When it comes to entertainment and fun, Seoul is arguably at the heart of it all, offering the most out of a short trip to Korea. Nonetheless, what about the rest of Korea? What about taking the road less traveled this time – to Incheon? Incheon, as the third-largest city in Korea, offers as many sights to visit and enjoy as Seoul, possibly even more with the many developments that are underway. Incheon is becoming the destination à la mode in Korea. So, join us as we take you on a trip to the 4 trendiest spots in Incheon!
1. Gaehangjang (Open Port Area)
Gaehangjang (Open Port Area) is situated just a few minutes away from Chinatown, a town that gives off a completely different vibe. As a town which was once a bridge connecting Korea to the modern world, many foreign products were able to come into Korea through this passageway. This greatly influenced the way people dressed and behaved, especially architectural styles which you’ll notice as soon as you get there. Gaehangjang isn’t your average Korean village. It offers a window into the past as seen in the many buildings there such as the Jung-gu Office, the former Japanese Consulate, as well as several branches of Japan’s bank.
A few of the buildings have been converted for other uses whilst maintaining their Japanese-styled exterior. You’ll spot several cafes along Gaehangjang Street which have done so providing people with a quaint little place to enjoy a cup of tea whilst reminiscing about the past. Each cafe is unique in its own way where you can find little tidbits and trinkets to remind you of your trip to Gaehangjang.
Dress Up Like It’s the 19th Century
To truly experience the past, why not keep up with the fashion trend by dressing up in an outfit from the Gyehwagi (Enlightenment Period)? It’s far from the traditional Korean hanbok that many people don in front of Korean palaces for the perfect photo op. Opt for one of these vintage-style looks with an elegant European dress or a three-piece suit that will take you back in time!
2. Wolmido Island
You can’t leave this place out when it comes to visiting the top spots in Incheon. Wolmido Island is the ultimate land of wonders and entertainment featuring a park, museum, an observatory and several theme parks on its land, Wolmi Theme Park being the most popular. In other words, this magical seaside theme park is a go-to destination if you’re in Incheon. If you’re up for even more fun, make sure to go on all the crazy rides here. The two most-recommended rides are Tagada Disco, also known as Disco Pang Pang, and the two-storey Viking which you won’t find elsewhere! 🎢
Wolmi Sea Train
Now, getting to Wolmido Island has become easier than ever with the newly-opened Wolmi Sea Train. Before you would’ve had to take the bus or drive your car all the way here but not anymore with the monorail connecting the island to Incheon Station now. Along a 6.1 km track, the Sea Train passes by four stations; Wolmi Sea Station (Incheon Station), Wolmi Park Station, Wolmi Culture Street Station and Museum Station. Also, a ticket aboard the Wolmi Sea Train includes two rides, giving you the freedom to explore Wolmido Island and its surroundings!
Enjoy the stunning sea views from the Wolmi Sea Train! 🌊
*Note that four different operators run the rides at the theme park. Prices vary accordingly.
3. Songdo International City
Songdo International City is probably one of the trendiest places to visit in Incheon at the moment. From the iconic Tri-bowl cultural complex to the massive all-in-one shopping centers, the so-called ‘Gangnam of Incheon’ is equipped with everything you could possibly need. Surrounded by neo-futuristic buildings and a laid-back ambience, you might even forget you’re in Korea. The tranquil atmosphere of Central Park, located in the heart of Songdo, certainly gives adds to the foreign yet welcoming vibe. However, the highlight of the trip will be taking a stroll along the banks of the lake running through the center of Central Park. What’s more, when the weather is good, you can enjoy various water activities on the lake such as canoeing, kayaking as well as take a ride in a water taxi.
The list of things to do in Songdo doesn’t end just yet. Amongst the high-rise structures all beaming with modernity, you’ll spot a village that seems to be out-of-place. Located along the banks of Central Park sits Songdo Hanok Village, proudly flaunting its one-of-a-kind Korean architecture. Nonetheless, among the several hanoks housing traditional Korea restaurants as well as cafes, there will be one that stands out– the Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon. Probably the most exquisite hanok hotel in Korea, get the chance to experience the true way of living like a Korean by spending a night or two here!
Hyundai Premium Outlets
The day’s not over without a bit of shopping, right? Well, Song Hyun-Ah is where you should be headed! Sounds like someone’s name, right? This is what locals refer to Songdo Hyundai Premium Outlets as well. With dozens of high-end brands at below-retail prices, this is, in other words, the ultimate shopper’s paradise. Even a whole day of eye-shopping will keep you long entertained! There’s even a rooftop garden for those who wish to take a break away from the bustling crowds of shoppers. Songdo is definitely a place you want to visit, stop by even, to experience a whole other side to Korea.🙂
4. Ganghwa Island
To the northwest of downtown Incheon lies Ganghwa Island, a place that has played its fair share of important roles throughout the course of Korean history due to its strategic location at the mouth of Han River. That’s why you’ll discover many cultural and historical sites scattered across the island. Here are two spots that you should visit before you end your Incheon tour!
The first is Chojijin Fortress which was built as a defence against attacks from the sea. Many hard-fought battles between Korea and foreign forces took place here, most notably the invasions by the U.S. and Japan that would come to change the course of history forever. Moreover, since its reconstruction in 1973, the fortress remains to serve as a reminder of our past.
Located within Samrangseong Fortress, Jeondeungsa Temple is another historic site that has weathered the passing of time for over 1,500 years. Imagine all the things that this temple would have seen throughout its lifetime with a history as long as this. In addition to its deep-rooted history, Jeondeungsa Temple is definitely a sight to behold with its vibrant colors and intricate designs that adorn the structures of the temple. Why not put aside some time to look around the rest of the area since there’s so much more to see and do on Ganghwa Island!
Who knew Incheon had so much to offer? Instead of the typical tour around Seoul, how about spending a day in Incheon? Make sure to drop by the top 4 spots to visit in Incheon and fall in love with its charms!
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