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 $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 Kuala Lumpur and Seoul in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kuala Lumpur, $62 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kuala Lumpur, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $31, such as in a hostel.

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
    Kuala Lumpur $31
    Seoul $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $62
    Seoul $104

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 $29 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Seoul should cost around $12 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 $29
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
    $9.55
  • Roti Bread
    $0.24
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.44
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $5.13

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:

  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Small group epic food tour! Immerse yourself in the local culture too!: $44
  • Best Local Food Tour by Night at Kuala Lumpur: $45
  • Market Visit & Garden-to-Table Cooking Class: $47
  • Yummy Yummy Street Food Tour - Kuala Lumpur By Night (Guided With Transport): $53
  • Old Markets & Beyond: Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $55
  • Cultural Night Tour with Dinner: $55
  • Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $59
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Kuala Lumpur Private Street Food Tour: $61
  • Fireflies Night Tour with Seafood Dinner: $61

Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.24
  • Waffle
    $0.87
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.75
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.80
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.75
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.66
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.24
  • Donut
    $0.87
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.54
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.88
  • Udon & Sushi
    $6.11
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.19
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.93
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.37
  • Fried Rice
    $4.80
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.29
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.29
  • Donut
    $2.18

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

To get around in Kuala Lumpur, the average visitor spends $5.43 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 $15 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 $5.43
    Seoul $15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.58
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.76
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.58
  • Taxi From Airport
    $21
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.91
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Private Transfer : Kuala Lumpur Attractions: $7.84
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $10
  • Airport Transfer: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur Shared Attraction Transfers: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur Hotels to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Transfer (1-way): $12
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Transfer- Departure: $12
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $12
  • Budget Kuala Lumpur Airport Transfer-Departure: $12
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $12
  • Private: Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Departure Transfer : Kuala Lumpur International Airport: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Lumpur Int. Airport (KUL): $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $4.37
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.11
  • Metro Ride
    $1.18
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.73

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • Summer Activity in Korea: Water Leisure Tour at Gapyeong with Private Transfer: $360
  • Seoul ⇄ Alpensia / Yongpyong Ski Resort Private Van Transfers: $469
  • Private transfer in Korea along with a wide range of cars (3~28pax): $75
  • Private Transfer: Seoul to Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN): $108
  • Private Transfer to Airport : Seoul to Incheon Airport ( up to 7pax): $79
  • Private Transfer from Seoul Hotels to Incheon Int'l Airport: $120
  • Private Departure Transfer from Seoul Hotels to Gimpo International Airport: $90
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Gimpo International Airport to Seoul Hotels: $90
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Seoul to Gimpo International Airport (GMP): $31
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul to Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN): $41
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-9 pax): $120
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-6 pax): $85

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
    $1.19

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Great Kuala Lumpur Tour with 21 Attractions: $5.00
  • Consultation Services for Your Tour Program: $5.00
  • City Highlights and Cultural Landmarks: An audio tour exploring KL's melting pot: $5.99
  • Skip the Line: Chocolate Factory Tour Ticket: $7.74
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Mini Zoo Admission Ticket in Kuala Lumpur: $8.19
  • Laser Battle Experience in Kuala Lumpur: $8.30
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Observation Deck Entry Ticket: $9.00
  • Kuala Lumpur City Tour: $9.43
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.49
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.72
  • KL Half Day City Tour SHARED: $10
  • Half Day City Tour-Xmas Special (25 Dec Only): $10

Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.98
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.98
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.62

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

Typically, people visiting Kuala Lumpur spend on average $5.66 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $12 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 $5.66
    Seoul $12
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:

  • 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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