How Much Does It Cost to Live in Busan, South Korea?

Busan is a large city located in South Korea with a metropolitan area population of 3,678,555. A couple could live a moderate lifestyle in Busan on a budget of $2,140 per month, or $25,685 per year.

Cost of Living in Busan, South Korea

As noted above, the cost of living in Busan, South Korea is $2,140 per month for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. This budget consists of $830 for housing related costs, $716 for food, and $594 for other costs, all of which will be broken down below.


  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Busan is estimated to cost $599
  • Basic utilities including electricity, water, and gas will run about $195
  • High-speed internet averages $36


  • Typical grocery costs of $539 per month include things like bread, eggs, milk, cheese, rice, chicken breast, bottled water, fruits, and vegetables
  • Alcohol including beer and wine for moderate home consumption costs about $82
  • Frequent coffees in a neighborhood café are estimated to be about $96


  • Meals out are estimated to be $271 per month, including 4 meals in mid-range restaurants and 8 in inexpensive restaurants
  • Transportation costs of $127 for public transport passes and occasional taxis
  • Fitness center memberships of $148
  • Cinema tickets of $49 include several outings for international releases

Note that Busan, South Korea is a very walkable city with a Walk Score of 86/100, which means you won’t need a car if you are living in the city center and you may even save some money by not using public transportation and taxis very often.

Amount of Money Needed to Retire in Busan, South Korea

Many people searching the internet for the cost of living in Busan, South Korea are doing so to see if and when they can quit their jobs and retire. A popular and easy way to calculate your retirement number is using the 4% Rule.

The 4% Rule estimates that a person(s) could withdraw 4% of their retirement nest egg and never run out of money. Using this calculation, a couple would need an investment portfolio of $642,114 to live a moderate lifestyle in Busan, South Korea.

Annual expenses of $25,685 ÷ 4% = $642,114 portfolio needed.

Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, and the above calculation could change based on any other sources of passive income and social security income.


Overall, the cost of living in Busan, South Korea is affordable coming in at $2,140 for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. Those seeking to retire could do so comfortably with a retirement portfolio of $642,114.