Jeju Island Travel Guide: Where to Stay, Top Attractions, Bus Guide

Here’s my Jeju Island Travel Guide with everything I learned from traveling Jeju Island in South Korea. I recently came back from my 2nd trip there.

It’s a really beautiful island but there are things I wish I knew before traveling to Jeju!

I tried to go to as many places as I could and traveled all around Jeju without a car.

If you’re new to South Korea, read my travel guide to South Korea.

Book Before Your Jeju Trip:

πŸš• Hire a private chartered car for a Jeju Island day tour

🏒 Book discounted hotels in Jeju on Agoda (what I use)

🎫 Browse through dozens of available Jeju tours

🚌 Buy a Jeju Bus Hop On & Hop Off Day Pass here

πŸš™ Rent a car in Jeju Island for as cheap as $28 USD a day

Where to Stay in Jeju Island

Deluxe Double Room with white king bed and wooden shelves at ASTAR Hotel, top choice in my Jeju Island Travel Guide

This is probably the top question: where to stay in Jeju Island.

There’s four main areas to stay in Jeju Island. Most tourists will either stay in Jeju City in the north, or Seogwipo City in the south.

Where to stay in Jeju Island will depend on what activities you want to do & how long you’re staying.

If you’re staying longer than 3 nights, you can always switch hotels to experience different areas.

1. Jeju City (north)

Jeju City is where the airport is. There’s a few cool tourist sites, but other than that, Jeju City looks like your typical busy city, with lots of restaurants, hotels, shops, and buildings.

People like to stay in Jeju City because:

  1. It’s only 10-minutes from the Jeju airport, and it’s a bit livelier, though quieter compared to Seoul or Busan.
  2. It’s also easier to take the bus from Jeju City to main tourist sites throughout the island. There’s more buses available here. This is where I stayed. It takes around 30-minutes to around an hour to get to the different parts of Jeju.

β›΄ Try this: Explore Jeju City with a Rainbow Yacht Tour 😎

If you’re only staying a night or 2 or have an early flight out, it’s probably better to stay in Jeju City to be closer to the airport.

If you’re traveling only by bus & for only 2 nights, Jeju City is also a better option. And you’ll see why in the bus section of this post.

Hotel Recommendations for Jeju City:

#1 Pick
Deluxe Double Room with white king bed and wooden shelves at ASTAR Hotel, top choice in my Jeju Island Travel Guide

Astar Hotel

One of the cleanest and most comfortable hotels I stayed in South Korea. While a 4-star hotel, it’s still quite affordable. Close to buses and walkable to the main Jeju City Bus Terminal.

#2 Pick
Standard Double Bed Room with big white bed at Revel Hotel in Jeju City

Reve Business Hotel

This was the hotel I stay at during my second visit. Clean, and around the corner from a main street with lots of restaurants, as well as an airport bus stop. Plus, very afforable!

2. Seogwipo City (south)

A large lava cliff on water called Daepo Jusangjeolli in Jeju Island

Seogwipo City is the 2nd largest city on Jeju Island, though more chill. It’s closer to greenery and natural sites, like waterfalls and cliffs.

The hotels in Seogwipo City are also cheaper in the south than in Jeju City.

Stay in Seogwipo City if most of things you want to do are in the south, so you don’t have to keep going back and forth.

But, if there’s only a few things you want to do in the south, you can just allocate a day in the south and stay elsewhere.

Hotel Recommendations for Seogwipo City:

I haven’t stayed in Seogwipo City yet, but hotels are cheaper in the south. Here’s the top hotels in Seogwipo to browse through.

🚌 Explore southern Jeju Island with a Group Tour (includes Hallasan Mountain)

3. East Coast, or Seongsan

Ocean view lookout from Seongsan Ilchilbong Sunrise Peak in Jeju Island

A main reason to stay in the East Coast, or Seongsan, is to be closer to specific tourist sites.

People like to hike Sunrise Peak or Seongsan Ilchulbong right at sunrise, and staying in the east is just more convenient.

Also for people who want to travel early to Udo Island, which is just off the east coast.

Hotel Recommendations for East Jeju:

There are lots of hotels in the east, many near the beach that are also affordable. Here’s hotels in east Jeju to browse through.

🚌 Explore East Jeju with a Group Tour (includes Sunrise Peak & Jeju Stone Park πŸŒ…)

4. West Coast

A blue and white sign that says Hyeopjae on shallow end of Hyeopjae Beach in Jeju Island

People stay in the west coast in Jeju Island, or more north-west for all the beaches and cafe culture along the coastline. A lot of the airbnbs and home pensions are also located in the west.

I’d stay in the north-west if you want to be closer to those specific beaches. Otherwise, there’s beaches in other areas too.

Hotel Recommendations for West Jeju:

West Jeju has lots of nice villas and affordable pensions, both on Airbnb and hotel booking sites. Many near the beach too.

Here’s hotels in west Jeju to browse through.

🚌 Explore the West Coast with a Group Tour (6 locations included)

In Summary on Where to Stay in Jeju Island:

  1. If you want to travel all around Jeju Island, are traveling by bus, have an early flight out, or are staying for only a short time, I recommend staying in Jeju Island. 
  2. If you want to spend more than 1 day in the south and most of things you want to do is in the south, stay in Seogwipo City.
  3. Stay in the west or east if you want to be in those specific areas most of the time. 
  4. If you’re staying longer than 3 nights, try changing hotels.

Also, if you’re traveling Jeju Island by bus, look for a hotel that’s walkable or a quick bus ride to the main bus terminals to save time.

Hotels are more expensive in Jeju City, but you can find decent ones around $40 USD a night. In the south you’ll get bigger and cheaper options.

Things to Do in Jeju Island

A large waterfall with tourists sitting at its bottom and taking photos at Jeongbang Waterfall in Jeju Island

Make sure to read my list of 22 things to do in Jeju Island and write down which sites interest you.

Here are my top 5:

  1. Sunrise Peak / Seongsan Ilchulbong
  2. Hike Hallasan Mountain
  3. Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff
  4. Handam Coastal Walk
  5. Hamdeok Beach Area

Choose from these sites to create the Perfect Jeju Island Itinerary for 2-5 Days:

🏝 7 Best Beaches in Jeju to Visit (with Photos & Reviews)

🌊 5 Amazing Waterfalls in Jeju Island You Can Visit

🎫 Choose from 112 Jeju group & private tours from Viator

General Jeju Planning Tips

A screenshot of a Google Map of Jeju Island with yellow, blue, and green locations pins around it

1. Try to bunch sites together that are walkable from each other, to make the bus ride or drive worth it.

One of the things I enjoyed most was walking between sites. You’re usually surrounded by nature, or interesting remote areas. And there’s trails and paths set up throughout Jeju Island.

2. To find more places to go to nearby, type in “nearby attractions” in Google Maps and tourist spots are marked with a camera icon.

Look at reviews and photos if the site interests you and write it down.

3. Try to plan around sunsets around 6-7pm. They’re really pretty in Jeju at the beaches or coastlines.

Popular Jeju Tours

1. Eastern Jeju Island Discovery Tour:

  • Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest
  • Seongsan Ilchulbong
  • Seongeup Folk Village
  • Jeju Stone Park

2. Western Jeju Island Exploration Group Tour

  • Hallim Park
  • O’sulloc Tea Museum
  • Songaksan Mountain
  • Hyeopjae Beach
  • Choose Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls or Teddy Bear Museum

3. Jeju Island UNESCO Day Tour: choice between south, west, and east Jeju Island.

Here’s popular activities to join in Jeju Island:

Transportation

Beige, red, and white buses stationed at Jeju City Bus Terminal with passengers waiting on benches

In case you didn’t know, there is no subway on Jeju Island.

Read my full guide to traveling Jeju without a car if you plan to only use public transit in Jeju.

From the airport, you have 3 options:

  1. Rent a car in Jeju – You’ll need an international license or a South Korea license, for around $50-100 USD per day. You can also hire a private driver in Jeju from around $150-300 dollars per day.
  2. Take a taxi – if you’re staying in Jeju City, it’s only a 10-minute ride away. You can take one for around $7 to $8 dollars. A taxi ride to the south will be $30 to $40 USD and take around 45 minutes.
  3. Take a bus – The cheaper option would be to take the airport limousine bus #600 from the airport. It runs every 15 to 20 minutes. It first stops at popular hotels in Jeju City, then cuts down to Seogwipo City, which will take about an hour. You can pay with T-money card and the stops are announced in English.

🚌 You can also purchase a Jeju Island Hop On & Hop Off Day Pass

Getting around by Taxi

  1. It’s easier to hail taxis or book a taxi on the Kakao T app in main touristy areas. If you’re in a more remote area, finding taxis is not guaranteed.
  2. Uber Taxi only seems to work in Jeju City, though it might take a while to get one.

Jeju Bus Guide

Two buses waiting for passengers with a bus stop schedule stand at Jeju City Bus Terminal

A lot of people will discourage you from visiting Jeju Island if you can only take the bus. Jeju actually has tons of buses. They have the airport bus, intercity buses, INTRAcity buses, and express buses.

For both my visits to Jeju, I took only the bus and I was able to go all around Jeju Island. The most I walked from a bus stop was 15 to 20 minutes, and the views were nice.

It is a slower pace if you’re only used to subways, but I personally enjoyed the bus rides. I downloaded audiobooks and music to listen to, and it was really peaceful and nice.

ALSO all buses in Jeju have free and fast wifi. And minus the airport limousine bus #600, bus fares are only $1 to $2 dollars. It might sound like a lot and maybe complicated, but I also want to help you set your expectations. 

For a complete public transport guide, read my traveling Jeju without a car blog post, with all the bus tips you’ll need.

Alternatives to public transport in Jeju:

  1. Take the Jeju Island Hop On & Hop Off Day Pass
  2. Rent a car in Jeju for as little as $28 USD/day
  3. Hire a private driver in Jeju for a day
  4. Join a guided Jeju tour, which generally provides transportation

Final Thoughts on Jeju Island

The first time I went to Jeju I did try fitting in as many places as I could and rushing a bit to stick to bus schedules. The second visit, I took it slower, I took my time at sites and beaches, and wandered around.

You can always come back to Jeju, and if you’re not able to, take your time to enjoy the views, rather than places to check off your list, which I tend to do.

Traveling around Jeju does take some effort, but you can always look up a Jeju group tour to make it easier and meet others.

I would totally go back to Jeju, and next time do more of the hiking trails. Let me know if you have questions and I’ll try my best.

I hope this Jeju Island Travel Guide was helpful!

Enjoy your trip to Jeju!

Jeju Travel Quick Links:

πŸš• Hire a private chartered car for a Jeju Island day tour

🏒 Book discounted hotels in Jeju on Agoda

🎫 Browse through dozens of available Jeju tours

🚌 Buy a Jeju Bus Hop On & Hop Off Day Pass here

πŸš™ Rent a car in Jeju Island for as cheap as $28 USD a day

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