How To Explore Seoul As A Tourist On A Budget, With Guidance From A Korean

She spent less than $50 USD!

Korean vlogger Jina Kim started the year by showing viewers how to keep your visit to Seoul affordable as she explores the city through the lens of a tourist.

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Jina shared that there are probably two types of tourists: 1. Students or backpackers who want to save their money and 2. The people who saved enough money and have no hesitation to spend.

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

The focus of her video will be how much you should spend to survive in Seoul.

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Jina started her day in Seoul by eating $9 beef soup and enjoying free side dishes.

Total spent so far: $9

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Jina then decided to take the subway to Hongdae, which cost roughly $1 USD. Since she had her credit card, she paid that way but she also explained that you can buy a T-card if you don’t have a credit card to use.

In Korea, public transportation system is amazing. So, you don’t need a car and you don’t have to rent a car or take a cab or taxi.

—Jina

Total spent so far: $10

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

She walked around Hongdae window shopping at vintage shops for a while before eventually going to a bakery that she saw on TV.

They sell by piece or the whole cake. Well, per piece is like $2 or $3 and whole cake is $10-$15 US dollars.

—Jina

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

She bought two pieces of cake, which were $3 USD each.

Total spent so far: $16

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Although Jina doesn’t drink coffee herself, she realizes many people do, so she went to a convenience store in search of reasonably priced coffee. She notes that there are many cafés in Seoul, but convenience store coffee will likely be the most affordable. Jina ended up buying a $2 Starbucks coffee from the convenience store.

Total spent so far: $18

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

In an effort to save money, Jina booked a guest house rather than a hotel, which meant that she would be sharing a room with several other women.

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

The guest house stay cost just $14, bringing her total so far to $32! Jina’s stay wasn’t overnight, though, and she chose to take a three-hour nap instead.

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

She continued on, going to visit Myeongdong. She once again took the subway, which cost her $1.

Total spent so far: $33

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

For dinner, Jina had cheese ramyeon which cost only $4, and they gave her a side of tteokbokki for free!

Total spent so far: $37

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

After dinner, she treated herself to an egg bread that cost $2.

Total spent so far: $39

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Then, she bought herself a bottle of water for $1.

Total spent so far: $40

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Another $1 spent to take the subway to Cheonggyecheon so she could see the Seoul Light Festival, which offers free admission!

Total spent so far: $41

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Since admission was free, her total spent so far is still $41.

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

After enjoying the festival, Jina returned to Hongdae, using the subway as her preferred means of transportation again.

Total spent so far: $42

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

Because many people have a drink while they’re on vacation, Jina decided to visit a bar. She ended up ordering a $6 cocktail.

Total spent so far: $48

Source: Jina Kim/YouTube

As that was the last thing she did during her day in Seoul, her grand total came out to $48! At this point, a visitor would probably walk back to their guest house, so there would be no additional subway fees to worry about.

Source: Soojin Lee/Unsplash

Do you think you could enjoy the same type of day Jina spent in Seoul or do you think you would end up spending more?