Delicious Street Food, K-POP Vibes & Studying Abroad

The city that never sleeps: Seoul is the capital of South Korea, known as a technology- and fashion- forward but also a very traditional city.  There is an interplay between old and new, with modern skyscrapers neighboring ancient temples and Michelin starred restaurants within walking distance of bustling night markets. This dynamic city has something on offer for everyone, and there are plenty of ways to travel on a budget when equipped with the right knowledge.

Accommodation in Seoul

Downtown areas such as Gangnam and Hongdae can be quite expensive to stay in. There are plenty of other areas that offer cheaper options. Examples are Mapo-Gu, which is quite close to Hongdae, and Jongno-gu. Nevertheless, for a long stay it is good to book a rental apartment or room through AirBNB. Hotels can significantly up your accommodation cost.

However, an even cheaper option can be to stay in a Goshiwon. A goshiwon is a type of housing used by many Korean students and is also open to foreigners. The tiny rooms on offer are fully furnished and offer food (rice, kimchi, the basics!) for free in the lobby. Check out goshipages, If you want to browse available goshiwon.

Transportation

As in most cities, the metro is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to get around. The Seoul underground system is vast and easy to navigate. For less than one and a half euros you can travel anywhere around the city. The same low fares apply to buses.

If you are looking for a more customized travel experience, taxis are a good option too. At around one euro per kilometer you can reach your destination in comfort. For shorter distances, you can rent bikes using the Seoul Bike Rental as these are very cheap at around 75 cents per hour.

Wonderful eats the city of Seoul has to offer
Photography by Louis Bremers

Above: Wonderful eats the city of Seoul has to offer

Walking in the middle of Seoul
Photography by Louis Bremers

Above: Walking in the middle of Seoul

Food

South Korea is well known for its stunning cuisine. Who doesn’t love Korean BBQ and Kimchi? Eating well in Seoul doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Noodles and rice stir-fries are available for under 3 euros at food courts, usually found at the top floor of malls. Street food is even cheaper. On Let’s Eat Alley, in a bustling university neighborhood by Sinchon Street, street vendors have a wide variety of sweet and savory snacks on offer.

Things to do in Seoul

Seoul has many exciting sights, plenty of which are free to visit. The National Museum of Korea is one of the largest museums in the world. It has a wide array of artifacts, pagodas and paintings on display, and visiting is free on every fourth Saturday of the month. Another must-see is the Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is the oldest palace of the Joseon Dynasty and entry is only two and a half euros. Throughout the city, there are plenty of ancient temples, pagodas and city parks that are free entry for when you want to save every dime.

To conclude, Seoul is a very lively and accessible city which can also be cheap to live in when you know your way. As with any big city, beware of pickpockets and other petty crimes. However, do not worry too much, Seoul is one of the safer cities in Asia. Haengboghan yeohaeng!


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References

10 Tips For Travelling Seoul On A Budget. (2020, September 27). https://www.seoulinspired.com/travelling-seoul-on-a-budget/

Seoul travel. (n.d.). Lonely Planet. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-korea/seoul

Tips for Visiting Seoul on the Cheap. (n.d.). TripSavvy. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from https://www.tripsavvy.com/seoul-travel-guide-4051747

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