Daejeon: Great Field... or Great War?
Daejeon's accompanying hanja, quite literally means "Great Field" (daejeon, 大田), fitting given its roots as a wide, flat arable valley. However, it coincidently is a homophone of "Great War" (daejeon, 大戰), and indeed war has touched the city. In 1950, in the midst of the Korean War, the Communist armies had progressed south of Seoul and surrounded then-Taejon on July 17th. Despite being outnumbered, the US 24th Division of the Joint UN Forces held back the tide of the war for 20 days, before its commander went missing in action on the front lines.
Daejeon is the 5th largest city in South Korea, with a population of approximately 1.5 million. It is located in the centre of Korea and is at the crossroads of national rail and road transport routes, the Gyeongbu railway, Honam railway, Gyeongbu Expressway, and Honam Expressway.
Daejeon hosted Taejeon Expo '93, during which 108 countries participated and 14 million visitors attended.
The city has been promoted as a city of science and education centred about Daedeok Science Town, more lately called Daedeok Innopolis. The Daejeon municipal government dubs itself a core city of research and development and the cradle of Korea's cutting-edge science sector
More than 200 research institutes, including the research and development facilities of Samsung, LG, Korea University of Science and Technology, are located within Daedeok Science Town in Yuseong-gu on the far outskirts of town, locally referred to as "Daedeok Techno Valley". This, plus the "Daedeok Innopolis" cluster of KAIST, Chungnam National University and government research institutes lend themselves to the city's local nickname: the Silicon Valley of Korea.
Like all cities in Korea, Daejeon has adopted a Konglish town slogan: "It's Daejeon". For those who actually care, the "it's" is meant to be an backronym expressing; Interesting, Tradition and Culture, Science and Technology.
Yuseong Hot Springs Resort and Daecheong Dam are amongst the city's most popular tourist attractions.
Source: Korea Meteorological Admin.. 1981-2010 average.
Daejeon has a monsoon-influenced, 4 season climate that lies within the transition between the humid continental and humid subtropical climatic regimes (Koppen Dwa/Cwa respectively). Monthly mean temperatures range from −1.9 °C (28.6 °F) in January to 25.5 °C (77.9 °F) in August.
Dunsan is not a gu, but is the central business district and where you will find the majority of the shops and restaurants. The area is served by 3 stops on the subway: City Hall, Government Complex and Galma stops 111, 112, 113 respectively. For a more upscale shopping and accommodations head over to Yuseong-gu, which is the northwest part of the city, and is serviced by the Yuseong-spa subway stop. The former city centre is located in Jung-gu and serviced by the Jungangno subway stop.
Over time the city has completely enveloped the Yuseong hot springs resort town, home to more upscale shopping and accommodation. Yuseong-gu is in the northwest part of the city and serviced by the Yuseong-spa subway stop.
Gyeryongsan National Park straddles the city border to the west. Three streams which eventually join with Geum River, called Gapcheon (갑천), Yudeungcheon (유등천), and Daejeoncheon (대전천), flow through the city from south to north.
To pick up a map you can visit the information desk in EXPO Park or in Daejeon Station. For district tourism offices please see
Daejeon Tourist Information Center, 552-3 bongmyeong dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon (Yuseong spa station Exit6), ☎ +82 42 1330, +82 42 861-1330. 9:00am~6:00pm , 365 days a year. Information is provided by interpreters in English. Japanese or Chinese. For tourist information dial 1330 (with no prefix number) from within Daejeonedit
Daejeon Station Tour Information, Jeong-dong, Dong-gu, ☎ +82 42 221-1905. 9:00am~6:00pm , 365 days a year. Information is provided by interpreters in English. Japanese or Chinese. For tourist information dial 1330 (with no prefix number) from within Daejeonedit
Complex Terminal Tour Information, 68-2 Yongjeon-dong Dong-gu, ☎ +82 42 633-1355. 9:00am~6:00pm , 365 days a year. Information is provided by interpreters in English. Japanese or Chinese. For tourist information dial 1330 (with no prefix number) from within Daejeonedit
O-World Tour Information, San 39-1 Sajeong-dong, Jung-gu, ☎ +82 42 586-1330. 9:00am~6:00pm , 365 days a year. Information is provided by interpreters in English. Japanese or Chinese. For tourist information dial 1330 (with no prefix number) from within Daejeonedit
Seodaejeon Station Tour Information, 74 Oryu-dong, Jung-gu, ☎ +82 42 523-1338. 9:00am~6:00pm , 365 days a year. Information is provided by interpreters in English. Japanese or Chinese. For tourist information dial 1330 (with no prefix number) from within Daejeonedit
Daejeon is a road and rail transportation hub in South Korea. Two major expressways, Gyeongbu Expressway and Honam Expressway, and two major railways, Gyeongbu railway and Honam railway, are joined here. Travel time between Daejeon and Seoul using the high-speed railway system, otherwise known as KTX, is about 50 min. The nearest airport to Daejeon is Cheongju Airport in the neighbouring city Cheongju and at least 30 min by road to the north of Daejeon.
Incheon International Airport  is actually the airport for Seoul, Korea. However, there is a bus shuttle  leaving the airport every 20 min during peak times and 30 min at early and late hours that connects the airport with three shuttle stops in Daejeon:
Daedeok Lotte Hotel; Daejeon Government Complex, and Dongboo Cross Country Bus Terminal Center.
Depending on traffic the trip last between 150 - 200 min. The Limousine bus Station (Daejeon) is located in the Incheon Passenger Terminal 1 Arrival Area 9D. The buses are comfortable and have air conditioning. However, not every driver speaks English!
A single ride ticket from Incheon airport to anyone of the Daejeon destinations is 23,000 won in summer 2013.
There is also an Express Train to Seoul Station, where you can then easily switch to a KTX express train to Daejeon, which takes about an hour and 45 minutes and up to 22,000 Won. Prices vary based on slow/fast trains and connections.
Cheongju International Airport  (Hangul: 청주국제공항; Hanja: 淸州國際空港); (Revised Romanization: Cheongju Gukje Gonghang; McCune-Reischauer: Ch'ŏngju Kukche Konghang) (IATA: CJJ, ICAO: RKTU) is located just north of Cheongju. There is a railway station next to the airport, called Cheongju Airport station, which is on the Chungbuk Line. However this station is 600m from the airport. In practice however, the usual way to reach Daejeon from the airport is via intercity bus. The intercity bus departs from the airport, so there is no need to go into town
While not conveniently close nor having many international flights apart from , Cheongju International Airport services are good for anyone arriving from Jeju or one of the flights from China, Japan and Taiwan. Flights to Jeju are very quick and reasonably priced if flying on the low cost carriers (LCC) Eastar or Jeju Air, going for as low as 40,000 won there (flights from Jeju however, are a captive market) with a flight time less than 2 hr.
Parking for 1,100 vehicles is available opposite the passenger terminal. The facility is open from 6:30AM-10PM.
Cheongju Airport Station (Ticket issuing) ☎ +82 43 214-2114, +82 43 210-6616. Located 600 m from the front gate of the airport. A shuttle bus operates between the Airport Station ⇔ Airport passenger terminals. Inquiries ☎ +82 43 210-6328. All passenger trains on the Chungbuk line stop here. Tickets are issued at 1F tourist information counter in the airport passenger terminal.
Daejeon lies on the main train line connecting Seoul and Busan. There are two principal train stations in Daejeon, the main Daejeon Station and the secondary Seo-Daejeon Station. Both are served by the KTX, the Korean high speed bullet train rail service. It takes from 50 min from Seoul to Daejeon and 100 min from Daejeon to Busan.
Conventional trains take about twice as long but come at a considerably lower price. As an example at the other end of the spectrum an unreserved "deluxe floor" seat on the Mugunghwa from Seoul will set you back less than 9,000 won and take almost 2 hr. A similar train from Busan to Daejeon will take almost 4 hr but costs under 15,000 won. If these sound unreasonable, bear in mind that trains down the main line in Korea do sell out, especially on Sunday afternoons and into the late night so you may no have a say in the matter. On the bright side, the last Mugwanhwa from Busan terminates at Daejeon, so if stuck on its cold, cold floor, you can usually upgrade yourself (to 1st class even) after Daegu.
Depending on the direction you approach from, and where in Daejeon you are heading. If using the KTX Gyeongbu Line or the KTX Honam Line you may want to try and get off at Shintanjin Station to the north of the city or Seodaejeon Station to the southwest if using the KTX Honam Line.
Daejeon Station (KTX Gyeongbu Line) is in Jeong-dong, Dong-gu. The station first opened in 1905 and has recently been expanded with the completion of a new station building in 2003. This serves the bullet train between Seoul and Busan. The bullet train takes you to Seoul in around 50 min from Daejeon. It is operated by the Korea National Railroad  ☎ +84 42 1588-7788
Arriving on the North-bound Line—intermediate points are Cheonan·Asan ⇒ Gwangmyeong ⇒ Yongsan ⇒ Seoul (northern terminus)
Arriving on the South-bound Line—intermediate points are Dong-Daegu ⇒ Miryang ⇒ Gupo ⇒ Busan (southern terminus)
Seo-Daejeon Station (KTX Honam Line) is at 74 Oryu-dong, Jung-gu. The Seo-Daejeon Station began service in 1914 when the railway between Daejeon and Mokpo opened. If wishing to travel to the Jeolla area by rail (southwest areas of the country) then make your way to this station, not Daejeon Station.
Arriving on the North-bound Line—intermediate points are Cheonan·Asan ⇒ Gwangmyeong ⇒ Yongsan ⇒ Seoul (northern terminus)
Arriving on the South-bound Line—intermediate points are Nonsan ⇒ Iksan ⇒ Gimjae ⇒ Jeongeup ⇒ Gwangju ⇒ Naju ⇒ Mokpo (southern terminus)
Tickets for Korail (Korea National Railroad) services can be purchased at station windows, travel agencies, or online.
To add to the confusion, if entering via bus, there are 3 intercity bus terminals, and several pick up stops for the airport bus express.
Dong-bu inter-city bus terminal connects to major cities in South and North Chungcheong province. Dong-bu express bus terminal connects to most major cities in South Korea via express way. Both of them are share a building in Yongjeon-dong, Dong-gu. The old terminal building was replaced by a shiny new bus terminal in 2012containing a number of shops and restaurants across the road from the old terminal.
Seo-bu bus terminal in Yucheong-dong, Seo-gu, connects to western regions of South Chungcheong province such as Nonsan, Buyeo, Daecheon etc. Yuseong bus terminal located in Bongmyeong-dong,
Yuseong-gu, connects to northern regions of South Chungcheong province such as Gongju, Yesan, Dangjin, Cheonan etc.
There are two bus stop around government complex, some of express buses depart from Dong-bu and Yuseong stop by as well as the bus destined for Incheon airport.
For non tourists, there's a Hana bank rechargable transportation card, which offers free transfers, when you open an account at Hana bank, your smart bank card can be charged with money to be used on buses, taxis. "Hankkumi" transportation cards are also available at manned booths within the subway stops. These cards cost 2.500 won and are rechargeable at the station or at many GS 25 locations. Unfortunately with only one subway line, which bisects the city and runs southeast from the northwest corner, only central Daejeon, old downtown (Daejeon station area) and a handful of sites are convenient to reach solely by subway. The subway IS now compatible with Seoul T-money passes. Hankkumi cards or tags purchased after February 2011 now contain both Hankkumi and Seoul T-money functionality.
The inner-city bus service is extensive, but a bit slow. Most buses pass through Daejeon station which does not have a bus rank. Instead, they all leave from one of about 10 stops dotted around the area. Note that bus routes 1 and 2 are express stops and annoyingly not even typically marked on the handful of bus shelters where they do stop. City bus services  in Daejeon buses are divided into four types.
Each type of bus has a different colour; red, blue and green (2).
Red busesexpress cover 2 routes (1 and 2). They stop at major bus stops, ensuring a rapid transit service.
Blue busesregular connect the downtown areas with the suburbs.
Green buses there are 2 types of green - coloured buses:
One of the green buses connects all districts within Daejeon, and the other connects Daejeon with its neighboring areas.
Bus fares vary depending on the passengers age group. Children, middle and high school students, and adults. A Traffic card is available and offers discounts and free transfer. T-money also works for discounts and free transfers,
Each bus has two doors:
The front door for entry and back door for exit.
Place your transit card close to the card reader upon entry and exit. Cash payment is also available.
A full bus route map is printed on practically every last bus shelter in town. Navigation may be easier if used in combination with a pocket-sized printed copy of the numerical list above.
Two city tour buses also run, doing daytime trips between "science" sites such as the Currency Museum, Expo park and KAIST. Night time trips between "night" sites include Yuseong Spa and Daecheong Dam. They wind across town via various pick-up spots prior to the tour and tend to end at Yuseong, but perhaps the most convenient pick-up point is at the park at the rear (south side) of City Hall.
The City Bus Free Transfer System has operated since 2005 and allows bus passengers holding a traffic card to transfer to another bus or subway three times at no additional cost.
When using this system passengers are only required to pay a single fare for up to 4 segments of travel in a single direction. The traffic card allows 3 free transfers within 80 min of the first boarding, with 30 min transit time subsequent to the passenger placing the card on the card reader when exiting. Another service will need to be boarded and the card read again within the specified 30 min (off the bus) period.
Check the city website for the latest schedules, departure times and costs.
Daejeon's first subway line opened in March 2006, connecting Daejeon Station to both the western and eastern parts of the city. The subway stations are fed by buses, and the fare is 1,000-1100 won a ride. The subway itself is extremely clean and tidy, and the stations are regularly decorated with art courtesy of local university arts students or schoolchildren. Small musical performances aimed at the older generations of Koreans (often some quite pleasant jazz actually) are sometimes held in Daejeon and Seodaejeon-negori stations.
Daejeon Subway Line 1 is the first of a planned 5 line subway system for the city. Line 1 has been fully operational since April 17, 2007. It connects Daejeon station in the original city centre, with the more modern and recently developed sections of this city, including Dunsan. The other lines have not yet opened and future plans for the extra lines appear to remain speculative.
Daejeon is quite spaced out, so taxis fares can run up quickly. For a cross-town trip, expect to spend up to 10,000 won, far higher if travelling to the lesser developed outer regions west of the bisecting mountain range, north of Yuseong, or around Shintanjin. The width of town can be covered usually in 4,000-5,000 won. Daejeon experiences near city-wide gridlock from 5PM to almost midnight on Fridays so use the subway to cross the length of the city and catch a taxi from there to cover the width. Unregistered taxis are a common sight around the Dongbu bus terminal, so keep a keen lookout for the "It's Daejeon" logo on the side of the vehicle or a meter in the front if you don't wish to be mislead or deceived by un-licensed operators in un-metered vehicles.
Daejeon has a system of public-use bikes for a nominal fee, however, in practice, the racks tend to be far and few between, mostly on the north side of town around Dunsan-dong and more often than not completely empty.
Daejeon is mostly far too spread out to be convenient to walk between attractions. However, Expo Park, the National Science Museum, Hanbat Arboretum, Dajeon Museum of Art, Mannyeon-dong, and even Dunsan-dong (although this last one is pushing it) are situated close enough to one another to wander back and forth.
Korean National Cemetary, just west of Yuseong Spa.
Mount EXPO Park Deajeon Expo Science Park Local Corporation 3-1 Doryongdong, Yusunggu. ☎ +82 42 866-5114.  Commemorate the Deajeon Expo held in 1993 and committed to understanding the role of science and technology. Closed every Monday. Entrance 2,500 won per person. Parking for 100 cars, small 1,500 won-large 2,000 won. Image simulation hall, dome image hall, energy hall, electric energy hall, and science hall science/exhibition, science academy, robot class, handicraft class, body world, dinosaur festival, unification hall, Hanbit tower, scientist street, Aqua resort, Magic plaza, Gabcheon River, restaurant street, dining hall and tourist information centre. During the 1993 Deajeon Expo, a total 180 billion won was invested. 108 countries participated and 14 million visitors attended.
Daecheonghosu Lake Daejeon-si Daedeok-gu Miho-dong. ☎ +82 42 930-7241, +82 42 930-7242.  Information office is at 618-316, Daecheong-ro, Daedeok-gu, Daejeon Metropolitan City (left bank of Daecheong Dam) Free entry open every day except Mondays. The lake was formed in 1980 when the Deacheon Dam was completed. This lake provides Deajeon City and Cheongju City with drinking water. Open all year round, free entry, no parking facilities.
Many of the other cultural centres and sight seeing places are located in Yuseong-gu district with the exception of Ppuri park and Daejeon Zoo.
Daecheong Dam, (Take the 72 or 73.). Large dam on the far north east outskirts of town. Responsible for the Daecheonghosu lake, South Korea's largest.(36.477346,127.480919)edit
Gubongsan Fall Foliage (autumn)
The Daejeon Museum of Art In Dunsan Grand Park. An art museum established in 1998 and focused on the convergence of art and technology. Numerous exhibitions on contemporary art have been held here.
Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra Performs in Daejeon Culture and Arts Center and other local venues. Recently completed several international tours, including visits to the United States and Japan.
Daejeon Station A walk around the alleyways straight across from the station will offer Ginseng (인삼 insam) and traditional medicine stores. Across the street from the market, see the Buy section of this article.
National Cemetary, (Take the courtesy bus from the National Cemetary Daejeon subway station.). National cemetary for Korea's war heroes and patriots. It's quite beautifully landscaped and surrounded by a ring walking trail. Dress standards apply.Free. edit
Hanbat Arboretum (한밧수목원 (''Hanbat Sumokuwon'')), (Bus, or walk the long route around the Daejeon Government Complex from the subway, cutting through the government complex grounds). If coming by taxi, be sure to use the Korean name.Free. edit
Dunsan Prehistoric Settlement Site, Dunsan-dong (Government Complex Daejeon subway stop. Two blocks north and one block west of the station), . When excavating for Dunsan new town in the early 1990s, a bunch of "stone-age" relics were discovered. Prior to the discovery, it was widely believed the region had a rather recent history. At a glance, the site is essentially a very hilly grassy park with scattered reproduction 'prehistoric huts' built over it. However the site provides extensive historical information for visitors. It is open at night and the inside of the huts light up as you approach showing off an interpretation of what was discovered, complete with reproductions of the various farming and domestic tools unearthed.Free. edit
Ppuri Park, Jangsu Town (Take the 312 or 313 through Jangsu Town, it's the last stop. Alternately, you could hike about 1km down the road south from O-world). A family-oriented park on the far southern outskirts of town. Down by a smallish dam, there are the usual swan boats and the like, but the odd drawcard is the hill covered in stone statues representing local family lineages. Local Koreans no doubt have a great time pouring over these, tracing their roots (ppuri), but to the casual observer it's just a curious, if unusual, collection of modern art. A path also leads over a bridge and to the top of the cliff directly to the south where not only is there a pleasant view, but the peak is also littered with a bizarre array of wooden phalli.Free. (36.285193,127.388383)edit
Fall (autumn) colors on any of the five surrounding mountains, or the adjacent national park. The government recommends Mt. Gubongsan. See the Hike section of this article.
Soccer - Daejeon, being a co-host of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, has a stadium in Yuseong-gu on the north side of town (월드컵경기장 World cup kyeonggijang), quite literally and unbelievably plonked in the middle of a farm and now rather rusty in appearance. It's serviced by a dedicated subway station (listen for the old Korean World Cup themesong announcing the stop), although you'd have to walk through the Nouen Wholesale Market and adjacent Wholesale Fish Market to get there. The local K-league team is Daejeon Citizen and Korea's first community side. Game tickets are 10,000 won and under from the team website.
Baseball - Baseball games are held at the baseball field of Hanbat Sports Complex ex (한밭 운동장 Hanbat undongjang). Express bus #2 passes by it, or it can be walked within 15-20 min from Jungangno station. Various teams play including the local professional team, the Hanwha Eagles,  and those of the local universities sometimes on Friday nights. Despite tickets being rather inexpensive ~10,000 won, many locals choose to climb up nearby Mt. Bomun to the conspicuously-placed observatory and watch down with binoculars.
Yuseong Hot Springs Resort (Hot Springs & Saunas), Daejeon-si Yuseong-gu Bongmyeong-dong, ☎ +82 42 611-2114, +82 42 824-0210, Korea Travel +82 42 1330, . These hot springs are known to be effective in countering many kinds of maladies. Containing alkaline minerals such as calcium, and potassium, sulphur, carbonic acid, silicic acid and radium and are considered to be beneficial in treating neuralgia and geriatric diseases. Accommodations are available nearby.edit
Daejeon Observatory, 213-48, Gwahak-no, Yuseong,gu, ☎ 042) 863-8763, . Here you can observe the sun during the day or any number of celestial bodies at night. Located west of Expo Park, take the 604 bus to the observatory stop. Open from 2-10PM, closed Mondays and the day following a national holiday.Free. edit
National Science Museum (국립중앙과학관 ''Gungnip Jungang Gwahakgwan''), 481 Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon (Adjacent to Expo Park on the north side of town.), . 9:30AM-5:50PM, closed Mondays. Showcases both pernament and special exhibitions.1.000 won for exhibitions and another 1,000 won for planetarium; half price for under-20s. edit
Geological Museum, 124 Gwahang-no, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-350 (Adjacent to Expo Park on the north side of town, near the Currency Museum), ☎ +82-42-868-3797, 3798, . 10:00AM-5:00PM, closed Sundays, The days following National Holidays, New Years. By bus you can take bus 604 from Daejeon Government Complex subway station.Free. edit
Daejeon Currency Museum (화폐박물관 ''Hoapyebak Mulgwan''), (Behind KAIST in Wolpyeong.), ☎ +82 42 870-1000 (fax: +82 42 861-5245). 10AM-5PM, 10AM-4PM in winter, closed Mondays. Historical currencies of Korea up to the modern day, including those of the DPRK (North Korea).Free. edit
Daejeon Museum of Art, Daejeon Seo-gu Mannyeon-dong 396 (From the subway station, it's on the ''opposite'' side of the government complex), . 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Daejeon's primary art facility, nestled between the Government Complex Daejeon, Hanbat Arboretum and the small Mannyeong-dong restaurant district. Has a spacious park filled with modern art sculptures out the front. A small stage out the front sometimes hosts free cultural performances on weekends.Free. edit
Daejeon Art Center ((대전창작센터) Daejeon Changjak Center), Eunhaeng-dong, Jung-gu (Three blocks south of exit 2 of Jungangno subway station, on the corner of the ''Eunhaeng-negori'' junction. Has the space-invader mosaic on the front.). Small but conveniently placed art gallery in old downtown showcasing modern art works of young artists. The exhibits rotate every 1-2 months exhibiting to an often unusual theme, individual pieces regularly are quite involved, taking up an entire room.Free. edit
Prehistoric Museum, 126, Noeun-dong road, Yuseong-gu, . 9:00AM - 6:00PM. The museum has exhibition halls for each prehistoric period and an outdoor exhibition site.Free. edit
Uam Historical Park, Dong-gu Kayang-dong (Bus #311), ☎ 042) 608-6574, . Historic scholarly site nestled in a mountain valley. Has a well kept lake and quite nice to stroll around. Hosts a (poorly gazetted) festival sometime in October. For hikers, the trail hidden at the rear-left of the park continues up the mountain, past a place to fill your water bottles and after a less than 30 min walk, all the way to the top of the ridge overlooking the immense Daecheong lake east of town.Free. edit
Yuseong Foot Spa, Yuseong-gu (From the Yuseong Spa subway stop head towards the main Yuseong junction to the north. Turn east and follow the wide grassy median strip about 500 m down the road). A heated foot spa. The temperature is pretty high but varies along the length so it's appropriate even in winter, and you won't overheat in summer. Note that unlike most foot spas, the local populace demands pre-washing of feet at the wash-station at the end of the footspa prior to entering (akin to the etiquette of a full body public bathhouse). Drop your stuff where you intend to sit, then walk down the end, wash up, and walk down the spa to get back to your seat. It can be an embarrassingly fulfilling sight seeing the eldery locals accosting Korean visitors from elsewhere in Korea unaware of this unstated rule. To get there, leave the subway station and head towards the main Yuseong junction to the north. Turn east and follow the wide grassy median strip about 500 m down the road.Free. edit
Daejeon Balloon Festival, (Opposite Expo Park, by the river). Once a year around October, this is not the international balloon festival you are likely thinking of. The 2010 edition of this annual event had a sum total of two hot-air balloons, both tethered tightly to the ground. However, as the sun sets, they let off an amazingly large quantity of small disposible lantern balloons that float off in the south-westerly breeze of the neon Smart Towers housing complex and into the mountains. Both Daejeon city and the DICC have a tendancy to try and book in other festivals at the same time as this nearby to attract more out-of-town visitors, so keep an eye on local schedules.edit
Cherry Blossom Festival. In Shintanjin, in April (spring) when the flowers happen to be in full bloom.edit
O-World. 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM. A theme park, on the far, far south end of the city. Comprises Zooland (zoo boasting 130 species), Flower Land (flower park boasting 190 species) and Joyland (a regular ol' themepark). Easy to reach if coming by car: literally all major intersection signs across Daejeon point to here. By bus, you want the 301, 115, 311, 314, 318 or 315.edit
Note that the Dreamland theme park up on Mt. Bomun, despite being marked on many maps is long since gone and the equally well known abandoned site also recently completely bulldozed.
Daejeon has a recent history of attempting to jumpstart annual festivals (a Winter lights festival in Jungangno for example) only to have them fall on their face after one year. Signs still promote some of these on the outskirts of town.
The river flood plain adjacent to Expo Park is where a lot of expatriate action takes place on the weekends outside of the festival, and also makes for a nice stroll.
Whilst Dunsan downtown tends to cater to the retail-loving crowd the downtown area in central Daejeon (Jungangno subway station) and particularly the area a few blocks south tends to be rather artsy, including many small, often privately run art galleries. Some of these are attached to independent coffee shops. Occasionally on Sundays there are street stalls run by local arts students.
Hikers should exercise caution and prepare appropriate equipment, especially during winter or the rainy season when the trails can be covered in mud or snow, dangerous or even impassable.
There are five mountains surrounding Daejeon:
Mt. Sikjangsan (southeast)
Mt. Bomunsan (south)
Mt. Gubongsan (southwest)
Mt. Jangtaensan (south)
Mt. Gyejoksan (northeast)
To find the start of the myriad hiking trails, a good rule of thumb is to look for burial mounds on the hills, as they are often lurking just behind them. However the actual start point locations are almost never announced.
A few of the universities in town accept considerable numbers of international students.
DICC runs a range of Korean language classes. The most basic elementary classes are held in the medium of English language on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. It is best to enquire in person as the website is poorly maintained. A pair of elementary courses are presently subsidised so costs are limited to a small cover charge for resources and the textbook which is sold in-house at cost-price. Courses start several times each year. Elementary 1 covers reading and pronunciation and flows directly through into Elementary 2 covering basic conversation. Follow-up intermediate courses are only available when sufficient demand exists from those who have completed the initial two elementary courses. These intermediate courses are only available at full cost.
Daejeon has numerous job openings for ESL/EFL teachers at public schools and private academies. Most teaching jobs require applicants to be a native English speaker and to have a 3-4 yr college degree. Salaries for teaching jobs generally start between 2.0 and 2.5 million Korean won per month and often include free housing and round-trip airfare on a 1 year contract. Since the Korean won has dropped precipitously in value relative to other major currencies, salaries are starting to rise.
For more information about teaching English in Korea through the private-sector, visit eslcafe.com, worknplay.co.kr, eslstarter.com and englishspectrum.com. For the public-sector, visit epik.go.kr Daejeon full-time public elementary school positions stand apart from most in the country in that they consist of multiple part-time support positions at different schools. Most public school and university positions start at the beginning of March or September, however you should note that these are the more desirable jobs and must be applied for months before the start date.
Keep in mind that Korean Immigration is always constantly changing the visa regulations for E-2 visa holders so keep abreast of updates.
The city's traditional market is located next to the train station. The market by Daejeon Station is the general market, really nothing to write home about as far as appearances, the specialty stores are excellent, and you can get plants (from seeds to pots) which are not always easy to come by. Some household goods, and cheap clothes. The street to southeast, outside the market perimeter specialises in tools. South East Asian import canned and packet food including Mi Goreng (Indonesian-Malaysian dried instant noodles) and phonecards can be found at the International Food shop. Exit Daejeon Station through exit #3 and go straight for less than a minute. It's a very small shop that's located right in front of the traffic lights.
A second, slightly smaller traditional market exists in Yuseong. Further traditional markets still can also be found near Seodaejeon Korail station, opposite Hanbat stadium, and a little further east of the Dongbu Intercity bus terminal.
For further discounts, Nouen wholesale market is located north of Yuseong. Take the subway line and get off at the World Cup Stadium stop (the subway plays a little soccer themesong so you can't miss it).
There's a Costco directly beside Seodaejeon station. Costco offers OK discounted prices, and most everything is in bulk, but you can get some hard to find goods imported from the USA. You will need a personal (Gold Star) membership for 35,000 won, or you can use your card from home. It can solve dry food purchasing for a month or more in a single trip; watch out for seasonal specials, the November truffles make for nice, and cheap, gifts. The Seodaejeon area also has the stock standard Home Plus, as well as some clothing department stores. The area is becoming rapidly one of the most affluent in the city so expect to see more fancier outlets opening here over time. Uniqlo (Japanese unbranded clothing chain) is also located nearby in the basement floor of the Say Two Department Store (good to know in winter as it sells cheap thermals). The Lotte Department Store in Yongmun-dong has a Uniqlo as well (2nd floor).
E-Mart and Home Plus (Tesco) is relatively ubiquitous, and a bit dear too. It does however offer a variety of basic house goods for settling into a new home, deodorant, as well as basic general produce (both fresh and dry), which are marginally cheaper than the prices in most corner stores, as well as offering it all in one stop. If you can't afford to set up your new home here, perhaps try tracking down a Daiso, a Japanese "1,000 won store" chain that stocks all sorts of kitchenware and just general use plastic items.
For cool summer shopping and warm winter shopping head underground. Underground shopping can be found connected to subway stops at Daejeon Station and Jungang-no, stops 104 & 105 respectively, on line 1.
If looking for general Korea souvenier-items, two shops, quite literally opposite one another are underground at subway Exit 2 of Daejeon station (stop 104 on Line 1). They specialise in a wide variety of trinkets including from mass-produced items from elsewhere in the country.
Also department store shopping is popular for the more affluent of Daejeon at Timeworld Galleria, Lotte Department Store and CGV; each of which also have a movie theatre on their top floor. Timeworld plays host to an array of full price brand outlets such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton, which despite the lacking crowds, still insists on having its patrons queue up to enter. The basement sells a wide variety of imported foods.
Most electronic needs can be found at TechnoWorld, which is close to KBS tower in Manneyong-dong, Seo-gu. For further consumer electronics, try the street running between Government Complex Daejeon subway station to Timeworld Galleria in the vicinity of Dunsan E-Mart: this street has no fewer than 3 electronics department stores Hi-mart, Jeonja Land plus smaller specialty stores LGgoodshop. Apple has a retailer called Frisbee outside Jungangno subway station, Jung-gu.
For funky independent-made items, keep an eye out for university-run arts fairs. Theres no real way to know when you'll find one, but they are seemingly quite common.
In addition to the copious amounts of Korean restaurants and Koreanised "Japanese" izakayas scattered all over town, some foreign restaurants, including some offering Italian cuisine, can be found around the two main downtown districts of Dunsan-dong (opposite Timeworld) and near Jungangno station. Some nicer restaurants also still exist up near the World Cup Stadium.
Oddball theme restaurants are scattered around town. For example, there are a couple of eateries in Dong-gu near the Intercity bus terminal subscribing to the "hobbit mushroom" school of architecture, a restaurant called literally Nameless (이름없음) in front of Woosong university whose decor could be be best described as "clusterbomb of ropes", and a full military themed chicken joint on the wrong side of the tracks in Shintanjin (follow the road/lane due south from the Loving Hut listed below).
Sit-down sushi roll restaurants (as opposed to sushi trains) are scattered about Jungangno and Dunsan and can be a good option as the generic copy-cat business model typically involves picture-menus and prices under 10,000 won a meal. Options go beyond sushi to salads, pastas, gratins, and Japanese style omu-rice. Korean-style sushi, not to be confused with kimbap is extremely flamboyant in appearance.
Finally, if just looking for a quick snack, don't be afraid to try the street food. In central Daejeon around Jungangno there are at least 1-2 of the standard Korean odeng stands. Standard etiquette is to literally just grab a stick, eat it, and pay after you finish, the most common price is 500 won. Topokki (떡볶이tteokbokki) is a spicy ricecake and eggs in red spicy sauce. Stalls plus a handful of vendors with pernament shop-fronts can also be found here. The funny looking "buns" you may see the owner frying up are in fact essentially an inside-out pancake with syrup and nuts.
The following are a few of the more outstanding or unusual eateries:
Indy, Dunsan-dong (Diagonally across from the E-Mart in Dunsan-dong, near the '''T.G.I. Fridays''' and a Hanbok store. Close to Government Complex subway station and buses the #185, #215, and #115 all drive by.). Indian restaurant on the north side of town. Service may be a little slow for some and their prices are in the higher range. Curry dishes come with free rice or naan. Vegetarian options are available.edit
Loving Hut, Shintanjin (From Korail Shintanjin station, cross the tracks to the ''wrong side'' over the rickety bridge, head north about 10 m, and then 1 block west.), . Part of a chain of organic, 100% vegan restaurants. Menus in the chain vary between outlets: Shintanjin's mostly serves rice or noodle based fare, but has a Western-style fake-meat item. Prices typically under 5,000 won, owners are friendly. Fake-meat can also be purchased to take home. A second outlet may be opening near Expo Park.edit
Sung Sim Dang, Eunhaeng-dong, Jung-gu. Established in 1956, this bakery has a wall full of past awards and credentials on display, the prices for baked goods are similar to elsewhere and they make their own macaroons. There is a food court upstairs serving typical continental fare.edit
Flying Pan, Eunhaeng-dong, Jung-gu (next door to Sung Sim Dang). Restaurant specialising in Italian style cooking and steaks, seemingly owned by the same folks as Sung Sim Dang next door. It's practically a local institution so cab drivers will know it. Has a seperate cafe upstairs.edit
Little Tomo, Eunhaeng-dong, Jung-gu (under Flying Pan, in the underground shopping mall's southern spur). The latest entry into Sung Sim Dang's growing downtown empire, this is an informal cafe style Japanese restaurant. The food style is neither authentic Japanese style nor the Koreanised "izakaya" fare. Styled somewhat like a country kitchen and decorated with napkin cranes from past diners. Has the rare honor of food that looks much better in reality than on the menus out the front. Meals typicaly about 6,000 won.edit
TGI Fridays. The obligatory local chapter of the international American bar/restaurant franchise. Has an outlet very conveniently located about 100 m from the Government Complex station (opposite E-mart), but more notable is the one in the Lotte Department store in Seo-gu as it takes up the entire west side of 9F, offering sunset views of the city and mountains.Course meals from 23,000 won.. edit
Kraze Burger. A Korean dine-in burger chain with an outlet in Dunsan-dong, about one and a half blocks west from the main Timeworld intersection and on the north side of the road (backing on to the drinking precinct) and another near City Hall. Noteworthy because the chain has extensive mushroom/tofu options for those who don't eat meat.edit
Takorea Mexican Grill, Eunhaedong/Old Downtown (2-3 min walk from subway station no. 105 (Jungang-no), exit 4. Exit the subway and when near Jung-gu Police station walk to the left and turn left on the 2nd street (at the Heungkuk financial) then turn right on the 1st street.). M-Th. 12noon-2PM, 5PM-11PM. F-S: 12noon-2PM, 5PM-12midnight. Classier than Cantina with more variety, but more expensive.Meals from 5,000-18,000 won. edit
House Grill, (exit Yongmun Station through exit #4. Keep walking until you reach the bus stop and enter the plaza (there is a Paris Baguette and glasses store sandwiching the entrance). Keep walking straight until the end of the hallway, it'll be on your right), ☎ Brian: +82 42 528-6639, +82 10 9165-5142. 7 days a week from 11:30AM-10PM. Excellent burgers, arguably the best in Korea. Also offers chili fries, spaghetti, wraps, and huge donkatsu.Meals from 5,000 won. edit
Marchera Wellbeing Cafe, Bugyuseong-daero 303, 9F (Located between exits 1 and 2 of the Banseoack subway station.), ☎ 042-826-8411, . 12-14:30; 18-21. All-you-can-eat vegan buffet, 10,000 won per adult. Features natural seasonings, fresh ingredients directly supplied from farms, over 50 different dishes, including mock meat and various Korean foods. No artificial additives, garlic, onion, leek, or scallion. Spacious "sky lounge" concept accommodates 120 diners. 10,000 won. edit
There are two major "downtown" areas for drinking in Daejeon. One is in new-town in Dunsan-dong, opposite the Timeworld Galleria shopping complex, and a short walk from Government Complex Daejeon subway station. The second is in the city centre of old Daejeon, down by Jungangno subway station.
In addition, two further large drinking quarters exist in Yuseong and around Chungnam University as well as opposite Seodaejeon Korail station. Smaller areas of bars naturally exist beside each of Daejeon's universities, such as Hannam in the far East and Woosong in the far south.
Santa Claus Lounge, Kung-Dong. Basement hangout place that offers free: darts, pool table and fooseball. This bar is popular with foreigners, especially international KAIST students.edit
Ranch Bar, Kung-Dong 404-5. Once known as The Shisha House, Ranch Bar is one of only a handful of bars in Daejeon that carry draft imported beer. The bar is owned by a French expatriate whom will gladly trounce you in Foosball, and while it is no longer legal to smoke Shisha indoors in Korea, Ranch bar still offers a wide range of imported draft and bottled beer.edit
Ethnic Bar, Dunsan-Dong. An alternative shisha bar located downstairs in Dunsan. Entrance is a little stairwell amongst all the izakayas by GS25. A little less selection on the smoking front, but beautifully decorated with a fake stream in the middle. Music caters more to dates on weeknights and group sessions on weekends.edit
Sponge, Dunsan-Dong. Western style drinks and imported bottles along with 2 dart boards and free pool. It is one of the largest bars in Daejeon and is frequented by expats, locals and travellers.edit
Yellow Taxi, Dunsan-Dong. Yellow Taxi is the newest western bar in Daejeon. It is very large, with enough space to dance in, and has lots of tables to sit and enjoy company. They serve drinks and food. They also have 2 dart boards and a pool table. They have live music; rock, funk, blues, electronic almost every weekend.edit
There are three western-style dance clubs in Daejeon:
Cocoon, Dunsan-dong (on the same side of 2 floor arcade but slightly north. Well marked with a ''7-eleven'' diagonally opposite. The cover charge also gets you free draft beer all night). Dance club that plays a mix of hip hop, house, and K-pop.10,000 won cover. edit
After Hours, Dunsan-dong (on the north side, opposite Sponge.). Dance club that exclusively plays house and tries to cater to a more mature and upscale clientele.10,000 won cover.. edit
Club Volume (뉴스). New dance club, plays electronic music and is named after the popular "club Volume" is Seoul. It is near "News Nightclub," which is near the Express Bus Terminal. Look for the Angel-in-us coffee shop at the corner; enter that street and keep walking.edit
Jjimjilbangs are not ubiquitous, but they are there, check that they allow overnight sleeping first:
Dong Bang Sak Leports, (Nearest subway stop is Government Complex Daejeon a 30 minute walk). Located in Mannyeon-dong, about 3 blocks south of the KBS broadcasting tower this jjimjilbang looks like a Disney theme park. They have a cave, a "normal" sleeping room as well as a really cool spot where you sleep in "nature" with reeds and bird tweets. Past the normal things, they have a restaurant, internet cafe, Playstation room, as well as drink bar, a facial and hair cut, and ice and oxygen rooms. All are charged to the key and payable on the way out. Don't forget to get a parking pass on the way out if you came by car.However they don't have enough sleeping mats, there really is only a small amount. From the bus stop on the train station side get the 705 bus to Seogubogunso bus stop. From there go straight and turn left at an s-oil(opposite an apartment bulding number 110) petrol station. Its soon after that. Or get the subway to National goverment station. Take exit 2, maybe 3 and go to the corner of the junction(head towards a subway Marker pole). Emart should be behind you to your left. You want to go North 2-3 blocks and turn right at the s-oil petrol station. Its soon after that.9,000 won. edit
Magic 24 Sauna (매직24사우나), Yuseong-gu (In the middle of the ''Love Motel'' district north of the Yuseong Intercity/Express Bus Terminal and one block south of Yuseong HomePlus). A jjimjilbang located very close to Daejeon's primary Express Bus Terminal, this is situated conveniently for those merely passing through town. The building is a nondescript white cube with a simple backlit sign in hangul (no English) which sticks out like a sore thumb amongst all its trashy neon neighbours. This jjimjilbang offers hot and cold public baths from the natural thermal springs of Yuseong district. edit
Another jjimjilbang is available in the Rodeo Town building, between City Hall and Tanbang subway stations, and walking distance (~1 km towards and beyond City Hall) from downtown Dunsan.
"Sanho Guesthouse" 0708 226 2870, 010 6412 2870. Guesthouse near shopping are and subway stations. Also Walkable from main train station - 30mins. dorm available from 15,000-18,000. No mix dorms, mostly Korean Guests-please be respectful. Take exit 1 out of jounggu office station and walk east. Making use of underpass to cross the road, but stick on the main road. turn right at the mini stop shop, take the 2nd right.Its down a small lane on the right. There are coloured toy bricks on the door. check in from 4pm-10pm(door locks around 12am) its best to phone ahead and book as sometimes the owners are out and the place is locked. Or noone is around. Guests are able to come and go easy though.One of the owners speaks english and she is pleasant to talk to. The place is also an art gallery and maybe if your are lucky there will be some art there, maybe not. The place is a little basic, but arty and in winter its cold, but with floor heating and blanket you are fine. Free Breakfasts usual stuff plus noodles plus whatever is around.Hot shower, lockers and wifi available as is the kitchen to use.
A Youth Hostel has dorm accomodation for 7,000-8,000 won per night. It is located in southern Yuseong, approximately a 10 min walk south from Hanbat Nat'l University or you can take the 102, 103, 104 or 113 bus to its western termination and then walk east for its approximate location. You will then take the left fork and going away from the terminal, which is adjacent to the restaurant buildings, and you will see a left turn, about 250 m, which leads to a very big Youth Hostel. It appears to be intended mainly for conventions and conferences. There are just rooms where you get a blanket to sleep on the floor so don't expect beds. Showers are shared.
You can look for love motels which vary in quality, price and cleanliness. Many of these are centered in Dong-gu, near the Dongbu Intercity Bus Terminal or in old downtown in Jung-gu, south of the Jungangno nightlife district.
Most western style hotels with close proximity to the subway line are located in the Yuseong Spa vicinity. This is also where you will find the splurge hotels so inquire ahead.
Outside of Yuseong, chain hotels also exist around the Government Complex Daejeon.
Toyoko Inn, 922, Dunsandong, Seo-gu, Daejeon (10 min walk from Government Complex Daejeon Station), ☎ +82 42 545-1045 (fax: +82 42 545-1046), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 10AM. Part of the Japanese chain of low cost, no-frills business hotels.From 60,500 won for a single to 132,000 won for a suite, disabled access doubles for 82,500 won.. edit
The Yuseong District Office  maintains an up-to-date list with contact numbers, these tend towards the more expensive end of the spectrum:
Riviera, . checkout: 1200. The only 5 star hotel in Daejeon. Spacious rooms, lots of services. Despite 5 stars (as a customer did not notice such advertising or feeling), more like a good business hotel. No wi-fi in rooms, just wired (but quite fast) internet.Rooms start at 180,000 won and go up to 300,000 for a junior suite and 1,000,000 for the royal suite.. edit
Best Western Legend Hotel, 547-5 Bongmyeong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, ☎ +82 42 825-2521, . Prices range from 193,600 won for a double up to 484,000 won. edit
PCbangs (internet cafes) are peppered over the entire city and dirt-cheap to use, plus complimentary internet-enabled PCs are a common sight in independant coffee shops.
An immense range of international calling cards are available from the International Food shop outside Daejeon Korail station, as well as from smaller shops located beside universities catering to international students, such as the one outside Woosong West campus' main East Gate.
Daejeon is a very safe city by global standards. Note that Daejeon does not play host to a US military base, and as such, anti-American sentiment (and by extension, anti-Westerner sentiment) is low. If anything in town could be deemed dangerous, eldery drunks occasionally congregate around the front of Daejeon Korail station at night, including weeknights. Ironically, they are more inclined to hurl abuse at or chase down groups of obvious foreigners than individuals.
Daejeon's tap water is "drinkable" however residents tend to boil their water or purchase affordable bottled water, or fill their own bottles at local parks or at the mountain springs that surround town.
More recently, as of late 2010, the large chaebol megacompanies have started buying up land around the station sites on the proposed second subway line, some of which have since become the scene of local protests and seiges. It is strongly recommended you avoid these areas particularly if the black cars are in the area or you have a visible camera on your person.
According to the city government, you can get to anywhere in South Korea from Daejeon within half a day.
Seoul and Busan are less than an hour and two hours away, respectively, on the KTX. Gyeongju is also now rather accessible courtesy of the new Shin-Gyeongju KTX stop between Daegu and Busan. Seo-Daejeon Korail station will similarly link you up to Gwangju.
There are several pick up spots around town for the airport bus, which charges a princely sum of about 14,000 won for the ride (3,500 won for the regular inter-city bus). Also see this articles Get in section for information on travel to Jeju. Another option to get to Jeju would be to take KTX to Busan and catch a ferry but this would be both less economical and efficient.
Closer places of interest include:
Mt. Daedun, one of Korea's more famed mountains (you may have seen photos of its suspension bridge) is closeby at a 45 minute bus trip away. Buses depart from the Dong-gu Intercity bus terminal at 10:30AM. Miss it and you're out of luck.
Gongju, adjacent city and former capital of Baekje, known for its Beakje tombs. Also the gateway to hiking a nearby national park.
Cheongju, Daejeon's airport, and historic town in its own right. Birthplace of jikji, the world's oldest moving metal type print book.
During festival season, Daejeon is the natural transfer point for travellers from the south end of the country heading to Boryeong for its expat-oriented mud festival.