Budget Travel Ideas in Seoul

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There are a million and one ways to spend your money in Seoul. Fortunately there are just as many ways to save a few thousand won. Here are a few tips for those who wish to have an excellent time in the city without wasting your money.

T-Money Cards

The absolute best thing that you can do for yourself if you're going to be spending time in more than one area of Seoul is to get a T-Money card. Just go to any metro station, hand over 10,000 won (enough for a weekend of metro tickets) and say "T-Money." You can also choose to put more or less money on the card depending on how long you'll be in the city. Each time you use your card you will be charged slightly less-about the equivalent of 20 cents-than if you bought individual tickets. Of further note is the fact that you can use your T-Money card on the city buses as well as some taxis. Be sure to supply yourself with a bit more money if you're going to be using it for taxis, as this simply saves hassle rather than money.


If you absolutely have to take a taxi, be sure to grab one that's white. The black taxis are considered to be luxurious, which basically means that they bring you to your location in the same amount of time and in the same exact interior, but with a lovely, sleek black casing. They usually cost well over double the price of their paler cousins. Remember, you will not offend anybody if you walk past the black cab and hop into a white one. But if you're really strapped for cash then walk past the white one, too, and head into the metro station.


Hotels in Seoul will eat most of your budget. A great place to stay is Jimjilbang (찜질방), which is a Korean spa. For just a few thousand won (a few dollars) you can sleep on a mat with a pillow in the dark upstairs of the spa. They provide you with pajamas and lockers. You also get the bonus of a 24-hour spa with showers, hot tubs, cold tubs and steam rooms that also sells cheap toiletries as well as drinks. If you prefer a bit more privacy then look for love motels (모텔) rather than hotels. These are clearly marked by cheap neon outlines of the entire building, and are about half the price of regular hotels that don't provide you with the free amenities that are standard in love motels.

These are just a few of the many ways you can save money in Seoul, but hopefully they're enough to get you started.

-Tiffany M Parker

September 28, 2009 change by tiffanymparker

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Cathy Kang

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Free Seoul Tour Guide Service by Young Koreans. There is a youth voluntary club called "Youth Goodwill Guide". It is organized by HI SEOUL YOUTH HOSTEL founded by Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2011. The club consists of 80 high school and university students who can speak English,Japanese,Chinese and other languages. Any Foreigners can sign-up for the tour guide service for any day.(7days a week) Youth Goodwill Guide program may help you discover places that you might have missed, spots not elaborately described in regular guidebooks, such as Noraebang or Korean karaoke more..

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