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Seoul or Jeju: Food, Nightlife, and Costs

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:
seoul or jeju

Looking to visit Seoul or Jeju, both cities are great to visit, and I’ve been there many times. There are many beautiful places to visit in both Seoul and Jeju. They are both very different and offer many interesting things to see and do.

Seoul is a more modern and large metropolitan city, while Jeju is an island, so naturally, they have their differences in culture as well.

In the last 5 years, I’ve been to Seoul and Jeju many times, and here are a few things to know when planning trips there. Seoul has one of the best international airports in Asia so getting a flight is very easy.

If you want to know more about Seoul or Jeju, keep reading on.

Why Should You Visit Seoul

Seoul is the capital of South Korea, and Seoul is where all the action is Seoul. On the other hand, it can be very busy but don’t let it scare you away from visiting. It has many beautiful places, and the people are very friendly.

The only downside I find is that there might be lots of tourists, but if you don’t mind that, then you should be fine. Almost everything you want to do can be found in English, so you don’t need to necessarily learn Korean.


The food in Seoul is amazing, and there are many different restaurants. You can find almost any food in Seoul, like traditional Korean, Chinese, and even American hamburgers.

Seoul has a great international food scene, that’s why it’s a great place to visit if you love food. It also has many street food corners, so if you’ve always wanted to try out street food in Seoul, you’re in luck.

Korean BBQ is my favorite, so if you are a fan of Korean bbq, then Seoul will be your oyster, and I mean, it’s the best place to get gourmet Korean barbeque. The meat you can get in Seoul is outstanding.

It might be more expensive than other cities, but the quality is top-notch. It’s definitely worth giving it a try if you’ve never eaten Korean beef before.


The nightlife in Seoul is really a different experience if you compare it to other countries. There are many different clubs in Seoul, all playing different music. So if you like techno music or hardcore, you can find the perfect club for you.

This is what makes Seoul different from other cities. Everyone is friendly, and everywhere you go, there are tourists also partying all year round. It’s also extremely safe on the streets, which makes everyone feel very comfortable.

Another plus is that there are Korean night markets where you can eat delicious food after partying. There are also many businessmen and women drinking after a long day of work.

All in all, it’s a great experience to go out and party in Seoul. It will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Living Costs

Comparing it to other cities in Korea, Seoul is one of the most expensive cities to live in. The costs are high in every area and especially for students. It can be very expensive. However, if you get a part-time job while studying, you should be able to cover all the costs.

The food isn’t too expensive if you go to a grocery store. Also, don’t go eating out all the time because that can get really expensive. Trust me. I know that because I did that myself, and normally I set a budget apart for my food.

At the end of the month, I found out it was well over $800 spend on food alone that month. So, make sure to create a budget and don’t overspend because it can really drain your pocket.


The transportation in Seoul is amazing, and everything is so accessible for everyone. It has its own subway system, which is easy to follow. The instructions can be found in different languages, which makes it even better.

There are also many buses and taxis you can take in Seoul as well. It could be extremely easy for you to navigate Seoul if you plan correctly. Getting around couldn’t be easier.

Most people in Seoul travel by taxi, especially in the center of the city. It’s the easiest and fastest way to travel from A to B. The people are very friendly and don’t try to scam you, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Why Should You Visit Jeju

Jeju island is the smallest province in South Korea, however. it has one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The island is a top destination for many people around the world because it has so much to offer.

On Jeju island, there are fewer tourists, which is more comfortable for some people. Keep in mind that Jeju island doesn’t have everything in English for tourists, so you might need to learn some Korean if you walk without a tour guide.


The food in Jeju is quite traditional if you compare it to other cities. However, it’s very cheap to eat in Jeju, and it can be very delicious.

If you are a fan of seafood, you’ll fall in love with the food. The island is known for its fresh seafood. You can even go out fishing with some locals and cook your own food after you’ve caught some fish.

It’s really a great experience but going out with locals is highly recommended because you’ll get to see different things.


The nightlife in Jeju isn’t really big. There aren’t many clubs around, like Seoul, and the majority of people that live on Jeju island are mostly elders. So, don’t expect a very crowded place.

Living Costs

The living costs in Jeju are about $1000 a month, depending on where you live. However, it’s not as bad as other cities like Seoul. The costs are way lower on Jeju island.

Everything is available on Jeju island, so you don’t have to worry about running out. Here you can go eat out every day if you really wanted to. It’s not recommended, but it wouldn’t hurt your budget too badly.


The transportation on Jeju island can be a bit tricky.`There aren’t many taxis driving around. Your best bet would be to rent a car and drive yourself. There also aren’t many metro stations, so make sure to be prepared.

Should You Visit Seoul or Jeju?

Both cities are great in their own ways, and it’s completely up to you which city you should visit. It all depends on what type of preference you have in Seoul or Jeju. Seoul is a great place for nightlife, but if you aren’t that type of person, then Seoul might not be the best choice.

Jeju island isn’t that big of a city. However, it’ll be easier to get around if you know some Korean. Seoul and Jeju are both beautiful in their own ways, so you can’t go wrong with either one.

I personally enjoyed staying in both cities, but if I were to go again, I would probably choose Seoul over Jeju island because it’s more modern and I personally really like that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here below are some frequently asked questions that might help you decide which city to visit.

Is Jeju More Expensive than Seoul?

No, Jeju is less expensive than Seoul. Seoul has a lot of fashionable places and expensive restaurants, while Jeju doesn’t. The living cost is also less expensive in Jeju, so all in all, Jeju is a better choice if you’re on a tight budget.

Is Jeju Colder than Seoul?

Yes, during the winter, Jeju is known for being a bit colder than Seoul. Seoul is a lot bigger, and it’s next to the sea, so Seoul will stay warmer longer.

However, Jeju is also known for its sunny beaches, and if you go there during the summer, Seoul could actually be colder.

How Long Should You Spend in Jeju?

Most people spend about 5 to 7 days on Jeju island before they’ve seen most of what the island has to offer. Some people opt to go to Seoul after they’ve explored Jeju, and they usually spend about a week there before returning home or continuing their travels around Asia.


All in all, Seoul or Jeju isn’t really a question, so much as it’s a choice. Seoul is great for shopping and nightlife, while Jeju island is mostly about nature. So, make sure to think about what you’re looking for in Seoul or Jeju, and then decide which city suits your needs the best.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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