Where to Stay in Jeju: From a Frequent Visitor
Wondering where to stay in Jeju? After multiple trips to the island where I’ve stayed in a different area each time, I like to think I know enough to write a little guide.
If you can’t tell by my multiple trips to Jeju – I love this island. It’s not only my favorite place in Korea, it’s one of my favorite places in the world. There’s just something so special about it that makes you want to slow down and really enjoy the beautiful scenery and slower way of life. I’ve stayed at coolest hostels and cutest pensions during my stays, so I’ll be sharing all my best Jeju accommodation tips below!
Jeju Travel Guide
- Getting in: Most people get to Jeju by plane or ferry. I always recommend by plane as it’s only an hour, and flights are frequent from all over Korea. The ferry takes 4 hours from Mokpo, which is another 3-4 hours from Seoul. Both the Jeju ferry port and airport are in Jeju City, which is in the top center of the island.
- Getting Around: The absolute easiest way to get around Jeju is by car. You can either rent a one or book a private charter. Make sure you have an international license if you rent! For buses, use KakaoMap to find bus stops and realtime updates. Heck, if you want to walk, the Olleh trail circles the whole island, and for bikers, there’s the Jeju Fantasy Bicycle Path.
- Stay Connected: Get an eSIM for Korea! You can do it online and have it before you land. No need to switch out physical SIM cards or wait in line at the airport. I know, it feels like magic.
- Read Before You Visit: Highly recommend both The Island of Sea Women and The Mermaid from Jeju.
- Top Things to Do in Jeju: Hike Hallasan, check out the many beaches and waterfalls, visit Seongsan Ilchulbong and see the hanyeo, try Jeju’s black pork, and visit the tiny Udo island.
For more, check out this guide on the best things to do in Jeju and this full travel guide
Map of Jeju Island
If you’re like me, you also learn best with visual aids, so I below I added a map so you could get an idea of what I’m talking about when I explain where to stay in Jeju. As you can see it’s a bit of an oval shape with Hallasan right in the middle and the two major cities, Jeju City and Seogwipo, both north and south.
How to Figure out Where to Stay in Jeju
1. Understand Jeju’s size
The biggest mistake I’ve found is that people underestimate just how big Jeju is! If you were to circle the whole island by car, it’d take a little under 5 hours , so while it’s obviously smaller than the mainland, it’s still much larger than most people expect. Here’s how roughly it’d take you to get everywhere:
- Jeju City – Seogwipo: ~ 40 minutes
- Jeju City – NW or NE: ~ 1 hour
- NW – SW or NE – SE: ~ 1 hour
- NW – SE, NE – SW: ~ 2 hours
- SW – SE, NW – NE: ~ 2 hours
2. Map out the sights you want to see
That said, before you look into where to stay, first make a list of all things to do in Jeju and then map everything out. This way you’ll have a visual and can see where everything falls. As always, I recommend starring everything on the KakaoMap. (More on my preferred apps for Korea here.)
3. Organize your itinerary
Once you have a visual of all the places you want to visit in Jeju, figure out your itinerary. This way you can cluster your sightseeing around specific areas so you’re not driving all over and if you want to stay in multiple places, it makes it easier to narrow down your hotels.
4. Figure out how you want to get around
Okay so depending on how you want to get around, here’s what I recommend.
- Car: With a car, you can pretty much stay wherever you want as driving is easy. I’d split my stay between a cute pension somewhere on the east coast and the west coast depending on how long you have. A lot of the more unique places to stay in Jeju are in rural areas far from a bus station. My personal favorite is this adorable bnb called Romantopia in SE Jeju or this pension right by a beach in NE Jeju.
- Bus: It depends on how much you’re willing to squeeze in to our itinerary, but over all, the motto of Jeju is to enjoy it slowly. So if you plan on only getting around by bus, I’d stick to one coast for at least a few days at a time or stay in Seogwipo for a more “central” location.
- If you’re doing day tours: So if you do a full day tour like this western day tour or this eastern day tour, you’ll want to stay in the area where they’ll pick you up. Usually this is Jeju City or Seogwipo.
5. Now, figure out where you want to stay!
Once you’ve got all the above figure out, it’s time to pick out where exactly you want to stay. I’ve stayed in everything but the luxury hotels: Airbnbs, hostels, guesthouses…Honestly, there are so many unique places to stay in Jeju, even if you’re on a shoestring budget. I’ve got some fun places listed below.
Where to Stay in Jeju
If I was going to split Jeju up, I’d split it up between its two cities: Jeju City in the north and Seogwipo in the south, as well as Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast.
Jeju International Airport (제주국제공항)
You don’t really have to stay near in the airport. The only reason I did once was because our flights were early in the morning, and we had to return our rental car the night before since the place didn’t open until after we’d be in the air! If you have Kakao T or can arrange with your hotel to have a taxi come and get you, you should be fine getting to the airport no matter where you’re on the island.
Where to Stay Near Jeju International Airport
|Hotel Name||How Far from the Airport||Prices|
|Lotte City Hotel $$$||8 mins by car, 19 mins by bus||View Here|
|Ventimo Hotel $$||5 mins by car, 10 mins by bus||View Here|
|Grand Hyatt Jeju $$$$||10 mins by car, 19 mins by bus||View Here|
|Jeju Guesthouse $||5 mins by car, 15 mins by bus||View Here|
Jeju City (제주시)
As I said above, you’ll enter the island through Jeju City, but you won’t wan tto stick around for long. The city itself isn’t that incredible and will just remind you of every other city in Korea. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say they don’t get why people think Jeju is pretty when they’ve never left Jeju City, I could probably live out my days in luxury!
Notable Things to Do in and Near Jeju City
Besides this being a base for full day tours and getting in and out of Jeju, there are a handful of reasons to stay in Jeju City. The first is to check out the X-rated Jeju Loveland and the next is to get to the one of the trailheads for Hallasan from here (it’s about 40-45 minutes). During cherry blossom season, you’ll also want to check out the main Jeju University Street to see the king cherry blossoms in bloom.
Where to Stay in Jeju City
|Bed Radio Dongmoon $||Black Pork Street||View Here|
|Mir Guesthouse $||Yongduam Rock||View Here|
|Guest House Brick $||Jeju Sports Complex||View Here|
|Hotel Regent Marine The Blue $$||Tapdong Square||View Here|
If you do want to only stay in a city, then stay in Seogwipo. I’d say it’s the most convenient place to stay in Jeju because it’s close to a ton of the most famous sites and many tours will still leave from here too. However, if you rent a car, like I recommend, you’ll find much cooler accommodation in the more “remote” parts of the island.
Notable Things to Do in Seogwipo
Lee Jeong Seop street is particularly lovely. You can also visit Cheonjiyeon and Jeongbang falls from here as well as access the Yeongsil Trail for Hallasan. There’s also lesser known tea fields known as the Dosun Dawon Tea Plantation and lots of cute, trendy cafes all around.
Where to Stay in Seogwipo
|Mido Hostel $||Lee Jeong Seop Street||View Here|
|Jeju Lavender Hotel $||Cheonjiyeon Falls||View Here|
|Casaloma Hotel $$||Cheonjiyeon Falls||View Here|
|Naezip Jeju $$$||Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market||View Here|
Northwest Jeju includes the areas of Aewol, Hallim, Hangyeong, Chagwi-do, and Biyang-do. When I first visited Jeju, I basically wanted to follow the coast, and I started in the Northwest area. The area is about an hour from Jeju City, and it’s pretty good for the more budget traveler in Jeju with a lot of quality hostel options.
Notable Things to Do in Northwest Jeju
Northwest Jeju is known as a the laidback, almost hippie part of Jeju (and maybe the country?). Lots of nice beaches in Handam, Hyeopjae, Gwakji, and Gemneung Eutteumwon. The Aewol Handam Trail is a super pretty coastal walk with quirky little cafes along Aewol Cafe Street. You can also visit Hallim Park, Jeju Glass Castle, and Aewol Hawnhaejangseong Fortress.
Also as a bonus, one of the best pizza places ever (including Italy!) is located in Hyeopjae. It’s called Donato’s, and you can thank me later.
Where to Stay in Northwest Jeju
|Hyeopjae Guesthouse $||Hyeopjae||View Here|
|Aewol Bada Town House $$||Aewol||View Here|
|Aguila Hotel Jeju Oceano Suite $$||Hallim||View Here|
|Boutique Pool Villa NAMIB $$$$||Hangyeong||View Here|
|Jeju Sorang N Farms Village $$||Hallim||View Here|
Southwest Jeju includes Daejong, Andeok, Jungmun, Gapa-do, and Mara-do. There’s a TON to see in this one area, so you may want to stay nearby if you want to be close or are taking a lot of public transportation. This is also where the Jungmun Tourist Complex is, which is where a lot of the fancier hotels and resorts are.
Notable Things to Do in Southwest Jeju
If you’re visiting Jeju for a resort-like vacation, you’re going to want to look at the luxury resorts located around this area! It’s also close to a TON Of really stunning landscapes, including Songaksan, Osulloc Tea Museum & Fields, Sangbangsan, Yongmeori Coast, Jusangjeolli Cliffs, and Cheonjeyeon Falls. Another spot to visit is Yeomiji Botanical Garden, and in the winter or early summer, Camelia Hill has either camelias or hydrangeas. Further inland are a few theme parks – Shinhwa, Soingook, and Pororo & Tayo.
Where to Stay in Southwest Jeju
|Lemon Tree 2nd Guesthouse $||Daejeong||View Here|
|Minitel Soul $||Jungmun||View Here|
|The Seaes Hotel & Resort $$$||Jungmun Beach||View Here|
|Hidden Cliff Hotel & Nature $$$||Jungmun Beach||View Here|
|Sun and Moon Resort $$||Andeok||View Here|
|Jeju Eco Suites $$||Jungmun||View Here|
|Sun Village $$$$||Haye-dong||View Here|
Southeast Jeju includes Namwon, Pyoseon, and Seongsan. Besides Seongsan Ilchulbong, which is closer to the northern end, southeast Jeju is much less touristy and more off the beaten path than the rest of the island. Besides staying near Seongsan, I’d only really stay here if you have a proper car to drive around.
Notable Things to Do in Southeast Jeju
For those coming in spring, you’ll want to spend time in Southeast Jeju for all the canola fields! Both Jeju Horse Park and Jeju Horse Park are here as are Seongeup and Oreumteu Folk Villages. For winter visitors, Wimi Camellia Forest is probably what you see in a ton of Instagram photos! You can also access Seongsan Ilchulbong from southeast Jeju as it’s pretty much right in the center along the eastern coast and Udo from Seongsan Port.
Where to Stay in Southeast Jeju
|Romantopia $$||Namwon||View Here|
|The Cloud Hotel $$||Seongsan Ilchulbong||View Here|
|Jeju Cordelia S Hotel $||Seongsan Ilchulbong||View Here|
|Bangdigareum B&B $||outside of Seongsan||View Here|
|Green Narae Pension $$||b/t Seongeup Folk Village & coast||View Here|
Northeast Jeju includes Gujwa, Jocheon, and Udo. You could also stay in this area and get to Seongsan Ilchulbong fairly easily as it’s close by. Like southwest Jeju, the northeast area is near a lot of beautiful outdoor sites and is a good base to see Udo. If you want more time on Udo, you could also stay on the island as well, just check accommodations here.
Notable Things to Do in Northeast Jeju
If I had to pick one favorite area of Jeju, it’d have to be the northeast. While there are quite a few attractions in Bijarim Forest, Jeju Stone Park, and Manjanggul Cave, it doesn’t feel as busy or visited as the rest of Jeju. You definitely need to be on a tour or have a car to get around this section as things are pretty far apart. There are some really nice beaches in Woljeong-ri, Sehwa, and Hamdeok Seubong and a smaller port for Udo known as Jongdal Port. You can also get to Seongsan Ilchulbong easily from the northeast.
Where to Stay in Northeast Jeju
|PLAYCE Camp $||Seongsan Ilchulbong||View Here|
|Slow Mansion + Baco Home $||Jongdal Port (종달항)||View Here|
|Haepoomdal Pension $$||Jocheon||View Here|
|Marvillrick Spa&Poolvilla $$||Gujwa||View Here|
|Lunamar Pension $||Gujwa||View Here|
|Wooyeon Handong Pension $$$$||Gujwa||View Here|
FAQ on Where to Stay in Jeju
This really depends on what you want to see and do and how you’re planning to get around. However, I’d choose somewhere in Seogwipo to be fairly central.
I personally love the northeast area as it has some of my favorite landmarks on the island. Southwest Jeju is also full of really beautiful sights.
Seogwipo for sure. Jeju City is the obvious answer but it’s not nearly as charming.
At least for a 3-day weekend! I think the perfect amount is around 5 days to a week.
And there you have it – my complete guide on where to stay in Jeju and why! As you can see there’s a lot that factors into it, but once you figure out your itinerary, it’s smooth sailing.
For more Korea travel, read these next:
- For first time visitors
- Other coastal visits in Korea
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