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

Should you visit Seoul or Madrid?

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

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.

Madrid

Madrid, the capital of Spain, overs visitors countless opportunities to experience Spain's culture, art, cuisine, and nightlife. It is the largest city in Spain, and as such has much to explore. The city is situated on the Iberian Peninsula on the Spanish central Castillian plateau. If you're flying into Spain, you'll likely fly into the Madrid airport as it's one of the largest airports in Europe. Madrid is well connected to the rest of Spain with planes, trains and buses, making it a popular place to visit for many travelers doing a European tour.

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 $101, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $126. 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 Seoul and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

Travelers usually pay around $140 for a double occupancy room in Madrid If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Seoul $51
    Madrid $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Seoul $102
    Madrid $140

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.

The price of a meal in Madrid can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $32 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $13 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Seoul $28
    Madrid $32
Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.12
  • Waffle
    $0.85
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.71
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.70
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.71
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.62
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.12
  • Donut
    $0.85
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.44
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.82
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.98
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.10
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.84
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.27
  • Fried Rice
    $4.70
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.11
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.11
  • Donut
    $2.14

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

Typical Food prices in Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    $2.36
  • Ice Cream
    $3.54
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $19
  • Croissant
    $1.77
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    $19

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
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Private Food Tour in The 10 Tastings: $53
  • 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
  • Opera and Zarzuela Show and Dinner: $62
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68
  • Zarzuela Opera and Dinner at La Castafiore Restaurant in Madrid: $68

Local Transportation

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.

To get around in Madrid, the average visitor spends $18 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Seoul $15
    Madrid $18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $4.27
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.98
  • Metro Ride
    $1.15
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.54

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
  • [COVID19] Private Incheon Airport(ICN) Transfer for Seoul & Gyeonggi-do: $121
  • 1- Day Private Seoul or Outskirts Tour (Round-trip transfer to your hotel): $120
  • Private Transfer from Seoul Hotels to Incheon Int'l Airport: $120
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-9 pax): $120

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $31

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
  • Luxury Las Rozas Shopping Village Transfers from Madrid: $21
  • 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

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.





Entertainment

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.

In Madrid, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $32 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Seoul $25
    Madrid $32
Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.83
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.83
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.56

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

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • Free Walking Tour: $1.21
  • 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
  • Madrid from the Inquisition to Multiculturalism Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Let's Tapear! The Madrid Tapas Route Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid Private Tour: Fun Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Teatro Real: Ticket and 1-Hour Audio Tour: $8.24
  • Skip the Line: Museo Lázaro Galdiano Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Madrid of the Austrias Walking Tour: $9.69
  • Skip the Line: Ticket for the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid: $9.95
  • Madrid 90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour: $9.95

Alcohol

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Madrid, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $19.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Seoul $11
    Madrid $19

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    $5.91
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • 5-Hour Pub Crawl: $13
  • Madrid Pub Crawl: $14
  • Pub Crawl in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Private Pub Crawl Madrid: $21
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Madrid Wine Tasting, Flamenco Class, and Pub Crawl: $44
  • Madrid 6-Hour Tapas and Flamenco Bar Crawl: $46
  • 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


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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