Incheon is the third-largest city in Korea and makes up an important part of the Seoul metropolitan area’s transportation hub. Whilst Seoul is Korea’s biggest tourist destination, Incheon is sometimes overlooked by tourists. However, that doesn’t deserve to be the case.
This article looks at what tourists could expect from a day trip or stay in Incheon. In it, you’ll find the answers to key questions such as:
- Why Incheon is worth a visit
- How to get to and from Incheon
- How many hours it takes to travel from Incheon airport to the city and Seoul
- The best attractions found in the city
Should I Visit Incheon?
Many international travelers to Korea will pass through Incheon at some point on their trip. It boasts one of the biggest airports in the country and is a major port city.
Due to its proximity and transport connections to Seoul, thousands of passengers travel through the city and its outskirts. However, there are many places to visit near Incheon airport that most travelers overlook.
The city itself offers a fascinating mix of modern Korean architecture and city life, paired with older, traditional cultural attractions. However, the real secret to Incheon’s success as a great tourist destination is its beaches.
There are white sand beaches found just a few miles from Incheon international airport. Tourists can visit to relax and unwind and enjoy watersports such as jet-skiing and banana boats.
Tourists looking to enjoy a wide mix of traditional, cultural, and culinary experiences will find what they’re looking for in Incheon.
How to Travel to Incheon
There are many ways to travel to Incheon both from Seoul and international destinations. Most new arrivals in the city, however, will arrive by plane.
Yet, before arriving, it’s important for passengers to travel with the right kind of Korean visa. South Korea is set to introduce a brand new Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) from 2021, which will be obligatory for thousands of travelers entering the country.
Arriving in Incheon by Plane
Incheon International airport is South Korea’s largest airport and ranks amongst the busiest in the world. It boasts extensive and fast connections to the capital making the city itself a good stopping off point or place to stay during a trip to the Korean peninsula.
Ferries to Incheon and China
Air travel is far from the only option to choose when planning to visit Incheon. Incheon is one of the most important port towns on the west coast of Korea. As a result, there are multiple ferries that run each week to mainland China.
Journeys by ferry last between 17 and 26 hours and run to and from destinations in the Chinese mainland such as Lianyungang, Dalian & Yingkou.
Getting to and from Incheon via Public Transport
Incheon also boasts express trains that run between the airport and Seoul with around 45 – 60 minutes of journey time. However, the airport station also offers frequent trains and buses to the city center of Incheon every hour.
Public transportation prices are relatively cheap in Korea. An intercity train ticket costs around ₩44,000 ($39) and a local bus ride or subway journey only about ₩1,300 ($1) making trips between the two cities quite cost-effective.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Incheon?
The climate in and around Incheon varies throughout the year. The country experiences Northern Hemisphere seasons with winter falling between December to March and summer between June to August.
Temperatures during summer can get very hot and humid, whilst winter temperatures can fall below freezing. As a result, most travelers visit the city during the spring and autumn months when the temperature hovers around 70ºF.
Top Places to Visit in Incheon
There are numerous great places to visit in Incheon, Korea. The city offers tourists a wide selection of different activities to enjoy, from relaxing at the beach all the way to boutique shopping. Some of the most popular places to visit include:
- Eurwangni Beach: Relax on white-sand beaches and enjoy family-friendly shallow waters or more adventurous activities such as jet skiing
- Wolmido Island: Experience historic natural scenery at Wolmi traditional park, or get an adrenaline rush from visiting Womido’s large amusement park
- Chinatown: Explore the historical Chinatown and sample delicious food and wonder at the colorful architecture
- Spasis: Unwind at this traditional jjimjilbang (Korean bathhouse) and enjoy various different kinds of sauna and hot spring baths
- Bupyeong Underground Market: Browse through over 1000 stores and trendy boutiques
Incheon may be overlooked by its bigger neighbor in the region, however, the city is much more than just a place to arrive and depart from in Korea. Spending a little time in Incheon is well worth the while to get the feel of Korean life outside of Seoul.