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Metropolitan City
Daejeon Metropolitan City
 • Hangul 대전광역시
 • Hanja 大田廣域市
 • Revised Romanization Daejeon-gwangyeoksi
 • McCune-Reischauer Taejŏn-kwangyŏksi
View of Daejeon from Bomunsan Mountain
View of Daejeon from Bomunsan Mountain
Flag of Daejeon
Official logo of Daejeon
Daejeon-gwangyeoksi in South Korea.svg
Daejeon is located in South Korea
Location in South Korea
Country South Korea
Region Hoseo
Districts 5
 • Type Mayor–council
 • Total 539.85 km2 (208.44 sq mi)
 (January 2022)
 • Total 1,469,543
 • Density 2,722.132/km2 (7,050.29/sq mi)
 • Dialect
ISO 3166 code KR-30
Flower White magnolia
Tree Pine
Bird Korean magpie
GDP US$ 39.6 billion
GDP per capita US$25,976

Daejeon is South Korea's fifth-largest metropolis, with a population of 1.5 million as of 2019. Located in a lowland valley in the central region of South Korea, Daejeon serves as a hub of transportation for major rail and road routes, as well as for technology and administration sectors. The city is known for celebrating its natural environment, with most mountains, forests, hot springs, and rivers freely open for public use. Daejeon is approximately 50 minutes from the capital, Seoul, by KTX or SRT high speed rail.

Daejeon is one of South Korea's administration hubs with the Daejeon Government Complex (Other administrative hubs: Seoul, Gwacheon and Sejong City). The Korean administration in the 1980s decided to relocate some of its functions from Seoul, the national capital, to other cities. Currently, 12 national government offices, including Korea Customs Service, Small and Medium Business Administration, Public Procurement Service, National Statistical Office, Military Manpower Administration, Korea Forest Service, Cultural Heritage Administration, and Korean Intellectual Property Office, as well as Patent Court of Korea, are located in Daejeon. Korail, Korea Water Resources Corporation, and Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation are also headquartered in the city.

Daejeon is home to 23 universities and colleges, including KAIST and Chungnam National University. Daejeon has earned its name as "Asia's Silicon Valley" and "high technology city". The city hosted the Taejon Expo '93 and the International Mathematical Olympiads in 2000. Several important research institutes are based in the city.

Daedeok Innopolis (Daedeok Research and Development Special Zone) is composed of 28 government-funded research institutions, as well as 79 private research institutes with as many as 20,000 researchers. In addition, Daejeon established the World Technopolis Association (WTA) in 1998 with the view of realizing regional development through international cooperation with world science cities. The WTA has grown to have 67 members from 32 countries, and it actively cooperates with many international organizations including UNESCO as its official consultative body.


Human beings first settled in the Daejeon region during the Stone Age. It was occupied and in use as strategic military ground in various times by people such as the Usul-gun of Baekje, Bipung-gun of Silla, and the Hoideok-hyeon, Yuseong-hyeon, Deokjin-hyeon, and Jinjam-hyeon. During the Joseon Kingdom period, it remained occupied by the Hoideok-hyeon and Jinjam-hyeon of Gongju Mokha. In 1895, most of the area was made part of Hoideok-gun and Jinjam-gun, excluding some parts that belonged to Gongju-gun.

The Daejeon area was historically known as Hanbat (한밭), a native Korean term for "large field", during the Joseon Dynasty. "Daejeon" simply means the same thing in Hanja. In the 19th century, Daejeon was also known in English as Kung-tsiou.

Historically, Daejeon was a small village without many residents. However, in 1905, the Gyeongbu Railway began operations from Seoul to Busan, opening a station at Daejeon. In 1926 under the rule of the Japanese government, the Honam Railway was built between Mokpo and Daejeon, transforming the latter into a major transportation hub. Because of its location and proximity to means of transportation, Daejeon grew quickly.

Kasuga-Cho in Taiden
Eunhaeng-Sunhwa neighborhood (Kasuga-Cho), c.1920.

However, as railroads were laid under Japanese rule, a friendly environment was created for the Japanese, and many Japanese began to settle in Daejeon taking advantage of the opportunity. According to 1910 census, 58%, or more than half of the 4,350 Daejeon population at the time, were Japanese. In the 1925 census, 56% of the 8,861 people in Daejeon were Japanese, and more than half were still Japanese. Therefore, Daejeon was one of the cities with great cultural influence of Japanese residents. For example, in the case of elderly people who experienced Japanese colonial era, they pronounce '단무지(Pickled radish, danmuji)' as '닥광/단광(dakgwang/dangwang)', '컵(cup, keob)' as '고뿌(goffu)' and '비닐(vinyl, binil)' as '비니루(binilu)'. In addition, '우에시다리(Uesidari)', a representative team division game in Daejeon, was also created at this time and is believed to have been derived from the Japanese word '上(うえ, Ue)' meaning 'up' and the Japanese word '下(した, sita)' meaning 'down'.

In 1932, the capital of Chungnam province was moved from Gongju to Daejeon. During the Korean War, the city was the site of an early major conflict: the Battle of Taejon.

Since then, changes have been made to the city's boundaries. Its official names have evolved, as well. Among the boundary modifications include one that effectively made the nearby town of Daedeok a part of the city in 1983. Then, in the late 1980s, Daejeon was elevated to the status of Special City (Jikhalsi), thus became a separate administrative region from Chungcheongnam-do. In 1995, all South Korean Special Cities were again renamed as Metropolitan Cities, which is reflected in the current official name of Daejeon, Daejeon Metropolitan City (대전광역시).

In 1997, the Daejeon Government Complex was constructed as part of an effort to move some government offices away from the densely populated capital, Seoul. The population of Daejeon increased dramatically as a result. However, with the construction of Sejong Special Self-Governing City in 2013 for the division of capital functions and balanced local development, public institutions that had previously headed to Daejeon were headed to Sejong, and many public institutions in Seoul were also moved to Sejong. With the launch of Sejong City, large-scale development began, resulting in infrastructure construction and large-scale apartment complexes. The problem was that Sejong was located immediately north of Daejeon, and Daejeon citizens began to outflow to Sejong due to Sejong's sharing of capital functions and large-scale development, and as of July 2020, more than 100,000 people were net outflow from Daejeon to Sejong. The population of Daejeon continued to slightly wane from what was 1.54 million in 2013 to 1.46 million currently.


Hiking path along Gapcheon in Daejeon
Walking path along the Gap River

Daejeon lies between latitudes N36°10'50" and N36°29'47" and longitudes E127°14'54" and E127°33'21" near the middle of South Korea. It is 167.3 km (104.0 mi) from Seoul, 294 km (183 mi) from Busan and 169 km (105 mi) from Gwangju. Sejong, which is planned to be the new administrative capital of South Korea, is also close by. The city lies inside a great circle and is surrounded by several mountains, and Gyeryongsan National Park straddles the city border to the west. The city is divided into five boroughs: Seogu (서구), Donggu (동구), Yuseonggu (유성구), Daedeokgu (대덕구), and Junggu (중구). Three streams flow through the city from south to north, eventually joining with the Geum River: Gapcheon (갑천), Yudeungcheon (유등천), and Daejeoncheon (대전천).


Daejeon has a monsoon-influenced, four-season climate that lies within the transition between the humid subtropical and humid continental climatic regimens (Köppen Cwa/Dwa, respectively). Monthly mean temperatures range from −1.0 °C (30.2 °F) in January to 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) in August.

Climate data for Daejeon (1981–2010, extremes 1969–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.6
Average high °C (°F) 4.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.0
Average low °C (°F) −5.4
Record low °C (°F) −18.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 29.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 8.5 6.7 8.4 7.7 8.7 10.5 17.1 16.0 9.8 5.8 7.9 8.8 115.9
Average snowy days 10.2 5.9 3.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 2.4 7.6 29.6
Average relative humidity (%) 64.8 59.5 56.5 55.3 62.1 68.7 77.7 77.5 74.4 70.4 66.9 66.4 66.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 163.4 172.2 200.3 212.3 223.9 180.6 139.8 157.8 168.2 195.9 161.6 162.6 2,138.7
Percent possible sunshine 52.7 56.1 54.0 54.0 51.2 41.3 31.4 37.6 45.1 56.1 52.5 53.9 48.0
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration (percent sunshine and snowy days)

Administrative divisions

Map Daejeon-gwangyeoksi
Administrative divisions of Daejeon.

Daejeon is divided into 5 districts ("Gu"):

Subdivision Korean Area (km2) Population

(September 2021)

Daedeok District Hangul: 대덕구; Hanja: 大德區 68.71 174,791
Dong District Hangul: 동구; Hanja: 東區 163.68 223,409
Jung District Hangul: 중구; Hanja: 中區 62.18 232,077
Seo District Hangul: 서구; Hanja: 西區 95.53 474,444
Yuseong District Hangul: 유성구; Hanja: 儒城區 176.53 350,337


As of January 2022, Daejeon has a population of 1,469,543, including 17,292 (1.2%) registered residents of foreign nationality.

Population of Daejeon, South Korea
Plot of population numbers


Circle frame-1.svg

Religion in Daejeon (2005)      Folk religion or Not religious (47%)     Buddhism (21.8%)     Protestantism (20.5%)     Catholicism (10.7%)

According to the census of 2005, of the people of Daejeon, 21.8% follow Buddhism and 31.2% follow Christianity (20.5% Protestantism and 10.7% Catholicism). About 47% of the population is mostly not religious or follows Muism and other indigenous religions.


There are 23 universities and colleges in Daejeon, concurrently enrolling around 90,000 students and employing 4,000 professors.

Major public universities in Daejeon include:

  • Chungnam National University, a major national university established for the South Chungcheong province.
  • Daejeon Chungnam University, a campus in the four-year Korea National Open University system.
  • Hanbat National University, founded in 1927, specializing in partnerships between industry and academia.
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the nation's first public research-oriented science and engineering institution. The university was ranked as the best Asian science and technology school by Asiaweek in 2000.
Chungnam National University Law School Building N12
Chungnam University Law School Building

Major private universities in Daejeon include:

  • Mokwon University
  • Pai Chai University, founded in 1885, one of the oldest private universities in South Korea.
  • Woosong University, specialized curriculum based on international exchange, foreign-language, and IT education.
  • Hannam University, founded in 1956 by Christian missionaries, with a main campus in O-Jeong Dong (site of the historic Missionary Village), and a branch campus is in Techno Valley.

Specialized high schools and academies include:

  • Daejeon Foreign Language High School is a selective high school focusing on teaching of foreign language. The school provides language education of 7 majors including English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.
  • Daejeon Science High School is a selective high school focused on teaching science.
  • Taejon Christian International School is an international school in the city.

Research and development

KAIST, August 2019 1
KAIST Campus

Known as the Silicon Valley of Korea, Daejeon is the home of private and public research institutes, centers and science parks. The R&D centers of Samsung, Institute of Information Technology Advancement, LG, Korea University of Science and Technology, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and others are in Daedeok Science Town in Yuseong-gu.

Daejeon features a technology cluster known as Daedeok Innopolis defined by the national Universities Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Chungnam National University and surrounded by government research institutes, government-invested corporate research institutes, corporate research centers, and venture companies.

The research institutes and universities in Daedeok Valley have spun off multiple startups. Korea has invested heavily in building up the research expertise for over 30 years, creating long-term research programs. Over 7,000 PhD researchers are in the sciences in Daedeok and it had the most application for patents during 2000–2011 among the National Industrial Complex.

Researchers and businessmen work in the fields of telecommunications, nanofabrication, biotechnology, water, nuclear and hydro power, nuclear fusion, design, measurement technologies, mechanical engineering, fuel cells, aeronautics, new materials, robotics, new drugs, and environmental technologies. Daedeok Innopolis' membership includes 898 corporations, 35 government-invested and sponsored institutions; six universities, and 15 public organizations.

Among Daedeok Innopolis' universities, KAIST is considered the top technical university in Korea. Strong fields at KAIST include computer science, electrical and nuclear engineering, mechanical design, chemistry, and telecommunications. Chungnam National University also plays a central role in those fields, and brings expertise in biotechnology, medicine, and the agricultural sciences. These universities are complemented by institutions such as Hanbat National University, Pai Chai University, Hannam University, Mokwon University, and Woosong University.

KAIST from across Gapcheon
KAIST Campus

Research institutes in Daedeok include the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), Electronic and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Korea Fusion Energy Research Institute (KFERI), National Nanofab Center, Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM), Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), Marine and Ocean Engineering Research Institute, Institute of Information Technology Advancement (IITA), Korea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, Agency for Defense Development (ADD), Korea Institute of Toxicology (KIT), Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Korea Institute of Nuclear Non-proliferation and Control, National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (NIMS), Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), Rare Isotope Science Project (RISP), National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), and the National Security Research Institute. Among the technology produced in Daedeok are ETRI's wireless communications systems CDMA, WIBRO, and DMB, KRIBB's nano biochips, KARI's KOMPSAT satellites, and NFRI's KSTAR nuclear fusion experimental reactor.

Daedeok is also home to 21 corporate research centers with global reach surrounded by an equal number of smaller firms. Some of the notable corporate research centers are Dongbu Advanced Research Institute (biotechnology, microorganisms and agrichemicals), GS-Caltex Value Creation Center (environmentally friendly products including substitutes for oil), Hanwha Chemical Research (biotechnology, electronics materials, catalysts, and nanotechnology), Honam Petrochemical Daeduk Research Institute (synthetic chemistry and petrochemicals), LG Chemical LTD. Research Park (lithium ion battery and polymer battery development), Samyang R&D Center (medical research and electronics), and SK Institute of Technology (petroleum-related research).

Public corporation research institutes such as Korea Electric Power Research Institute (hydroelectric projects and nuclear energy), Korea Institute of Construction Materials (authorized test agency for construction materials), and Korea Institute of Aerospace Technology (aerospace design, satellites, launch technologies) are also part of the Daedeok system.

On 16 May 2013, Daejeon was selected as the core of the International Science and Business Belt.

Besides a tire production facility, Hankook Tire has its main R&D centre in Daejeon.



Daejeon Expo Science Park (dry river)
Expo Science Park in 2007.

Daejeon Arts Center - a center with two performance halls and exhibition venues, home to multiple local music and theater groups including the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, which recently completed several international tours, including visits to the United States and Japan.

Daejeon Artist House - a six-floor visual and performing arts building, built on the site of the former Civic Center.

Lydon daejeon-arboretum-lake
Daejeon Hanbat Arboretum, East Garden in 2021.

Daejeon Museum of Art - Features modern art from both domestic and foreign artists, with a historical focus on the convergence of art and technology.

Expo Science Park - In 1993 an international exposition (Taejŏn Expo '93) was held at Daejeon. Several landmarks, such as the Hanbit Tower and the Expo Bridge, designed by Hui Lee Shun, were built at this time. After the exposition ended, the grounds were refurbished as Expo Science Park, and parking lots were transformed into Daejeon Hanbat Arboretum. While the tower and some buildings remain, most of the expo buildings have now been removed, and a large part of the site now hosts the Institute for Basic Science.

National Science Museum - Opened in Seoul in 1926, the museum moved to Daejeon in 1990, adjacent to the Expo grounds.


Daejeon citizens are recognized for their fondness of nature, with many of the city's modern-day traditions and industries still being linked to important mountains, rivers, and forests. Today, there are eight popular places for sightseers which are designated by city government. Those eight sights include the mountains

Sikjangsan, Bomunsan, Gubongsan (Hangul: 구봉산), Jangtaesan, and Gyejoksan, the lake Daecheonghosu, as well as Yuseong Spa, and Expo Science Park. Daejeon O-World, Daejeon's local amusement park, consists of Daejeon Zoo, Joy Land and Flower Land. Opened on 1 May 2009 the park is home to 160 species of 600 animals, 17 rides and themed gardens including Sounds garden, Herb Garden, and Rose Garden.

Daejeon Metropolitan City in Korea, view from Bomunsan Fortress
View of Daejeon from the top of Bomunsan Fortress


Daejeon is a provincial center for the television, newspaper and publishing industries.

Major television broadcasting companies, such as KBS and MBC, have branches in Daejeon; Taejon Broadcasting Corporation (TJB) is a local television broadcaster based in Daejeon. Cable TV services are available in most apartments. Eight (8) channels of Mobile TV are provided with the digital radio channels. Several FM radio stations provide news and music on the air. KBS, MBC, TJB have their FM radio channels, there are Christian radio channels, FEBC and CBS, and traffic news channel TBN.

Daejeon Ilbo is a local newspaper which covers South Chungcheong province.


Daejeon Science Festival, which symbolizes the science city of Daejeon, is a representative festival. The Hyo Culture Root Festival, Daejeon International Wine Fair, Yuseong Oncheon Festival, Geumgang Rojas Festival, Diku Festival, Gyejoksan Mountain Manbal Festival and Gyeonwoojik Women Festival will be held.


Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Daejeon World Cup Stadium.

The Daejeon World Cup Stadium was constructed in preparation for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Several games have been held there, including the South Korea vs. Italy match in the second round. It is also the current home of the K League 2 football club Daejeon Hana Citizen FC. The K3 League side Daejeon Korail FC is also based in the city, playing at the Daejeon Hanbat Sports Complex.

The Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League play their home games at Daejeon Baseball Stadium in Busa-dong.

The V-League men's volleyball club Daejeon Samsung Fire Bluefangs and the V-League women's volleyball club Daejeon KGC both play their home games at the Chungmu Gymnasium of the Daejeon Hanbat Sports Complex.

The city is home to LPGA golfers Pak Se-ri and Jang Jeong. Daejeon is also the hometown of former New York Mets left-handed reliever Dae-Sung Koo.


Daejeon is a center of transportation in South Korea, where two major expressways, Gyeongbu Expressway and Honam Expressway Branch, and two major railway lines, Gyeongbu railway and Honam railway, are joined. Travel time between Daejeon and Seoul using the KTX high-speed rail system is about 50 minutes. The nearest airport to Daejeon is Cheongju Airport, about a thirty-minute drive north of Daejeon. However, there are also direct bus connections to Incheon International Airport.


Dajeon Public Bicycle Tashu at Government Complex Station
Tashu, the public bicycle of Daejeon

One line, Daejeon Subway Line 1, of a planned five-line subway system has been operating since 17 April 2007 (partial operations on this line began on 16 March 2006). This subway line connects Daejeon Station, located in the original city center, with the more modern and more recently developed sections of this city, including Dunsan, where the city hall and a number of national government buildings are located.

Notable differences between the Daejeon subway and the Seoul subway include narrower cars, no doors connecting cars, four cars per train rather than ten, and storage space under the seats for use by passengers. Originally, plastic tokens for toll were read by a proximity sensor when entering the turnstiles, and then inserted into a slot when exiting. The design of the tokens allowed them to be used for advertising. The system now employs the T-money system, a rechargeable series of Smart cards and other "smart" devices used for paying transportation fares. Platform screen doors are installed in the subway stations.


The name of the public bicycle in Korea is different for each region, and the name of the public bicycle in Daejeon is '타슈(Tashu)'. '타슈(Tashu) is a name created using the Chungcheong dialect, and if you change it to the standard language, it becomes '타세요(Taseyo)'. Tashu is an unmanned rental public bicycle service operated in Daejeon Metropolitan City since 2008, and the basic rental fee is 500 won, and if you rent a daily ticket, you can use it unlimitedly within an hour on that day. In other words, if you return it within an hour of rental, you can re-rent it for free immediately after returning it and use it for another hour. However, if it exceeds one hour at a time, it will be automatically charged, so be careful. The rental time is from 5 a.m. to 0 a.m., and rental is not possible from 0 a.m. to 5 a.m., and only return is possible. The name '타슈(Tashu)' is considered a good example of branding because it is a good name for anyone in the world to pronounce while maintaining their local identity.


Notable people

121206 문화연예대상 송중기
Actor Song Joong-ki is a native of Daejeon
  • Kim Joon-ho, comedian
  • Do Ji-han, actor
  • Choi Sung-bong, singer
  • Chung Eun-yong, policeman and activist
  • Han Eun-jung, actress
  • Yoon Joo-hee, actress
  • Han Sang-hyuk, singer (VIXX)
  • Hong Jin-ho, television personality and former professional StarCraft player
  • Ivy, singer and musical actress
  • Jung Su-bin, singer (victon)
  • Kwon Sang-woo, actor
  • Lee Na-eun, singer and actress (April), born in Cheongju (청주), moved to Daejeon before entering elementary school.
  • Lee Yoon-ki, film director
  • Lim Choong-hyun, footballer
  • Rhie Won-bok, cartoonist
  • Pak Se-ri, former professional golfer
  • Ryu Su-jeong, singer (Lovelyz)
  • Shin Chaeho, independence activist, historian, anarchist, nationalist, and the founder of Korean ethnic nationalist historiography
  • Shin Seung-hun, singer-songwriter
  • Song Joong-ki, actor
  • Chen, singer (Exo)
  • Kyu Ha Kim, judoka
  • Baek Ye-rin, singer (15&)
  • Park Ji-min, singer (15&)
  • Jo Bo-ah, actress, model, and host
  • Park Eun-ooh, singer-songwriter, music producer, vocalist, and lyricist
  • Choi Jung-in, singer
  • Kim Woo-seok, singer (X1, Up10tion) and actor
  • FlaSh, StarCraft: Brood War and StarCraft II player
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, actor
  • Kim Dong-hyun, singer (AB6IX)
  • Yeo One, singer (Pentagon) and actor
  • Kwak Dong-yeon, actor

Twin towns – sister cities

City Region Country Year
Oda  Shimane Prefecture  Japan 1987
Seattle  Washington  United States 1989
Budapest Central Hungary  Hungary 1994
Nanjing Jiangsu  China 1994
Calgary  Alberta  Canada 1996
Guadalajara  Jalisco  Mexico 1997
Uppsala Uppland vapen.svg Uppland  Sweden 1999
Novosibirsk  Novosibirsk Oblast  Russia 2001
Brisbane  Queensland  Australia 2002
Bình Dương Province  Vietnam 2005
Sapporo  Hokkaido  Japan 2010
Durban ..KwaZulu-Natal Flag(SOUTH AFRICA).png KwaZulu-Natal  South Africa 2011
Purwokerto  Central Java  Indonesia 2014
Bandung  West Java  Indonesia 2015
Siem Reap Siem Reap Province  Cambodia 2019

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Daejeon para niños

Images for kids

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