Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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Life in South Korea provides plenty of unique opportunities for expatriates. Although it could sometimes be at a cost but if you’re flexible and open-minded, you can easily adjust to the change of scenery. Apart from the beautiful Korean culture, amazing food, and kind people, there are many things to explore.

Besides, Ulsan is Korea’s manufacturing powerhouse on the East Sea. And it is responsible for more than 15 percent of the country’s industrial output. Not only that, but an unfathomably large industrial complex by UIsan’s port remains the largest oil refinery in the world and the largest car assembly plant.

Of course, it might be hard to imagine, but Ulsan does have a gentler side, at a bamboo grove on the Taehwa River. So, the benefits of relocating to this city cannot be overemphasized. Powered in recent years, the research disclosed that the total number of foreigners residing in Ulsan makes up about 2.2 percent of the total population, which is slightly over one million people currently residing in the city.

Well, Korea’s culture is as esoteric as it is enthralling, and it’s even less cosmopolitan than Seoul. More so, the language and cultural barriers are often easily overcome. Meanwhile, the locals in this city are generally friendly, warm, and inclusive. So, we can tell you that living in this city is an enriching and rewarding experience.

Have you been surfing the internet to get the right information about Ulsan? Worry less, as we’ve got you covered on this platform. We will walk you through the cost of living in Ulsan, an interesting fact, and the pros and cons of living in this city. Are you ready to check what we’ve unleashed for you? Read more!

Why Ulsan is Unique and Special

Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

Once you have a glimpse of what Ulsan entails, it is quite essential to understand why it is unique. With the amazing story of how the people of Korea came together after the Korean War in 1950-1953 to rebuild the nation, its uniqueness is something you should know. Below are the reasons for its uniqueness.


This is among the first thing why this wonderful city is unique in its ways. The local language is Korean or Hangeul, and it’s getting easier without knowing Korean as Korean’s English-speaking capabilities continue to improve.

Aside from this fact, more and more Koreans are gaining international experiences through studying, traveling overseas, and working. Meanwhile, there’d be a time when language will become a barrier, and it will definitely help tremendously to learn the basics to get around town or order food in a restaurant.

Climatic Conditions

As of today, we can tell you that Ulsan has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, with somewhat cold but dry winters and hot, humid summers. With that being said, it’s also seen that the monthly means range from 2.0 °C (35.6 °F) in January to 25.9 °C (78.6 °F) in August.

Additionally, the warmest days being in August and averaging near 30 °C (86 °F), and the precipitation is relatively low in the winter months. Besides, it is made up for by the high rainfall that starts from April to September. And this is one thing you’d ever see in other western countries of the world.

Easy Getting Around

In Ulsan, it’s not absolutely necessary to own a vehicle to get around. Although you’ll see many expat driving but taxis and buses are plentiful and relatively cheap. Not only that, but you can buy stored-value passes, called T-Money Card, for multiple trips or single-value cards each time you travel

This T-Money card can be purchased at vendor kiosks selling bus tickets near most city bus stops or at most convenient stores. This way, if you’re planning to stay in Korea for more than one year, we advise you to apply for a Korean driver’s license, and it’s valid for nine years.

Economy in Ulsan

The city of Ulsan is the corporate base of the multinational Hyundai conglomerate. Before the city has a growing economy, it has a humble origin as a fishing port. And this massive economic investment and industrial growth of the 1960s and 1970s transformed the city into the manufacturing center of Korea and began a massive migration of workers from other parts of the country.

Again, Ulsan is home to the world’s largest automobile assembly plant operated by the Hyundai Motor Company, the world’s largest shipyard operated by Hyundai Heavy Industries, and the world’s highest and largest oil refinery is owned by SK Energy.

Sport Activities

Ulsan is the city in South Korea that hosts both a K-League football team (Ulsan Hyundai) who play at the Munsu and the basketball team Ulsan Mobis who were national champions in the 2009-2010 season. Aside from this fact, there are numerous sporting facilities throughout the city, catering for everything from Archery to Fencing, as well as many public walking and cycling routes along the Taewha River.

Pros and Cons of Living in Ulsan

Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

If you’re an expat living in Seoul, South Korea, it’s really easy to get caught up in the habit of staying in the bustling city of Ulsan on the weekends. After all, Seoul is an incredible city that has just about everything there’s to offer. Do you like shopping? Plenty of western wood? Experience a good nightlife? And many others, to mention a few, Ulsan is the right place to visit. Below are the pros and cons.


1.    Enjoy Beach Experience

When you think of beaches in South Korea, the first thing that comes to your mind is the Busan or Jeju Island, but Ulsan city has miles of coastal views. Besides, there are more than five beautiful beaches that are just as accessible and less crowded compared to the ones you’ll see in other cities.

From water sports to tanning to even camping, the beaches of Ulsan are a great place to spend your summer vacation during your first visitation to the country. Again, if you like sandy beaches, you need to check out IIsan beaches located in Dong-gu. Here, you can relax and get some sun while you enjoy your stay.

2.    Spending Time in Nature

If you’re a swimmer, but you wish to spend time in nature, you can visit one of Ulsan’s many beautiful parks. With that being said, do you know that the biggest urban park in South Korea is in Ulsan? Well, park such as Ulsan Grand Park, located in the middle of the city, covers 3.7 square kilometers of land. In addition to this fantastic place to visit, Ulsan Grand Park boasts a petting zoo.

Depending on the time of the year that you visit this place, you might even see a flower festival or a Christmas festival, both complete with live music. Again, just across the Taehwa River, there’s a flea market full of handcrafted goods and snacks that you can enjoy.

3.    Home to Hikes

It’s no doubt that South Korea is famous for its mountains and colorfully clad hikers. If I may ask, what’s a better way to see the city than from the peaks? This way, if you love hiking, UIsan is definitely the place to visit, and mountains even practically surround the city for all levels, and more practiced hikers will love the Yeongnam Alps mountain range.

Moreover, there are also plenty of temples in the area if you love hiking. The trailhead for Gajisan starts at Seoknamsa temple, a monastery that’s famous for being run completely by nuns. Therefore, if you plan to stay the night, the valley has a variety of pensions and motels to enjoy your stay.

4.    Excellent Shopping Experience

If nature isn’t really your thing, and you’re tempted to embark on a wonderful shopping experience, Ulsan has a great shopping mall. Also, if you want to find cheap but trendy clothes and accessories, you can find them in this city.

Besides, there are various arcade-type games, and all kinds of restaurants dispersed along the street as well. More so, these areas have all kinds of cute quirks, and the streets are laced with statues and characters. Additionally, if you’re more into high end fashion, you can head downtown to Samsan-dong, where you can check out Hyundai Department Store and the Lotte Department Store.

5.    Enjoying Incredible Seafood

As you can imagine, Ulsan seafood is something to enjoy because it’s incredible. And this is due to the fact that this is a port city. When you go to IIsan Beach in Dong-gu, the sidewalk is lined with incredible restaurants. Not only that, but this place is perfect for enjoying a meal after a long day of swimming.

Another place worth checking out is the Gangdnd Fish Market near UIsan’s famous black pebble beach. Again, at the Guangdong port, you’ll find the freshest seafood and crab available in this city. Not only that, but it literally comes straight off the boat. With the delicious food you’ll find here, you’ll definitely enjoy living or relocating to South Korea as an expat.

Cost of Living in Ulsan

As research disclosed, the average cost of living in Ulsan is $1172, which is close to the world’s average cost of living. Besides, it was ranked 5092nd out of 9294 in our global list, and it made it to the 6th out of 87 in South Korea.

Meanwhile, the median after-tax salary is $2333, and it’s not enough to cover living expenses. Additionally, with an estimated population of 1.17M, this city is the 8th largest city in South Korea. In this section, we will walk you through the general cost of living in Ulsan. Take a look at it below.

DescriptionUpdated PriceUnit
Basic lunchtime menu8,900 Korean WonOne including drink
Combo meal in fast food5,900 Korean WonBig mac meal
500 gr (1 Ib.) of chicken4,700 Korean Won500 gr
Monthly rent for 85 m22,400,000 Korean Won900 sqft
Transportation cost19,500 Korean Won1 liter of gas

Best Places to Live in South Korea

Why talking about Ulsan? It’s crucial to know few things about South Korea. For years, this country was known to be overshadowed as an expat destination by China and Japan. But as of today, it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. This way, visitors come for short-term trips and work holidays.

Aside from this fact, the hosting of the Summer Olympics in 1988 was a pivotal decision that started attracting tourists to the country. With that being said, people tend to realize the language, culture, and cuisine. Without further ado, let’s quickly take a look at the best places for expat to live in South Korea.


Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

This is one of the first places to consider as an expat looking to reside in South Korea. This place is a suburb east of Seoul, which is close to the coast. If you live in this city, it’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Moreover, you can live in Incheon without having actually to reside in Seoul. That does not imply that you’ll lack anything to do here.

In addition, Incheon is home to South Korea’s major international airport as well as a modern seaport. Aside from this fact, the city itself was carefully planned out as a collection of pleasant green spaces, outdoor and indoor shopping locations, paved walkways, and community projects.

On the flip side, this city is known to be one of South Korea’s seven free economic zones. More so, the construction of the Incheon Free Economic Zone began with extensive land reclamation and the development of the nearby coastline. Some of these zones include; an amusement park, numerous places to shop and eat, with a lot of parks in addition to the international banking and business venues.


Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

Pohang is known as a prosperous, blue-collar city in South Korea. This city is home to POSCO, the world’s second-biggest steel company, and the region’s major employer. It is a massive company in the country, and it hires engineers, scientists, and designers from around the globe to work in its steel mill.

Not only that, but the POSCO facilities also include extensive learning canters and communal spaces for employees and their families. This, however, means that the company’s staffs include ESL teachers, childcare workers, and translators, in addition to the factory or office employees.

Moreover, the city’s location is conveniently close to several important historic places. Some of these places include the Gyeongju Historic Area and the Seokguram Grotto, which are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites, and both are only a short bus ride away from this city.

Jeju Island

This Jeju Island is quite common, and it’s known to be among the expat destination in South Korea. Aside from this fact, this place is a popular tourist destination off the southern coast. Aside from that being said, the weather and flora here are almost tropical, making it an ideal spot for vacations.

And of course, don’t let the Island’s small size give you the wrong impression. This is hardly a sleepy little network of fishermen’s huts and seaside villages. Not only for that, but this Jeju Island is home to an international airport and hotels. So, living here would be an ideal place for those with jobs related to the hospitality or travel industry.


Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

Gwangju, also spelled Kwangju, is centrally located on the peninsula, and it has shaped the city’s history as an artistic, cultural center, political, and second only to Seoul on a level of national importance. In fact, contemporary art and culture are some of the important points of interest in this city.

Again, the pro-democracy uprising of 1980 had its genesis in this city. Also, the memorial park, the crown jewel of the local parks system, commemorates the event with dramatic bronze sculptures and incredible tree-lined pathways. Not only that, but the city and surrounding region are famous for their rural beauty, springtime fauna, wildlife, and other historic artifacts.


This city is an exceptional destination when it comes to food. However, in a country where food is already highly rated, it’s been designated as a creative city for Gastronomy as part of UNESCO’s creative cities network. Meanwhile, Jeonju is where some of the most popular Korean cuisines was born


This city still retains a high status as a national administrative center, and it’s also a city known for political issues in ancient and medieval times. In addition, this town is home to a number of colleges and secondary schools, including the Korean Air Force Academy and several national universities.

Aside from this fact, this place is known to be a city of rivers. Also, the downtown traffic is integrated with several bridges and overpasses that give the bustling city a peaceful, rural ambiance. In fact, the Geum and Musimcheon Rivers meet in the city center while other rivers ‘a tributary connects in the northern part of the town.

5 Best Things to Do in Ulsan (South Korea)

As disclosed earlier, Ulsan, known as Korea’s manufacturing powerhouse on the East Sea, is responsible for more than 15 percent of the country’s industrial output. While living in this city as an expat, there are many places to visit to enjoy different outdoor activities. Below are some of the interesting things to do in the country.

1.    Daewangam Park

Ulsan (South Korea) Cost of Living

Pushing into the East Sea at IIsan-dong is a scenic headland covered in woodland and culminating with a lighthouse above powerful rocky outcrops called the Daewangam parks. This place looks like a dragon rearing up from the water, and according to legends, this is the wife of King Munmu of Silla.

2.    Visit Ulsan Grand Park

While enjoying your stay in South Korea, you can leave the city behind for a few hours and explore the Ulsan grand park. In 369 hectares, Ulsan Grand Park has a small water park, a swimming pool, a petting zoo, and many others that allow expat to love this wonderful place. Meanwhile, one of the children’s playgrounds is an action-packed trampoline park, while there’s a nine-hole pitch and putt golf as well.

3.    Taehwagang River Grand Park

This corridor of greenery lines the Taehwa upriver from Ulsan’s heavy industry and is sprinkled with cafes, pavilions, exercise areas, and playgrounds. More so, if you want to enjoy a beautiful stretch between the Samho and Taehwa bridges, this is the right place to visit. To add to that, you can rent a bike from the Jung-Gu bicycle cultural center near the main entrance and enjoy your stay in Ulsan.

4.    IIsan Beach

Ulsan’s industry will seem a world away at this clam-shaped bay on the seaward side of IIsan-dong and protected to the south by Daewangam Park’s headland. If you want to explore the city, this is another place to go. In fact, at the end of July, the IIsan Beach summer festival puts on a volleyball tournament, a raft-building contest, live music, and many others, to mention a few.

5.    Ulsan Hyundai Motors Plant

Another suitable place to visit as an expat is the Ulsan Hyundai motor plant. This plant also has a testing station the size of 100 footballs, and it’s laid with more than 20 kilometers of road. Moreover, the tour begins at a visitor center, outlining the history of Hyundai and giving an overview of the factory’s advanced production processes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ulsan

Is Ulsan a good place to live?

With a population of over 1.1 million, Ulsan is a busy but safe place to live compared to some countries in the western world. Aside from this fact, Ulsan is one of the most important cities in south-east Asia, nicknamed the industrial Powerhouse of South Korea.

Is it expensive to live in Ulsan, Korea?

With the detailed explanation above, we can tell you that the average cost of living in South Korea is reasonable. And again, it’s not as cheap as living in some Asian countries like China, Laos, and many others, to mention a few, but it is also not as expensive as Singapore or Japan.


Before you evaluate the cost of living in Ulsan, South Korea, it’s quite essential to know your budget. While some expat may love to live a luxurious life, others would want to manage their resources. Nonetheless, you can still live a comfortable lifestyle in Ulsan, South Korea, with a low budget.

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