Planning for 36 Hours in Daejeon

About the series: Welcome to our ongoing travel series. These are all posts written by planning students and professionals about what to do in a given city when looking for Brunch, a Brew, or a good idea on a Budget. To cap it all off, we include a fun planning fact!

About the visit: With COVID-19 all over the world, I unexpectedly came to Daejeon, Korea, where I lived for nine years. The population of Daejeon is around 1,471,040, but there have only been 166 cases of COVID-19. The number of cases now remains at zero, and the city offers an insight into the new normal of future cities in pandemics. All businesses are open as usual, but masks are mandatory, and most places require customers’ temperature to be taken.

The sign stating that employees have worn their masks and sanitized their hands. Photo credit: Jo Kwon


Souffle pancakes have been popular in Korea for a long time. They first became Instagram famous with the introduction of Japanese fluffy souffle pancake shops. With the pandemic, many people have been baking souffle pancakes. However, the baking is challenging due to the high-speed whisking that is also required to make the famous Dalgona coffee. People who want to avoid the hustle would enjoy the absolutely delicious souffle pancakes at Hey Doux.

Souffle pancake at Hey Doux. Photo credit: Jo Kwon


This cafe has been known for its robots that brew and serve coffee without human contact. It offers a 24/7 service, and there is one employee at the cafe to solve any problems. During the pandemic, this new form of the cafe is catching on, and more stores are opening. Maybe this is a peek into future cafes? 

Robot serving coffee. Photo credit: Jo Kwon


Although Korea is famous for its delicious food, there are other activities for those with a limited budget. Using the public bike rental system Tashu (translated as ‘Ride It’) will only cost approximately 50 cents. If you plan to ride it for a week, you can get a one-week rental that would only cost two dollars! With Tashu, biking along the river and the Expo bridge offers a great scene. 

Rental bikes. Photo credit: Daejonilbo

Fun Planning Fact 

Daejeon is in the center of South Korea and serves as a hub of transportation. Moreover, it is called ‘the city of science and technology’ due to its many high-tech companies and research institutions. In 1993, the International Exposition (World’s Fair) was held in Daejeon, which enabled the city to develop for tourism. The locational advantage, the high tech cluster, and rich history have allowed Daejeon to become an attractive city to visit. 

Featured Image: Expo bridge at night. Photo Credit: Jo Kwon

Jo Kwon is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She hopes to interweave various data sets and narratives of housing and communities with new digital technologies. With a background in Statistics and English Literature, she received her M.A. in Computational Media at Duke University. In her free time, she enjoys watching indie movies, and going to live performances.