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

Should you visit Seoul or New York City?

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 New York City 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.

New York City

The most populated city in the United States, New York City, sits at the mouth of the Hudson River and encompasses both the island of Manhattan as well as the surrounding land on Long Island, most of which is known as Brooklyn. It's a cultural, culinary, theatrical, and art center that has much to offer domestic and international travelers alike. The city covers an area of 305 square miles and has a population of about 8.2 million people in the city proper with 18.7 million in the metropolitan area.

Which city is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City is $238. 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 New York City 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in New York City, $274 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in New York City, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $137, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Seoul $51
    New York City $137
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Seoul $102
    New York City $274

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.

New York City food costs typically run travelers around $37 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Seoul $28
    New York City $37
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 New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • Greenwich Village History, Culture, and Food Tour with Local Expert: $129
  • JAPANESE guided tour! Bateaux Dinner Cruise tour with hotel transportation. The best way to enjoy the Manhattan night view from the river & sea. Full course French dinner, live band music included.: $333
  • Limo trip Hotel to Dinner round trip in NEW MKT Limousine: $481

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 New York City, the average visitor spends $39 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
    New York City $39
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:

  • [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

Typical Local Transportation prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer Manhattan to NYC Airports JFK EWR LGA: $22
  • New York City Shared Shuttle Departure Transfer: Hotel to NYC Airports: $30
  • Private All Inclusive New York Transfer: Airport or Manhattan to Cruise Port: $71
  • Private New York airport transfer: New York airport to Manhattan and Brooklyn: $83
  • Private Transfer from New York City to LaGuardia Airport: $85
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Arrival Transfer: $90
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $90
  • Manhattan Private Luxury Transfer to NYC Airports: $98
  • New York Airport Luxury Departure Transfer via Stretch Limousine, SUV, Sedan: $100
  • Private Transfer from Manhattan to John F Kennedy Airport JFK by Luxury Car: $111
  • Private Sedan New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $115
  • Private Minivan Transfer from New York to JFK Airport: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Seoul or New York City?

Prices for flights to both New York City 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 New York City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $77 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Seoul $25
    New York City $77
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

Typical Entertainment prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

For New York City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 9/11 Tribute Museum Admission Ticket: $12
  • Central Park Zoo General Admission Ticket: $14
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket: $21
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island: Ticket Options with Ferry: $21
  • American Museum of Natural History Tickets: $23
  • American Museum of Natural History Admission Ticket: $23
  • St Patrick's Cathedral Official Tour- NOW OPEN: $24
  • Skip the Line: Shake, Rattle and Roll Dueling Pianos Show Ticket: $25
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Ticket: $25
  • The Museum of Modern Art Admission Ticket: $25
  • Whitney Museum of American Art Admission Ticket: $25
  • NOW OPEN: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry Ticket optional Upgrade: $28

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.

Typically, people visiting New York City spend on average $23 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Seoul $11
    New York City $23

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 Seoul and New York City, we can see that New York City 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 New York City is in North America, 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 New York City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in New York City than you might in Seoul.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Seoul vs. New York City Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.