If you’re stopping by for a quick layover in South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, you are rest assured that this multi-awarded travel hub has something in store for adventurous travelers. Maximize your short stay of at least two hours at the airport by getting a taste of Korean culture and hospitality. Take note that some Asian airports, like those in the nearby Japan, close by around midnight, but this airport is open 24/7.
An Hour to Deplane, Transfer and Board Your Next Plane
A layover in Incheon for an international flight means at least an hour of stay at the airport. Unfortunately, for a one-hour stop, you won’t have much time to take advantage of a free transit tour or even an airport self tour. Take note that after deplaning, getting to the transfer area for your next flight would require you to first line up again for security. By the time you get to your boarding gate, you only have a few minutes to spare for a stroll within the vicinity, go to the restroom or look for a comfortable seat while you wait to board your next flight.
Freshen Up, Charge, Go Online
If you have at least a two-hour layover, you can benefit from the airport’s world-class facilities, amenities, and attractions that are primarily meant to impress travelers.
You can freshen up for free at Incheon’s public shower room, which can actually rival the shower facilities of decent hotels around. If the idea of a public shower doesn’t appeal to you, there are lounges that you can use for a fee. Lie down or chill for a bit at the classy transit lounge nearby so you can relax at no cost — beats the hefty rate of a regular airline lounge. For a minimal amount, have a good massage and get rid of the long-haul flight stress at the massage and beauty care area. These offerings are all located at the 4th floor.
If you’re saving your mobile device’s battery, go online for free at any of the available Internet lounges at the 2nd and 3rd floors. Outlets for charging also abound throughout the airport. Just make sure you have the right adapter if your electronic device is not compatible with Korean outlets. The voltage requirement in Korea is 220 volts, just like in many other Asian countries. If your device is labeled “autovolt” (auto voltage), then you should have no problem.
Enjoy an Airport Self Tour
Incheon is impressively designed to make travelers’ stay not just convenient but also fun and memorable. With arts and culture events taking place all year round, an airport self tour allows you to bring a piece of Korean culture with you while en route to your final destination. Performance schedules in the various attractions may change at any time, but if ever you can’t catch any, there are still many other great options to choose from.
If you prefer to remain within the security area, go to the 3rd floor to watch a classical concert, which is generally scheduled at 11 a.m., 12:30 noon, 3:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. daily. Alternatively, you can make your own Korean souvenir at the Traditional Korean Cultural Center for free or go to the 4th floor to see the cultural offerings at the Traditional Craft Gallery.
If you’re willing to go out of the security area, you can briefly check out the Transportation Center at the 1st basement, which houses the skating rink called Ice Forest, a cafe, and a movie theater showing the latest blockbusters. You can go to the Millennium Hall at the 1st floor, which features a beautiful pond and a cultural performance area with shows typically scheduled every 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. daily. The Korean Cultural Street at the 4th floor provides travelers with a short but meaningful immersion on Korean culture. Here, a Korean classical chamber music concert usually happens every 12 noon, 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., while the Walk of the Royal Family happens every 3 p.m. You can also visit the Korean Cultural Museum at the Duty Free Area Concourse, which is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.