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Layover at Incheon Seoul Korea- is it easy to get out and about

We have an 8 hour layover at Incheon. 2x. ICN offers tours, but due to the day of the week and timing, we won't be able to take advantage of the airport offered tours.

Are there any other reputable tour groups (granted, they aren't free like ICN's) that offer short tours during a layover? Like hiring a private guide or small group tour?

Although the airport looks fabulous, we have a total of 16 hours of free time, which when all is considered, we could escape the airport realistically 3-4 hours each way. I don't know if we will ever be through Seoul again and would love to see something close to the airport and experience a bit of Korea.

I can navigate Spanish and French. Asian languages are not in my wheel house at all, so it is intimidating to try to figure out things without being "Lost in Translation." I don't want to assume that English will be prevalent. The last thing we want to happen is messing up and missing our flights!

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465 posts

Hey there! We were just there last week! We had a 13 hour layover in Incheon on our way home from Vietnam. The airport there has a tour desk and you can sign up for a free day tour when you get there. Your choices will vary depending on the day and time. Our Royal Heritage and Charm tour was fabulous. We had a five hour tour into Seoul to see Gyeongbok Palace (beautiful) and Insadong Street (pedestrian shopping and cafe street, time for lunch). Great guide and very efficient/on time. After the tour, we got a mini hotel room (mind you very mini) at the Capsule Hotel in the airport to rest/shower for three hours. Look up the transit tour link on the Incheon Airport website.

Posted by
337 posts

Thx Pete-- I missed the online reservations. duh. when I had last looked the window wasn't open, apparently they were making changes to the schedule, and when I tried for the same tour as you did the 8 reservation spots online were gone. I emailed the tour desk (thinking that maybe they hadn't yet opened them). and apparently it's first come first serve starting at 7 am, but with our flight schedule, we won't be at the desk before 8 am if we are lucky. Tour leaves at 9.

I'm looking into plan B. I haven't looked yet to see what transportation exists out of the airport, like taking a train somewhere. I just don't want to be hanging out at duty free shops for 8 hours! That's dangerous. hahahaha. I'm hoping that private tours could be booked, too.

We are heading to Indonesia. Due to flight schedule and tour schedule on the outbound, nothing worked so we are stuck at ICN. I have Priority Pass so we at least have a lounge to hang out in if we need to.

Posted by
465 posts

Mo R--yes, we didn't make reservations beforehand. We just showed up at the tour desk when we got off the plane from Da Nang. I think we arrived about 6:30 AM. Yes, the thing about the airport-led tours is timing--you have to hit the day and the schedule just right to see what's available.

Posted by
337 posts

That is great to know you guys just walked up! I will keep the faith now and hope we can get on this tour!

This airport seems so flyer focused. How smart to offer these tours.