12 Cool Things to Do in Jeju For Your South Korea Adventure

With endless UNESCO sites and rich indigenous cultures, a trip to Jeju packs a unique itinerary. Spend dreamy days exploring tropical waterfalls, massive caves, and white sand beaches. Immense volcanic activity has left a legacy of fascinating rock formations and towering mountains, now reclaimed by lush vegetation. Looking for the most magical places on South Korea’s largest island? Read this guide on the best things to do in Jeju!

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Jeju Folk Village Museum

Kick off your adventures in Jeju by unpicking the island’s fascinating cultural heritage. The Jeju Folk Village Museum uses preserved and reconstructed buildings to reflect life here in the 19th century.

Jeju Folk Village Museum

Jeju’s position 50 miles south of the South Korean mainland created a melting pot of unique traditions. While there are many folk museums on the island, Jeju Folk Village Museum comes out on top. It was created to reflect deep research into the 1890s, a time of major turbulence for Korea. The Joseon dynasty had just ended, and Japanese annexation was around the corner.

The idyllic villages have over 100 traditional homes and 8,000 artifacts, allowing you to step into the lives of the local people as they witnessed huge changes. Whether you’re a history buff or just want to find out more about what makes Jeju special, this isn’t one to miss!

INSIDER TIP: Be sure to leave space in your stomach to sample all the traditional meals and snacks on offer!

Mount Hallasan

Mount Hallasan is more than the jewel of Jeju; it’s an icon for the whole country. This 1,950-meter shield volcano is the tallest mountain in South Korea. Even if you’re pinned to only one or two days in Jeju, this towering attraction is a must-see!

Mount Hallasan

Rich in myths and legends, Mount Hallasan is one of Korea’s three sacred mountains and is said to be home to immortal spirits. With mystical views of the surrounding volcanic cones, 4,000 different animals, and 1,800 plant species, it’s one of the coolest hikes you’ll do on your East Asia adventure.

There are seven different trails to explore at Hallasan, but only two lead to Baengnokdam, a giant crater lake at the summit. Reaching the top takes up to five hours, so set off early. While the experts consider Mount Hallasan active, it hasn’t erupted for 5,000 years, so you’re safe from flying lava!

INSIDER TIP: There’s a limit to how many people can hike Mount Hallasan per day. You can register in advance for free on their website to ensure your spot.

Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls

Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls is a gorgeous spot to get your South Korea vacation snaps. When something’s been nicknamed “The Pond of God,” you know it’s going to be a treat for the eyes! This three-tier waterfall hidden in a lush forest has lots of cool rock formations, icy blue pools, and jets of water thundering off huge cliff faces.

This beautiful natural wonder has accumulated lots of myths and legends over the years. You can’t swim in the water today, but people once believed it had rich healing properties.

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall

To get to Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls, you’ll need to cross Seonimgyo, an elegant red bridge with ornate carvings. They’re part of an ancient legend involving seven nymphs and a mountain god. You can get the full story on the colorful ceiling mural in the Cheonjeru Pavilion, also located in the Cheonjeyeon Valley.

INSIDER TIP: Many people get confused between Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls and Cheonjiyeon Falls. Cheonjiyeon is even better than Cheonjeyeon at night, thanks to its beautiful light illuminations!

Manjanggul Cave

Check out more of Jeju’s fascinating geology at Manjanggul Cave. Experts think the lava tunnel formed between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago thanks to a scorching volcanic eruption. Because of its excellent preservation and scientific value, it has snagged a title as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Manjanggul Cave

Stretching to around 7,400 meters, Manjanggul Cave is one of the world’s largest cave systems. Only one kilometer of the cave system is open to the public, but don’t worry: There’s more than enough to see to get your fix of stalagmites and stalactites!

As you descend into the earth’s depths, illuminated walkways and information boards are on hand to guide you through the cave’s wonders. Along the way, you’ll spot famous formations like the Turtle Rock and the largest lava column in the world.

INSIDER TIP: Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes for your underground exploits. The ground is uneven and slippery, and it’s difficult to navigate in the darkness.

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Another superstar in Jeju’s landscape is Seongsan Ilchulbong. When a volcanic eruption burst out of the sea 5,000 years ago, it formed a giant land mass. Known as a tuff cone, this bowl-shaped peak is an awesome place for a sunrise hike.

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Jutting out into the ocean and rising 182 meters, a trip to Seongsan Ilchulbong guarantees epic views. The hike is a little challenging, but most people reach the top in around 45 minutes. From there, you’ll be able to see across Jeju City and Udo Island. But the real treat is watching the sky light up as the sun emerges from the ocean. In fact, the sunrise here is so majestic, a festival is held in its honor every New Year’s Eve!

INSIDER TIP: Hang around for the Haenyeo shows at 1:30 pm or 3 pm. Some of these female divers are in their 80s and can dive up to 98 feet!

Dongmun Traditional Market

Foodies and shopaholics will go wild for the Dongmun Traditional Market. The bustling indoor market is packed with tasty street food, fresh produce (some so fresh it’s still wriggling), and traditional goods. Whether you want a local experience that engages all your senses or you’re looking for some cheap souvenirs, this is the place to be.

Dongmun Traditional Market

Dongmun Traditional Market has been a staple in Jeju since 1945, right after the liberation from Japan. It’s the largest and oldest traditional market on the island. Inside, you’ll be able to pick up everything from stuffed toys to stationery all with Jeju Island themes.

But Dongmun Traditional Market is most famous for its street food. Grab some fresh sashimi or try the staple Jeju Island black pork. You’ll probably get a show alongside your culinary adventure, with many chefs blasting their blow torches in time to the music.

INSIDER TIP: Many of the best food stalls at Dongmun Market don’t open until the early evening. Time your visit right to dig into all the tastiest Korean culinary delights!

Halla Arboretum

Connect with Mother Nature without leaving Jeju City at the Halla Arboretum. This peaceful forest park is home to over 100,000 plants, including 1,321 rare or endangered species.

Halla Arboretum

The park is a gorgeous place to explore any time of year, with the trees capturing the changing of the seasons. Many trails and paths wind through Halla Arboretum, taking you past blooming flowers, tranquil ponds, and pretty bridges. You can also hike up the hill for a great view of Jeju City and the ocean.

If you’re here for the horticulture, stop by the greenhouse. Here, you’ll find loads of fascinating native plants, as well as 105 different subtropical varieties. There’s even a beautiful orchid exhibition hall and a moss garden.

INSIDER TIP: Fuel up at the Angel-In-Us coffee shop outside the Halla Arboretum to enjoy a cup of coffee with pretty views of the surrounding trees.

Hyeopjae Beach

Jeju’s volcanic origins have blessed the island with some seriously beautiful beaches, and Hyeopjae Beach is no exception. This postcard-perfect spot has everything you could want from a coastal escape: white sands, crystal clear waters, and lush vegetation.

Hyeopjae Beach

Hyeopjae Beach has an incredible contrast between white sands made from thousands of eroded seashells and the rugged black rocks leftover from volcanic activity. Pair that with its famous cobalt sea and dense evergreen forest, and you’ve got a stunning kaleidoscope of colors. You can also gaze across the water to the stunning Biyangdo Island, just over 2 kilometers across the shore.

Grab a bite at the restaurants or cool off in the shallow waters. Kids will have a great time exploring the rock towers left behind and hunting for seashells.

INSIDER TIP: Hyeopjae Beach is one of the most famous beaches on the island, so is often crowded in the summer. If it’s busy, you can walk across the sand to Geumneung Beach.

Hallim Park

Hallim Park is much more than just a nature spot. Spread across 100,000 square meters and nine theme gardens, it’s brimming with cultural treasures and awesome things to do on your Jeju itinerary.

Hallim Park

Nature and tradition exist in harmony at Hallim Park. Admire curious sculptures and native plants at the Jeju Stone & Bonsai Garden or topiary animals alongside floating flowers in the Pond Garden. Budding geologists can learn more about the island’s unique fossils and minerals at the Jaeam Stone Museum, while photographers will love the tropical aesthetic of Palm Tree Road.

Didn’t get your cave fix at Manjanggul? Squeeze in more underground action at the Hyeopjaegul and Ssangyonggul caves. Or, for an extra dose of history, check out the Jaeam Folk Village. You can even meet ostriches and peacocks in the bird garden!

INSIDER TIP: Hallim Park is right next door to Hyeopjae Beach, so you can tick off two of Jeju’s top attractions in one go.


Thought you’d seen the best of Jeju’s glorious volcanic landscape? Think again! Jusangjeollidae was created by streams of lava from Mount Hallasan, etching incredible geometric shapes into the cliff face.


On your way into Jusangjeollidae, spot the many fun sculptures to get you in the coastal mood. Gaze inside a giant conch shell and say hello to two happy dolphins. There are also friendly food stalls where you can stop and try lots of local seafood dishes.

Head up to the viewing platform for glorious panoramic vistas. The hexagonal columns jut out from the crashing waters below, and Jeju’s south coast meanders into the distance.

INSIDER TIP: If you want to get away from the other tourists and see Jusangjeollidae up close, you can turn left at the ticket counter and take a hike to the beach underneath.

Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest

Play among the trees at Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest. Stretching along the edge of Mount Hallasan, the 750-acre park is a mixture of natural and man-made forests.

Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest is a magical year-round. The shady forest canopy helps you escape the heat on a sunny day, while snow-dusted trees in the cooler months transport you to an icy winter wonderland.

The main mountain in the park is Jeolmul Oreum. Hike through 45-year-old Japanese cedars for outstanding views of Seongsan Ilchulbong, a horseshoe-shaped crater, and the huge Musuchon Stream. Feeling thirsty? There’s a natural spring where you can top up your water bottle.

Don’t feel like hiking? Escape to the orchid park, spot roe deer at the observation center, or play a game of foot volleyball.

INSIDER TIP: The forest is also home to a wood crafting studio. Keep an eye out for adorable characters lining the trails.

Jeju Stone Park

Jeju Stone Park is the ultimate reflection of the island’s origins and heritage. Part museum, part giant art installation, it’ll immerse you in Jeju’s volcanic activity and how this shaped its history and identity.

Jeju Stone Park

Outdoor exhibits take you past hundreds of stone sculptures, exploring ancient myths and legends. The main theme of the artwork looks at Grandmother Seolmundae, a giant goddess who created Jeju and Mount Hallasan with her immense strength. You can explore the eerie creations via three different trails, where you’ll find mystical forests and a mysterious sky pond.

Jeju’s foundations didn’t just shape its past, they impacted every aspect of life. Learn how people used volcanic rock from prehistoric times to today as you check out excavations from different dynasties and traditional villages made from the stone.

INSIDER TIP: Jeju Stone Park is huge, so you’ll want to allow at least three hours to explore it all properly!

Ashlie Went

Ashlie Went is a freelance content writer with a focus on luxury and adventure travel. Her lifelong curiosity for faraway places and cultures led her to spend extended periods of time in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Morocco, totalling over 30 countries. Crazy about all things travel, she also holds an MSc in International Tourism and Hospitality Management and was a speaker at the International Conference of Tourism.

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