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How Much Does it Cost to Travel to South Korea?

So many people are deciding to travel to South Korea. They may have tried Korean fried chicken, learned about k-beauty or started listening to kpop. Whatever the reason, keep reading to see how much it actually costs to visit South Korea.


If you are headed to South Korea from the US you will no doubt see Korean airlines, Chinese airlines and US airlines. Do your travel research. I can’t stress this enough. Rock bottom prices can mean really bad service. Use comparison sites to get quality airlines for great prices. Prices below are for reference only and can change at any time unfortunately. 

Recommended airline:

Cathay Pacific
1 adult ticket Round-trip from New York City JFK airport to Seoul Incheon airport:
Anywhere from $1,200 to $1,800 (flights have significantly increased in price in the last year or two)


  • excellent service
  • large entertainment selection
  • good food
  • noodles upon request throughout the flight


  • Flights are not direct and have layovers in Hong Kong
  • 16 hour flight followed by 2 hour flight


There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing where to stay in South Korea. In this post I’ll be talking about Seoul/Incheon specifically. Choose from hotels, hostels, airbnbs as well as traditional Korean houses called Hanoks.

The majority of my rooms were booked through Agoda. I always feel like they have like I got pretty good travel deals.

Recommended Hotel:

Ekonomy Hotels

I stayed in the Incheon location. There are also two locations in Myeondong within Seoul. The staff was very friendly. They stored our bags until check-in time and also delivered them to our room.

Cost per night: Approx. $48-55


  • Nice sized rooms
  • Café (Incheon Galson Station branch)
  • Rooftop deck (Incheon Galson Station branch)
  • Recreation room
  • Refrigerator with free mini bar
  • Doorbell at your room
  • Large bathroom
  • Elevator


  • No microwave in room (hallway)

Recommended Hostel:

KW Hostels

I stayed at the Sinsa location which is pretty much within Gangnam. Don’t quote me on that. The staff was very helpful. When we checked in, the staff  carried each of our 29-inch suitcases up 3 flights of stairs. (Don’t bring a 29-inch suitcase to Seoul. I learned my lesson.) 

There was so much storage in the room. Not only in the kitchen area, but near the bed and also by the door. 

Cost per night: Approx. $44


  • Full kitchen
  • Washing machine
  • Tons of storage


  • Small room
  • No elevator

Recommended Hanoks (Traditional housing)

Sodam Hanok Guesthouse

Cost per night: Approx. $45-65


  • Near lots of local shops 
  • Easy to find
  • Close to the subway
  • Owner speaks English as well as Chinese
  • Updated bathroom
  • Free breakfast


  • Not located near any nightlife
  • Small rooms
  • No refrigerator or microwave in room

Another option:

Bukchon Sosunjae Hanok Guesthouse

Full disclosure, I have not stayed at this particular guesthouse. I’ve read a lot of reviews on it and it’s definitely on my shortlist for my next trip to South Korea.


The price of food in South Korea varies. I wouldn’t consider the restaurants dirt cheap. There are things to consider though. You will not pay tips or taxes. Side dishes are usually added to your meal at no extra cost. All things considered the prices are reasonable.

Alcohol is very inexpensive. You can find it in any convenience store. GS25 and 7-Eleven are two popular places. Soju is a Korean liquor made from fermented rice. It is very popular and very inexpensive. Think roughly $1-2 USD per bottle.

Convenience store food is also very inexpensive. You can enjoy instant ramen, soup or porridge for a few dollars. My favorite was the abalone porridge. It’s a seafood porridge. 

This will give you some idea of the cost of taking a trip to South Korea. The flight prices vary depending on the time of year. Use apps such as Google Flights to track prices. There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing where to stay. You can find something for every budget. Remember that you will not pay for tips or taxes when ordering food at restaurants. If you’re interested in shopping in Seoul, I have a separate post on that. Put South Korea on your list of places to travel to in 2019.

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