Looking for more hidden gems to explore this year? Maybe you’re tired of the huge crowds that flock to popular tourist spots, or maybe you’re just craving for something different on your travel itinerary.
Whatever the reason, we guarantee that visiting Seogwipo will satisfy your wanderlust. Seogwipo, also known as Seogwipo-si, is the second largest city in South Korea’s Jeju Island. Just an hour away from the Korean peninsula, Jeju Island has become one of the hottest travel spots lately.
Seogwipo is lesser known, but we think that shouldn’t be the case! So sit back, relax, and let us tell you exactly why Seogwipo deserves to be your next travel destination.
Is Seogwipo worth visiting?
The short answer is: Yes, absolutely!
An official UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as where the iconic 2002 FIFA World Cup took place, Seogwipo is a place with something to offer for everyone. From breathtaking landscapes to unique experiences, visiting Seogwipo would be fun for the whole family.
It’s a beautiful, up-and-coming spot that will surely make its mark on your travel history. We’ve listed just 20 activities to do and places to visit to make sure you fall in love with Seogwipo.
The 20 best things to do in Seogwipo
1. Take A Dip at the Cheonjeyeon Falls
We’re starting things strong with undoubtedly one of the most popular places in all of Jeju, not just Seogwipo. Cheonjeyeon is part of the three famous wateralls all over the island. It’s a magnificent three-tiered natural beauty that is quite a sight to behold.
Crystal-clear water gushes down from a cave opening over 20 meters high. There are two other cave openings below it, making this waterfall a truly remarkable and unique natural wonder. Its name even translates to “Pond of the Emperor Heaven,” which shows that early inhabitants of the area also felt how magnificent this site is.
If you’re planning to visit, we highly recommend bringing a fresh set of clothes. Why? It’s a must to bathe in the falls, even for just a little while! A popular urban legend says that when you bathe under the gushing waters, you’ll be cured of all your aches and pains.
2. Marvel At Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Next up we have another one of Seogwipo’s natural wonders. Formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions more than 5,000 years ago, Seongsan Ilchulbong remains one of the most fascinating geographical features of the country.
Known as an “archetypal tuff cone,” Seongsan Ilchulbong is truly a sight to behold. The bright green of the crater contrasted with the deep blue waters of the ocean surrounding it makes it look like it came straight out of a photograph!
At 182 meters tall with a well-preserved bowl-like crater, it’s no wonder it’s been designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Another name for the place is also “Sunrise Peak,” and for good reason.
We definitely recommend visiting during either sunrise or sunset. The travel will be worth the wait when you see Seongsan Ilchulbong bathed in warm yellows and oranges by the sun.
3. Witness the Majesty of Jusangjeollidae
Look closely. Those detailed carvings and majestic structures look like they were carved by skilled artists, right? But actually, Jusangjeollidae is 100% natural!
Seogwipo will never run out of natural wonders, but this one stands out even among some pretty magnificent sights. Jusangjeollidae is a cliff that was formed by lava from Hallasan Mountain as it erupted and flowed down to the Jungmun Sea. The result is a unique spot that draws visitors from all over the world.
Some say the hardened lava look like huge pillars, while some say they resemble gigantic fingers taking a dip into the sea. Whatever the interpretation, all we know is this is a place you have to visit yourself to witness the majesty in real life.
At 20 meters high, the cliff also offers an amazing view of the sea below it. We recommend coming early to enjoy the beautiful view of the sunrise. You could even catch breakfast since a lot of restaurants and stalls can be found here, offering a variety of traditional Korean meals. There’s also a nearby garden for you to relax and spend some quality time with your loved ones.
4. Stroll Along Seopjikoji-ro
Are you a big fan of taking the “scenic route”? Then Seopikoji-ro is just the spot for you. Just south of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, it’s a scenic black-stone beach in Seogwipo that’s home to a lot of different sites and activities unique to the island!
Attractions include a beacon fire station built using volcanic rocks, the fiery red Bulguneorum Volcanic Cone, a field of spectacular canola flowers, and more! One spot that stands out is the Seopikeoji Lighthouse, which has been used a filming location by many famous K-Dramas, including All In and Boys Over Flowers. If you’re a Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Seolhyun fan, you’ll also recognize this lighthouse as the place they had their first kiss in the K-Drama Orange Marmalade!
Seopikeoji-ro is also home to a lot of cool rock formations that each come with their own stories. One story involves a rock that’s said to be in the shape of candlestick. This legend involves the son of a dragon king getting involved with a heavenly fairy woman. Indeed, Seopikoji-ro is a magical place filled with so much history, culture, and natural beauty!
You won’t feel tired when visiting each site because each one offers a unique view and experience. To really maximize your visit to Seopikoji-ro, we recommend spending at least half a day here to really take in all it has to offer!
5. Visit Jeongbang Falls
What did we tell you? Jeju Island, and especially Seogwipo, is known for its waterfalls! Jeongbang Falls is another of the island’s top 3 most famous and beloved waterfalls. Surrounded by tall black cliffs and an ocean of deepest blue, Jeongbang Falls makes for a picture-perfect spot.
At 23 meters high, Jeongbang Falls creates a magnificent view that captures everything beautiful about Seogwipo. The amazing natural wonders will make you feel like you’ve been transported right into a mystical fantasy world. It’s hard to believe that this is only a few hours away from the bustling metropolitan of Seoul!
When visiting Jeongbang Falls, we recommend asking the locals or the tour guides about the many legends surrounding this area. One of these stories is about a man named Seobul who came to the island searching for an elixir plant under the order of a Chinese emperor.
But he was unsuccessful with his task. Defeated, he headed West to return to China, but on the way there he was mesmerized by the site of Jeongbang Falls! Legend has it that the words “Seobulgwacha” are carved onto the cliffs, which indicates Seobul’s journey. To this day, these words haven’t yet been found in real life.
Jeongbang Falls promises an exciting journey with picturesque sights and a lot of good stories!
6. Embrace Your Inner Shopaholic At Seogwipo Olle Market
Of course, no trip is complete without souvenirs! Seogwipo Olle Market is the largest market in the city, which means you will definitely find gifts for even your pickiest loved ones.
The Olle Market is a bustling place filled with energy that undoubtedly makes it the “heart of Seogwipo.” People all over the city come here to buy and sell their products–many of which can be found only at the Seogwipo Olle Market! You can shop unique kitchenware and traditional goods, or you can opt to have a “food crawl” throughout the market, sampling all the delicious street food they have there!
Since being built back in 1960, the Seogwipo Olle Market has been a longstanding cultural and economic center of the city. Whether you’re a shopaholic or not, there’s definitely tons to see and do at the Olle Market–whether during day or night!
7. Enrich Your Minds at the Museum of Sex and Health
Seogwipo may be known for its amazing natural wonders, but little do people know, the city also has a quirky side to it–if you know where to look!
The Museum of Sex and Health is one such place. In South Korean society, many people are still pretty conservative especially when it comes to topic like sex. It’s not something you should talk about out in the open. But places like this museum allow us to “break the taboo” a little bit, even if only within our visit.
While it may sound pretty ridiculous or even dirty to have an entire museum dedicated to sex, make no mistake! The Museum of Sex and Health was actually built to remedy the lack of sex education in the country. Any visit would be a purely educational and enjoyable one that will tell you all you need to know about healthy and safe sex!
8. Have Some Family Fun at Hello Kitty Island
Big fan of cute cuddly cats? Then Hello Kitty Island is the perfect place for you!
Centered around the world’s favorite kitty, Hello Kitty Island is a museum celebrating all things Hello Kitty. From different merchandise throughout the years, to fun trinkets featuring Hello Kitty and all her friends, Hello Kitty Island is definitely the cutest place in all of Seogwipo.
This place is not just a museum. Thy also offer tons of activities you can do with the whole family, like ink-stamping stations, coloring zones, 3D screening rooms, and more! You can also sample delectable Hello Kitty-inspired desserts and even create your own custom Hello Kitty merchandise!
Hello Kitty Island is a super cute and hip place that’s a must-visit for the young–and young at heart!
9. Seek Thrills at Seri World
For a fun and thrilling experience, we recommend Seogwipo’s very own amusement park: Seri World! Built in 2006, Seri World offers a wide range of fun rides fit for the while family.
There are a lot of different themed rides throughout the park, but one of the most popular ones is definitely the Go-Kart! Satisfy your need for speed as you drift through the tracks in this thrillseeking ride.
When you go here, we also highly recommend getting on the hot air balloon ride. This will take you through the skies and offer you a stunning view of the entire Jeju Island and around Seogwipo World Cup Stadium.
Rides are also constantly being added and upgraded here at Seri World to ensure that customers can have the best experience possible.
10. Celebrate at the Jeju World Cup Stadium
The Jeju World Cup Stadium, also known as the Seogwipo World Cup Stadium, is a huge football stadium that holds plenty of history. With a capacity of over 35,000 people, this is where the historic 2002 FIFA World Cup was held, which is still regarded by a lot of Koreans as one of their most legendary moments.
Aside from its role as a venue for important events, what’s also interesting about the Jeju World Cup Stadium is its design and architecture which reflects Jeju Island as a whole. The stadium itself is shaped like the mouth of a Volcano, while its roof resembles the nets used in Jeju’s traditional fishing boats.
When not hosting important events, the Jeju World Cup Stadium is also open to the public. Many locals use the jogging tracks to get in their daily exercise, and we recommend tourists to do the same! Imagine jogging in the same place that football superstars scored their goals and made history!
Because of all these reasons and more, the Jeju World Cup Stadium stands as one of the most important places in all of Korea, which you definitely can’t miss when visiting Seogwipo.
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11. Get In Touch With Nature at the Yeongsil Trail
Right in Seogwipo there is the Hallasan National Park, which sports amazing views and is home to a huge variety of wildlife. Among the attractions here is the Yeongsil Trail, a built boardwalk through the Park that will help you explore it to the fullest!
Built to accommodate both experienced trekkers and newbies to the hobby, the Yeongsil Trail is moderately challenging and infinitely rewarding. As you walk along the trail, you get to meet a wide variety of bird species, some of which can’t be found anywhere else!
Relish in pleasant birdsong as you try to look out for other wonderous sights. If you’re lucky, you could even catch sight of some deer grazing at a distance! Yeongsil Trail is a great way to unwind and rest while you enjoy the healing powers of nature.
12. Yeomiji Botanical Garden
If you’re craving for more lush nature and eye-catching flowers, the Yeomiji Botanical Garden is the place to visit. It’s renowned as one of the best botanical gardens in Asia with a unique “southern atmosphere” you can’t find anywhere else.
Home to over 2,000 rare tropical and subtropical plants that you can find throughout the Botanical Garden’s many halls, this is one of the most picturesque and rejuvenating places in the city. Feast your eyes on the wide selections in the Flower Garden, Water Lily Garden, Jungle Garden, Cactus and Succulent Garden, and more!
The outdoor garden also offers native plants you can only find on Jeju. When you come here, we really recommend boarding the tour train! It can accommodate 60 people and will travel from the Indoor and Outdoor gardens, giving you a great view of all the beautiful plants and flowers. You’ll also be able to view other Seogwipo sights like the Jungmun Tourist Complex, Cheonjeyeon Falls, and Hallasan Mountain!
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about plants, Yeomiji Botanical Garden also offers one-day classes that will equip you with all the skills you need on the basic theories of botany, plant observation, and hands-on practice! Starting from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM, each class is worth 3,000 Won ($2.28) and comes with a free plant!
Admission to the Botanical Garden costs 9,000 Won ($6.80) for adults and 5,000 Won ($3.80) for kids.
13. Trot at the Jeju Horse Park
Did you know that Jeju has a long history of horses? Nomadic culture used to be really strong at Jeju Island. People and their horses lived harmoniously, having a mutualistic relationship wherein both benefited from each other. Until now, Jeju celebrates this harmonious past through the Jeju Horse Park!
This park is home to a lot of attractions, including the Gammajang in Gasi-Ri Village, which used to be the best place for raising horses back in the Joseon Era. There’s also the Jeju Horse Museum, the Ttarabi Horseback Riding Track, and even a Camping Site. There are also tons of shops and cafes so you can really spend the whole day here.
You can try out horseback riding, feed some horses, and even do craft workshops! The Jeju Horse Park is the perfect place to try out new experiences and learn something new.
14. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Chocolate Land
Calling all chocoholics! Did you know that right here in Seogwipo, there’s a magical land filled with everyone’s favorite sweet? Chocolate Land is all about chocolate–its history, different kinds across the world, and even its cultural importance.
Chocolate is not just a sweet treat. It is known to relieve stress, stabilize the mind and body, and just help people feel better in general. That’s also how you’ll feel when you visit Chocolate Land!
Marvel at all the different chocolates all over the world at the World Chocolate Exhibition Hall. You can also attend a chocolate-making workshop so you can give chocolates as gifts for your loved ones back home. Indulge your sweet tooth and make delicious memories right here at Seogwipo’s own Chocolate Land!
15. Have an Adventure at Oedolgae Sea Stack
Looking to get your heart rate up while enjoying some beautiful sites? Then look no further than the Oedolgae Sea Stack! At over 20 meters high, it’s an incredible rock formation that will take your breath away.
Here you can enjoy the view at the Observation Deck or challenge yourself by braving the walking trails up the Stack. There are also plenty of rest areas for you to rejuvenate yourself.
We especially recommend visiting just in time to catch the sunset. The sunset view of Beomseom Island, which you can see from the Oedolgae Sea Stack, is one of the most popular spots in Seogwipo!
16. Dive Into Aqua Planet Jeju
Did you know that you can find the biggest aquarium facility in all of East Asia right here at Seogwipo? Here at Aqua Planet Jeju, you’ll be amazed at all the unique and beautiful sea creatures that look like they came from another world!
Aqua Planet Jeju boasts more than 45,000 marine creatures from all over the world. The highlight, of course, is the main tank. Over 27,000 fish can be found just here alone. The tank was designed to give you an up-close-and-personal experience with the marine life.
What makes Aqua Planet Jeju stand out from other aquariums is its haenyeo diving performances! Haenyeo are traditional female divers of Jeju Island. They’re extraordinarily skilled, diving 10m under the sea to harvest shellfish–all without the aid of oxygen tanks! With their deep knowledge of sea and marine life, they’re able to work for up to seven hours a day.
You can only catch haenyeo diving performances at Aqua Planet Jeju, so be sure to watch one when you come here!
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17. Relax at the Osulloc Tea Museum
Calling all tea lovers everywhere!
Like many parts of Asia, Korea has a long history of tea. The Osulloc Tea Museum was built in 2001 with the goal to spread Korean teas as well as the traditional Korean tea culture all over the world.
The Museum is a beautiful cultural space where tradition and modernity meet harmoniously. Here you can enjoy a vast tea gallery, a relaxing eco-friendly rest area, and of course, a cafe where you can enjoy a lot of delicious tea-based desserts!
And the best part? Admission is absolutely free!
18. Travel Back In Time Through Jeju Folk Village
Of course, when talking about Jeju and Seogwipo, we can’t miss talking about the Jeju Folk Village! It’s undoubtedly the island’s most popular spot–and for good reason!
Here you can experience Jeju’s gorgeous traditional past. With over 100 buildings that used to be actual houses, Jeju Folk Village will transport you right back into the 1890s. Parts of the village that have been abandoned over time have been painstakingly reconstructed by Jeju researchers and historians to give you the full authentic experience.
There’s also a wide variety of folk items here at the Jeju Folk Village so you can really learn about the island’s wonderful past. Of course, there are also nearby gift shops, restaurants, and cafes! No matter what, Jeju Folk Village is a must-visit.
Admission costs 9,000 Won ($6.75) for adults and 5,000 ($3.75) Won for kids. There are also foreign language interpretation services that you can avail. We recommend getting the audio guides which are available in English, Japanese, and Chinese. They cost just 2,000 Won ($1.50) to rent, and will definitely make your Jeju Folk Village trip memorable!
We also want to remind you that the Jeju Folk Village is open from 9 AM to 5 PM only, and isn’t open during weekends, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly!
19. Blastoff At The Jeju Aerospace Museum
Ever wondered what it would be like to be amongst the stars? Well, Jeju Aerospace Museum can offer you the next best thing!
It’s the largest aerospace museum in all of Asia. Here you can find tons of exhibits all about the cosmos, as well as what we’ve done so far to reach that distant sky. What’s great about the Jeju Aerospace Museum is it’s chock-full of cool information, but at the same time it’s not intimidating at all!
The museum combines education with entertainment to make sure guests have an enjoyable but educational visit. If you’re visiting, we also highly recommend dropping by the second floor. The view from there will leave you in awe!
Tickets cost 10,000 Won ($7.50) for adults and 8,000 Won ($6) for kids. Make sure to take into account that the museum is closed during the first Monday of every month!
20. Replenish Your Soul At The Seogwipo Forest of Healing
Of course, we saved the best for last. Seogwipo Healing Forest is one of the most tranquil and beautiful places in the entire country. A short visit will definitely help you relax, but we dare say a whole day spent here will rejuvenate your soul to its core.
First of all, the location itself is otherworldly. At 320-760 meters above sea level, Seogwipo Healing Forest offers a view like no other. The elevation also allows a lot of unique flora and fauna to grow in the dense forests, including old cypress and cedar trees. The primordial aura of these old forests will heal you like no other.
You can come to the Seogwipo Forest of Healing just to visit, but to really get the full experience, we recommend availing one of the many Forest Healing programs! There’s a wide variety of programs tailored for every member of the family.
Led by a trained and qualified instructor, each program will help you boost your immune system, achieve inner harmony with nature, and keep both your mind and body healthy by using the forest environment.
The “Forest Healing for Family” is among the most popular options because it’s really been designed to give a fun experience for the whole family. Adults can enjoy educational walks and soothing foot baths among the anion-rich forest trails. Meanwhile, kids play fun games that will help them become more familiar with the forest.
The Seogwipo Forest of Healing also offers other healing programs that we advise you to check out. All in all, this last place encompasses everything Seogwipo is: naturally beautiful, mind-enriching, and perfect for soul searching!
Admission costs just 1,000 Won ($0.75) for adults and 600 Won ($0.45) for teenagers. Meanwhile, Forest Healing Programs cost around 20,000 Won ($15).
Where to stay in Seogwipo?
GoldOne Hotel & Suites
If you’re looking for a luxury stay with all the amenities you could ask for, then GoldOne Hotel & Suites is perfect for you! This 4-star hotel has amazing views as well as outdoor pools and terraces where you can dine at their amazing restaurants. Breakfast is available every morning, and you can choose between all-you-can-eat buffets, continental, and American options.
GoldOne Hotel & Suites is also perfect for the whole family. There’s a children’s playground, as well as a sports complex where you can play darts, table tennis, and even mini golf!
Book It Now: GoldOne Hotel & Suites
Parnas Hotel Jeju
This luxurious 5-star hotel is among Jeju Island’s best. If you want to be as comfortable and as pampered as possible, then Parnas Hotel Jeju is your best pick!
With sleek and spacious indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a modern fitness center, spa, and wellness center, you’ll never run out of ways to practice “self care” here at Parnas Hotel!
One of its many highlights is the seven restaurants you can find inside the property. Here you can delight your taste buds by sampling different cuisines from all around the world, all made by expert chefs.
It’s less than an hour away from Jeju International Airport and also located quite near a lot of Seogwipo’s most famous sites.
Book It Now: Parnas Hotel Jeju
How to get to Seogwipo?
Getting to Seogwipo is really quite simple. It’s located just a little over half an hour away from the Jeju International Airport. Whether you’re coming from Seoul or from overseas, arrival at Seogwipo is made easy through the Jeju International Airport.
To get to Seogwipo, you can take the Intra-City buses which would take you directly to Seogwipo from the airport. Fare costs around 1,200 Won ($0.90) only.
By Train and Ferry
While traveling by plane is most convenient, you can also get to Seogwipo by train. Ride from any train station and get off at Mokpo Station in Southern Mokpo.
From there, go to Haenam Usuyeong and take a ferry straight from the Mokpo Ferry Terminal. This will then lead you to Jeju city! From Jeju city, you can take the bus to Seogwipo as explained earlier.
What did you think of our article? Which Seogwipo spot are you most excited to explore?
Seogwipo is one of those hidden gems in Korea that isn’t very well-known internationally despite its otherworldly beauty and the amazing experiences it offers. We hope you got to know Seogwipo a little bit through our post!