Seoul

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Quality of life in Seoul

Seoul is a fast-paced metropolis with 24 hour facilities and expat-friendly social environment. The vibrant nightlife scene, fabulous pop culture as well as the refreshing nature can be reached by using Seoul’s affordable and reliable public transport system, which is also equipped with public wifi common to the most wired city in the world. The advanced technological environment and delicious local food combined with the low crime rate truly make it a highly attractive destination.

Seoul is one of the top ten city matches for 12.2% of Teleport users.

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Life quality score

City ranking

Housing

5
203/263
Details
Large apartment$1822.87
Medium apartment$1311.11
Rent index [score]0.53
Small apartment$799.35

Cost of Living

4
226/261
Details
5km taxi ride$6.20
A Cappuccino$3.90
A beer$2.40
A kilogram of Apples$6.10
Bread$2.10
Inflation [score]0.38
Lunch$7.00
Monthly fitness club membership$68.00
Monthly public transport$47.00
Movie ticket$8.30
Price of a meal at a restaurant$46.86

Startups

5
100/260
Details
Average monthly increase in number of startups5
Average monthly increase in number of startups [score]0.30
Coworking spaces [score]0.42
Coworking spaces on WorkFrom.co8
Meetups [score]0.34
Meetups groups90
Meetups members18619
Number of investors60
Number of startup events in the last 12 months63
Number of upcoming meetup events8
Startup climate scene [score]0.49
Startup events4
Startup events6
Startup events [score]0.24
Startups [score]0.70
Total number of startups872

Venture Capital

8
24/228
Details
Funding accelerator namesSparkLabs
Number of funding accelerators1
Venture capital [score]0.83

Travel Connectivity

6
37/260
Details
Airport hub139
Airport hub [score]0.62
Intercity train connectivity [score]0.61

Commute

6
29/260
Details
Human city pagehttp://cities.human.co/details/South_Korea/Seoul
Traffic handling [score]0.80

Business Freedom

8
139/259
Details
Business freedom91.10
Business freedom [score]0.99
Freedom from corruption55.00
Freedom from corruption [score]0.52
Lack of labor restrictions50.60
Lack of labor restrictions [score]0.29
Time to open a business4.00
Time to open a business [score]0.97

Safety

10
7/264
Details
Crime rate [score]0.93
Gun-related deaths per 100,000 residents per year0
Guns per 100 residents1
Lack of gun related deaths [score]1.00
Lack of guns [score]1.00
Lack of guns and gun-related deaths [score]1.00

Healthcare

9
23/260
Details
Healthcare expenditure [score]0.72
Healthcare quality [score]0.92
Life expectancy (years)82.28
Life expectancy [score]0.94

Education

7
16/230
Details
Best university in rankingSeoul National University
Best university ranking72
Country mean scores in PISA math test537.48
Country mean scores in PISA reading test535.79
Country mean scores in PISA science test537.79
PISA math ranking (high school)3
PISA ranking3
PISA ranking (high school) [score]1.00
PISA reading (high school)4
PISA science (high school)6
Percent of happy students0.60
Percent of low performers in PISA math test0.09
Percent of low performers in PISA reading test0.08
Percent of low performers in PISA science test0.07
Percent of top performers in PISA math test0.31
Percent of top performers in PISA reading test0.14
Percent of top performers in PISA science test0.12
University quality [score]0.43

Environmental Quality

7
85/264
Details
Air quality [score]0.65
Cleanliness [score]0.78
Drinking water quality [score]0.73
Urban greenery [score]0.78

Economy

6
111/258
Details
Currency for urban areaKRW
GDP growth rate0.03
GDP growth rate [score]0.54
GDP per capita$35277.35
GDP per capita [score]0.56

Taxation

7
42/260
Details
Effective company profit tax rate on payouts as dividends [score]0.74
Income tax level [score]0.56
Profit tax (% of profit)0.33
Time overhead to file company taxes188
VAT (Sales Tax)0.10

Internet Access

5
150/263
Details
Download speed (Mbps)29.83
Internet access (download) [score]0.59
Internet access (upload) [score]0.39
Upload speed (Mbps)8.29

Leisure & Culture

8
32/263
Details
Art galleries232
Art galleries [score]0.82
Cinemas176
Cinemas [score]0.86
Comedy clubs124
Comedy clubs [score]0.79
Concert venues205
Concerts [score]0.56
Historical sites223
Historical sites [score]0.82
Museums236
Museums [score]0.81
Performing art venues207
Performing arts [score]0.88
Sport venues145
Sports [score]0.86
Zoos53
Zoos [score]0.85

Tolerance

4
242/264
Details
Homosexuality acceptance (percent of the surveyed population in favor)0.39
LGBT Equality Index45.51
LGBT Equality Index [score]0.46
LGBT adoption rightsMarried couples only
LGBT age of consent✔ Equal
LGBT blood donation regulations✔ Legal
LGBT conversion therapy regulationsAmbiguous
LGBT discrimination legality✖ No protections
LGBT employment discrimination legality✖ No protections
LGBT gender changing rights✔ Legal, but requires surgery
LGBT homosexuality rights✔ Legal
LGBT housing discrimination legality✖ No protections
LGBT marriage rights✖ Unrecognized
Tolerance towards minorities [score]0.31

Outdoors

6
44/260
Details
Elevation (hills or mountains) [score]0.33
Median peak in meters800.60
Presence of hills in city1.00
Presence of mountains in city1.00
Urban area elevation (meters)42.00
Water access [score]0.83
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Costs of living

Costs of living in Seoul are in the most expensive 20 percent of all 261 Teleport cities. Average living expenses are significantly higher compared to other cities, especially in the housing market. Moving to Seoul will very likely increase your daily costs of living. Sign up for free to get access to our cost of living index and use our international  cost of living calculator to do cost comparison by city.

Housing costs (USD)

$1,532$2,114
$1823
Median rent for
apartments in city center

Daily living costs (USD)

Monthly fitness club membership$68
Movie ticket$8
Broadband internet connection$22
Monthly public transport$47
Lunch$7
-17%
compared to
San Francisco
See more prices and detailed cost of living data in Seoul

Job salary calculator

Software Engineer salaries in Seoul are below average. For this job type, Seoul ranks 138th for salaries among 264 cities. Get access to our salary comparison calculator by signing up. Compare salaries city by city with our free salary wizard and convert your own salary to a local salary in Seoul.

Estimated annual salary (in USD)

$41,117
Median salary
See more details and salary rankings for all job types in Seoul

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Safety

Gun crimes & Ownership

1.10
Guns per 100 people
0.08
Gun deaths per 100k people / year
HIGH GUN CRIMELOW GUN CRIMEFEW GUNSMANY GUNS
North America
Europe
Asia
South America
Africa
Oceania

Overall crime rate city ranking

The overall crime rate puts Seoul in position 23 of 264 Teleport Cities in a ranking for the safest cities.

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For visits up to 90 days

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People in Seoul

Friends living in Seoul

Find out which of your friends are living in Seoul. Nothing is better than knowing a local 😉

Climate

Average number of days per year without rain

250

Climate type

Hot Summer Continental

Average daily maximum temperature

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Impressions from Seoul

3:26 KOREA TIMELAPSE - Fantastic SEOUL

A video by Mr.Koo

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On living in Seoul


Seoul (서울) is the capital of South Korea. With a municipal population of over 10.5 million, and a metropolitan population totaling over 20.5 million, Seoul is by far South Korea's largest city and one of East Asia's financial and cultural centers. A fascinating blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge digital technology, home to endless street food vendors and vast nightlife districts, an extraordinarily high-pressure educational system and serene Buddhist temples, a dynamic trend-setting youth culture and often crushing conformism, extraordinary architecture and endless monotonous rows of grey apartment buildings, Seoul is a city filled with stark contrasts, contradictions, and paradoxes.

Administratively, Seoul is divided into 25 districts (구 gu), each with an area and population comparable to a small city. The districts are then further subdivided into 522 sub-districts (동 dong). The Han river splits the city into two halves: Gangbuk (강북), the northern, more historical half, and Gangnam (강남), the southern, wealthier and more modern half. The sheer size of the city means that travelers to Seoul will find it difficult to locate a true "center" of Seoul; instead, Seoul is almost more like a collection of cities that happen to be bunched together, each with their own central business and commercial districts. The two largest core ares are Jongno/Jung in the north, and Gangnam in the south. For travelers with more time, there are many more, smaller centers and districts to be explored, such as the island of Yeoui-do and the college district of Hongdae/Sinchon. For the typical traveler, it would be useful to divide the city into the following areas:

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