A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Dubai vs. Seoul for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Attractions

Should you visit Dubai or Seoul?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Dubai and Seoul can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dubai

Dubai is a glamorous, opulent, and modern city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and food.

Seoul

Seoul is a cultural, bustling, and modern city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Dubai different from Seoul?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Museums and Historical Sights?

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Seoul and Dubai.

Many visitors head to Dubai specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city's most famous landmark is the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. Head to the observation deck for stunning views.

Many visitors head to Seoul specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The museums and landmarks are diverse, with notable sights including N Seoul Tower, the Bukchon Hanok Traditional Village, and the National Museum of Korea.


Is Dubai or Seoul better for Food?

Foodies will find both Dubai and Seoul both to be unique destinations.

Dubai has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The national dish in the area is khuzi, or ghuzi, which is a meal of roasted lamb or mutton, prepared with rice vegetables and nuts.

Seoul has long been recognized as a culinary destination. Food is a cultural obsession here, and you'll find everything from world class street food to award winning restaurants. The dishes are so much more diverse than Korean barbecue and kimchi. Many dishes are very spicy, with popular local foods including gamjatang (pork and potato soup) and jeon (savory pancakes).

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Nightlife?

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Dubai and Seoul.

People head to Dubai just to party. Frequented by the wealthy and opulent, the city has world class night clubs and DJs that travel from around to world to perform.

Seoul offers plenty to do in the evening. This is definitely a work hard/play hard city, with locals working long hours during the day and then partying hard late into the night. The nightlife scene is strong both during the week and on weekends. There are bars, clubs, and lounges that are frequented by locals and tourists alike.

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Music?

Dubai and Seoul are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

Dubai has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The city attracts world famous international DJs and musicians giving it one of the world's best music scenes.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Seoul K-pop has put the city on the map for music, but you'll actually find a wide range of genres here including rock music and electronic dance music.

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Dubai and Seoul both offer plenty of spots.

Many people travel to Dubai specifically to go shopping. With its many malls, souks, and shopping areas, this is the place to go for luxury shopping. Popular items to purchase include gold and diamond jewelry, shawls, and Persian rugs.

The abundance of shops in Seoul make it a world-class shopping destination. This bustling city offers traditional local items as well as Korean cosmetics and trendy fashion. Although shopping malls are spread throughout the city, some of the most popular shopping areas are found around Myeong-dong and Dongdaemun.


Is Dubai or Seoul better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Dubai or Seoul.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Dubai. This city has family-friendly resorts, skyscrapers with spectacular views, and amusement parks that are fun for the whole family. There are also plenty of fountains that the kids can splash around in.

Seoul is a very kid-friendly city. The city has a wide range of kid-friendly activities, ranging from the easy choices like amusement parks and children's museums, to the less obvious like kid-friendly cafes and markets. There are many entertainment options packed into a small space, so kids and adults alike will stay entertained.

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Couples?

Both Dubai and Seoul are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Dubai is a good city for couples to visit. From the spectacular views to the high end resorts, couples can enjoy a romantic retreat to the city.

Seoul is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples enjoy the beautiful viewpoints, outdoor parks, and diverse restaurants. There are also many beautiful luxury hotels where couples can enjoy a romantic getaway.

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Students?

For students, both Dubai and Seoul are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Dubai. Many major universities from around the world have campuses in this city, making this a top destination for international students.

Seoul is very popular with students. Many international students head to Seoul National University, which has an excellent academic reputation. The city is also fun and energetic, so everyone will be entertained.

Is Dubai or Seoul better for Public Transit?

Seoul has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Seoul can get you around easily. The modern and clean transportation system includes both a subway and buses.

Dubai has a few public transit options. The city's public transportation system includes buses, water buses, a monorail system, and a metro.


Is Dubai or Seoul a more walkable city?

Seoul is more walkable than Dubai.

Seoul is a very walkable destination. Many neighborhoods are fun to explore on foot but do take note that parts of the city are very hilly and the weather can be bitter cold during the winter months.

Dubai is generally not very walkable. It is one of the less pedestrian-friendly cities around the world. There is lots of road work, even in the more walkable areas, so getting around on foot can be challenging.

Dubai and Seoul: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Should I spend more time in Seoul or Dubai?

How long in Dubai or Seoul?

Both Dubai and Seoul have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Dubai is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Seoul is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Dubai or Seoul? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dubai 3-7 
    Seoul 3-7

One day in Dubai or Seoul?

Each neighborhood in Dubai has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

In Seoul, many people enjoy the live music and food that this modern big city offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Dubai or Seoul?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dubai. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Seoul. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Dubai or Seoul?

Dubai is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Seoul is a fun place to experience. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Dubai or Seoul?

Each neighborhood in Dubai has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Plenty of people spend one week here when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is often enough time to spend here.

In Seoul, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this modern big city offers. Plenty of people spend one week here when traveling. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is often enough time to spend here.

Which city is cheaper, Seoul or Dubai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dubai is $198, while the average daily cost in Seoul is $93. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Dubai and Seoul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $136
    Seoul $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $272
    Seoul $94

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dubai $10
    Seoul $13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Dubai

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $12
  • Airport Taxi
    $12
  • Sea Taxi
    $0.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dubai

Also for Dubai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from city centre to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to city centre: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to Jumeirah Beach: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Jumeirah Beach to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Ski Dubai/Wild Wadi: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Dubai to Dubai Airport (DXB): $17
  • Private Airport Transfer: Dubai Airport (DXB) to Dubai: $17
  • Private Transfer to/from Dubai Airport (DXB): $17
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Frame: $18
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Aquaventure/Lost Chamber: $18
  • Sharing Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa, VR Parks, DAUZ): $18
  • Shopping Tour with Sharing Transfers: $19

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $3.91
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.47
  • Metro Ride
    $1.06
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $7.82

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • Seoul ⇄ Alpensia / Yongpyong Ski Resort Private Van Transfers: $469
  • Summer Activity in Korea: Water Leisure Tour at Gapyeong with Private Transfer: $360
  • 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
  • Private Airport Transfer: Gimpo Airport to Seoul City (1-9 pax): $125
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Gimpo Airport (1-9 pax): $125
  • 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
  • Private Transfer from Seoul Hotels to Incheon Int'l Airport: $120
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-9 pax): $120
  • 1- Day Private Seoul or Outskirts Tour (Round-trip transfer to your hotel): $120
  • Everland Themepark Private Round trip Transfer + Ticket from Seoul: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Seoul?

Prices for flights to both Seoul and Dubai change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Dubai $45
    Seoul $26
Typical Food prices in Dubai

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Dubai:


  • French bread
    $0.95
  • Sumo salad in Dubai Mall + Juice
    $10
  • Lemon Mint Tea
    $4.36
  • Coffee & Cake
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $5.44
  • Shawarma
    $1.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Romantic Dhow Creek Dinner Cruise With Live Shows and International Buffet: $17
  • Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner: $18
  • Dubai Deira Cruise with International Buffet Dinner with Live Shows: $19
  • Cruising with Dinner and Live Shows at Dubai Creek: $20
  • Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise Dinner: $20
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise at Dubai Creek (Without Transfers): $20
  • Sail along the Dubai Creek Dhow cruise with a delectable Dinner from AED 60: $21
  • Sightseeing Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $21
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai: $22
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner on Dubai Creek: $22
  • Evening Dhow Dinner Cruise in Dubai: $22
  • Dubai Creek 2-Hour Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $23

Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $4.69
  • Waffle
    $0.78
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.56
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.30
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.56
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.49
  • Lunch Buffet
    $4.69
  • Donut
    $0.78
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.07
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.58
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.47
  • Fresh Burger
    $3.75
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.52
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $3.91
  • Fried Rice
    $4.30
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $7.43
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $7.43
  • Donut
    $1.96

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dubai $15
    Seoul $23
Typical Entertainment prices in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Visit to the Dubai Museum
    $0.82

Tours and Activities in Dubai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Dubai.

  • Global Village Entry Tickets: $4.11
  • Dubai Full-Day Global Village Tickets: $4.11
  • Global Village Entry Ticket: $4.19
  • Skip the Line: Global Village Ticket: $4.32
  • Global Village Dubai (Ticket): $4.85
  • Dubai Global Village Entrance Ticket: $5.20
  • Dubai Marina: Explore its activities & attractions on this audio walking tour: $5.50
  • Ethnic Emirati Dining Experience: $12
  • Resident Marina Sightseeing Tour: $12
  • Dubai City Tour, Dubai: $12
  • Dubai Virtual City Tour With Live Video Chat Commentary: $15
  • Flying Cup Experience Ticket Dubai: $17

Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.26
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.26
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.35

Tours and Activities in Seoul

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

  • "Nami Island" & "Petite France" or "Garden of Morning Calm" ※ Private Tour: $97
  • "Parasite" Filming Location Afternoon Tour with Free Jjapaguri(Ram-don): $44
  • 'My Love From The Star' TV Tour Including Petite France: $120
  • (Private) 9-Days Tasty Journey Around South Korea Tour: $3,475
  • 1 Day Seorak Mt. Private Tour: $314
  • 1 day Jeonju City tour by KTX Train from Seoul: $390
  • 10 Day Essential Korea Tour(Seoul, DMZ, Busan, Gyeongju, Andong, Jeju): $4,306
  • 1Day Customizable Private Daegu tour from Seoul by KTX train: $462
  • 2 Day Essential Tour-Nami Island,Petite Fr. and Mt.Seorak(Inc. Accom. & 4 Meals): $741
  • 2 Day Private: Rakkojae Korean Cultural Heritage Tour via Andong Hahoe Village: $654
  • 2 Day Tour for Seoul City/Nami, Petite,Garden of Morning Calm(Inc. Lun. & Din.): $555
  • 2 Days Gyeongju Private Tour from Seoul and Near Seoul: $490

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $18
    Seoul $10
Typical Alcohol prices in Dubai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Dubai:


  • A Couple Drinks
    $25

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
  • Pub Crawl and Party at City's Best Bars and Clubs: $25
  • 3-Hour Small Group Korean Pub Crawl + Food Tasting in Hongdae: $86


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dubai and Seoul, we can see that Dubai is more expensive. And not only is Seoul much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Dubai is in Middle East and Seoul is in Asia, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Seoul would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Seoul 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 Dubai would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dubai than you might in Seoul.

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Dubai vs. Seoul Travel Comparison

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