If you travel throughout Asia, chances are high that you will spend some time at South Korea’s Incheon Airport, just outside Seoul. Recently I spent 14 hours in this airport, giving me plenty of time to enjoy some of the many features.
Here are the four reasons I look forward to transferring through this Asian hub again:
First and foremost I appreciate an airport that provides free Wifi to its passengers. Thanks to the perfect price tag, I was able to pass some time by uploading pictures from my trip, catching up on email, chatting with friends and even making several Skype calls.
Not far from my gate was a stage for classical concerts and stools set up for people to sit and enjoy the music. I was lucky enough to experience a concert featuring two pianists performing classical music. What a great way to distract yourself from the otherwise boring waiting game.
Free Museums and Galleries
The government goes to great length to ensure that people don’t leave the country without learning at least a little bit about the culture of South Korea. Whether you are interested in traditional crafts, history or classical chamber music, the Incheon Airport has something to offer.
And if you are simply too tired to head to one of the five museums/galleries, sit back, relax and simply wait for the Korean culture to come to you. I witnessed the “Walk of the Royal Family” which is a procession of about a dozen people, fully clad in traditional dress, walking throughout the airport. If you have a long layover you are bound to get a good photo op eventually.
Free City Tours
The airport offers six unique city tours, ranging from two to six hours, to all passengers in transit. Simply by showing both your inbound and outbound ticket you can sign up at the “Free Transit Tour” desk on the ground transportation level.
While the term “free” is a little misleading, it is still a pretty good deal. They will charge you $3US for insurance and around $5 for lunch, both of which you can decline. You will have to pay for the entrance into any museums or, in my case, the $3 admission fee to visit the Gyeongbok Palace.
All tours, led by English-speaking guides, use a chartered bus with plenty of room underneath for any heavy carry-on luggage you might have. Taking one of these tours is a great way to sightsee a bit of Seoul and learn a bit about South Korea, as well as to meet fellow travelers coming and going all over the world. I love chatting about places people are traveling from and to!
If touring in a group is not your thing, staff at the airport will even assist you on a self-guided city tour using the AREX or the Maglev Train.
Whatever your pleasure the Incheon Airport seems to have something for you.