A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Beijing vs. Seoul

Should you visit Beijing or Seoul?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Beijing and Seoul can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Beijing

Beijing is the capital of China and, with 21.5 million people, it is the second most populated city in the world after Shanghai. It is a city that keeps pockets of its history hidden in old neighborhoods or back alleys, despite the constant change and modernization that goes on around it. As the capital city of China, there is plenty of history and culture. You can still get yourself lost in one of the last remaining hutongs, which are old neighborhoods that remain untouched by the city's modernization. The alleys that weave between the old homes are lined with drying clothes, corner markets, and people going about their daily lives the way they have for centuries. Surrounding these hutongs you'll find modern buildings and a booming economy, all threatening to destroying these last bits of Beijing's history. Beijing offers a glimpse into a microcosm that represents the entire country of China. Make sure you give yourself enough time in China to truly experience Beijing. You can pass a lot of time soaking up life in the city, which remains as diverse as the country it resides within.

Seoul

With a population of more than 11 million, Seoul is easily the largest city in South Korea. It is also the financial, political, and cultural capital of the country and has much to offer open minded travelers. It is often overlooked by travelers who instead head to Tokyo or Shanghai, but Seoul has a wide range of cultural experiences, food options, and historical sights. Seoul is a city of contrasts with ancient traditions, flashy technology, religious temples and a modern youth culture. It is also more affordable than many of the other Asian metropolis' to which it is often compared. If you're looking for an interesting and different experience that is a little off the tourist trail, Seoul can definitely offer that opportunity.

Which city is cheaper, Seoul or Beijing?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Beijing is $70, while the average daily cost in Seoul is $103. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Beijing and Seoul in more detail.




Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Beijing is $72. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Seoul's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $104. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $52.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Beijing $36
    Seoul $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Beijing $72
    Seoul $104


Food

In Beijing travelers spend around $19 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

While meal prices in Seoul can vary, the average travelers spends about $28 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Seoul should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Seoul is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Beijing $19
    Seoul $28
Typical Food prices in Beijing

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Beijing:


  • Popcorn
    $0.94
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $7.85
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $3.14
  • Watermelon
    $2.20
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $19
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.94

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Beijing

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Beijing.

  • Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Path Hutong Food Tour: $30
  • Kung fu Show and Peking Roasted Duck Dinner: $58
  • Private Temple of Heaven Walking Tour with Peking Duck Dinner or Kung Fu Show: $62
  • Acrobatic Show w/ Peking Duck Dinner Private: $68
  • Beijing Historical Center with Peking Opera and Duck Dinner: $69
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $69
  • 4-Hour Peking Duck Dinner & Kung Fu Show Night: $80
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80
  • Vegetarian / Peking Duck / Hotpot Dinner with Kungfu Show Private Tour: $90
  • Authentic Local Food Tour in Center Beijing: $90

Typical Food prices in Seoul

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seoul are as follows:


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.39
  • Waffle
    $0.90
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.80
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.94
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.80
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.71
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.39
  • Donut
    $0.90
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.67
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.96
  • Udon & Sushi
    $6.29
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.31
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $4.04
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.49
  • Fried Rice
    $4.94
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.53
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.53
  • Donut
    $2.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seoul

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seoul.

  • Night Market Food Tour: $48
  • Traditional Korean Cooking Class (Kimchi) & market tour with chef Joungy: $51
  • Korean Cooking Class with Full-Course Meal & Local Market Tour: $56
  • Small-Group Korean Cooking Class in Seoul: $56
  • Traditional Cooking Experience in Korean Style House in Seoul: $58
  • Secret of Banchan (side dish) cooking!: $61
  • Traditional Korean cooking class and market visit in Seoul: $62
  • Private 3-Hour Korean Cooking Class in Seoul: $68
  • Local Flavors of Seoul at Night: Street Food Tour: $70
  • Eat like a local! Most authentic Seoul food tour: $79
  • Historic Jongro District Authentic Food Tour in Seoul: $81
  • Gwangjang Market Food Tour including Lunch: $82


Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.95 per day to get around in Beijing.

The average price of local transportation around Seoul is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Beijing $6.95
    Seoul $14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Beijing:


  • Taxi
    $5.36
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $7.85
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $9.42
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.51
  • Metro
    $0.63

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Transfer with Options: $12
  • Beijing Railway Station - Hotel Transfer and Vice Versa: $14
  • Beijing Capital International Airport Private Transfer: $16
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Beijing Train Stations to Hotel: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Beijing Train Stations: $20
  • From Mutianyu Great Wall Transfer with Pick-Up: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Beijing to Beijing Capital Int. Airport (PEK): $21
  • Transfer from Beijing hotel downtown to Beijing International Airport: $21
  • Beijing Airport Transfer: $21
  • Kungfu Panda Show Ticket with Optional Transfer: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY) to Beijing: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Beijing to Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY): $23

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Seoul:


  • Subway Card
    $4.49
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.29
  • Metro Ride
    $1.21
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.98

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • (Private Transfer) From hotel / Airbnb in Seoul to Incheon International Airport: $99
  • 1- Day Private Seoul or Outskirts Tour (Round-trip transfer to your hotel): $120
  • Airport Private Transfer: Seoul to Incheon Int'l Airport: $46
  • Departure Private Transfer Seoul City to Seoul Airport ICN by Business Minivan: $123
  • Departure Private Transfer Seoul City to Seoul Airport ICN by Luxury Sedan: $123
  • Departure Private Transfer Seoul City to Seoul Airport ICN by Standard Sedan: $114
  • Everland Theme Park Private Transfer: $16
  • Everland Themepark Private Round trip Transfer + Ticket from Seoul: $115
  • Incheon Airport / Seoul ⇄ Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski Resort Private Van Transfers: $267
  • Incheon Airport Transfer- Private Service between Airport and Seoul (1-13 pax): $200
  • Incheon Airport Transfer- Private service between Airport and Seoul (1-7 pax): $101
  • Incheon Airport ⇄ Seoul Private Van Transfers (Up to 7 or 13 pax): $105


Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $22 per person, per day in Beijing. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Seoul's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Beijing $22
    Seoul $26
Typical Entertainment prices in Beijing

Here are a few typical costs in Beijing for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Entry to Summer Palace for Two
    $9.42
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $67
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $11
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $19
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $19
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $13

Tours and Activities in Beijing

Here are a few actual costs in Beijing for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Temple of Heaven Tickets Booking: $4.00
  • MTY test product for tours: $5.00
  • Beijing Summer Palace Admission Ticket: $5.13
  • Train Tickets in China: $5.34
  • Private Tailor made tour for your family only in China around: $5.34
  • Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts Admission Ticket: $6.45
  • Beijing Temple of Heaven Admission Ticket: $7.06
  • Skip-the-Line Yonghe Lama Temple Ticket: $7.30
  • Summer Palace Tickets Booking: $8.00
  • Mutianyu: Great Wall Admission Tickets: $8.18
  • Beijing Forbidden City Entrance Ticket (with Optional Guided Service): $8.21
  • Beijing Automobile Museum Admission Ticket: $8.71

Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Seoul are as follows:


  • Palace Tickets
    $7.18
  • Movie Ticket
    $7.18
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.69

Tours and Activities in Seoul

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seoul are as follows:

  • Royal Seoul Private Tour: Zombie City Exploration Game: $3.72
  • National Museum of Korea Private Tour: Seoul Exploration Game: $3.72
  • Alternative Uncover the city's alternative culture on an audio tour: $5.00
  • The Dark Side of Seoul Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $6.22
  • Changdeokgung Palace Hanbok Rental Experience in Seoul: $7.00
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace Hanbok Rental Experience in Seoul: $7.00
  • N Seoul Tower Ticket Combos in Seoul: $7.01
  • Premium Hanbok Experience in Hanboknam Gyeongbok Palace Branch: $7.18
  • Poopooland Discount Ticket at Insa-dong: $8.00
  • Dynamic Maze Discount Ticket Insa-dong: $8.83
  • [Extremely popular Chuncheon trip] Nami Island X Gangchon Railbike One Day Tour: $9.30
  • Alive Museum Discount Ticket at Insa-dong: $9.50


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Beijing may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $9.46 on alcoholic beverages in Seoul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Beijing $11
    Seoul $9.46

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Beijing:

  • Evening Food Private Tour with Brewery Taproom Hopping at Slow Boat in Beijing: $138
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Wonderful Beijing Bar Crawl Tour: $195
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $228

Sample the Local Flavors in Seoul

Also in Seoul, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Seoul Pub Crawl and Party with Free Shots: $24
  • 3-Hour Small Group Korean Pub Crawl + Food Tasting in Hongdae: $86



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Beijing and Seoul, we can see that Seoul is more expensive. And not only is Beijing much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Beijing would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Beijing and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Seoul would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Seoul than you might in Beijing.

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Beijing vs. Seoul Travel Comparison

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