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

Should you visit Seoul or Madrid?

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 Madrid 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. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, live music, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a cultural, diverse, and compact city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Seoul different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Seoul or Madrid better for Museums and Historical Sights?

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

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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Madrid. There are a number of cultural sights in the city including Museo Nacional del Prado, the Royal Palace and Gardens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.


Is Seoul or Madrid better for Food?

Both Seoul and Madrid 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 Madrid have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Is Seoul or Madrid better for Nightlife?

Both Seoul and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.

Is Seoul or Madrid better for Music?

Both Seoul and Madrid 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.

Madrid is known as a music capital around the world. Rock, jazz, and flamenco are all popular in the city. Some of the most well known music venues include Sala Caracol, Sala Clamores, and Costello Club.

Is Seoul or Madrid better for Shopping?

Both Seoul and Madrid 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.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Madrid. Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.


Is Seoul or Madrid better for Families?

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

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.

Madrid is a very family-friendly destination. Kids love splashing around at Madrid Río, taking a ride on the cable car (Teleférico), and exploring the city's many parks and playgrounds. There's even a maze at Sabatini Gardens. Restaurants around the city are also very kid-friendly.

Is Seoul or Madrid better for Couples?

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

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.

Madrid is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Fun and romantic activities around town include taking a boat ride at Casa de Campo, riding a bike in one of the many parks, and enjoy dinner and show in the evening.

Is Seoul or Madrid better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

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

Many backpackers frequent Madrid. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Seoul. 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 Madrid better for Students?

Seoul and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a very popular city for students. With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.


Is Seoul or Madrid better for Public Transit?

Both Seoul and Madrid 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.

Madrid has a great public transit system. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

Is Seoul or Madrid a more walkable city?

Seoul and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a very easy city to get around on foot. Most tourists stay in the central part of Madrid where it's compact and relatively easy to walk to most tourist sights.

Seoul and Madrid: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Madrid or Seoul?

How long in Seoul or Madrid?

In either Seoul or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Seoul than Madrid because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Seoul is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Madrid is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Seoul or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Seoul 3-7 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Seoul or Madrid?

Seoul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Madrid, many people enjoy the live music and food that this friendly 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 Seoul or Madrid?

Seoul is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Madrid. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Seoul or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Seoul. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Madrid 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 Seoul or Madrid?

Seoul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the diverse big city of Madrid. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Madrid or Seoul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Seoul is $90, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $109. 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 Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Seoul $46
    Madrid $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Seoul $92
    Madrid $120

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Seoul $13
    Madrid $15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $3.82
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.34
  • Metro Ride
    $1.03
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $7.63

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

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

  • Ultra - Madrid Private Airport Transfer from Madrid airport MAD to city centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Madrid Private Airport Transfer from city centre to Madrid airport MAD: $9.41
  • Hotel Madrid City Private Transfer To Madrid Barajas Airport: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) to Madrid: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: Madrid to Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD): $29
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Madrid City to Madrid Barajas Airport: $31
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Madrid Barajas Airport to City: $31
  • Madrid Barajas Airport Private Transfer To Alcorcón, & cities close to Madrid: $33
  • Madrid to Madrid Airport (MAD) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $34
  • Madrid Airport (MAD) to Madrid - Arrival Private Van Transfer: $34
  • Madrid Barajas Airport Private Transfer To Madrid City: $34
  • Premium Private Transfer from Madrid Airport to Madrid Hotels: $37

Is it cheaper to fly into Seoul or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid 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
    Madrid $28
Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $4.58
  • Waffle
    $0.76
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.53
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.20
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.53
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.45
  • Lunch Buffet
    $4.58
  • Donut
    $0.76
  • Mushroom Burger
    $3.97
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.52
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.34
  • Fresh Burger
    $3.66
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.43
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $3.82
  • Fried Rice
    $4.20
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $7.25
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $7.25
  • Donut
    $1.91

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 Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    $2.04
  • Ice Cream
    $3.07
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $16
  • Croissant
    $1.53
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

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

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Iberico Ham and Spanish Wine Small-Group Food Tour: $67
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68

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

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.10
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.10
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.29

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

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • Prado Museum Self-Guided Audio Tour App: $3.97
  • Madrid's Private Tour with your Family: Highlights & Hidden Gems: $4.04
  • A local's Tuck into the city's history and some tapas on an audio tour: $5.00
  • History Tour of The Town Too High To Die Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Let's Tapear! The Madrid Tapas Route Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid from the Inquisition to Multiculturalism Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid Private Tour: Fun Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Skip the Line: Museo Lázaro Galdiano Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Madrid 90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Ticket for the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid: $9.95
  • Tours from Home: Intro to Madrid: $10
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Seoul $10
    Madrid $16

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    $5.11
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • Pub Crawl in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $43
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62
  • Old Town Madrid Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $82
  • Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Experience In Madrid: $91
  • Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour: $93
  • Madrid Tapas Diaries- A Premium Food & Wine Tour in the old city of Madrid: $123


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Seoul and Madrid, we can see that Madrid 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 Madrid 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 Madrid would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Madrid than you might in Seoul.

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Seoul vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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