Primer: Incheon International Airport (ICN)

Primer: Incheon International Airport (ICN)

Discover more of South Korea in one of the world's best airports.

The Rundown

  • Incheon International Airport (ICN) is not only South Korea's largest airport and a famous filming location for dramas. It's actually the world's best.
  • Incheon Airport is more like a lifestyle hub known for its nap zones, play areas, museums, multi-cultural dining options, lounges, and capsule hotels.
  • Whether you're laying over or waiting for your flight back home, there are lots of activities and facilities to keep you entertained.
  • Don't forget to check out #15 for the restaurant listing!

Headed to downtown Seoul from this airport? Also read: Incheon to Seoul

More than an Airport

It's amazing how an airport that's not even more than twenty years old constantly emerge as one of the world's best. From its establishment in 2001, it's been raking awards for its facilities and offerings, making it a desirable stop for many travelers. The photos below from Korea Tourism Organization would easily prove these:

If you find yourself in this airport for a couple of hours, why not do more than just thumbing your phone and experience the following:
 

1. Get your hands into South Korea's culture

Whether your're in Terminal 1 or 2, there are Korean Traditional Culture Centers that you will find. Here you can engage in different hands-on activities, such as handicrafts, sewing, and making jewelry boxes out of paper. Depending on availability, lessons for drawing Korean patterns, coloring traditional fans, and making your own purse or "lucky bag" may also be offered.

               Image credit:  Korea Tourism Organization

               Image credit: Korea Tourism Organization

The Korean Traditional Culture Centers are found in these locations:

Terminal 1

  • East Wing: near Gate 24
  • West Wing: near Gate 40
  • 3/F Departure Area

Terminal 2

  • East Wing: across Gate 253
  • West Wing: across Gate 248

These sites are free to visit and are open 24/7 year-round.
 

2. Snap a photo of you wearing a hanbok (traditional costume)

Aside from joining workshops, you may also try out the traditional costumes and accessories available in the culture centers. Take your commemorative photos, post them online, and caption it well.

Image credit: Incheon International Airport


3. Watch a performance

Take a moment to listen to renditions of folk songs, jazz music, and even drama OST's. The mini-shows will surely tug at your heartstrings.

Catch a performance at the 3/F Terminal 1 central stage during these hours: 11-11:30am, 12:30-1pm, 3:30-4pm, 4:30-5pm, and 5:30-6pm. There are also shows at the 1/F Central Millennium Hall.
 

4. Catch a parade

If you want to get a sense of how the royal family from the Joseon Dynasty looked like, witness one of the exciting parade shows! 

While not guaranteed to be available daily, the parades are usually held at these hours at Terminal 1 Duty Free area: 11:30-12:20pm, 2-2:40pm, and 4:00-4:50pm. You will also be able to take pictures with the cast at the end of the performance.


5. Spend some time at the museum

Several Korean Culture Museums are found in Incheon Airport to promote the country's excellence in arts and culture. Here you will find artifacts preserved from more than a thousand years ago!

Unlike museums found in the city, travelers get free admission on these sites, which are located at the 4/F of Terminal 1.
 

6.  Shop

Incheon Airport offers a wide-variety of stores in their duty-free sections (Lotte Duty Free, Shilla Duty Free, Shinsegae Duty Free, SM Duty Free, City Duty Free, Samick Duty Free, and Entas Duty Free). You are sure to find the hottest brands, which include, but are not limited to:

For regular shopping, you can also check out these stores:



7. Play

Let the kids be kids at the Kids Zone's found at the East and West wings near the Rest Zone and Snack bar. These sites are open 24/7!

8. Watch a movie

If you have plenty of time, why don't you go CGV and watch a film? You can check out the movie listings here.


9. Get a massage

If your body yearns for some massage after a tiring trip, you can visit Spa on Air. Here you'll find everything you'd expect, such as sauna, locker rooms, lounge, etc

Spa on Air is open 24/7 to cater to travelers.


10. Relax and nap

Incheon Airport's Nap Zones are so comfy that you may just call it your home. You will find this awesome place at the East & West side of Duty-free area at the 4/F of Terminal 1.

Image credit: Incheon Airport Facebook Page

Nap Zones are open 24 hours a day. (Just make sure not to miss your flight!)
 

11. Sleep

Sleeping would not be a part of our things-to-do at Incheon Airport list if not for the nice capsule hotels available, such as Darakhyu. This is a capsule hotel found at the 1/F Passenger Terminal & Transportation Center, which offers well-equipped rooms, shower areas, and a cozy business center. 

Image credit: Incheon Airport Facebook Page


13. Connect

The airport has free Internet Zones should you wish to be in your natural element. You will find them in the duty-free areas as well as the regular areas.

If you need some business services done, there is also the Internet Cafe by Cafe Bene at the 3/F of Terminal 1 for internet, printing, fax, and coffee!


14. Pray

If you need a private place to meditate, there's a prayer room right by Gate 25.
 

15. Eat your heart out

Did you know there's a restaurant run by a two Michelin-starred chef at the newly opened Terminal 2? It's called PyungHwaOk, which is found at the Center of 4/F Terminal 2, General area.

An award-winning dish. Image credit: Incheon International Airport Facebook Page

Other restaurants and food stalls to check out are:

  • Angel-in-us Coffee
    Coffee and Pastries
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 49 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 6 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 246 on the 3/F of Terminal 2
    • 24 hours; near Gate 231 on the 4/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Auntie Anne's Pretzel
    Pretzel and Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 106 of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; near Gate 41 of Terminal 1
       
  • Baek Mi Dang
    Ice cream and Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; 4/F of Terminal 1
       
  • Bistro Bar Lagrillia
    Pizza, Pasta, Wine
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 23 of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; near Gate 115 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 254 on the 3/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Baskin Robbins 31
    Ice Cream and Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 24 of Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 112 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; 1BF of Transportation Center at Terminal 2
       
  • Bee Cheng Hiang
    Beef Jerky
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 119 of Terminal 1
       
  • Bibigo
    Bibimbap and Porridge
    • 6am-10pm; near check-in counter G at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; near Gate 8 of Terminal 1
       
  • Bizeun Flower Theras Cafe
    Rice cake and Korean Sweets
    • 6am-10pm; Public Area, Terminal 2
       
  • Bukchangong Tofu
    Soft Tofu Stew
    • 6am-10pm; close to Bus Ticket Office at the Traffic Center
       
  • Burger King
    Hamburgers & Drinks
    • 7am-10pm; at the Transporation Center, Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; center of 1BF of Transporation Center, Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; Transportation Center
       
  • Byeolmi Snack
    Tuna Kimbap, Spicy Rice Cake, Kimchi Fried Rice
    • 24 hours; close to Central Escalator, Traffic Center
       
  • Chimac Hunter
    Chicken Pub Restaurant
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 249; Passenger Terminal 4
       
  • Coffee@Works
    Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 31 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; Public area at the 4/F of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; 3/F, Terminal 2
    • 24 hours; near Gate 253 at 3/F Passenger Terminal 2
       
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
    Coffee and Pastries
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 130 of Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 105 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; across Exit 6 on 1/F Terminal 2
       
  • Cafe Sapoon Sapoon
    Coffee, Red Ginseng, Snacks
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 234 on 3/F Terminal 2
       
  • Daegu Geundae Street Sweet Redbean Bread
    Bread and Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; near Arrival Hall E or Exit 10 at the 1/F Terminal 1
       
  • Dunkin' Donuts
    Bakery
    • 24 hours; near Gate 9 of Passenger Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 127 at Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 24 at Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; 1BF of Transportation Center, Terminal 2
    • 6am-10pm; near Exit 8 on 3/F Terminal 2
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 255 on 3/F Terminal 2
       
  • Deokingwan
    Korean Southern Chinese Restaurant
    • 6am-10pm; near the Bus Ticket Office, Traffic Center
       
  • Farmer's Box 
    Sandwich and Coffee
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 245 on the 3/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Food Empire Kitchen
    Halal and Multi-cultural Specialties
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 12 at the 4/F of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 30 at the 4/F of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 115 of Terminal 1
       
  • Gong Cha 
    Milk Tea, Juice, Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 45 of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; near Exit 5 at the 1/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Exit 1 on the 3/F of Terminal 2
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 268 at the 3/F Passenger Terminal 2
       
  • Gyodong Spicy Noodle Soup
    Spicy Noodle and Rice Soup
    • 6am-10pm; near the Bus Ticket Office, Traffic Center
       
  • Heineken Bar
    Beer and Beverages
    • 7am-10pm; 4/F Duty-free area of Terminal 1
       
  • Hibarin
    Premium Japanese Restaurant
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 235 at Passenger Terminal 4
       
  • Hanokjip
    Traditional Korean Restaurant
    • 6am-10pm; near the Bus Ticket Office, Traffic Center
       
  • Internet Cafe by Cafe Bene
    Coffee and business services
    • 8am-10pm; near Gate 24 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 8am-10pm; near Gate 41 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 124 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 111 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 8am-8pm; 2/F Public Area of Terminal 1 (East Side)
       
  • Jamba Juice
    Smoothies and Sandwiches
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 19 of Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-11pm; near Gate 114 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; 1BF of Transportation Center, Terminal 2
    • 6am-10pm; near Exit 7 at the 3/F  of Terminal 2
       
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
    Fried Chicken
    • 24 hours; 1/F Public Area, near Central Millennium Hall of Terminal 1
       
  • Krispy Kreme
    Coffee and Doughnuts
    • 24 hours; near Exit 9 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-11pm; 3/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Exit 2 at the 3/F of Terminal 2
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 243 at the 3/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Lotteria
    Fastfood
    • 24 hours; near Gate 10 of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; near Gate 119 of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; near check-in counter D at the 3/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 24 hours; across check-in counter E at the 3/F of Terminal 2
    • 24 hours; Public Area at the 1/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Mos Burger
    Hamburger
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 45 of Terminal 1
       
  • Museohwaban
    Halal Food (Curry)
    • 6am-10pm; 4/F Public  Area of Terminal 1
       
  • Myun Chae Ban
    Cold Noodles and Clam Noodle Soup
    • 6am-10pm; Public Area at the 1BF of Terminal 2
       
  • Paris Croissant
    Bread, Cakes, and Coffee
    • 6:30am-9pm; 4/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Gate 115 of Terminal 1
    • 5am-10pm; near Gate 12 of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; Transportation Center, Terminal 2
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 256 at the 3/F of Passenger Terminal 2
       
  • Patgodang
    Red bean bread
    • 6am-10pm; across check-in counter B at the 3/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Paris Baguette
    Bread, Sandwich, Coffee
    • 6am-10pm; Public Area on the 1/F of Terminal 2
    • 6am-10pm; Public Area on the 3/F of Terminal 2
       
  • Pho Bay
    Vietnamese Noodles
    • 6am-10pm; 4/F Public Area of Terminal 1
       
  • Quiznos
    Premium Sandwiches and Cobb Salad
    • 9am-9pm; near check-in counter H at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 235 of Passenger Terminal 4
       
  • Robot Gimbap
    Gimbap
    • 6am-10pm; near Gate 15 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
       
  • Samjin Amook
    Fishcake
    • 6am-10pm; 1BF of Transportation Center, Terminal 2
       
  • Shake Shack
    Burger, Hot Dog, Fries, Shake
    • 6am-10pm; 1BF of Transportation Center, Terminal 2
       
  • Starbucks
    Coffee, Tea, Muffin
    • 24 hours; near Gate 28 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-9:30pm; 1/F Public Area, Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; near Exit 2 at the 3/F of Terminal 1
    • 6:30am-10pm; in between Entrances B and Cat the 1/F of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; across Exit 1 on 1/F Terminal 2
    • 24 hours; near Gate 248 at the 3/F Terminal 2
    • 24 hours; across check-in counter G at 3/F Terminal 2
       
  • Taco Bell
    Mexican Food
    • 7am-10pm; near Gate 249 of Passenger Terminal 4
       
  • A Twosome Place
    Bakery
    • 6am-10pm; near Exit 8 at the 1/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near Exit B at the 1/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 6am-10pm; near check-in counter M at the 3/F Public Area of Terminal 1
    • 7am-9pm; 1/F Public Area West Side of Terminal 1
    • 5am-11pm; near Gate 5 at the 3/F Public Area of Terminal 1
       
  • Tous Les Jours 
    Bakery
    • 6am-10pm; near the check-in counter C at the 3/F Public Area of Terminal 1 
    • 6am-10pm; near the check-in counter F at the 3/F Public Area of Terminal 1
       

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