Incheon is Korea’s third largest urban centre with a population of 2.5 million people and is considered to have one of the strongest economies in Korea which attracts foreign investors. It is home to the country’s largest airport, Incheon International Airport, which is recognized as one of the best in the world. It also has Korea’s largest seaport on the west coast, making it known as the country’s transportation hub.
Located on the northwest coast of the peninsula on the Yellow Sea, it is also known for having some of the country’s best beaches and is an ideal location for island hopping to neighboring islands.
Although it is a large and self sustained city, Incheon is considered part of the greater Seoul area due to its close proximity to the capital and because it is connected to the same subway system.
Landmarks in this area:
- New Songdo City: home of South Koreas tallest building, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower.
- Wolmido (Island): Wolmido is located about 1km off of the coast of Incheon but is recognized as part of the mainland due to the new highway that was recently built. Due to its many seafood restaurants and cafes, Wolmido is a popular spot for the city natives as well as travelers from all over the country who make the trek on weekends. Be sure to check out the theme park, called ‘Play Hill’, and also take a cruise around the island, which leaves every hour.
- Bukseong-dong Chinatown: This is the only Chinatown in all of Korea and is well worth checking out.
- Incheon Grand Park: is a very popular spot as it hosts many seasonal festivals such as the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Flower Festival
- Yeonan Pier: Yeonan Pier is the main pier that runs transportation services to some of the local islands around Incheon, for both island residents and tourists alike. These islands include: Yonghung Island, Tokjok Island, Chakyak Island and Mui Island.
- SoraePogu (Port): The Port of Soraepogu, Incheon is a fishing port that is located in the southern part of Incheon. The port is an excellent getaway for tourists as it offers boat cruises and plenty of restaurants that offer fresh seafood for about half of the price you would find in Seoul.
The Soraepogu Festival: This festival takes place every October where fish lovers from all over take part in dining and celebrating, with traditional Korean ceremonies, as well as activities and even concerts, which are open to the public. The festival is so popular that local roads are closed due to the high volume of human traffic.
- Incheon Metropolitan City Museum: This museum was built in 1946 and is the first Korean museum to be open to the public. The purpose of the museum was to shed light on the suffering that the people of Incheon endured during the Korean War and even after Independence. Various social events take place as well as educational programs with the intention of educating people about the history of Incheon.
Festivals in Incheon:
- Incheon China Day Cultural Festival: Taking place in October of each year, the festival is a celebration of Chinese culture, including food and music, with Chinese residents participating in the ceremonies. The China Day Cultural Festival aims to keep the relationship of trade with China positive and continuing; the city of Incheon is a Free Trade Zone, so the festival gives people a chance to learn more about the exchanges being made by the people of Korea with China. It also aims to increase tourism to between the two countries.
- Incheon Marine Festival: Occurring every year in August, the festival is held at a time when the summer heat has finally cooled down. The festival is held on both Wolmi Island and at the Incheon Port and events include a fishing contest as well as an auction of marine products. The festival is closed each year with a concert and then a fireworks show.
- Incheon Ocean Festival: The Incheon Ocean Festival is held every summer at Wangsan Beach. At the festival, one can experience a variety of events including concerts, belly dancing, a sea parade, a yacht race, sculpture exhibitions and even a performance by an orchestra. Fireworks also light the sky at night. Be sure to catch the free boat tour leaving from Yeonan Port, which is offered on a first come, first served basis.
- Ganghwa Dolmen Cultural Festival: The Ganghwa Dolmen Festival, held every September, is the most famous festival on the Island of Ganghwa. The festival is in celebration of the island’s dolmens (megalithic tombs), which has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The highlights of the festival include a reenactment of a traditional Korean funeral as well as a demonstration as to how the dolmens were built.
Incheon International Airport: The largest international airport in Korea, which is known as one of the world’s best.
AREX Incheon Train Service: Runs from Incheon International Airport to Gimpo airport. The trip takes 28-33 minutes and costs 3,100 Won.