Jeju Island is one of South Korea’s most-visited destinations. Its beautiful beaches, volcanic peaks and rolling nature attract approximately 15 million tourists each year. Here’s our guide to the best hostels on the island, from cutting-edge design spaces to chill backpacker hangouts.
MIDO Hostel is a stylish hostel located in the groovy southern city of Seogwipo. It’s only a few minutes’ walk from Olle Traditional Market and Lee Jung Seop Art Street, a favourite hangout of creatives. The hostel is popular with Koreans, and has a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. Beds have curtains for privacy. With an 11pm lights-out policy, it’s not a party place, but great for recharging your batteries. There’s a complimentary breakfast buffet.
Jeju Mir Guesthouse is most notable for its interesting, contemporary exterior — the building was designed by well-known architect Moon Hoon. Dramatic red and black geometric shapes entangle to create an accommodation space, a ground floor café, a library, kitchen and rooftop terrace. Inside the hostel, the décor is sleek, modern and airy. Mir Guesthouse is on the pricier side compared to other hostels, but makes up for it with a unique design, a great breakfast and a welcoming staff. It’s less than five minutes’ walk away from the famous Yongduam (‘dragon-head rock’).
In the heart of Jeju City, Rainbow in Jeju Guesthouse is just five minutes’ walk from the trendy nightlife and shopping district of City Hall. The hostel has clean, sophisticated décor with a touch of quirkiness, and a spacious feel. Facilities include a shared computer room and underfloor heating. Breakfast is complimentary, and there are both Korean and Western options.
Kims Cabin is located on the east coast of Jeju Island, close to Sunrise Peak. It’s set in peaceful countryside, at the start of the Olle Trail. There are no shops nearby, but a hearty complimentary breakfast is served every day, and buses are easily accessible. The hostel is run by a husband and wife team who go out of their way to make sure guests get the most out of their trip, from planning itineraries to picking guests with heavy luggage up from the bus stop.
Another Seogwipo hostel, Backpacker’s Home is bright and fun. It’s situated between downtown Seogwipo and natural attractions such as Geolmae Eco Park and Cheonjiyeon Falls, and has a spacious outdoor seating area. All the beds have curtains for privacy, individual key lockers, and plug sockets. The owners are friendly and organise a nightly barbecue at a cost of 15,000 won (US$13.50). There’s space for guests to mingle, and communal areas include games such as foosball and darts.
Although it’s one of the cheapest hostels on Jeju, SUM Guesthouse doesn’t compromise on comfort. Each bed is equipped with a heating pad, plug socket, a curtain, individual nightlight, and a small shelf to store personal items. The hostel is close to the airport and main bus terminal, so it’s easy to get around the island. Not all the staff speak English, but all are friendly and welcoming.
Yesjun Guesthouse is situated close to both Jeju Airport and the coast, in Aewol. It’s run by Jun, who goes to great lengths to ensure guests enjoy their stay. The location is calm and peaceful, and there are opportunities to socialise with other guests. The hostel building is bright and full of natural wood, which creates a restful, calm atmosphere. It’s surrounded by natural beauty. Breakfast is included.