A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Hong Kong vs. Seoul for Food, Families, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Hong Kong or Seoul?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Hong Kong or Seoul, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a glamorous, diverse , and compact city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Seoul

Seoul is a bustling, modern, and high energy city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Hong Kong and Seoul: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Hong Kong than Seoul. While Seoul is larger than Hong Kong, Hong Kong has more sights and attractions for tourists. Hong Kong is better known for its beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Seoul is more popular for its music. Hong Kong is more touristy than Seoul and is popular for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum. Also, Hong Kong is famous for Victoria Peak. Seoul is well known for its shopping malls, colorful street markets, beautiful parks, and vibrant energy.

How is Hong Kong different from Seoul?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Seoul and Hong Kong. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Hong Kong and Seoul.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Hong Kong can be an interesting and educational experience. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Seoul. 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 the Food Better in Hong Kong or Seoul? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Dining out at restaurants in both Hong Kong and Seoul can be an enjoyable experience.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Hong Kong is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

Many restaurants in Seoul have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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 Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Nightlife?

Hong Kong
Seoul

The excellent nightlife scene is relatively similar in Hong Kong and Seoul.

Hong Kong has a large number of nightlife venues. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.

Seoul is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. 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 Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Music?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Seoul is an unbeatable place for its live music scene. However, Hong Kong is not a live music destination.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week 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.

Hong Kong is not a live music destination.


Is Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Beaches?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Hong Kong is a well-known place for the beache. However, Seoul is not a beach destination.

Hong Kong is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.

Seoul is not a beach destination.

Is Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Hiking?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Hong Kong is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. However, Seoul is not a hiking destination.

Hong Kong is a popular spot for hiking. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

Seoul is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Shoppers can find a variety of terrific stores in both Hong Kong and Seoul.

Known for shopping, Hong Kong draws large crowds to its stores. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

Seoul is a world class destination for shoppers. 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 Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Families?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Hong Kong is very popular for its family-friendly activities. Also, Seoul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Hong Kong is one of the most popular family destinations. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Seoul. 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 Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Couples?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Hong Kong is very popular for its romantic activities. Also, Seoul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

For those traveling as a couple, Hong Kong has plenty to offer. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

Seoul makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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 Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Hong Kong and Seoul are both notable destinations for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Hong Kong. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.

Seoul is a good city to visit for backpackers. The city isn't the most popular among backpackers, but those who visit will enjoy exploring a fascinating culture and delicious cuisine. Because it's a large city, you'll find a diversity of accommodation options including some budget-friendly hostels and hotels.


Is Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Students?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Seoul is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hong Kong is not popular with students.

Seoul is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Hong Kong is not popular with students.

Is Hong Kong or Seoul Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Visitors will find terrific public transit in both Hong Kong and Seoul.

Visitors in Hong Kong can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

Seoul has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The modern and clean transportation system includes both a subway and buses.

Is Hong Kong or Seoul a more walkable city?

Hong Kong
Seoul

Hong Kong is very popular for its high level of walkability. Also, Seoul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its ease of walking around.

It is easy to get around Hong Kong on foot. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

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.


For even more information, also check out Is Hong Kong Worth Visiting? and Is Seoul Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Seoul or Hong Kong?

How long in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Both Hong Kong and Seoul have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Hong Kong has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Hong Kong than Seoul. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Hong Kong than Seoul. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hong Kong, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hong Kong than Seoul. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hong Kong that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Hong Kong than Seoul if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Hong Kong.


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

One day in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Each neighborhood in Hong Kong has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the city of Seoul. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Hong Kong or Seoul?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hong Kong. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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.

You'll find live music and food around the modern big city of Seoul. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Hong Kong is a fun place to experience. Each neighborhood in Hong Kong has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find food and shopping around the bustling city of Seoul. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.


A week in Hong Kong or Seoul?

Each neighborhood in Hong Kong has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Seoul is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Seoul, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to South Korea, and The Best Adventure Tours to South Korea.


Which place is cheaper, Seoul or Hong Kong?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hong Kong is $160, while the average daily cost in Seoul is $110. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Hong Kong and Seoul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hong Kong $75
    Seoul $56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hong Kong $150
    Seoul $112
Compare Hotels in Hong Kong and Seoul

Looking for a hotel in Hong Kong or Seoul? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Hong Kong


Hotels in Seoul


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Hong Kong Hotel Prices and Seoul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hong Kong $8.72
    Seoul $16
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.81
  • Local Bus
    $2.81
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $14

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $3.72
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.21
  • Metro Ride
    $1.00
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $7.44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • Private Transfer l Airport to/from Seoul: $100
  • Private Transfer To/From Incheon Airport: $101
  • Seoul to Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) Departure Private Transfer: $47
  • Seoul to Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) - Departure Private Transfer: $47
  • Seoul Airport: Private Departure Transfer from Seoul City Center: $87
  • Private Transfer Incheon Airport <-> Seoul Korea: $110
  • Private Incheon Airport Pickup Transfer to Seoul and Vice Versa: $98
  • Private Departure Transfer:Hotel to Incheon International Airport: $145
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-5 pax): $115
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Gimpo Airport (1-12 pax): $180
  • Private Airport Transfer: Gimpo Airport to Seoul City (1-12 pax): $160
  • Private Airport Transfer : Incheon airport to/from Seoul(~7 pax): $99

Is it cheaper to fly into Hong Kong or Seoul?

Prices for flights to both Seoul and Hong Kong 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
    Hong Kong $33
    Seoul $31
Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

Typical Food Prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $4.46
  • Waffle
    $0.74
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.49
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.09
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.49
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.41
  • Lunch Buffet
    $4.46
  • Donut
    $0.74
  • Mushroom Burger
    $3.87
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.46
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.21
  • Fresh Burger
    $3.57
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.35
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $3.72
  • Fried Rice
    $4.09
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $7.07
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $7.07
  • Donut
    $1.86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seoul

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

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace : Tour, dinner and coffee: $37
  • Seoul Mangwon Market Social Night Food Tour: $44
  • Namdaemun Market: the Largest Traditional Market Food Tour: $47
  • Mangwon Market Food tour By Locals; Cheap Eats to Fancy Feast: $48
  • Namdaemun Market Street Food Tour: $48
  • Gwangjang Market Netflix Food Tour: $54
  • Guided City Wall Sunset Hike with Korean Dinner: $58
  • Seoul Seongsu dong Tour Including Lunch, Dinner, Beer, Night View: $69
  • Night Market Food Tour: $70
  • Night Market Food Tour: $72
  • K-FOOD one day cooking class: $75
  • A brand new Korean cooking class: $80

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hong Kong $95
    Seoul $27
Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Hong Kong's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Peak Tram
    $7.67
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Tours and Activities in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking Adventure: $110
  • Ma On Shan Climbing Adventure: $115

Typical Entertainment Prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $5.95
  • Movie Ticket
    $5.95
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.23

Tours and Activities in Seoul

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

  • Full Day Tour Jeonju Hanok Village, Wansan Park and Gakwonsa: $73
  • Pocheon Art Valley with Strawberry Picking Half-Day Tour: $66
  • Private Tour Nami Island with Petite France 'and/or' The Garden of Morning Calm: $98
  • 'Must Do' Seoul Tram guided Tour with local street food tasting: $60
  • (Private tour) Nami Island + Railbike + Garden of morning calm: $220
  • 2-Hour Makgeolli Tasting Experience in Seoul: $38
  • 2-Hour Private Kayaking and Paddleboarding Experience in Hanriver: $30
  • 3-Hour Self-guided Sokcho Tour with Private Transportation: $24
  • 365-day DMZ Special Tour including Monday & National Holiday: $55
  • ARMY must visit BTS tour in Seoul: $55
  • Activity - Mt. Bukhan Hiking Guided Tour: $150
  • Afternoon Half Day Seoul City Tour, visit Queen's dorm: $67

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hong Kong $21
    Seoul $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Seoul

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

  • Chunpoong Makgeolli Brewery Tour: $11
  • Seoul Pub Crawl by Absolute: $20
  • The Seoul Pub Crawl [official]: $21
  • Pub Crawl: $25
  • The Seoul Pub Crawl [official]: $26
  • Soju Tasting at Distillery - story of 3 pigs: $42
  • Soju Tasting at Distillery - Story of Three Pigs: $43


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Hong Kong and Seoul, we can see that Hong Kong is more expensive. And not only is Seoul much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. 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 Hong Kong would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hong Kong than you might in Seoul.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Hong Kong Expensive? and Is Seoul Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Hong Kong or Seoul?

Seoul has a larger population, and is about 48% larger than the population of Hong Kong. When comparing the sizes of Hong Kong and Seoul, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.