For first-time travelers to South Korea, Jeju Island is rarely the first choice of destination. Tourists often check off major cities first, starting from Seoul and Incheon and then Busan and perhaps Jeonju.
Only when you’ve checked off at least one of them would your attention shift to Jeju, the southernmost province of South Korea and an island isolated from the rest, offering its own unique culture and experiences. You’ll see a different side of South Korean culture — and you’ll find that Jeju is well worth the visit.
Here is all you need to know about visiting Jeju island this 2022.
How to Go to Jeju Island
Note that the visa-free policy in Jeju may not apply to the South Korean mainland unless you are from eligible countries with visa-free access.
That said, those taking advantage of Jeju’s visa-free system are required to fly in directly via Jeju International Airport. If there are no direct flights from your home country, you may transit through other visa-free countries, depending on your origin.
From Jeju International Airport, there are buses, taxis, and car rentals immediately available to take you to your hotel.
Where to Stay in Jeju
For those visiting for the first time and have a lot of days to spend, you can get the most out of your visit to Jeju by staying in different accommodations in different parts of the island.
The best places to stay are Jeju City, the island’s capital, and Seogwipo which is the other major city south of the island. The eastern town of Seongsan is also a great addition for sunrise chasers. Below are the best accommodations in these parts of Jeju.
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Jeju Ocean Front
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham is a luxurious option close to the city center, with almost everything right at your fingertips. Rooms offer gorgeous views of the ocean, with kid-friendly suite options as well as a Korean-style ondol room.
Location: 66 Tapdong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Park Sunshine Jeju
Wake up to a breathtaking scenery composed of Mt. Hallasan, verdant hills, and the sparkling ocean through Park Sunshine’s wide floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel boasts eco-friendly bedroom amenities to complement your relaxing getaway.
Location: 135 Namseongjung-ro, Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do,
Playce Camp Jeju
Aside from being a budget-friendly option perfect for backpackers, Playce Camp in Seongsan also offers a unique stay in its hip and artistic spaces. It offers various concept rooms and themed suites to match different personalities.
Location: 20 Dongnyuam-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Where to Eat in Jeju
Jeju has a lot of mouthwatering delicacies you shouldn’t miss! You can never go wrong with any restaurant even in the most obscured alleys of Jeju, but here are the best places to explore!
For a real local food trip experience, venture into a local market where you can sample various snacks and dishes made with the island’s freshest offerings!
- Dongmun Traditional Market, 20, Gwandeok-ro 14-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- Jeju Five-Day Folk Market, 26 Oiljangseo-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market, 18, Jungang-ro 62beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Amazingly, Jeju has different food streets dedicated to various specialties. Whether you’re craving black pork, noodles, or just any good food with a view — you’ll surely know where to go!
- Black Pork Street, Gwandeok-ro 15-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- Guksu Geori (Noodle Street), Samseong-ro, Ildoi-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- Chilsimni Food Street, Chilsimni-ro, Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
The freshest and most delicious seafood can be found at haenyeo houses! These are restaurants run by Jeju’s famed haenyeo or women divers, usually located near fishing villages around Jeju.
- Dodu Haenyeo’s House, 16, Doduhang-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- Ojo Haenyeo’s House, 3 Ojo-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- The House Jeju Haenyeo, 2658-2 Jungmun-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Best Things to Do in Jeju
Undeniably, the best things to do on the island are nature-centered. However, there are also a lot of amazing things to experience with Jeju’s varied collection of theme parks, museums, and Instagrammable spots.
Jeju is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, represented by Hallasan, Geomun Oreum, and Seongsan Ilchulbong. Apart from these, the island is also ripe with volcanic hills perfect for hiking, beaches for surfing, and waterfalls for soaking.
Jeju is also famous for its assortment of museums that appeal to people of all ages, and they’re not limited to indoor exhibitions. There are also living museums and outdoor exhibitions worth checking out.
From families and best friends to couples, it’s common for people to shoot prenups and casual group photos in different spots in Jeju. Bring your own camera or have a professional photographer take your perfect shots!
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