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

Should you visit Seoul or Tokyo?

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 Tokyo 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.

Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is by far the most populous city in the world with a staggering 37 million people. As a worldwide hub for technology and business, it hosts millions of visitors annually. But Tokyo is not just a place for business trips. With its incredible mixture of historical temples and shrines, remarkably beautiful parks, endless shopping malls, and genuinely wonderful people, Tokyo is a terrific place to visit and to explore.

Which city is cheaper, Tokyo or Seoul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Seoul is $100, while the average daily cost in Tokyo is $170. 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 Tokyo in more detail.



Accommodation

Seoul's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $100. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $50.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $158 in Tokyo For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Seoul $50
    Tokyo $79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Seoul $100
    Tokyo $158

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 Tokyo can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $40 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $16 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
    Tokyo $40
Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.05
  • Waffle
    $0.84
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.68
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.63
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.68
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.60
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.05
  • Donut
    $0.84
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.38
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.78
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.89
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.04
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.79
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.21
  • Fried Rice
    $4.63
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.00
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.00
  • Donut
    $2.11

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 Tokyo

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


  • Late Night Noodles
    $6.99
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $6.99
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $45
  • West-Side Cycling and Food Tour with Guide: $65
  • Wagyu & Kaiseki Cooking Class: $73
  • Tempura Cooking Class at Japan Culinary School: $74
  • 2-Hour Tokyo Bay Dinner Cruise and Oiran Show: $78
  • Unique Private Cooking Class with a Tokyo Local Emi: $78
  • Cook & Enjoy Japanese Home-Style Cooking: $79
  • Wagashi Japanese Sweets Cooking Experience: $79
  • Local Food Tour on Sunamachi Ginza Street: $90
  • Vegan and Organic Food Tour: $92
  • Private Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class from Central Tokyo: $108
  • Private Japanese Cooking Class in a Local Home: $108

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Seoul is $14 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.

Tokyo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $21 per person, per day on transportation in Tokyo.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Seoul $14
    Tokyo $21
Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $4.21
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.89
  • Metro Ride
    $1.14
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.42

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 Tokyo

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Tokyo:


  • Metro from Airport
    $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

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

  • Tokyo Station to/from Tokyo City: One-Way Shared Transfer: $25
  • Japan Railway Station Shared Departure Transfer : Tokyo City to Tokyo Station: $25
  • Honshu, Japan: Luggage Transfer Between Accommodations: $28
  • Hello Kitty Puroland Ticket with Transfer: $35
  • Tokyo City View: Observation Deck with 1-Way Transfer: $41
  • Tokyo :Shared Transfer to/from Haneda Airport: $44
  • Shared Transfer to/from Narita Airport: $48
  • Shared Departure Transfer : Central Tokyo Hotel to Haneda Airport: $51
  • Tokyo DisneySea Shared Transfer : from Tokyo to DisneySea (One Way): $51
  • Tokyo Disneyland Shared Transfer : from Tokyo to Disneyland (One Way): $51
  • Shared Transfer to/from Haneda (HND) Airport: $57
  • Tokyo Shared transfer to/from Narita (NRT) Airport: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Seoul or Tokyo?

Prices for flights to both Tokyo 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Tokyo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $76 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Seoul $25
    Tokyo $76
Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.74
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.74
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.53

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 Tokyo

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

  • Samurai Spots in Tokyo Virtual Tour: $8.26
  • Palette Town’s Giant Sky Wheel Skip-the-Line Ticket: $9.49
  • 1-Hour River Cruise Asakusa to Odaiba: $11
  • Japanese Snacks You Should Try: Online Experience by Local Guide: $12
  • [Virtual Tour] Ghibli Spots in Japan: $12
  • [Virtual Tour] Japan: the bathing and Sento experience: $12
  • [Virtual Tour] Tokyo Highlights: $12
  • Virtual Tour to Discover Mount Fuji: $14
  • Tokyo Online: Virtual Experience in Shibuya and Shinjuku with a Local Expert: $14
  • Roppongi Hills: Tokyo City View Entrance Ticket: $14
  • Online Japanese Archery Experience: $15
  • Tokyo Online Tour All in One, With 10+ Top Sights!: $15

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 Tokyo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $35.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Seoul $11
    Tokyo $35

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Tokyo

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Tokyo:


  • Sake
    $5.24

Sample the Local Flavors in Tokyo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tokyo:

  • Tokyo Pub Crawl: $22
  • Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting: $307


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

Budget Your Trip

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Seoul vs. Tokyo Travel Comparison

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