Understanding Living Conditions and Costs in South Korea

Understanding Living Conditions and Costs in South Korea

South Korea, also known as the Republic of Korea, is a country located in East Asia. The country is well-known for its cultural heritage, technological advancements, and economic growth. South Korea is attracting more and more foreigners to live and work in the country every year.

Before moving to South Korea, it is essential to understand the country’s living conditions and costs. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about living in South Korea and give you answers to frequently asked questions.

Cost of Living in South Korea

The cost of living in South Korea varies depending on the region, type of accommodation, and lifestyle. In general, living in Seoul is more expensive than living in other cities in South Korea. However, the cost of living in South Korea is lower than in Western countries.


The cost of accommodation in South Korea depends on the type and location of the property. Renting an apartment in Seoul, the capital city, can be expensive, especially in trendy and popular areas such as Gangnam. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around 900,000 KRW or $800 per month.

On the other hand, accommodation in other cities and rural areas is much cheaper. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea, can cost around 600,000 KRW or $535 per month.

Food and Groceries

The cost of food and groceries in South Korea is relatively affordable compared to Western countries. Traditional Korean food is available in many restaurants and food stalls, and it is usually cheaper than eating Western cuisine.

Cooking at home is even cheaper, with groceries costing around $200 per month for one person. Supermarkets such as E-Mart and Lotte Mart offer a wide range of food and household products at reasonable prices.


South Korea has a well-developed transportation system, consisting of buses, trains, and subways. The cost of transportation depends on the mode of transport and distance. For example, a one-way ticket on the subway costs around 1,350 KRW or $1.20.

Taxis are also readily available in South Korea, but they can be expensive, especially during peak hours. Uber is not available in South Korea, but the country has its own ride-hailing app, Kakao T, which is widely used.

Living Conditions in South Korea

South Korea is a safe and welcoming country with a high standard of living. The country has a rich cultural heritage, and modern amenities are easily accessible.

Culture and Lifestyle

South Korea has a unique culture, with a combination of ancient traditions and modern values. The country is famous for its K-Pop music, Korean dramas, and movies, which are enjoyed by people worldwide.

Korean cuisine is also popular, with many traditional dishes that are enjoyed by locals and foreigners alike. The country also has a lively nightlife scene, with bars and nightclubs open until late.


South Korea has a world-renowned healthcare system, which is accessible to both locals and foreigners. The country has a universal healthcare system, which provides affordable and quality healthcare to all citizens.

Foreigners can also access healthcare services in South Korea, but they must have valid health insurance. There are also many private healthcare providers in the country, offering specialized services.


South Korea has a highly educated population, with a strong emphasis on education. The country has a well-developed education system, with quality schools and universities.

Foreigners can also access educational institutions in South Korea, but they may need to meet specific admission requirements.


1. What is the average cost of living in South Korea?

The average cost of living in South Korea depends on the region, type of accommodation, and lifestyle. However, a single person can live comfortably on $1,000 to $1,500 per month.

2. Is English widely spoken in South Korea?

English is not widely spoken in South Korea, especially outside of major cities. However, many Koreans are eager to learn English, and there are English-speaking communities in the country.

3. Can foreigners buy property in South Korea?

Foreigners are allowed to buy property in South Korea, but there are restrictions on ownership. Foreigners cannot own more than 40% of a residential building or more than 30% of a commercial building.

4. What is the healthcare system like in South Korea?

South Korea has a high-quality healthcare system, with both public and private hospitals. The country has universal healthcare, which provides affordable and quality healthcare to all citizens.

5. Is it easy to adapt to life in South Korea as a foreigner?

Adapting to life in South Korea as a foreigner can be challenging, especially for those who do not know the language and culture. However, South Koreans are generally welcoming to foreigners, and there are support networks for expats.

In conclusion, South Korea is a beautiful and exciting country to live in. Although the cost of living in Seoul can be high, the country’s overall cost of living is lower than in Western countries. South Korea has a high standard of living and a strong focus on education and healthcare, making it an attractive destination for foreigners.