Trekking with Becky

Seoul – Incheon (ICN) Layover

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The Walk of the Royal Family.

A Seoul – Incheon (ICN) layover is the best you’ll ever have, whether it’s for a few hours at the airport, or a night or two.  You may have heard that Seoul – Incheon (ICN) Airport has been named the World’s Best Airport from 2005-2014.  Believe me, this airport deserves it!  😀

 

I’ve been to Seoul twice for two short holidays and to Incheon for two long layovers, so after four trips, let me tell you, this is definitely the BEST airport for layovers, long or short!

 

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This perfectly bilingual employee let me take his picture.  His English was native level and he was extremely friendly and helpful.

For long layovers, you can take FREE tours! DON’T go through the transfer section of the airport!  Go straight out.

Before you reach immigration, you can stop at the free transit tour counter for information if you’d like.

 

 

 

 

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My free transit tour pin.

There are three 5-hour tours, and one 3.5-hour, one 3-hour, one 2-hour, and one 1-hour tour in Seoul and Incheon. Since I’ve already been to Seoul, I took two Incheon tours.  😀

After you get through immigration, make your way to the free transit tour counter near gate eight.

You need to show your passport and your boarding passes to prove that you’re in transit. You’ll be all set when you get your free pin.  😀

 

 

If you’re not there long enough to go on a free tour, or if you’re stuck at the airport for any reason, fret not!  Being stuck in an airport for a long time is dreaded, but seriously, be HAPPY if you ever have to spend a few hours at Incheon!  😀  You won’t be bored, and it won’t take you long to find something interesting.

Personally, I don’t pin a place on my travel map if I’ve only been to the station or airport, but Incheon just might be an exception because of all the special, unique cultural, educational, historical features.

 

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The entrance to Korean Cultural Street on the 4th floor.

You can go up to the 4th floor to the (public) Korean Cultural Street.  It has a free little art museum and a good selection of restaurants.

It also features traditional Korean architecture, like the picture to your left of the entrance.

 

 

 

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The Korea Traditional Cultural Experience Center.

The Korea Traditional Cultural Experience Center in the duty free zone is great for everyone – kids and adults. You can do some Korean arts and crafts, and you can also catch a mini-show.  The staff helping you are all dressed in traditional Korean clothing.  😀

 

My favourite is definitely the Walk of the Royal Family.  It was there on my first trip in March 2012, again in July 2014, and again when I was heading back to Japan from my trip to Vietnam earlier this month…I hope that Incheon keeps that going forever!  😀

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Lucky me! I got a shot with the king and queen!

Chances are good that you’ll see it since it’s done four times a day through the duty free area on the 3rd floor past immigration as well as on the Korean Cultural Street.

If you have time, follow the royal procession and when they stop once they’re finished, you can get your picture taken with them.  😀

I hope you like the two short videos I was able to take!  😀

 

I hope that all this makes you look forward to your layover.  I know you’ll enjoy it!  😀

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!  I’d love to hear about your experience!

4 thoughts on “Seoul – Incheon (ICN) Layover

  1. Ben

    Hello. Great article. I am going to have a 24 hour layover on my trip in July/August. My biggest problem is that my layover is from 6:30pm to 6:15pm. So I will have to get up really early to take the tour I want. lol

    At any rate…In my research I not only found these free Transit Tours….I also found what they call Goodwill Guides. I found out about them on the english.visitkorea.or.kr web site. They are a group of bi-lingual people that volunteer their time to be translators for people visiting Korea. The service is completely free (except you are required to purchase any food and transportation for the day). Using this service would be great for the person who has already taken one or two of the free Transit Tours and was looking for something a little more personalized or wanted to go somewhere that isn’t on one of the normal tours.

    Just thought I would pass this along to your readers.

    1. Becky Post author

      Thanks!

      That’s awesome – nearly 24 hours! You can take more than one tour depending on what you want to see/do.

      Interesting to know about the Goodwill Guides. I had no idea. Thanks for this great tidbit! 😀

    1. Becky Post author

      Great post!

      I didn’t have to worry about my connecting flight at all; the staff checked my boarding pass, etc. to make sure that time wouldn’t be a problem. They also held my luggage for me. 😀

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