As Jeju Island in South Korea now welcomes international tourists visa-free, there is no shortage of reasons to visit this stunning volcanic island. From its picturesque landscapes and rich local culture to its stunning natural wonders, a trip to Jeju Island promises a truly unique experience.
Whether you are travelling with family or on your own, be sure to check out our list of things you need to know and do on a trip to Jeju Island – the Hawaii of Korea!
Best Time To Visit Jeju Island
The best time to visit Jeju Island is spring (April-June) or fall (September-October). The weather is pleasant with some rainfall, and you’ll get to see blooming cherry blossoms in the spring. In autumn, the leaves turning yellow or red make for a beautiful scenery. And winter (December-February) brings an opportunity to have fun in the snow and try new food while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
Getting To Jeju Island
A one-hour flight from Seoul or a direct air link is available. If you’re on a budget, consider taking the ferry to Jeju Island from one of five ports including Mokpo (Mokpo Port), Haenam (Usuyong Port), Wando (Wando Port), Goheung (Nokdoung Port), or Yeosu (Yeosu EXPO Cruise Terminal). Although the ferry journey may provide panoramic views, it is the longest route to Jeju Island and may take anywhere from two to four hours. Not for the faint of heart, as the seas might be quite rough! The quickest method to get to the island is via a direct flight from Seoul.
Travelling Around Jeju Island
There are several ways to get around Jeju Island, including buses, taxis, scooters, and bicycles. However, for a more comfortable journey it is best to book a car or taxi. Alternatively, cycling along the coastal roads is a great way to explore Jeju Island solo or with friends. For more information on transportation around Jeju Island check out the official page of the Korea Tourism Organisation
Where To Stay In Jeju Island
When travelling to Jeju Island, there are four main areas you can stay in – Jeju City (North), Seogwipo (South), Seongsan (East) and Aewol(Northwest). If it’s your first time, many people prefer the convenience of staying in Jeju City where public transport is easily accessible. However, if you’re looking for breathtaking ocean views on your holiday getaway then book a place in either Seogwipo – the second largest city on the island – or Aewol which is famous for its sandy white beaches.
Finally, If you’re conscious about spending money on accommodation then explore other parts of Jeju Island such as Seongsan where traditional Korean pension lodges or guesthouses are widely available.
Best Things To Do In Jeju Island
1. Climb Mount Hallasan.
On the west side of South Korea’s Jeju Island, the highest peak in Korea, Mount Hallasan, is located. Despite its lofty elevation, this dormant volcano has been labeled a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and is easily accessible. Take in the magnificent view of Jeju Island and crater lake basin at the top. Weather forecasts are helpful here; wear comfortable clothing as the wind can be quite strong.Mount Hallasan is a stunning natural wonder, but you don’t have to hike all the way to its peak to enjoy it. With nearly 6,000 species of plants and animals living there, there are plenty of breathtaking trails for you stroll on instead. It is definitely one of the best places to visit in Jeju Island!
2. Be amazed by CheonJeyeon Waterfalls’ Beauty.
The “Pond of God”, as Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls is called, contains three levels. The first waterfall provides the water for the second and third, which then flows into the ocean surrounded by interesting rock formations. In addition to enjoying the clear cascading waters, you can also explore theunique species of flora in the area including Solipnan reeds and skeleton fork ferns – making it a botanist’s dream come true! Although swimming isn’t allowed at waterfall, it’s still a great place to relax and appreciate Jeju Island’s serene waters and lush greenery.
3. Explore Manjanggul Cave.
Manjanggul Cave, which is also referred to as the “Largest Underground City in the World,” is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. Manjanggul Cave has one of the world’s longest lava tunnels and unique lava stalagmites with colorful lights illuminating them. The sound of bats adds to the excitement, and you won’t feel claustrophobic since the ceiling of the cave is a height of 5 to 10 meters. If you’re visiting the cave, bring a jacket because temperatures can drop to as low as 11°C, and wear comfortable shoes so that you don’t get harmed by any falls or slips.
4. Surf or swim in Jungmun Saekdal Beach.
Jungmun Saekdal Beach, which is popular among surfers for its enormous waves, is Korea’s most prominent beach and has gained popularity among locals and foreign tourists. The black, red, and grey sand grains that decorate the white sandy shores of this beach add a distinct touch to the island’s black hyeonmuam rocks. The sea cave near the beach has also been featured in numerous Korean TV commercials. Take a long walk along the cobalt blue ocean or simply relax and listen to symphonic waves crashing against the cliffs.
Family, Cultural, And Historical Attractions
1. Visit the Teddy Bear Museum.
If you adore teddy bears like we do, then make a trip to this popular museum on Jeju Island, which is home to one of the world’s most famous museums dedicated to teddy bears. Discover bear versions of historical figures including The Mona Lisa and Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as recreations of great works by Michelangelo such as The Creation of Adam. You may even stay in the garden area and drink tea with charming sculptures of teddy bears. Teddy Bear Museum on Jeju Island is a must-see for families with children and teddy bear fans!
2.Loveland, a theme park on the South Korean island of Jeju is unlike any other place in the world.
The adult-only Love Land Theme Park on Jeju focuses on sexuality and provocative sculptures fashioned by school graduates from Hongik University, which is located in Seoul. This theme park, where art and sexual desire collide in an amusing way, is worth seeing whether you’re honeymooning or not. As the first or last stop on your visit to Jeju Island, Love Land may be visited as a 10-minute drive from Jeju International Airport.
3. Osulloc Tea Museum is the place to go if you’re interested in Green Tea Culture.
Osulloc Tea Museum on Jeju Island is a wonderful place to discover more about Korea’s tea culture. The building was designed with an East-meets-West aesthetic, resembling a green teacup surrounded by greenery and nature. Discover the diverse history of Korean tea in the Tea Cup gallery, which showcases Joseon Dynasty–era utensils alongside traditional cups from all corners of the globe. Enjoy a cup of refreshing green tea indoors or outdoors on the deck while taking in views of picturesque green tea fields—it’s truly peaceful and serene here!
4.Immerse yourself in Jeju Aerospace Museum and then refuel at Greem Cafe.
After exploring the Osulloc Tea Museum, continue your cultural journey by visiting the Jeju Aerospace Museum. The museum offers a unique perspective on Korea’s involvement in aviation science and history. You can also visit Jeju Greem Cafe, located on the fourth floor of the same building. Why should you visit this cafe? For starters, it’s like stepping into a 2D cartoon world as every decor is themed white and black. This would make for some great Insta pics. In addition to that, you can enjoy Osulloc tea field views with your drinks and desserts such as cakes and ice cream.
Protip: If you’re only planning on going to the cafe, you don’t need to buy a ticket for the museum. You may go right to the elevator.
5. Experience 19th Century Korea at Jeju Folk Village.
Jeju Folk Village is one of the most interesting areas to explore in Jeju Island for a history lesson. Travel back in time to Korea’s 1890s to see how Koreans lived in this cultural village, which includes over 100 traditional homes spread across four distinct regions: Mountain Village, Hill-country Village, Fishing Village, and Shamanism Village. Make a visit to the cultural village and discover more about ancient farming and fishing tools, watch traditional performances, or have your future forecasted by the local fortune teller! To round it off, try your hand at tofu or red bean porridge for an unforgettable experience at the cultural village.
6. Wander around Jeju Stone Park.
Jeju stone is strongly linked to the island’s culture and history. The park is full of stones, which are an essential element of Jeju life. You may learn more about Jeju Stone Park’s rich cultural heritage and significance on a journey through it. Many dol haerubangs, or huge stone sculptures for protection, dot the park. Visit the Jeju Stone Museum in the park to discover more about Korea’s geological history and volcanic events that formed Jeju Island.
7. At Arte Museum, you may enjoy a wonderful experience as a dimmer in interactive articles.
The Arte Museum, Korea’s largest media art museum, is a sensory overload with powerful images and sounds. Visit the Tropical Rainforest exhibit area, which includes animals that change colors and patterns in response to their environment. Experience a Surreal Beach and let your imagination soar as you observe the beach stretching out to infinity, or meander through the Star Light Park, an unusual paper art venue.
Jeju Island is full of amazing sights and activities for all kinds of travellers. So pack your suitcase and get ready for an exciting and wholesome body, mind, and soul experience only at Jeju Island, South Korea!