Sunset over Central Park in Incheon, South Korea
travel guide

Is Incheon worth visiting?

Emily Adam

Contributing writer

When people think of the top destinations to visit in South Korea, the first ones that come to mind are Seoul, Busan and Jeju Island. Of course, these destinations all have so much to offer, but one gorgeous city that everyone coming to Korea passes through, yet many don’t think to visit, is the gorgeous city of Incheon.

Rich in culture, with many unique and amazing attractions, it’s sad to say that many visitors simply think of this city as just being the airport. In reality, it is so much more than that. It has gorgeous parks, the famous Wolmido Island, an enchanting fairytale village, and so much more.

Should I stay in Incheon overnight?

If you’re staying somewhere in Seoul that makes getting to Incheon city centre easy, then it may not be worth spending the night here. Instead, you can definitely see all there is to admire in Incheon in the space of one day, so long as you set off bright and early, and are prepared to get back to your accommodation quite late.

However, if you’re spending quite a long time in Seoul and need a break from the huge city, staying overnight in Incheon could be a good idea. With the restaurants and cafes along the edge of Wolmido Island looking like a summertime vacation spot, it makes a beautiful and peaceful retreat away from Seoul.

The ferris wheel at the Wolmi theme park in Incheon, South Korea

Things to do in Incheon

As mentioned above, Incheon is often overlooked as a travel destination. Many people visiting Korea see it as ‘just the airport’, however, there is so much more to this wonderful and culturally rich city.

Here are a few of my favourite things to do in Incheon.

Wolmido & Wolmi Theme Park: Our pick for Incheon’s top attraction

Although much smaller than some of the other theme parks in the country, Wolmi theme park is an authentic and fun, family-friendly boardwalk experience in Korea, where you can enjoy riding on a Ferris Wheel, playing Carnival games, and enjoying a classic wooden roller coaster. A quiet spot during the day, Wolmi Theme Park truly comes to life at night!

Wolmi Theme Park is also home to one of the most famous rides in Korea - the Disco Bang Bang and is one of the reasons it’s such a popular spot for visitors. Found all over social media, the Disco Bang Bang relentlessly throws riders around and is accompanied by a DJ who entertains whilst operating the ride.

There are plenty of great restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as tasty street food options, located just around the back of the theme park, looking out over the sea. It truly feels like stepping back in time to a quaint seaside family vacation spot, that’s still loved by Koreans today.

Be sure to grab some tasty street food at the stands overlooking the sea when the sun sets before you head back!

Why we picked it: We chose to list Wolmi Island as the top spot in this destination because of the quaint and blissful atmosphere it gives off. Loved for many generations, this stunning area is the perfect spot for grabbing a cup of coffee whilst watching the sunset, breathing in the fresh sea air, and watching planes come in to land in the distance at Incheon International Airport.  

A colourful street in Songwoldong fairytale village in Incheon, South Korea

Songwol Dong Fairytale Village

One of the most popular spots to visit in Incheon, and conveniently located right next to Chinatown is the amazing Songwol Dong Fairytale Village.

Originally named for the stunning view of the moon in the pine forest, Songwol Dong began life as a settlement area for foreigners after the opening of Inchon Port back in 1883. Sadly, the younger generations left the village, leaving it barren and lifeless, until its renovation brought it back to life with colourful murals and stunning sculptures of classic fairytales.

Today visitors can walk through the village, spotting their favourite Disney characters, and famous fairytale icons, making it a great place to stop to take pictures.

Be sure to stop and get a quick snap or two on the iconic rainbow steps!

Incheon Jayu Park / Incheon Freedom Park

Incheon Jayu Park, also known as Incheon Freedom Park is a great place if you’re looking to go for a beautiful outdoor stroll!

It was originally built just a few years after the opening of Incheon Port and was the first Western-style park created in Korea. The park boasts a shrine, a sculpture commemorating an 1882 treaty with the United States, and plenty of statues, but the reason most people love to visit this park is simply for the view.

Head up the hill in the park to enjoy captivating, sweeping views of the city and the harbour down below.

The entrance to Chinatown in Incheon, South Korea


Chinatown is a popular spot in Incheon for both Koreans and tourists alike. The area originated when many Chinese immigrants settled here during the Ching Dynasty and was an area where many goods imported from China were traded.

 It stands today as a glimpse into history, and whilst there isn’t a huge number of shops, there’s a great range of authentic and delicious restaurants to dine at, most of which are owned by 2nd and 3rd generation Chinese immigrants.

There’s plenty on offer to try here, from authentic Chinese food to delicious Chinese-Korean food, such as a Jjajangmyeon, Tangsuyuk, and Jjamppong.

A bowl of Jjajangmyeon, black bean noodles

What to eat in Incheon

There truly is no shortage of delicious foods to enjoy during a trip to South Korea, but Incheon has a few specialities up its sleeve that you should try while you’re here! 

Chinese Food (Jjajangmyeon, Tangsuyuk & Jjamppong)

As Incheon is home to the most popular Chinatown in all of Korea, it’s a great spot to try some delicious Korean-Chinese food.

Some of the most popular dishes include Jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles), Tangsuyuk (battered pork strips in a sweet and sticky sauce), and Jjampong (spicy seafood soup). If you’re travelling in a group of two or more, it’s a good idea to get a couple of these dishes to share.

Fresh seafood

Seafood is quite popular in Korea, and as Incheon is a coastal city, it’s a great place to enjoy tasty fresh seafood.

Depending on where about in Incheon you’re headed, you’ll want to try some of the city’s best seafood specialities. East Incheon is a great spot if you love mackerel, Manseokdong is popular for the webfoot octopus, Yonghyudong is the best spot for monkfish, and Songdo is a great place to enjoy blue crab!

Head down to Sorae port, where you can find a great traditional fish market. Simply choose your fish, pay for it at the stall, and it will be prepared there and then for you to take to one of the onsite restaurants, where you can enjoy it fresh and raw with a selection of tasty side dishes.

A statue at Freedom Park in Incheon, South Korea

Travel logistics

South Korea experiences some extreme weather throughout the year, so if you’re visiting during the peak of summer or winter, it’s important to take many precautions to ensure you remain safe and comfortable during your trip.

As many of the popular attractions and things to see are located outdoors in Incheon, it’s a good idea to visit during the late springtime or early summer. This way, there is little chance of rain, and the temperature will likely be mild and comfortable, so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Early Autumn is also a good time to visit, as the weather is also mild, but you’ll want to ensure that there is no rain forecast on the day you choose to visit.

How to get to Incheon

Though many visitors to Korea will have seen Incheon Airport’s location on a map, it’s worth noting that the airport is located on a small man-made island off the coast of Incheon, so whilst you may have already technically ‘been’ to Incheon, you haven’t truly seen it until you head into the city.

If you’re travelling to Incheon from the airport, it is easily accessible by bus or car. Otherwise, there are several transport options from Seoul.


If you’re hiring a car in Korea, it may be time-consuming to drive from Seoul to Incheon due to the traffic, however, if you’re planning on travelling from the airport to Incheon city centre then it should take just less than an hour to arrive.

As public transport in Korea is so cheap, you may want to use that instead. In comparison, car hire can be expensive, and driving in Korea isn’t the most relaxing experience.

Masks outside the Peking Opera in Chinatown in Incheon, South Korea


As Incheon is located near Seoul, it is easily accessible via the Seoul Metropolitan Area Subway System. Depending on where you’re travelling from in Seoul, getting to the city centre of Incheon should take just over an hour.

You likely won’t need to take too many transfers, as Incheon station is located on Line One. It’s important to remember that when travelling to Incheon City, to not take the subway to the airport. This is a different line and is not the easiest way of getting to the city centre. Instead, take the Line One train bound for Incheon. Do not catch trains bound for Cheonan, Sinchang, or Seodongtan, as these head in a different direction.

If you’re travelling on a budget, this is the cheapest option, as it should cost around only 2,000 won to get there (less than US$2). 


Buses in Korea are an excellent mode of transport. Unlike in many other countries, they’re cheap and reliable.

There are a range of buses you may need to take depending on where you’re travelling in Seoul, but one of the main inter-city buses that travel between Seoul city centre and Incheon City centre is the 1400. Be sure to double-check your route on Naver or Kakao maps before you depart.

The entrance to Songwoldong fairy tale village in Incheon, South Korea

Where to stay in Incheon

Incheon is a beautiful city to visit, and whilst it doesn’t see a huge number of tourists, people in Incheon tend to speak more English than compared with other small cities across Korea. Even so, if you plan on spending some time in Incheon, it’s best to choose one of the well-known or larger hotels in the city centre, where the staff will speak good English.

Some good options are:

Final thoughts

Incheon is a charming city, with so much to offer, so it’s quite a sad fact that many people see it as just being the home of Korea's biggest International Airport.

If you have time to visit and explore some of the gorgeous history and culture of this famous port city, you’ll soon realise why it is so underrated, and fall in love with Incheon for its authenticity, not just its airport!

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Emily Adam

Author - Emily Adam

Emily is a travel writer from the UK with a passion for exploring the world and experiencing the local foods, traditions, and history of the places she visits. Emily has a degree in Asia Pacific Studies and has studied and lived in Seoul and Busan in South Korea.

Growing up, Emily travelled annually with her family, typically to all-inclusive resorts around the world, and small Spanish seaside towns. Since then, she has travelled widely across Asia, the United States and Europe.

Last Updated 26 April 2024

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