Monday, July 20, 2015

Travel Korea: Incheon International Airport's Free Transit City Tours

If you ever have a long layover, pray that you're in South Korea. Since 2005, Incheon International Airport has been rated the best and cleanest airport in the world. It has also been ranked the best international transit airport by Skytrax.

I found myself in Incheon for a heart-sinking 15-hour layover. I rarely stay longer than six-hours in an airport if I have a choice. But this trip, I really had to do it. I tried to figure how to kill fifteen hours in this South Korean airport. From prior layovers I knew that Incheon has free internet and nice shops and restaurants. I never checked it out but Incheon even has a golf course, spa, ice skating rink, casino, private sleeping rooms, showers, indoor gardens, and a Museum of Korean Culture.

Aside from all these amenities, Incheon also offers free tours for transit passengers.

Yes - free.

The tours shone like a beacon when I got off the plane, and I headed straight to a Transit Tour Desk to inquire about the free tours. There were several of varying lengths - some tours were two hours long, some three, some five (although in truth the tours were shorter in duration, perhaps to make sure the passengers would not be late for their connecting flights).

I took a five-hour City Tour that included a trip to a royal palace, a temple, lunch (my bibimbap meal cost $7), and free-time in an old section with shops, which meant we were able to do a bit of shopping.

My second tour was a three-hour tour to a temple and a military museum.

I was able to enjoy myself for around eight hours. The remaining time at the airport was still intimidating, but the Incheon facilities are nice and pleasant. I was able to rest and do some shopping.

There's a lesson in the Free Transit Tours offered at Incheon International Airport --- the passengers spent some money during the tours.  In addition, the passengers had the chance to see that Seoul is a nice, clean, safe, and charming city. I would be willing to spend a few days there if the opportunity presented itself.

Stay tuned because I'm in another wonderful place and will have many pictures and stories to share.

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Tags: Seoul, Korea, Incheon, airport, international airport, travel, transit tour, #traveltips

This is all for now,

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