10 Cheapest Places to Live in South Korea

Updated On May 29, 2024

Are you thinking of moving to South Korea?

If so, you’ll want the best prices for renting or buying your home.

South Korea is known for having amazing small apartments that are affordable and convenient.

So, how much does one of these places cost?

The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $800 to $1,500 in the city.

However, you can get better deals if you know where to look.

Below, we’ll introduce you to the cheapest places to live in South Korea.

10 Cheapest Places to Live in South Korea

Whether you’re renting an apartment or are looking to buy a home, there are certain deals you’ll want to keep an eye on.

In Korea, some areas are significantly less expensive, so knowing the most affordable places is best.

We will introduce you to the cheapest places to live in South Korea and where they are located.


1. Daejeon

Daejeon is known as “Asia’s Silicon Valley” and is home to scientific research.

Students from all over the world come here to attend college and get further into their careers.

It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for educational opportunities and has plenty of industrial work.

That being said, it also features nightlife and national parks and is home to the high-speed rail system in Korea.

The average cost of living in Daejeon is around $924 for one person and $2,517 for a family of four.

Rent and utilities range anywhere from $358 to $760, which is much more affordable than most other cities in Korea.

Lastly, it’s ranked in the top 37% of the least expensive cities in the world.


2. Ulsan

Ulsan is the country’s industrial powerhouse, home to many huge industrial companies.

It offers a great mixture of opportunities, adventure, and natural beauty.

Visitors find that there’s always a large selection of things to do and see, so they won’t get bored.

There is also a decently large population of foreigners working or studying here to further their education.

The average cost of living in Ulsan ranges from $1,078 to $2,738, depending on the family size.

Rent and utilities can cost anywhere from $486 to $933, making it a decent choice for those on a budget.

With a population of 1.15 million people, Ulsan is a great place for those looking for educational opportunities that are more affordable than Seoul.


3. Gyeongju

Gyeongju has the reigning title of “the museum without walls” due to its rich history and culture.

When you think of historical destinations in South Korea, Gyeongju will be at the top of the list.

Not only is it home to numerous cultural attractions, but it also features many archaeological sites.

Those who live here come to immerse themselves in South Korea’s rich history and experience city life.

The average cost of living is $1,326 for one person and $4,855 for a family of four.

Rent and utilities can cost anywhere between $748 to $3,028.

While Gyeongju is one of the more expensive on this list, it’s still less expensive than most other cities with the same opportunities.


4. Anyang

Anyang is a small city just 24 minutes away from Seoul and is known for its many popular outdoor and indoor attractions.

Many come to stay in Anyang, as the Anyang Central Underground Mall has some great shopping.

In addition, the Sammaksa Valley, Anyang Art Park, and the Anyang Temple.

The current cost of living in Anyang is estimated at only $1,097, including rent for one person.

If a family of four is moving to the area, they can expect to pay nearly $3,064 in living expenses.

Rent and utilities in the area range from $436 to $1,057, depending on the size of the home/apartment.


5. Bucheon

Bucheon is located in northwestern South Korea and is known for its Korea Manhwa Museum, Woongjin Playdoci, and Aiins Word.

The city also has many outdoor attractions, as it is known for its beautiful parks and trails.

Getting around in Bucheon is also very easy, as it has a very efficient public transportation system.

Now, if you’re trying to move here, you can expect the total cost of living with rent to range between $1,152 and $2,849.

Other costs besides rent can add up to $679 to $2,094.

Rent and utilities can range from $472 to $754.


6. Busan

Busan has the largest seaport in the country and is home to many outdoor areas, vibrant beaches, and mountainous areas.

The city’s location right along the sea attracts many people who love seafood.

Many historical temples are still preserved today.

The cost of living in Busan ranges from $1,029 to $2,852; rent and utilities cost between $380 and $849.

Considering that Busan has a population of 3.45 million, the cost of living is one of the cheaper sides of a bustling city.

If you’re trying to move here, you must budget accordingly.


7. Seongnam

Seongnam is a historical site, as it’s the first planned city in the country.

It’s the fourth largest city in Gyeonggi Province and the 10th largest city in South Korea.

Being only 22 minutes away from Seoul, it’s a popular place for foreigners to live due to its convenience.

The average cost of living in Seongnam for one person, including rent, is estimated at $1,121.

A family of four can expect to budget for $2,991.

The average cost of rent and utilities in the city can be anywhere from $500 to $1,034.


8. Incheon

Incheon is the third-largest city in South Korea and is home to the country’s largest international airport.

It’s known as the gateway city because it features many transportation hubs connecting to other areas in Korea.

Incheon is also a popular destination for foreigners and travelers from all over the world.

The average cost of living in Cheon is $1,152 to $2,849, depending on family size.

The lower end represents one person, while the higher end represents a family of four.

The average cost of rent and utilities in the area is $472 to $754, which is significantly less than other areas in major cities of South Korea.


9. Goyang

Goyang is another one of Seoul’s satellite cities near Seoul and is famous for its international flower festival and exhibition center.

Those who come here often love the balance between city life and the many outdoor and historical activities.

Goyang is in the Gyeonggi Province and has an active performing arts scene.

The average cost of living for one person in Goyang, including all expenses, is $1,144.

For a family of four, this number increases to $3,138.

The average cost of rent and utilities monthly ranges from $471 to $1,063.

The cost of living is average compared to other similar cities, but it’s much more affordable than the center of Seoul.


10. Seoul

Seoul is the heart of the country and is mainly known for its shopping, nightlife, and K-pop scene.

Most tourists go here when they travel, and many international students flock here for work and internships.

The city features many large corporations and chains, which can be found worldwide.

It’s the perfect place for those looking for a large city’s amenities, as it’s also very advanced in technology.

Living in Seoul is often deemed expensive, but that isn’t entirely true.

Some areas tend to be cheaper, and the cost of living can range anywhere from $1,444 to $4,193, depending on the size of the family.

In university areas, those can find the least expensive rooms, but they are often very small and require a large deposit.

The outskirts of Seoul, Hongdae, and Incheon are going to be the best areas for foreigners.

South Korea Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: South Korea Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do foreigners live in South Korea?

Foreigners tend to live in larger cities where tourism is the most popular.

Locations include major cities such as Jeju, Seoul, and Busan.

However, the two main places with the most foreigners are Seoul, next to many international military bases: Itaewon and Hongdae.

Itaewon is known as Korea’s “international district” and features people from every part of the globe.

Which is the cheapest area to live in Seoul?

The cheapest areas tend to be on the outskirts of Seoul or the surrounding cities.

The most affordable areas tend to be Incheon, Suwon, and Bundang.

Essentially, most places alongside the Han River tend to have cheaper rent.

Another popular location is Noryangjin, as it’s a fish market and many people don’t want to live here, but it’s cheap.

Is Korea affordable for Americans?

Korea is affordable for travelers as long as you have a consistent income.

The average cost of staying in Korea as a foreigner ranges from %50 to $70 daily.

That said, many other amenities can drastically influence the cost of living, which travelers should keep in mind.

This may include larger housing, inner-city locations, and more.

How much is a house in South Korea in USD?

The average home price in South Korea can be $274,000, with many of the more expensive ones costing $503,000.

Many other areas are much more affordable, but they may not be as easy to qualify for if you’re a foreigner.

If you want to own anything in South Korea, you’ll need to talk to an expert about the legalities.

Is South Korea a cheap country to live in?

The cost of living in South Korea is 13.8% lower than in the United States, with rent being nearly 61.9% lower.

That being said, the average cost of living in South Korea is decent but not as cheap as in other areas of Asia.

Korea also has many expensive neighborhoods and areas, which can be frustrating when trying to find an affordable price.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest