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Budget Travel to Seoul, South Korea in 7 days for $1000 or less

This post is meant for budget travelers who want to experience the best of Seoul in $1000 or less, that's provided you don't spend excessively on clothes, accessories, beauty products or dine at expensive places ;)

Here's a guide on how you can make this happen together with some of the important things you need to take note!

1. Do your research and book your flights early
There are flights under $500 (all-in) for budget airlines such as Scoot, Air Asia; when you book during their sales season. Or you can also use sites like Zuji, Farecompare, Expedia to search for flights across many different airlines before going to that particular airline's website to make the booking. I don't advise you to go though third party as there will be additional agent charges and if there are any hiccups, it might take longer to resolve.
I got mine with Malaysia Airlines at $500 (all-in) with 30kg of luggage to & fro. I know many are concerned with the accidents that happened with them just months ago but they are trying very hard to be even better so why not give them a chance to do it? My only regret was not bringing more money to buy more stuff and make full use of the 30kg baggage allowance :x

Moreover, travelling with a major airline (Malaysia Airline is one of the top airlines in the world) has its peaks such as meals on board, better seats and services. My recent trip with them was pleasant with punctual flights, friendly cabin crews and great movie selection to pass my time. The only part I disliked was the flight from KL - SGD, the seats were worn out and rather uncomfortable from the lack of space between seats, thankfully it was only an hour's flight.

2. Book a room at least 1-2 months earlier
And take advantage of the savers discount that some places have. I would recommend booking a private room via Airbnb or guesthouses/hotels through Agoda, there are some good deals from time to time. You can get prices as low as $15-$50 per night.
All I had in mind was to blog about my trip so I stayed at 2 separate places, guesthouse and a private room booked via Airbnb. Who knows when I would have the chance to travel there again? Based on one of the places I booked(taking the one that cost more), each night cost $55 for twin-sharing which worked out to be $27.50 x 6 nights = $165.

Read: Accommodations in Seoul

3. Prepare an amount of money
You just need an amount that is sufficient for the first 2-3 days of the trip then change the rest of it in Seoul where the rates are much better. One of the best rates you can find in Singapore will be at Arcade Money Changer at Raffles Place. When you're in Seoul, you will definitely have to visit Myeongdong, be it for shopping or food, so take the opportunity to change some currency as the exchange rates there are the best.
I didn't see anyone updating on this so here's how to get to this money changer, there are quite alot of turns in Myeongdong so once you locate the street that is shown in the first image, you're on the right path. You have to walk past the Embassy of The People's Republic of China and there will be a street full of money changers, look for the one with this signage! They are true to their words, best rates around :)
*PS. Please bring extra cash and don't be like me, I made a mistake of thinking that I won't need so much but once I started shopping & eating, I couldn't stop. In a way I was planning to blog about withdrawing money in Seoul but the exchange rates were atrocious, regretted it the minute I pressed the button. At that time, the exchange rate for local money changer was 810 and the overseas withdrawal rate was 780 with a charge of $5 too. Anyway if you really need to withdraw cash, visit any of the KB Banks and look for atms with Mastercard or Visa logo.

4. Purchase a T-Money card 
Get this from any convenience store while you're there, you can save quite a bit as it works just like Singapore's EZ Link card. The card cost 2,500won and you can top up any amount from 5,000won onwards. Plus, if you changed to a bus within a time frame, there will be a certain rebate too.
Based on my trip, the public transport will cost approximately $90 for 7 days. I did travel quite a bit and sometimes I alighted at the wrong place so I had to take train again so if you're not as clueless as me, you won't spend as much on transport. This includes the trip from Incheon Airport - Seoul, Seoul - Incheon Airport as well.

5. Save on admissions to attractions 
Do check sites such as Visitkorea, to view the latest offers. These are the places where most money will be spent so do plan wisely as to what places you really want to visit.

I chose not to visit theme parks as many of my friends have mentioned about the long queuing times and my mum isn't someone who are fond of such rides. I would say a budget of $100 for admissions and certain rides would be a safe gauge.

*You have to take O & V Train when you're in Seoul! Detailed guide has been updated :)

Therefore, the total will work out to be $500 (Return Airfare) + $165 (Accommodation) + $90 (Transport) + $100 (Admissions & Rides) + $145 (Food, Shopping, Misc) = $1000

Have fun planning your trip and do leave a comment if you think I missed anything out ^~^


  1. Where did you stay during your trip? Thanks :)

    1. Hi, I have updated about the accommodations (Duri House and Jenny House), read more about it here : :)

  2. Hi there, so nice traveling information about Korea! Here is more tip about transportation in Korea. If you are planing to visit Korea again, I strongly recommend you to take a express train connected to Seoul station from ICN. This is the fastest and the most reasonable way than bus. Also from travel center(located B1, ICN), you can get more information about tour and transportation information. You can purchase some nice transportation packages from travel center too. There are 'express train and T-money card' , 'express train and international taxi' and 'express train and EG sim card'. With express train, you can go to Seoul station(Central of Seoul) directly, and you can choose between three other options what you need. If you are interested in these all packages, please visit to travel center when you are coming to Korea. Thank you.


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