A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kuala Lumpur vs. Seoul for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or Seoul?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and Seoul. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, often referred to as KL, is the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. It is also the largest city in the country, having grown out of a small Chinese mining village. Today Kuala Lumpur is a microcosm of the country of Malaysia. The population is split between the Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures which you can see reflected in the city's neighborhoods, cuisine, and entertainment. It's also an incredibly affordable city, even if you're looking for the comforts of a five star hotel or a luxury restaurant. Prices are almost always a fraction of what you would pay in Europe or the United States.

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 Kuala Lumpur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $52, while the average daily cost in Seoul is $101. 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 Kuala Lumpur and Seoul in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kuala Lumpur, $64 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kuala Lumpur, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $32, such as in a hostel.

Seoul's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $102. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $51.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $32
    Seoul $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $64
    Seoul $102

Food

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Kuala Lumpur for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

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
    Kuala Lumpur $11
    Seoul $28
Typical Food prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $9.64
  • Roti Bread
    $0.24
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.47
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $5.18

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Bachelor's Pizza Co. at EPiC Food Hall: $1.75
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • Pizza Mansion in Klang Valley: $19
  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Cooking Class With Garden Tours in Penang: $38
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Local Evening Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $40
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Bayu Balau Beach Resort 2D1N Stay at Standard Room with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: $41
  • Kota Kinabalu City Night Tour with Seafood Dinner: $43

Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.09
  • Waffle
    $0.85
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.70
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.67
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.70
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.61
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.09
  • Donut
    $0.85
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.41
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.80
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.94
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.08
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.82
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.25
  • Fried Rice
    $4.67
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.07
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.07
  • Donut
    $2.12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seoul

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

  • Jeonju Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Mokpo Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Gangneung Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Andong Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Yeot-gangjeong Making Cooking Class in Gangnam: $17
  • Incheon Sunset and Seafood Tour: $22
  • Night Market Food Tour: $48
  • Busan Jagalchi Market Tour and Korean Daily Special Dish Cooking Class: $49
  • Traditional Korean Cooking Class (Kimchi) & market tour with chef Joungy: $51
  • Korean Full-Course Meal Cooking Class at Local Home with Local Market Experience in Seoul: $52
  • Private Traditional Korean Cooking Class and Dongdaemun Market Food Tour by Janet's Cooking Studio: $52
  • Korean Cooking Class with Full-Course Meal & Local Market Tour: $56

Local Transportation

To get around in Kuala Lumpur, the average visitor spends $5.49 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

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.
    Kuala Lumpur $5.49
    Seoul $14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.61
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.77
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.61
  • Taxi From Airport
    $22
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.93
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Shared Bus Transfers for Senai International Airport (JHB): $1.95
  • Private Transfer : Kuala Lumpur Attractions: $7.84
  • Ferry Transfers between Langkawi and Penang by Super Fast Ferry: $8.40
  • Ferry Transfers between Langkawi and Penang by Super Fast Ferry: $8.40
  • Shared Boat Transfer Between Langkawi, Beras Basah, Dayung Bunting and Singa Besar Island: $8.45
  • KL Bird Park Admission Ticket With One Way Transfer: $8.49
  • Shared Bus Transfer between Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur by Unititi Express: $9.05
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $10
  • Airport Transfer: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur Shared Attraction Transfers: $11
  • Upside Down House Gallery and Busquarium Tickets with Transfers in Langkawi: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur Hotels to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Transfer (1-way): $12

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $4.25
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.94
  • Metro Ride
    $1.15
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • [COVID19] Private Incheon Airport(ICN) Transfer for Seoul & Gyeonggi-do: $121
  • Summer Activity in Korea: Water Leisure Tour at Gapyeong with Private Transfer: $360
  • Shuttle Bus Transfers between Seoul and Everland by Daesung Tour: $9.35
  • Shared Transfers between Myeongdong and N Seoul Tower: $5.19
  • Shared One Way Transfer from Seoul to Nami Island or Gangchon Rail Bike: $6.59
  • Shared Airport Transfers (ICN/GMP) for Seoul: $25
  • Seoul ⇄ Alpensia / Yongpyong Ski Resort Private Van Transfers: $469
  • Round Trip Shuttle Bus Transfers to Everland from Seoul by JINA International Travel: $9.35
  • Round Trip Shuttle Bus Transfers to Everland by World Travel: $8.65
  • Round Trip Everland Shuttle Bus Transfers from Seoul by World Travel: $8.25
  • Round Trip DMZ Shuttle Bus Transfers from Seoul: $22
  • Private transfer in Korea along with a wide range of cars (3~28pax): $75

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Seoul?

Prices for flights to both Seoul and Kuala Lumpur 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.





Entertainment

In Kuala Lumpur, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $12 per person, per day.

Seoul's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $25 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.
    Kuala Lumpur $12
    Seoul $25
Typical Entertainment prices in Kuala Lumpur

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


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $11
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.20

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Kidzooona Ticket in Sabah: $1.69
  • The Sheep Sanctuary Admission Ticket at Cameron Highland: $1.95
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Melaka: $2.05
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Ipoh, Taiping and Kelantan: $2.05
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Penang and Kedah: $2.05
  • Musical Carousel & Jelly Bump Admission Ticket at The TOP Komtar: $2.19
  • Kidzooona Ticket in Sarawak: $2.35
  • Magic Art Museum Admission Ticket in Melaka: $3.15
  • Penang 3D Trick Art Museum Admission Ticket: $3.15
  • Urban Playz Admission Ticket in Penang: $3.25
  • Melaka Crocodile and Recreation Park Ticket: $3.49
  • White Water Rafting Adventure in Slim River : $3.65

Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.79
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.79
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.55

Tours and Activities in Seoul

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

  • AREX Incheon Airport Express, Lotte World Pass and Running Man Thematic Experience Center Combo Package: $17
  • Busan Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village, and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Day Tour: $37
  • Cheese Smile Studio Self Photoshoot Experience in Bukchon: $41
  • GOT7 Ahgase Tour in Seoul: $59
  • Han River Sevit Island Yacht Experience (Pets allowed): $16
  • Hanbok Experience (Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung Store) with Korean Hairstyling: $6.95
  • Instant Ticket! Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5Days: $96
  • Instant Ticket: Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days: $96
  • Instant Ticket: Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days: $93
  • Instant Ticket: Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days: $96
  • Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Bike, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and Alpaca World Day Tour: $62
  • "Nami Island" & "Petite France" or "Garden of Morning Calm" ※ Private Tour: $97

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Kuala Lumpur spend on average $5.71 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $11 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
    Kuala Lumpur $5.71
    Seoul $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Seoul

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

  • Absolute Busan Pub Crawl Experience in Seomyeon and Haeundae: $11
  • Absolute Seoul Pub Crawl Experience in Hongdae and Itaewon: $19
  • 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 Kuala Lumpur and Seoul, we can see that Seoul is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kuala Lumpur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kuala Lumpur 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 Kuala Lumpur.

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Kuala Lumpur vs. Seoul Travel Comparison

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