Incheon combines a bustling modern metropolitan city of just under 3 million with the beaches of Yeongjong Island and prehistoric artifacts of Ganghwa Island. The city borders Seoul to the east, with a long history that dates back nearly 5,000 years. You'll find historic attractions along with thriving shopping, dining, and entertainment scenes.
As a pivotal area in the nation's history, you'll find many impressive museums and monuments to explore, including the Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall, commemorating a significant event in the Korean War, Modern Architecture Museum, and much more.
From the vast Bupyeong Underground Market with over 1,000 stores to trendy boutiques and vast shopping malls, you'll find whatever you are looking for in Incheon.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a prehistoric burial area, just one of many significant archaeological and historic sites you'll find on this collection of small islands, separated from the mainland by a small channel.
On Yeongjong and Yongyu islands, now joined by the airport that was built between them, you'll find a scene of beaches, restaurants, and bars to escape the busy city pulse.
From fresh seafood with an ocean view along the Wolmido waterfront area, to spicy local cuisine, and some of the best Chinese food outside China in Chinatown, the city's dining scene is impeccable.
On the far tip of Yongyudo Island, not far from Incheon's International Airport, Eurwangni Beach is one of Korea's finest seaside spots. Everything seems to have been made for tourists, from the idyllic scenery to waters which never exceed 1.5 meters in depth, the pure white sand, and easy access from the city center. Sure, that means the crowds flock in numbers to Eurewangni Beach, but that just adds to the fun-loving atmosphere.
Incheon's premier city center park, Jahyou (or Jayu) means "freedom" in Korean, which gives you a clue as to why people love it so much. The centerpiece of the site is a statue of General MacArthur, who helped to liberate Korea from the Japanese, but there's a zoo, numerous hillside trails, and (when you follow those trails upwards) spectacular views of the harbor, too. If you want memorable snaps of the city, nowhere beats Jahyou as a vantage point.
South Korea is a creative powerhouse, from K-Pop to Samsung phones, and this spirit is summed up by the dynamic range of attractions on offer at Incheon Art Platform. Located in the center of town, the Art Platform is a complex of galleries, studios, stages, and spaces dedicated to nurturing local talent and bringing international artists and performers to Incheon. All of this is housed in a network of buildings from the 1930s and 40s, lending the creativity on display a timeless feel and making it great fun to wander around and check out the day's offerings.
Incheon's other superb park, Central Park is located on Songdo Island, around 8 miles over the water from the city center. Songdo is an attraction in itself, having been built on 1,500 acres of land reclaimed from the sea, but Central Park is its real highlight. Built to resemble New York's own Central Park, the area features themed zones that visitors can tour by water taxi. There's a local herd of deer to keep the grass nicely mowed, sculpture gardens, boat rental on the lake and the Tri Bowl - a dazzlingly futuristic construction which hosts concerts and other cultural events.
Not many bridges are major tourist attractions. Usually, they link attractions together without possessing the power to "wow" visitors on their own merits. But Incheon Bridge is different. For one thing, it's 15 miles long, connecting the city to Yongyudo Island. It's also a beautiful construction, snaking its way out into the water and becoming a spectacular light show in the evening. If you land at the airport, be sure to take a ride across the bridge and savor the views. Few cities offer such a stunning construction.
Spring, between March and May, and fall, between September and November, are the most popular times for foreigners to visit Incheon, when the temperatures hover around the mid-70s. Winter weather can plunge below freezing, and the summer monsoon months are very hot and humid.
Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) is located on Yeongjong Island, and is just over 14 miles to the city center, with connections to the city by AREX train for about ₩2,835.
The city connects to Seoul and beyond via subway and commuter train service.
Incheon is well connected to Seoul and most major centers throughout South Korea via a well-maintained network of highways.
Incheon links to intercity bus routes throughout the region. Busan, Daegu, and Gwangju all have services running to Incheon.
Stay in the elegant contemporary Korean decor of the Harbor Park hotel, with beautiful views of the harbor and hills around the city. You'll find sleek modern furnishing and amenities at the J Motel.
Jung District - this central historic area is home to many attractions and monuments such as the Dap-dong Cathedral of St. Paul.
Yeongjong Island or Yeongjongdo - this island, accessible by bridge, is where the airport is located, and is set in a rural landscape with farms and beaches.
Bupyeong District - this lively neighborhood is where you will find Bupyeong Underground Market, with hundreds of small shops, and the Bupyeong Cultural Street, a pedestrian area where performances and concerts are held.
Incheon is well served by both subway and public buses; fares start at ₩800 and vary by distance.
Taxis are plentiful in the city, with typical fares starting at ₩2,500.
Driving can be a good way to get around the city, although it is best to avoid the very busy rush hour periods. A car rental starts at about ₩87,000.
You'll find a wealth of shopping options in the Sinpo-dong neighborhood, including trendy fashions and international stores.
Lotte, HomePlus, and E-Mart are three of the larger supermarket chains in Incheon. A quart of milk costs about ₩2,450, while a dozen eggs costs roughly ₩2,700.
Enjoy formal eight-course meals in the Korean tradition at Gonghwachun, with a prix fixe menu starting at ₩25,000. At Shinpo-sijang, you'll rub shoulders with locals ordering take-out versions of Korean classics, starting at ₩1,000.