Seoul is South Korea’s gorgeously modern and shiny capital, but it doesn’t need to be so expensive to visit. Not only can you experience its glitz and glamor without breaking the bank, you can find an authentic, older Seoul that hides right below the surface. Whatever you are interested in, it is completely possible to have a great time in the city on a budget. As always, plan carefully and understand the city and you will have a great time no matter what.
There are a few things you should experience to get a feel for the modern aspects of Seoul, but you don’t have to let this wreck your budget. First and foremost, experience the city’s main shopping district, Myeongdong, without buying everything you see. In fact, the biggest reason to visit the neighborhood is to simply see the consumer culture of Seoul. The city is arguably obsessed with luxury and beauty, South Koreans are some of the people who get plastic surgery the most in the world, and going in and out of this level of money can be an experience all on its own. According to the website MoneyPug, which is used to find cheap all inclusive holidays among other things, a lot of people like to stay here, but if you’re on a budget skip that and simply visit the district.
Instead of staying in Myeongdong, get a room in Hogdae, where Seoul’s young people go to university and eat cheap, delicious food. This neighborhood is creative and quirky, with a unique, romantic atmosphere. This is not just a great place to stay because of the environment, it is cheaper because it is less touristy.
Another great way to visit Seoul on a budget is also to experience some of the older sites. For example, the temples and shrines in the city are easy to visit, affordable, and quite grand. Just like experiencing Myeongdong is an experience of the new, walking through Seoul’s historic center, Jongdo, is an experience of old Seoul. But the same goes for staying here. It is a tourist center so you will want to avoid booking your room in the neighborhood. Instead come to the district to visit. Take your time, take it in, and take part in the pleasure of watching spiritual practices.
Best Time to Visit
Like all destinations, Seoul is cheapest during the off season. The best times to visit are during the fall, when the weather is cooler and drier, and the city’s foliage is at its prettiest. Summers are not only hot and humid, it is also the time when the most tourists visit Seoul. This means that flights will be cheaper, and you will be able to use more money for activities. Skip the summer and visit Seoul during the off-season.
Getting Around Seoul
A way to cut down on expenses is to use public transportation. Not only is it cheaper, you will get a feel for the city in a way that cabs don’t provide. Watching locals go to and from work and school provides a feeling of the city you can’t get elsewhere. Before you go, download the Subway Seoul app, which is free, and use it to plan your trips. It is cheap, but it is also clean and easy.
Eat Street Food
Street food is famous in Seoul, and it is an amazing to experience the new and old culture of the city while cutting down on costs. The street food is not only some of the cheapest in the city, it also some of the most authentic. Satisfy your stomach and your wallet by digging into some food in the markets and out on the street. Don’t be afraid, there will definitely be food that you’re not familiar with. Instead do what the locals do, take the plunge, and have an unforgettable experience that will likely be as delicious as it is affordable.
Seoul is modern, trendy, and visually stimulating, but you don’t need to spend much to experience all the city has to offer. Walking the bright streets of Seoul’s many nightlife neighborhoods is unforgettable on its own. You don’t need a lot of money to have a great time here.