Jeju Airport

How to get to Jeju from Seoul and Busan: Plane or Ferry

Jeju Island Beach
Hamdeok Beach, Jeju Island

Jeju Island, often referred to as the “Hawaii of South Korea,” is a paradise nestled in the warm waters of the Korean Strait. This stunning destination offers picturesque landscapes, beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and unique volcanic terrain. To embark on your Jeju adventure, you have a variety of transportation options from two major South Korean cities: Seoul and Busan. In this article, we’ll explore different ways to get to Jeju from these cities, including by plane and ferry.

Getting to Jeju from Seoul

By Air

Jeju International Airport
Jeju International Airport

The most convenient and fastest way to reach Jeju from Seoul is by air. Gimpo International Airport (GMP) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) are the primary departure points. Prices range from $20 USD one way in winter (December to February), to $70 USD in the warmer peak season months.

  • Gimpo International Airport: Domestic airlines such as Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, and Jeju Air operate frequent flights to Jeju from Gimpo. The flight takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, making it the quickest option.
  • Incheon International Airport: If you’re arriving in Seoul via Incheon, you can also find domestic flights to Jeju. The flight duration is similar to that from Gimpo, but Incheon offers more international connections, making it suitable for travelers arriving from abroad.

Pros: Speed, convenience and price.
Cons: Can’t take a car. Not a scenic or unique experience.

By High-Speed Train and Ferry

For those looking to explore more of South Korea’s scenic beauty, consider taking a high-speed train from Seoul to Mokpo (the nearest mainland port to Jeju) and then a ferry to Jeju.

KTX Bullet Train Seoul to Mokpo
  1. KTX Train: Start your journey from Yongsan Station in Seoul and take the KTX (Korea Train Express) to Mokpo. The train ride offers breathtaking views of the countryside and takes around 3.5 to 4 hours. The Economy Class Seat price starts from ​about 54 USD, and from 63 USD per ticket for a 1st Class Seat. You can purchase your high-speed KTX tickets from Makpo to Seoul online, from ticket desks or from ticket machines at the train station in Korea.
  2. Ferry from Mokpo to Jeju: Once you arrive in Mokpo, board a ferry to Jeju Island. The ferry ride is an experience in itself, offering views of the Korean coastline and islands. Currently there is just 1 ferry company operating this ferry service, Seaworld Express Ferry. The crossing operates up to 12 times each week with sailing durations from around 4.5 – 6 hours (Mokpo Jeju ferry durations and frequency may vary from season to season). Prices are approximately $50 USD for a round fare and can be booked at Direct Ferries.

Pros: Scenic journey
Cons: Longer travel time.

Getting to Jeju from Busan

By Air

If you’re in Busan and want to reach Jeju quickly, the most convenient option is to take a domestic flight from Gimhae International Airport (PUS). Multiple airlines operate flights to Jeju, and the flight duration is approximately 1 hour, with prices similar as flying from Seoul.

Pros: Speed, convenience and price. A good return flight route if you are departing Korea from Seoul.
Cons: Can’t take a car. Not a scenic or unique experience.

By Ferry

Busan has a well-connected ferry terminal that offers routes to Jeju. This is a fantastic option for those who enjoy sea travel and want to bring their cars along.

  • Ferry from Busan to Jeju: The ferry ride takes around 12 hours, offering travelers the chance to relax, sleep, or enjoy onboard amenities. This option is suitable for those looking for a unique and leisurely journey. Departure days from Busan to Jeju Island are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by 7:00 PM and arrive at 6:00 AM. The average cost of traveling from Busan to Jeju by ferry is $39 USD to $58 USD.

Pros: Scenic sea journey, possibility to take your vehicle.
Cons: Longer travel time.

Jeju Island is a South Korean gem, and reaching it from Seoul and Busan offers diverse travel experiences. It is cheaper, faster and more convenient to fly by air to Jeju Island. The main benefits of the ferry are the scenic, unique experience, plus being able to bring a car (however you aren’t allowed to bring rental cars on the ferry, though you can rent them on Jeju). Regardless of how you get there, Jeju’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine await you, promising an unforgettable getaway on this enchanting island.

Ensure Peace of Mind with Travel Insurance

When planning your trip to Jeju from Seoul or Busan, whether by plane or ferry, one crucial element you shouldn’t overlook is travel insurance. It provides peace of mind by covering unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. For comprehensive and reliable coverage, I always recommend SafetyWing Insurance, which I use for all my travels. They’ve consistently been helpful and dependable. Plus, you can get $20 off your policy by joining through this link.






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