Where to stay in Jeju – a guide to South Korea’s gorgeous holiday island

Fancy a holiday where you’ll be able to hop from one gorgeous beach to the next, visit all kinds of quirky museums, and see stunning natural landscapes? South Korea’s “island of the gods” – Jeju Island – is the perfect destination for you.

Jeju definitely has a lot to offer. But what most first-time visitors are surprised to find out is that Jeju is huge. Even with a rental car, you can’t go around the whole island in one day. The island’s many attractions are far apart, and this is why you need to make sure you know exactly where to stay in Jeju, depending on what you’re in the mood to see and do.

This quick and easy guide to Jeju’s best hotels and accommodations will help you decide where to stay. Whether you’re in the mood for an exciting road trip, tons of shopping and food crawls, or barefoot luxury, we’ve got the best of the island for you.

Jeju Island is one of South Korea’s most popular tourist destinations. With several UNESCO heritage sites, stunning natural landscapes, and historic spots, there’s so much to see in this “island of the gods.” To make the most of your vacation, check out this guide to find out where to stay in Jeju.

Where to stay in Jeju – the best hotels in South Korea’s holiday island

Top tips – choosing the best places to stay in Jeju

  • If you’re only staying for a night or two, stay in Jeju City. There’s already so much you can do in the area without having to drive all the way to the island’s southern area. For a quick taste of Jeju’s natural landscapes, consider taking a day trip to Udo Island and then spend the rest of your stay going around Jeju City.
  • If you’re staying for more than three nights, break up your stay. Stay one to two nights in Jeju City, then move south to Seogwipo City. This way, you’ll be able to explore more of the island without having to drive long distances each day.
  • If you’re looking for a really relaxing and laidback vacation, stay in Jungmun Tourist Area. You’ll find most of the tourist attractions in this area and you’ll be able to spend your vacation just lounging and relaxing by the beach. This is also ideal for big groups and holiday-goers who like to take it slow. Some hotels in this area can also arrange for an airport/ferry pick-up and all-in tours, so you don’t need to do anything anymore and can spend all your time and energy enjoying your vacation.

Note: If you’re driving, you can use the phone numbers provided to navigate using your rental car’s GPS system. To find out more about driving in South Korea, read these guides: Driving in South Korea, How to use the Korean GPS.

Map – Landmarks and best hotels in Jeju Island

Overview: Jeju Island’s best places to stay

Jeju Island has two big cities where you’ll find all the best accommodations – Jeju City and Seogwipo City.

Jeju City lies to the north and is the main entry point to the island whether you’re arriving by air or by sea. This is a great area to do some shopping, historic sight-seeing, and food-tripping.

To get more of Jeju Island’s subtropical charms, you’ll have to drive south to Jeju’s second biggest city, Seogwipo. This is the ideal base for hiking and beach-hopping. This is generally a more rustic and laidback city than the commercialized and bustling Jeju City.

Another area where you can look for hotels in Jeju is Jungmun Tourist Area. This is technically still within Seogwipo, but this area was developed specifically with tourists in mind. You’ll find a lot of the high-end resorts and hotels here, as well as museums and shopping complexes.

If you love shopping, historic sight-seeing, and food tripping, stay in Jeju City

Whether you’re coming to the island by air or sea, you’ll be passing by Jeju City, the island’s northern and main city. The city houses the island’s airport and main ferry which connects it to South Korea’s mainland. Fun fact: the Seoul-Jeju air route is the busiest in the world, with 11.1 million passengers in 2015!

Eleven odd million tourists definitely see something worth visiting Jeju for each year. The main city is a great base if you’re looking to do some shopping and food-tripping. You’ll also be near tourist attractions like Manjanggul Cave and Mount Hallasan.

If you plan to explore the island using public transportation, Jeju City is also a great base as you’ll always be within walking distance of a bus terminal. Just note that going from one end of the island to the other via bus can take hours, so make sure to factor that in when making your plans.

Best hotels and accommodations in Jeju City

★Travelers’ Pick: To give your Jeju holiday a great start, book your first night at Hotel Leo, one of Jeju’s best hotels. It has everything you’d want for a hotel – beautiful rooms, an art gallery, an on-site buffet restaurant, plus a great central location. It’s a great base for exploring Jeju City. Double rooms start at USD 100. (Navigate: 64-754-7000)

For larger groups, check out holiday rentals around Jeju City. Sky Tary is just a short drive from Jeju City center where you can enjoy spacious rooms and views of the sea. Apartments start at USD 130. (Navigate: 64-742-7042)

For a budget hostel in Jeju City, check out Mir Guesthouse. You’ll enjoy bright rooms and modern amenities, plus an observation deck and an in-house restaurant. Beds start at USD 30. (Navigate: 64-900-2561)

Quick tips for exploring Jeju City

  • What to see and do: Shop! If you’re driving, park at Lotte Duty Free Shop (Navigate: 64-747-0283). If you like hiking, check out the Jeju Olle trails. Get on and off the Jeju Golden Bus and make your way around the city. You can also visit Udo Island as a fun day trip.
  • Where to eat: When in Jeju, you have to eat seafood. Check out Haejin Hoetjip Seafood Restaurant (Navigate: 64-722-4584) and Myeongjin Jeonbok Abalone Restaurant (Navigate: 64-782-9944). If you’re in the mood for traditional noodle soup, head to Olrae Guksu (Navigate: 64-742-7355).

Fields of flowers, scenic vistas, and cliffs overlooking coasts – these are the views you’ll get to enjoy in Jeju, South Korea’s gorgeous holiday island. Here’s your essential travel guide on where to stay in Jeju, plus all the things to see and do. You’ll find Instagrammable spots for days, guaranteed.

If you love to drive, hike, and beach-hop, stay in Seogwipo City

For that rustic island vibe, head to Seogwipo City.

This is Jeju Island’s second largest city, right in the middle of the island’s beautiful natural landscapes. The Seogwipo city center is a great base to explore the southern area – from the volcanic cone or “oreum” of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak to the east, to the gorgeous waterfalls and parks to the west.

If you’re arriving to Jeju Island on a morning flight or ferry, I suggest you go straight to Seogwipo. From Jeju City, this is about a 2-hour drive. Look into one of the recommended hotels in Seogwipo below, and use that as a base to explore the southern parts of Jeju.

Best hotels and accommodations in Seogwipo City

★Travelers’ Pick: For a great (and amazingly affordable!) stay in Seogwipo, check out Virginia Hotel. It’s got a great location, beautiful rooms, modern hotel amenities, and room rates that won’t break the bank. Double rooms start at USD 60. (Navigate: 64-767-5555)

For bigger groups, look into holiday homes like Story Ville. It’s the perfect rental for couples and families, with overlooking views of Beomseom Island, a garden pool, and spacious houses. Vacation homes start at USD 200. (Navigate: 64-738-1320)

For budget accommodations in Seogwipo City, check out Mimi Guesthouse. It’s right at the heart of Seogwipo and features comfortable rooms and modern amenities. Beds start at USD 20.

Quick tips for exploring Seogwipo City

  • What to see and do: You’ll be very near to most of Jeju Island’s tourist destinations. Be sure to hop over to the Jungmun Tourist Area to check out the waterfalls and the quirky museums. Allot one day to go to Udo Island and trek up the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. Go on a yacht sightseeing tour.
  • Where to eat: Personally, I loved the food options in Seogwipo City a lot more than those in Jeju City. One of our favorites was a restaurant specializing in black pork meat, which happens to be Jeju’s specialty. Make sure to pay a visit to Jeju Hukdon Saesang Suragan (Navigate: 64-762-8588) for one of the best BBQ experiences in South Korea. Try also the abalone soup in Jeju Halmang Ttukbaegi Restaurant along the Chilsimni Food Street (Navigate: 64-733-9934). While you’re in Chilsimni, explore the other restaurants for more seafood options.

Jeju Island is one of South Korea’s most popular tourist destinations. With several UNESCO heritage sites, stunning natural landscapes, and historic spots, there’s so much to see in this “island of the gods.” To make the most of your vacation, check out this guide to find out where to stay in Jeju.

If you’re in the mood for total barefoot luxury, chill out at the Jungmun Tourist Area

For a totally relaxing and leisurely stay in Jeju, stay within the Jungmun Tourist Area. You almost won’t need to go anywhere else during your stay here, as there are lots of attractions within the tourist complex.

You’ll also find the best, high-end resorts in this area providing the perfect getaway from the city. You can spend your holiday lounging at the beach and eating fresh seafood, or pamper yourself in the hotels’ in-house spas and wellness centers. You won’t need to drive yourself around either, as the hotels offer great tour packages.

All this luxury comes at a price, of course, so if you’d rather stay at a more affordable location, check the hotels in Seogwipo City downtown on the previous section. If you don’t mind splurging occasionally though – maybe you’re celebrating something special? – read on for Jeju’s best luxury hotels.

Best luxury hotels in Jeju – Jungmun Tourist Area

★Travelers’ Pick: One of the best luxury hotels in Jeju is Kensington Jeju Hotel. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Jungmun beach and with indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and sauna, two superb restaurants, and amenities for yoga and meditation, it’s the perfect, perfect island getaway. Double rooms start at USD 360. (Navigation: 64-735-8900)

Up next on our list of luxury hotels in Jeju is The Shilla Jeju, also with superb amenities – beautiful and modern rooms, pools and a fitness club, as well as an onsite casino for international guests. Double rooms start at USD 500. (Navigation: 64-735-5114)

Another top-notch hotel to check out in Jeju is Lotte Hotel Jeju. Its entertainment complex, outdoor pool, and casino will surely keep you entertained for days. Their spacious rooms also have great views of the natural landscapes, so you’ll surely be torn between staying within the luxurious hotel complex or heading out to discover more of the island. Double rooms start at USD 430. (Navigation: 64-731-1000)

Last on this list is Hyatt Regency Jeju, the ideal base if you want to stay right on the beach. You also have the option to swim in their indoor and outdoor pools, as well as work on your beach body in the hotel’s fitness center. This is a non-smoking property perfect for families with children. Double rooms start at USD 275. (Navigation: 64-733-1234)

Quick tips for exploring Jungmun Tourist Area

  • What to see and do: Make the most of your luxury accommodations! Then check out the Yeomiji Botanical Garden and the Cheonjeyeon Falls. Complete your stay with a luxury yacht sailing trip that will bring you to Jeju’s beautiful coastlines – you may even spot some dolphins!
  • Where to eat: Definitely try Jeju’s specialty, the black pork. For a BBQ with a view, check out Hayeong, a hill top Korean restaurant serving great food and stunning views. (Navigation: 64-738-6011).

Read next

If you’re going to travel around South Korea, check out these other guides on the Little Holidays:

If you want to see Jeju in a day, go to Udo Island. With beautiful beaches, scenic peaks, and flowery fields, a day trip to Udo Island is perfect for a laidback holiday.

Here’s everything you need to know about driving in South Korea. Of all the places in South Korea, Jeju is the most fun to drive in!

If you have a little bit more time to spare in South Korea (and you happen to love the sea a lot), hop over to Busan!

While you’re at it, check out this neighborhood guide to Seoul! It comes with a nifty quiz so you’ll be done with your South Korea trip bookings in no time.

* * *

I hope this guide helps you choose the best accommodation in Jeju, South Korea! Wherever you decide to stay in Jeju, I’m sure you’ll have fun. So pack your bags and get ready to enjoy this amazing island!

Thanks for reading and happy travels to South Korea!

First published – May 23, 2017

Last updated – August 12, 2018 – fixed format, updated information on hotels and sights, added travel-planning tips

61 Replies to “Where to stay in Jeju – a guide to South Korea’s gorgeous holiday island”

  1. Hi there! I will be going to Jeju in January 2018 and it will be winter. May I know what are the places to visit and not to visit (due to winter)? Do you have a guide for a winter visit? Thank you!!!

      1. Hi there! Will be going to Jeju next month but unfortunately have booked all my stays in Seogwipo as I just came across your article . Anyway will be there for 3 full nights and half full day before we leave for Seoul. Will be taking public transportation as we are a senior couple and not fancy doing any driving on our own. Any suggestions for a good itinery will be very much appreciated, thanking you in advance!

  2. Hi. I need your advise. I am going to Jeju probably this coming spring next year. I am gonna spend around 5-6 days day (4 full days excluding arrival & departure).
    I want to go hike and walk on every trails , mountains and forests instead of seeing museums. Which area(s) should I stay? It’s better to rent a car or take bus to most nature areas? Thank you

    1. Hi Anne, for four days, you could split your time between Seogwipo and Jeju City. Go directly to Seogwipo when you arrive and explore the hiking trails on the south of the island, then move to Jeju City for about 2 days before you leave the island. Having your own rental car would make going around the island more efficient and a lot easier. 🙂

  3. Hello ! I’m newly married and fascinated to come jeju island for my honeymoon trip by this end of December or in earlier weeks of January!! Can you suggest me best honeymoon exotic stay with private bay and romantic candle dinner option etc and also is there any options for scuba diving and also any adventures over there ? Plz do let me know as this is my dream destination from long years !

    1. Hi! Sure, there’s lots to do in Jeju for families with kids. Maybe stay somewhere within the Jungmun Tourist Area so you’ll have an easier time going around different museums and attractions. Double check the weather, though. It’s a little too cold to go for a swim outside, but some resorts may have indoor heated pools. Have fun!

  4. Hi, we are planning for family vacation for 20 members end of May 2018 about 6 days in jeju island. What is your recommendation for our accommodation and transport for old and young .
    Thank you

    1. Hi Jane,

      Check out Sky Tary – they’re great for big groups. If you want an all-inclusive trip, check out the resorts in Jungmun tourist area. They usually offer private transportation around the island for their guests. Have fun!

  5. Hi, we are planning a trip to Jeju for 3d2N. We will like to visit see some site scenery and we will like to visit Udo island as well. It will be our pleasure if you can recommend us the good place for our short trips.

    1. Hi Nana! I’d suggest you stay in Seogwipo as it’s a really great base for visiting Udo Island, as well as hiking and nature spots near the south of the island. Check my hotel recommendations for Seogwipo to see which one works for you. Have fun! 🙂

      1. Thanks. Another question will be if we will like to rent car to tour around jeju and udo island. Which car rental would u recommend? 🙂

  6. Haiii.. we will be going this early feb to jeju for 2Days 1night trip only. And i am torn between staying in jeju city or jungmun resort area. Any recommendation? Thankssss so much!!

    1. Hi Lina! Oh no, I’d be torn, too! But it really depends on what you want to see and how you’re planning to get around. If you’re in Jeju for shopping, city scenes, and food tripping, I’d suggest that you stay in Jeju City. But if you want to see natural landscapes and plan to drive or join day tours, Jungmun Resort Area is a good choice. Good luck!

  7. Hi, my frenz n I will be travel on early of Apr18 for 6 days 5 nitez. Is it better to split out to stay at jeju city and seogwipo instead of stay at jeju city only? Cos v will traveling using public transport due to limited budget. Any accommodation recommend?

  8. Hi my travel buddy and I will be visiting Jeju for the first time in late April. It will 5D4N with 3 full days as our flights will arrive and depart at about 2 pm. We plan to go straight to Seowigpo for 2 nights after arrival and the last 2 nights in Jeju City.
    We won’t do long hike, but will consider short 30 – 45 mins hike. We hope to cover the major (must see) attractions, acrobatic show, try hanbok costume and shopping. How should we plan our trip and where should we stay (budget < US$50 per night) ?

    Thanks !

    1. Hey, great plan to divide your stay and start with Seogwipo. They are lots of budget stays in the downtown area – check out Mimi Guesthouse and similar hostels. For Jeju City, check out Mir Guesthouse. You’ll find links to those within the blog post.

      For your hikes, check out the Olle trails – https://jejuolletrailguide.net/. You can choose which trails appeal to you. I suggest to do your shopping in Jeju City – make your way to the Lotte mall and explore the stores from there. Are you going to rent a car? If not, there are plenty of buses going around the island.

      1. Hi littleholidays, thank you so much for your reply. I am still considering whether to drive or try out 1 day tour for East-North on the day we check out Seogwipo enroute to Jeju City. Yeha Tours seem good but the pick up point is quite limited. I will check those links and suggestions you have given.

        1. Joining the day tours is also a great idea, especially if you’re short on time. If you’re driving, spending a day in Udo Island will give you a great overview of Jeju’s natural landscapes. You can find a post on Udo Island on the blog as well. 🙂

  9. Hi Littleholidays, I’m heading to Jeju in March for 3 nights would you recommend to split the stay between Seogwipo and Jeju City? I presumed I can easily follow a local day tour? if I’m not driving? Thanks.

    1. Hey Katherine, you can split up your stay – 2 days in Seogwipo and your last night in Jeju City would be great. You can join some group tours or get around using the city buses as well. 🙂

  10. Hi littleholidays,

    Your post is really helpful. How do people travel around Jeju if they don’t drive? Is public transport easily available? Thanks.

  11. Hi, my husband and I planning to catch cherry blossom in Jeju at the late March. Would you recommend where should we stay in order to have a great scenery?

    1. Hello, both Jeju City and Seogwipo offer great cherry blossoms-viewing spots. If you have only 2 days, stay in Seogwipo. If you have 3 days or more, break up your stay. Go to Seogwipo first and explore the southern part of the island, then move to Jeju City. 🙂 Have fun!

  12. Hi, we will only be staying for 2 days and 1 night in Jeju. We want nature view (not shopping) and chill vibe, where do you suggest we stay – Seogwipo or Jungmun Tourist Area? and do you know a van/driver we can rent during the stay? we are 6 pax. 🙂

    1. Hi Diane, both areas are great bases, but if you want maximum convenience, stay in Jungmun Tourist Area. Most resorts there can organize a day tour (with van and driver) for you. Have fun! 🙂

  13. Hi have tried researching through google and am getting mixed answers,is it true Jeju Island is mostly visa free except that small list of countries,or is there a catch? Do not know if you have insight into that but any would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Kenneth, best to check with the South Korean embassy in your country, but it is true that some countries requiring a visa to get into other parts of South Korea can get visa-free into Jeju Island. 🙂

  14. Our meal plan includes dinner at Chilsimni Food St. in Seogwipo. I read some blogs that the street is rather quiet and restaurant foods are expensive. Do you have any recommendation for a good and inexpensive dinner place ?

    1. Hi, yes it’s more of a sit-down place, which is why it’s more expensive than street food or stalls in the markets of Seogwipo. We ate there in a restaurant which specialized in seafood and abalone soup – Jeju Halmang Ttukbaegi Restaurant. But our favorite restaurant in Seogwipo was not in Chilsimni. It was a BBQ place serving black pork, and was somewhere in downtown Seogwipo. You can navigate to it using their phone number – Jeju Hukdon Saesang Suragan 64-762-8588. 🙂

  15. Hi Trazy

    May i know whether Trick Art Museum in Pyoseon-myeon) is the same as Trick Eye Museum (the one in your website) ?

    There is also Alive Museum in Jungmun.

    Which is more suitable for adults (no kids) to visit?

  16. Hi, I am going for four nights to Jeju Island and looking for a relaxing time of laying on the beach and hiking. If I stay at Hotel Virginia in Seogwipo, which beaches and hiking spots would you recommend I visit?

    1. Hi Margaret, sounds like a fun time in Jeju. I’d recommend that you get a rental car and drive to Udo Island and Seongsan Ilchulbong. Or, you can get on an Olle trail. Have fun!

  17. Hi, I will be staying in Seogwipo for 4 days at the Hotel Virginia. Can you please tell me which beaches and hiking areas would be best for a relaxing vacation nearby there?

  18. Hi I’m planning a 3D2N trip to Jeju in Sept and would like to know is it better to stay 2 nights in Jeju city or 1 night in Jeju and 1 night in Seogwipo city. I would like to go to Udo island for sightseeing if time permits on 3rd day before flying back to Seoul (returning flight is 3pm).

    1. Hello Annie, for a 2-night stay, best to just stay in either Jeju City or Seogwipo so you don’t lose time moving around. If you’re driving, stay in Seogwipo. Otherwise, stay in Jeju City. Hope that helps!

  19. Hi, I am planning 3D2N trip to jeju, as follow
    Day1:
    seongsan ilchulbong peak + udo island + maze park
    Day 2:
    Saebyeol Oreum+ o’sulloc green tea field
    Day 3:
    Hallasan mountain
    I will use public transportation, what is the best place to stay?

    and I want to ask if it will be nice to go there at late october?

    1. Hi, the places you want to visit are all over the island, and since you’ll be staying for a short time, staying somewhere in Jeju City is your best option. Late October will be a great time to see fall foliage, so the places you want to visit are great! Have fun!

  20. Hi,
    I’ll be going to jeju on 21august for 2 nights. Can you recommend hotels that is luxury and near shopping and near of the important places that needs to visit. Any recommendations how to go about in jeju?

    Thanks

    1. Hi! August is a great time to go as it’s the peak of summer. For a luxury resort in a comfortable location, you should look at the resorts in the Jungmun area – I list the best ones on the Jungmun section here. Your resort can also arrange for transport around the island, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a car and drive around the island. Have fun!

  21. Hi, I will going Jeju in October, I haven’t decide where to stay in Jeju. may I any special event or place must visit in October ? I will stay 3d2d but the last day early in the morning will leave Jeju. Most of my friend recommended to rent a car, because They told me that transportation is not convenient, may I know is it necessary?

    1. Hi, renting a car will definitely make going around Jeju a lot easier, especially since you’re staying for such a short time. By late October, leaves may already be turning and a hike up Hallasan is a good way to experience this. You can also go for a day trip to Udo Island for a quick overview of Jeju’s natural landscapes. 🙂

  22. Hi,
    I will be going to Jeju Islands in late August.
    1. What would be a good place( city, hotel, area) to stay to learn about the aging korean fisherwomen-Haenyeo.
    2. Is it possible to stay amidst them and interact with them?
    3. How safe is diving in the waters around, with them?
    4. Any tips, guidance or websites/blogs will be much appreciated. Thanks:)

  23. Hi
    I am planning to visit jeju for 2nights. I will enter in jeju around 2pm on first day and leave jeju at 2pm on third day. Could you please advise what is the must visit places i should visit on first half day and second full day. Also advise best hotel with budget of 50USD. And what should we do for car rental. Is that a best option.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.