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34 fun things to do in Jeju Island

Discover Jeju with our list of the best things to do, see, and experience.

Hallasan Mountain Gwaneumsa summit

There’s a lot to do on Jeju Island. Despite it’s small size, the island packs in a ton of fun experiences. 

For starters, there’s the headline attractions. Natural wonders like Hallasan Mountain, Sanbangsan Mountain and Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak are internationally recognized monuments of nature that anyone visiting the island should make time for.

Then there are the cultural highlights. The traditional markets, museums, temples, and monuments show off how Jeju is distinct from mainland Korea. There’s plenty for the active among us, too. The network of Olle Trail walking paths and Oreum Trails provide weeks of potential hiking opportunities. While bike paths and watersports provide other opportunities for staying active.

And this is just scratching the surface of what the island has to offer. There are waterfalls, beaches, art galleries, themeparks, and food (oh, the food).

Here are 34 of the best thing to do on the island for your own Jeju trip inspiration. 

Climb Hallasan Mountain

Photo: Hallasan Mountain on a clear day

At 1,950 meters above sea level, Hallasan Mountain is Korea’s highest peak. The summit is home to Baengnokdam Lake, a huge crater that is the most obvious remnant of the peak’s volcanic past.

Two paths lead to the top of the mountain. Seongpanak is longer, flatter, and goes through a lot of forests. Gwaneumsa is steeper but you’re rewarded with spectacular views at the top. Both can be completed in a day and have clear paths all the way to the top. You must reserve a spot in advance to climb on either of the two summit paths.

There are also plenty of other hikes around the mountain that don’t go right to the top. There’s the walk to Sara Oreum, as well as the Eorimok, Donnaeko, and Yeongsil Trails to Witse Oreum. These all offer a slightly less intensive way to experience the mountain.

Find out more: Read our complete guide to hiking Hallasan Mountain

See the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

Seongsan Ilchulbong
Photo: Seongsan Ilchulbong

Also known as Sunrise Peak, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak is a dramatic tuff cone that rises 180 meters out of the sea on Jeju’s east side. Its location makes it the perfect spot for viewing the sunrise.

The peak is well worth a visit later in the day too. Those who make the 30-minute climb to the top are greeted with panoramic views out over the ocean and the east of Jeju. On a clear day, you’ll easily see as far as Hallasan Mountain.

You’ll also see Udo Island and Seopjikoji, to places that are well worth a visit. You’ll find them later on in our list.

Read next: All you need to know about Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

Eat Jeju black pork

Jeju Black Pork
Photo: Jeju black pork barbecue 😋

Jeju’s most well-known food is black pork. It comes from a local breed of big with black skin, although the meat looks the same as regular pork.

The meat tastes better too. I don’t know whether that’s because of something in the meat or simply that the black pork on Jeju tends to be fresher than other options, but it makes it the one must-try food when you visit Jeju.

My favorite way to eat Jeju black pork is grilled on a Korean barbecue alongside a platter of side dishes. Choose from fatty cuts like pork belly or moksal to appreciate the full flavor. Black pork Gogi Guksu noodle soup is another popular dish with a rich broth that is sure to warm you up in winter.

Read more: Here’s what to eat when you visit Jeju

Relax on the beach

All island stays need a trip to the beach, and Jeju won’t disappoint. The island has beaches on all four corners, from the white sand and turquoise water of Hyeopjae and Hamdeok Beach to the vast expanse of sand in Pyoseon.

In summer when the beaches are full of people swimming and relaxing. At other times of year come to enjoy the view at a beachside cafe or visit the beach as part of walking one of the island’s olle trails.

Next up: These are Jeju’s best beaches

View Jeju’s famous waterfalls

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall
Photo: Cheonjiyeon Waterfall in Seogwipo City

Jeju’s southern city Seogwipo is well-known for its waterfalls. Jeongbang Falls is a 23-meter-high waterfall that crashes over the cliff straight into the sea below–making it the only waterfall in Korea to drop into the ocean.

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall is a little further inland and located at the end of a short river path. It’s 22 meters high and falls into a deep pool that is surrounded by cliffs and trees. It’s easy to visit both waterfalls in a single morning or afternoon.

Jeju’s other famous waterfall is Cheonjeyeon Falls in Jungmun. This is a three-tier waterfall where the first one falls 22 meters into the pool below. Seonimgyo Bridge, a large arch bridge, crosses between the second and third tier.

Next up: Exploring Jeju’s most famous waterfalls

Saeyeongyo Bridge and Saeseom Island

Saeyeonggyo Bridge is a large bridge shaped like the sail of a Taewoo, a type of traditional Jeju boat. It’s located next to Seogwipo Harbour and connects Jeju with Saeseom Island, a small islet just off Jeju’s coastline. You can walk all the way around the heavily wooded island, blissfully unaware of the city that lies just a hundred meters or so away.

Trek an Olle Trail

Olle Trail Sign
Photo: Olle Trail sign in Jeju City

Jeju Olle Trails are walking paths that circumnavigate the island. There are 21 main routes, with the majority of them lasting between 10 and 20 km. These paths take in Jeju’s coast, forest, and rural villages, making them a perfect way to explore little-known parts of the island.

It’s easy to walk on the path closest to where you are staying. My favorite path is Olle Trail 19, which goes past Hamdeok Beach to the east of Jeju City. Olle Trail 6 is notable because it starts (or ends) in Seogwipo City and goes past famous sites such as Jeongbang Falls, and Soesokkak Estuary.

Visit one of Jeju’s other islands

There are several smaller islands off Jeju’s coast. Udo Island is the most popular. It’s situated a short ferry ride from Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak and is home to beaches, walking paths, and tasty restaurants.

Gapado and Marado are other notable options. These are both situated off Jeju’s southern coast, with the latter being the southernmost point of Korea. Both islands are small and flat but nice places to spend an hour or two of your trip.

Visit a traditional market

Dongmun Market Entrance
Photo: The entrance to Dongmun Market

Jeju’s traditional markets are joys for your senses. There’s a ton to see, buy, and eat, including fresh produce, souvenirs, plants, and street food.

There are two types of traditional markets on Jeju. Regular markets operate every day, Dongmun Traditional Market in Old Jeju City and Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market in Seogwipo are the two biggest.

Five-day markets are those that open once every five days. The Jeju City Traditional Five Day Market is the biggest on the island and is well worth a visit if your trip aligns with one of its days of operations—which is any date that ends in 2 or 7 (2nd of the month, 7th of the month, etc.).

See Jeju’s volcanic cliffs

Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff is a cliff formation on the coast in Jungmun. The cliff is notable for its hexagonal columnar shape, which formed when lava from Hallasan Mountain erupted into the ocean. The cliffs reach 20 meters tall, making them one of the most spectacular coastal views on the island.

These cliffs are easy to see if you’re staying in Jungmun Tourist Complex, or you could combine a visit to the cliffs with a visit to Cheonjeyeon Falls. The cliffs are also part of Olle Trail 8.

Climb up to Sanbangsan’s Grotto

View from sanbangsan grotto
Photo: The view from Sanbangsan grotto

Sanbangsan Mountain is one of the most spectacular sights on Jeju. But don’t just enjoy the mountain from the ground, take a trip up to Sanbangsan Grotto a cave that’s located around 150 meters (just under halfway) up the mountain.

The journey to the top is tiring, but the stairs mean it is manageable. On the way up, you’ll pass Bomunsa and Sanbangsa Temples, which are built on the face of the mountain. These are working temples are interesting places to explore and also home to a giant Buddah statue.

Read more: Our complete guide to Sanbangsan Mountain

View art in a new light

Bunker des Lumières is an exhibition hall in a bunker near Seongsan. It displays artworks from famous painters displayed as immersive art shows that displayed as light.

Movement and sound bring new life to the displayed, making for a new and exciting take on classic art. It’s well worth a visit. Check the website for current exhibitions.

Aewol Handam Coastal Trail

Aewol Handam Coastal Road
Photo: View of Aewol Handam Coastal Trail`

Aewol Handam Coastal Trail is a short path that travels along a beautiful stretch of Jeju seafront that includes volcanic rock cliffs and small sandy beaches.

Perhaps the best about the trail is what lies at either end. On the west side is Gwakji Beach, a beautiful stretch of white sand and one of the best beaches on the island.

On the east is an area filled with trendy cafes and eateries with plenty of outdoor seating so you can enjoy the view. Highlights include Knotted Donuts, Downtowner Burger, and Nolmen Ramen.

Play golf

Jeju is one of Korea’s most popular golfing locations. There are 30 golf clubs on the island, which are played on by around 2 million people every year.

While some of the clubs are member-only, there are also plenty of public courses that anyone can play on, including the public course at Nine Bridges, which is the golf club that in 2019 held the PGA Tour tournament The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.

Relax in a luxury hotel

Hidden Cliff Hotel
Photo: The infinity pool at The Hidden Clifff Hotel

Jeju has an abundance of luxury hotels, complete with pools and restaurants. Jeju Dream Tower in Jeju City is notable due to its rooftop pool, while the Jungmun area is home to several more. These include the Hidden Cliff Hotel, which has an infinity pool in the peaceful countryside surrounding the hotel, and Lotte Hotel in the heart of Jungmun Tourist Complex.

Cycle around the coast

Chagwido Bike
Photo: The cycle path in front of Chagwido Oreum

Jeju is a great cycling destination. As well as the steep inner roads which can give even the most experienced cyclists a challenging climb, there is a cycle path that circumnavigates the entire island. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the coastal views while getting in some exercise.

The path is split into 10 sections, and it’s super easy to follow thanks to the blue line that guides you along the path. The path is around 230 km, and you can collect stamps at the start of each trail if you have a Korean cycling stamp book.

Next up: All you need to know about cycling on Jeju

Watch a Jeju United soccer game

Jeju United is Jeju’s K-League team, which is the top league in Jeju. The team plays in the spectacular Seogwpio World Cup Stadium, which can seat over 35,000 spectators.

The K-league season typically runs from March to late November with games played at the weekend and occasionally in mid-week. Check the team’s schedule and then buy tickets at the gate if there’s a game on during your stay.

Visit a lava funnel

Don’t limit your experience of Jeju to the above ground! Underneath Jeju is a system of lava tubes formed through volcanic activity thousands of years ago.

The most famous is Manjanggul Cave, a 7.4 km tube with a 1 km stretch that is open to tourists. As you walk you’ll see various volcanic remnants formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites, before finally reaching the 7.6-meter-high lava column at the end of the tunnel.

Experience sea life at Aquaplanet

Aquaplanet Jeju is a huge aquarium on the island’s east coast near to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. It’s home to 48,000 animals from 500 species.

The main tank has a huge viewing window that covers an entire wall, providing a clear view of the marine life inside. Aquaplanet also puts on various shows including one performed by the island’s famous Haenyeo divers.

Climb an oreum

Ttarabi Oreum
Photo: The walking path around Ttarabi Oreum

Oreum are the volcanic hills that dot the island. There are around 360 in total. Most of the oreum are relatively short and you can hike up and down many of them in just and hour. This makes them a great idea for anyone wanting to go for a short hike while on the island. And the views from the top are sure to make the journey worth it.

Try a local craft beer

Beer lovers have a lot to explore on Jeju. The Jeju Brewing Company is one of the largest craft beer producers in Korea; you can try them at its factory in the Hallim area on the north west of Jeju as well as in marts and convenience stores across Jeju. Magpie is another popular brewer, and its brewery/tap house and Jeju City location are must-vist places for craft beer fans due to the large selection of locally-brewed beers on offer.

Check out an independent cafe

There’s an almost endless number of independent cafes in every area of Jeju, offering everything from freshly roasted coffee to delicate pastries and sumptuous cakes. Many cafes are made unique due to them being located in buildings previously used for other purposes. Rural areas are filled with cafes in old houses or farm warehouses, while in the city, you’ll find cafes in old saunas, laundromats, and more.

Seek thrills at Shinhwa Theme Park

Shinhwa Theme Park is the main attraction in Shinhwa World, a huge resort in southwest Jeju that also includes a waterpark, hotels, and a shopping outlet. The park is family-friendly and has 15 rides and attractions in three areas: Oscar’s New World, Larva’s Adventure Village, and Rotary Park.

Learn about Jeju in a museum

There are several museums that showcase Jeju’s history and traditions. Jeju National Museum jas exhinits that showcase Jeju’s culture and history, the Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum showcases replications of how people on the island used to live, Jeju Haenyeo Museum is dedicated to preserving the lives of the island’s Haeneyeo, while Jeju 4.3 Peace Park seeks to tell the story of and commerate the victims of the Jeju 4.3 Massacre.

Walk around Seogwpio City

Exploring a new city is always fun, but it can be hard to know where to actually go. Seogwipo City solved this problem with the Hayoung Olle Trails. These a set of three paths that take ramblers past some of the city’s most impressive sights, including waterfalls, parks, markets, and sea views. The paths are easy to navigate, just follow the red arrows with Hayoung Olle written on them.

Start point address: 105 Jungang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

Paddle a boat at Soesokkak Estuary

Soesokkak is a cliff-lined estuary where one Jeju’s dry rivers meet the sea. It’s a beautiful spot that is hidden away due to the steep tree-lined cliffs. One of the best ways to enjoy the estuary is to rent a paddle boat and make a short trip inland. It’s a short journey with wide boats, so is a beginner-friendly activity.

See a Nanta show

Nanta is a musical that showcases Korea’s traditional percussive samul nori music through a kitchen-based comedy show. Performers use knives, chopping boards, and pots to play along to the rhythm. It’s a fun, super visual, non-verbal show meaning it’s possible for anyone to enjoy whether or not they speak Korean. Nanta shows on Jeju take place at the Nanta Theater just south of Jeju City.

Try some watersports

Thrill seekers can head to the Jeju coast to try their hands at watersports. Stand up paddle is a fun sport for beginners, and you can rent a board at Samyang Beach via Jeju SUP Surfing Club. Or there are various spots to try surfing around the island, including Coconut Surf in Jungmun. If you want to try watersports without getting wet, then head to Aewol Handam Coastal Trail, which has two spots where you can rent kayaks.

Stroll through the forest

While Jeju is known for its coastal views, the inland has plenty to offer too. Much of the inland is covered in forest, and walking through the forest is a fun way to spend a morning, afternoon, or an entire day.

Some of the most popular forest areas include Saryeoni Forest Path and Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest in the northeast, Bijarim Forest in the east, and Seogwipo Natural Recreational Forest in the south.

View plant life at the Yeomiji Botanical Garden

Yeomiji Botanical Gardens contains both indoor and outdoor gardens showcasing plantlife from around the world. The indoor gardens are home to around 2,000 tropical and subtropical plants including a Jungle Garden and a Cactus Garden.

The outdoor area includes Korean, Japanese, Italian, and French Gardens. Make sure to visit the garden’s 28-meter-high observatory, for clear views out over the surrounding area.

Shop till you drop

Shinhwa World Christmas Tree
Jeju Trip

There are several areas on Jeju where you can get your shopping fix and fill up on souvenirs. The Jungang-ro Shopping Center is an above and below-ground shopping street filled with high street Korean brands.

Shin Jeju is home to the shops around Jewon, as well as the Shilla Duty Free and the shopping mall in Jeju Dream Tower. Shinhwa World Jeju is the other main area, thanks to the Shinsegye Simon Premium Outlet.

Experience traditional life at a folk village

There are several traditional folk villages on the island. Pyoseon Folk Village is located close to Pyoseon Beach and is a large recreation village where you can also enjoy interactive activities such as making deok or playing with traditional toys. An alternative is the folk village at Jeju Stone Park as this is a more accurate representation of a traditional village.

Snap a picture at the Osulloc green tea fields

The Ossuloc green tea fields are a large area of land in the island’s southeast covered in green tea fields. The tight lines of well-pruned tea trees make a view that is a great place to take a picture. While in the area, stop off in the Osulloc Tea museum for a cup of the area’s produce.

Visit a niche museum

Jeju is home to a multitude of museums on many different topics, each of them are fun to spend the day for people interested in the topic. Some of the highlights include the Nexon Computer Museum in Shin Jeju, an interactive museum that displays computers from throughout history, the Figure Museum Jeju, which has statues and figures from pop culture, and Snoopy Garden, a museum and park dedicated to characters from the Peanuts Comic Strip.

Continue your trip

34 fun things to do in Jeju Island

Discover Jeju with our list of the best things to do, see, and experience.

The complete guide to Jeju Island

Everything you need to know about Jeju, including where to stay and what to do.

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Photo of author

Duncan Elder

Duncan first came to Jeju in 2011. The plan was to stay for six months. 11 years later, he's still here and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the island on Inside Jeju.