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 $101, while the average daily cost in Tokyo is $176. 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 $102. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $51.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $166 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 $51
    Tokyo $83
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Seoul $102
    Tokyo $166

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 $41 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 $41
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 Tokyo

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


  • Late Night Noodles
    $7.28
  • Conveyor Belt Sushi Snack
    $7.28
  • Meal at Airport
    $9.49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tokyo

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

  • Lunch or Dinner with Maiko Experience in Kyoto : $14
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Miso-balls): $23
  • Yokohama Lunch, Tea, and Dinner Cruise with Royalwings: $25
  • Japanese Rolled Sushi cooking in Tokyo: $27
  • Online character lunch box cooking class: $27
  • Tokyo West Side Walking and Street Food Tour: $34
  • Hakodate's Famous Ikameshi Cooking Class: $36
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Casual): $41
  • West-Side Walking & Street Food Tour: $45
  • Okinawa Home Cooking Experience: $45
  • Moby Dick Dinner Cruise in Naha: $53
  • Instagrammable Cooking Class (Special): $59

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.

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 $22 per person, per day on transportation in Tokyo.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Seoul $15
    Tokyo $22
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 Tokyo

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


  • Metro from Airport
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tokyo

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

  • [5%OFF] Ferry Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Yaeyama Kanko Ferry: $6.09
  • Nara Kimono and Deer Experience Day Trip from Kyoto (with One Way Transfer): $10
  • Ferry Roundtrip Transfers from Ishigaki Island by Anei Kanko : $11
  • Ferry Transfers between Naha and Kume, Tonaki by Kume Shosen : $11
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfers for Chichibugahama Beach: $23
  • 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
  • Private Transfers Between Tokyo Stadium and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Musashino Forest Sports Plaza and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Equestrian Park and Tokyo City or Airports: $32
  • Private Transfers Between Ariake Arena and Tokyo City or Airports: $32

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 $79 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Seoul $25
    Tokyo $79
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 Tokyo

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

  • Beppu Tower Admission Ticket: $3.65
  • Uzu no Michi and Onaruto Bridge Hall Edy Ticket: $3.75
  • Yunomoto Onsen Experience in Hokkaido : $4.09
  • [5% OFF] Akame 48 Watefalls / Ninja Training Experience Discount Ticket in Mie: $4.35
  • Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko Experience: $4.39
  • Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch Ticket: $4.55
  • Hanshin Tourist Pass (1 Day, Umeda Pick Up): $4.55
  • Roman no Mori Kyowakoku Ticket in Chiba: $4.55
  • Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill Ticket: $4.85
  • Hida Kanayama Onsen Yutarikan Hot Spring Experience in Gifu: $4.99
  • Yunokuni no Mori Ticket in Komatsu: $4.99
  • Museum of Aeronautical Science Admission Ticket : $5.09

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 $37.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Seoul $11
    Tokyo $37

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 Tokyo

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


  • Sake
    $5.46

Sample the Local Flavors in Tokyo

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

  • Hiroshima Sake Brewery Guided Tour in "Saijo", one of the three largest Japanese Sake spot: $12
  • 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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