcare. In short, at the same time as you would possibly possibly well well’t derive enough money budge insurance, you would possibly possibly well well’t derive enough money to budge. These costs can fleet land you with a six-figure invoice to pay on the tip of it.

Scoot insurance will screen you in case your flight is cancelled and also you would possibly possibly well well derive to e book a brand unusual one, in case your baggage gets misplaced and also you would possibly possibly well well derive to change your belongings, at the same time as you with out be conscious gain struck down by appendicitis and is probably going to be hospitalised, or peep a family member has died and also you would possibly possibly well well derive to gain home straight away. At the same time as you happen to tumble severely ill, your insurance will screen the costs to flit you home to gain scientific treatment.

I veteran SafetyWing as my budge insurance provider in South Korea. They offer worldwide protection, don’t require you to derive a return ticket, and even will permit you to aquire protection after you’ve left home. At the same time as you happen to’re on a prolonged-term droop, you’ll pay month-to-month in jam of up-front, and would possibly possibly well well homicide at any time. Eventually, they’re life like, and derive a deliver, easy-to-realize pricing construction, which is continuously appreciated.

The pricetag of two weeks of budge insurance with SafetyWing changed into $21, or $1.50 a day.

Putting with the guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

How Mighty Does it Payment to Scoot in South Korea?

It’s time to tally up all of my costs to stare my total budge costs! In U.S. bucks, my life like day to day costs in South Korea were:

  • Accommodation: $104.50 per day
  • Transportation: $10.20 per day
  • Food: $19 per day
  • Actions/Entrance Charges: $3 per day

Common quantity spent in South Korea: $137 a day!

As I mentioned within the lodging share, I did splurge neutral a little of when it got here to lodging, so at the same time as you’re on a tighter budget, that’s where you’ll be ready to decrease costs.

As an instance, at the same time as you’re a backpacker who plans on staying in dorm rooms, you would possibly possibly well well question to dispute $18 a night on lodging, making your total day to day costs around $50 a day.

Alternatively, at the same time as you’re share of a pair and staying in budget-to-mid-differ guesthouses, you’ll be having a derive a look at $50 a night for lodging, which will originate your day to day total costs $82 a day.

So what attain you contemplate? Is South Korea roughly costly than you anticipated? Let me know within the comments beneath!

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