Located on an island off the Korean Peninsula, Jeju has mild, warm weather during much of the year. The city is a well-known resort, with prestigious hotels and public casino facilities. In 2011, 9.9 million passengers flew between the two cities of Seoul and Jeju, making the Gimpo–Jeju route the world's busiest passenger air route. Jeju welcomes over ten million visitors from mainland Korea, Japan, and China every year.
The area of the city has played a central role in Jeju since before recorded history. The Samseonghyeol, holes from which the three ancestors of the Jeju people are said to have come, are located in downtown Jeju City.
The city has grown quite rapidly since the 1970s. Shin Jeju (신제주), or "new Jeju", was created some decades ago, up the hill from the airport and houses many government buildings. The thatched roof buildings that were common throughout the city until the 1970s are gradually disappearing.
The city was separated from Bukjeju County in 1955. However, in 2005 Jeju Province voters approved a proposal to merge the city with Bukjeju County, also merging Seogwipo with Namjeju County to create two large cities directly administered by the province. That change was put into effect in July 2006.
In 2012 Sang-Oh Kim became mayor; he was formerly the Jeju regional president of National Agricultural Cooperative Federation.
Jeju City is the principal transportation center for Jeju Province. It is home to the island's sole airport, Jeju International Airport; the Jeju-Seoul route is one of the world's busiest airline routes.
In addition, its port is the largest on the island, serving the great majority of passenger and cargo vessels that visit the island. It also stands at the center of the island's road network. To travel throughout the city and island, various buses are available and affordably priced, typically running approximately 1,000 won (0.90 USD) for one ride. A bus ride from Jeju City to Seogwipo (the second largest city on the island) is typically an hour.
Due to its central position in transportation, Jeju City sees the main share of tourist traffic to the island. Many tourists arrive at the city through the port terminal or airport, stay in the tourist hotels of the Sinjeju neighborhood, and stay within the city to visit various Jeju tourist attractions. These include Dragon's Head Rock (Yongduam, Hangul: 용두암) along the coast; the Samseonghyeol, three holes in the downtown area; Hallasan National Park in the interior; the country's tallest mountain, Hallasan; and world's largest botanical garden, Bunjae Artpia.
The city also sells lots of oranges for which Jeju is famous. Jeju City is surrounded by orange and mandarin farms.
Jeju Air has its headquarters in Jeju City.
Jeju City and Jejudo is the home ground of Jeju United (K-League). Jeju United's home stadium is Jeju World Cup Stadium, located in Jeju City.
In its former boundaries, Jeju City was 19.3 kilometers from east to west, and 10.2 kilometers from north to south. To the north, it looks across the Korea Strait at the southern coast of South Jeolla Province. To the south, it meets Seogwipo at the top of Hallasan, the island's sole mountain.
Jeju City has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with very warm summers and cool winters. Due to its location, jeju city is one of the warmest city in korea. However, ocean effect snow brings winter precipitation such as snow showers with strong wind during the winter. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is much wetter in summer, with more than 180 millimetres (7.1 in) of rain falling in each month from June to September. The highest temperature ever recorded is 37.5 °C (99.5 °F) on 25 July 1942 while the lowest temperature ever recorded is −6.0 °C (21.2 °F) on 16 February 1977.
Jeju is divided into 19 neighbourhoods (dong), 4 towns (eup), and 3 townships (myeon):