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

Should you visit Seoul or Barcelona?

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 Seoul and Barcelona can help you decide which place is right for you.

Seoul

Seoul is a modern, high energy, and colorful city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a cultural, friendly, and colorful 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.

How is Seoul different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Seoul and Barcelona.

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.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Barcelona that are not to be missed. Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.


Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Food?

Both Seoul and Barcelona offer good local cuisine.

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).

Many restaurants in Barcelona have been singled out for their culinary prowess. With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.

Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Nightlife?

Both Seoul and Barcelona are comparable when it comes to partying.

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.

Barcelona is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Music?

Both Seoul and Barcelona offer a variety of live music venues.

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.

Barcelona is a world class music destination. Popular music venues include Tablao de Carmen, Razzmatazz, and Jamboree.

Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Shopping?

Both Seoul and Barcelona are good shopping destinations.

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.

Barcelona is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.


Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Families?

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

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.

Barcelona is a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the Magic Fountains Show near Plaça d’Espanya, wander through the aquarium, or sample some chocolate at the Chocolate Museum. There are also many great parks and playgrounds around town.

Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

While Seoul and Barcelona are both good for backpackers, overall Barcelona is more popular.

Many backpackers frequent Barcelona. There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers.

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 Seoul or Barcelona better for Students?

Seoul and Barcelona are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

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.

Barcelona is a very popular city for students. This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do.

Is Seoul or Barcelona better for Public Transit?

Both Seoul and Barcelona offer public transit options.

Seoul has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. The modern and clean transportation system includes both a subway and buses.

Barcelona has a great public transit system. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city.


Is Seoul or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Seoul and Barcelona both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Seoul is a very walkable city. 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.

Barcelona is very walkable. The city is more spread out than some other major European cities, but there are many plazas and outdoor areas that are fun to explore on foot. The city has designed "superilles," which are areas where car traffic has been directed around pedestrian-friendly plazas so visitors can explore, relax, or play.

Seoul and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Seoul?

How long in Seoul or Barcelona?

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


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

One day in Seoul or Barcelona?

People visit Seoul because there is so much to do. 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.

In Barcelona, many people enjoy the live music and food that this historic big city offers. 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.

A weekend in Seoul or Barcelona?

People visit Seoul because there is so much to do. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Barcelona. Most visitors spend time around the old town 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.

Five days in Seoul or Barcelona?

People visit Seoul because there is so much to do. 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.

Barcelona is a fun place to experience. 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.


A week in Seoul or Barcelona?

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.

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

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Seoul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Seoul is $91, while the average daily cost in Barcelona is $128. 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 Seoul and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Seoul $46
    Barcelona $78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Seoul $92
    Barcelona $156

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Seoul $13
    Barcelona $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $3.85
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.39
  • Metro Ride
    $1.04
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $7.70

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • Everland Theme Park Private Transfer: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: Gimpo International Airport (GMP) to Seoul: $31
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Seoul to Gimpo International Airport (GMP): $31
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul to Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN): $41
  • Airport Private Transfer: Seoul to Incheon Int'l Airport: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: Gimpo Airport to Seoul City (1-6 pax): $65
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City - Gimpo Airport (1-6 pax): $67
  • Private Airport Transfer : Seoul to Gimpo/Gimpo to Seoul (up to 7pax): $68
  • Private transfer in Korea along with a wide range of cars (3~28pax): $75
  • Private Transfer to Airport : Seoul to Incheon Airport ( up to 7pax): $79
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-6 pax): $85
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Gimpo International Airport to Seoul Hotels: $90

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $8.13
  • Airport Bus
    $5.21
  • Metro
    $2.19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from Barcelona Cruise Port to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Airport Transfer city centre to El Prat Airport BCN: $9.41
  • Airport Transfers: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer from Barcelona City Center to El-Prat Airport (BCN): $24
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City to Barcelona Airport: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfers: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer from Bcn City Centre to Bcn Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29

Is it cheaper to fly into Seoul or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Seoul 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
    Seoul $25
    Barcelona $28
Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $4.62
  • Waffle
    $0.77
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.54
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.24
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.54
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.46
  • Lunch Buffet
    $4.62
  • Donut
    $0.77
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.00
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.54
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.39
  • Fresh Burger
    $3.70
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.47
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $3.85
  • Fried Rice
    $4.24
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $7.32
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $7.32
  • Donut
    $1.93

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

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.33
  • Sandwich
    $1.77
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $3.96
  • Tapas on the beach
    $8.64
  • Gelatto
    $2.61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

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

  • Live from Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Live from Barcelona to China: Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Barcelona organic dinner in a beautiful rooftop garden: $35
  • Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour: $48
  • Interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona: $49
  • Hands-on Brunch Cooking Class with Bottomless Mimosas!: $50
  • Born district food tour and tasting in Barcelona: $51
  • Street Food Tour & Gothic Quater Sightseeing with Local Expert: $52
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $52
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit: $59
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show and Dinner Ticket: $62
  • 2-Hour Bites & Flavors Private Food Tour: $66

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Seoul $22
    Barcelona $28
Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.16
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.16
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.31

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Barcelona

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


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    $44
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    $8.92
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $6.26

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

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

  • A Culinary Audio Tour of El Born by VoiceMap: $5.50
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • Private Barcelona Ghost Tour: Gothic Quarter Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Museu de la Xocolata Admission Ticket: $7.46
  • History Museum of Catalonia Skip-The-Line Ticket: $9.08
  • Skip the Line: Erotic Museum of Barcelona Admission Ticket with free souvenir: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Human Bodies - Entrance to the exhibition Ticket: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: History Museum of Catalonia & Rooftop Access Ticket: $9.95
  • Guided Tour at Catalonia's Royal Academy of Medicine: $10
  • Guided Tour at Barcelona's Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts: $10
  • IDEAL Frida Kahlo, the Life of an Icon Ticket: $10
  • Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Entry Ticket: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Seoul $10
    Barcelona $14

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.08
  • Generation Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Barcelona: $22
  • Opera Samfaina: Food and Wine Tasting Interactive Experience in Barcelona: $26
  • Wine tasting & tapas: $39
  • Barcelona Guided Local Wine Tasting Tour: $44
  • Wine Tasting near Sagrada Familia: $47
  • Home Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Lover: $51
  • Fun Wine Tasting in Barcelona with a Sommelier!: $53
  • Spanish wine tasting in a historic building with a Sommelier: $54
  • Food Tasting Tapas and Wine Tour: $62


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

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Seoul vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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