Eco-friendly travel guide to Incheon advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Incheon, South Korea.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 2.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 2.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$80 - $150
- Budget per day: US$170 - $300
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Incheon is very famous around the countries for having many landmarks. Responsible travel refers to traveling in such a way that your actions don't cause any harm to the local communities or the environment. In the current scenario, you must follow various eco-friendly measures and participate actively in protecting our earth. There are several ways to ensure responsible travel in Incheon, with some being:
- While booking your flight, make sure that you take a direct flight. Avoid booking transfer flights as they cause a lot of harm to the environment and take more time to reach the final destination.
- Instead of booking a 5-star and luxurious hotel, find out if the hotel is eco-friendly. Eco-friendly hotels are hotels that follow certain environment-friendly practices that support and protect their local environment. You must prefer these hotels as they will help you minimize your carbon footprint. Your trip to the city of Incheon begins the second you book the flight. After securing the getaway, you need to book a hotel for your stay.
- You will find pretty much the same products in these stores and only waste time and money. Instead, visit local shops as they are the ones that possess items that will help you understand the local culture, traditions, and livelihood of the Korean people.
- As a tourist, you will feel that using mineral water bottles and disposable items are a better choice, but they are not. These items create a lot of pollution that uses a lot of natural resources to dispose-off properly.
Air Quality and Pollution
The pollution levels in the town are astonishingly lower. You will find that the government and even the locals are promoting and supporting environmentally friendly practices. As you can see, the air pollution levels are relatively low, so Incheon's people are at lesser risk of respiratory diseases and lead a healthy life. While traveling to the city, you need to make sure that your activities don't harm the environment. The locals focus on changing their lifestyles into a healthier one, which has led them to start using bicycles instead of motor vehicles and organic food than preserved and frozen food. Because of such changes in the people's activities, the pollution levels remain low, and people can live a better life.
Respect the Culture
While exploring the city, make sure to keep your criticism to yourself as Korean people can take it personally, resulting in ruining your experience. Part of a major Asian country, it is crucial that you show respectfully towards the local communities, landmarks, culture, and Incheon’s local environment. By indulging in cultural or recreational activities, you can learn a great deal about the city's culture and history. You can befriend a local Korean to learn about the culture and what you need to avoid to get the best experience.
The local culture of Incheon is one of the unique cultures around the world. Korean people are some of the friendliest and welcoming ones in the country. While visiting and exploring the city, you need to respect the culture and the people. Only by doing this can you enhance your South Korea’s experience.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Incheon is one of the famous and oldest cities globally and possesses a history of several years. The town is quite popular amongst those who look for an adventure. The beautiful pristine waters, white-sand beaches, green forests, and historically significant places make it one of Asia's most visited cities.
- Wolmido: Wolmido is an island in the city of Incheon. It has eateries, shops, and an amusement park. Wolmido is also known as Wolmi-do.
- Central Park Songdo: Central park Songdo is a park modeled after NYC’s central park. It is located in Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, South Korea.
- Muuido: Muuido is a vacation standby for beach activities. Muuido, also known as Muui island. The island covers an area of 10.21 km square.
- Iisan Lake Park: Iisan Lake Park is a waterside park with trails, art, and events. It is one of the famous tourist spots in the city of Incheon.
- Incheon Bridge: Incheon Bridge is a 6 lane highway bridge spanning over 20km. It is located in Hang-dong, Incheon, South Korea. It was established in the year 2009.
- Chinatown Incheon: Chinatown Incheon is a popular destination for Chinese eats. It is located in Gaho-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea.
- Songwol – Dong Fairy Tale Village: Songwol-dong fairy tale village is an area decorated with fairytale paintings. It is located in Songwol-dong, Incheon, South Korea.
- Freedom Park: Freedom Park is a famous park and garden in the city of Incheon. It is located in Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea.
- Wolmi Theme Park: Wolmi Theme park has many rides and an indoor play area in the city of Incheon. It is one of the famous places in the city of Incheon.
- One Mount: One Mount is a theme park with winter/summer activities. Sprawling park pairing water slides and wave pools with a snow hill and roof sledding round.
Visiting these places will help you explore and learn about the history, culture, and significance of the area on a first-hand basis. It is an oasis for every traveler as it offers both natural and urban places that will make your visit a memorable one. The town offers various opportunities to the tourists and the locals to experience the Ancient culture, diverse cuisines, sunny beach coasts, and the hospitable people. Many places in the city of Incheon are must-visit ones. While exploring, you will be able to indulge in the world-famous South Korean cuisines that will only enhance your Incheon’s experience.
The city of Incheon is well known for having some of the best parks and gardens, and the city of Incheon is home to some of the best in the city. Listed below are the most popular parks in the city.
- Central Park Songdo
- Incheon Grand Park
- Freedom Park
- Sorae Ecology Park
- Wolmi Park
- Global Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and a zoo. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
Here are some famous and attractive national parks in the city:
- Taeanhaean National Park
- Bukhansan National Park, Feeding The Earth
- Explore Bukhansanseong Center Road Hasangil
- Bibong Peak
The city of Incheon is famous for its beautiful and stunning beaches. There are dozens of big and tiny beaches, and it may not be possible to list down every one of them. Some of the beautiful and best beaches in the city are listed below:
- Wangsan Beach
- Hanagae Beach
- Eurwangni Beach
- Dongmak Beach
- Pantai Warning
The city of Incheon also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. While the list is quite long, we mention a few of them for our readers' benefit. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. Here are some famous landmarks in the city of Incheon:
- Jeondeungsa Temple
- Incheon Grand Park
- Ganghwa Peach Observatory
- Aiins World
- Yeonpyeong Island
Incheon is a city with a story and a lot of historical value. Visiting museums would be the icing on your holiday package, especially if you are in this city, as it shows that you have adequately explored the city. Here are some of these museums given are as follows:
- Korean Traditional Culture Experience Center
- Incheon City Museum
- Incheon Open Port Museum
- Paradise city Wonder Box
- Incheon Children’s Museum
- Jajangmyeon Museum
- Compact Smart City
Make sure to try all of the different food items in the city that you will find in no other palace. The city offers some of the oldest and traditional dishes to tourists. You will find the raw cultural food in the city, from street foods to vegan local dishes. Eating and experiencing the food of the palace is another very well-known and effective way to understand the culture and lifestyle. The city of Incheon is no exception to that; you will get a wide range of foods to eat in the city from traditional to different countries' cuisine. You will feel shocked to hear that there is a vast diversity of food cuisines split into eight regional cuisines. You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meat. You will find that vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes are popular, and you will not find much trouble conveying your food preferences.
Traditional Local Restaurants
The local meals of any city are usually a delight as it helps your taste buds explore. Below are some of the traditional local restaurants in the city of Incheon, where you can enjoy the perfection of these meals without any regrets:
- Ari Arirang Restaurant
- Yeoldu Baguni
- Burger King
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Sometimes the habits of different people are different. Thus, everyone does not have the same eating habit or love the same pattern when it concerns food choices.
Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Raj Indian Restaurant
- Shake Shack
- Cj Food World
- Around Green
- Cook And Book
- Drunken Vegan
We understand that many people are lovers of street food, so we cannot ignore highlighting their choices when visiting the city of Salvador. Although you can get these street foods from kiosks and stores, you can also get them in some restaurants. It is not hard to find as almost everyone in the city is eating one of them. While visiting any South Korean city, you must try the local street food. The local street food is the best way to learn about the traditions and culture of the city. Traditional dishes or international cuisines often inspire these food items. You will find mouthwatering food items at the local street food vendor's stalls that will make your trip complete.
- Dakgangjeong (deep-fried chicken)
- Korean Fried Hot Dog
- Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake)
- Kimchi (fermented cabbage)
- Kimbap (rice roll)
- Sundae (blood sausage)
There is no doubt that the local people love to drink regularly, especially on special occasions with friends and family. You can enjoy almost all types of drinks that you get in any good western restaurant and bar. There are many local alcoholics and non-alcoholic beverages that you can see in the local cafés, restaurants, bars, and pubs in the city. These drinks will help you understand the significance and increasing popularity amongst the locals. People in the city of Incheon love to drink, especially at gatherings and special occasions. The locals are simple and laid-back ones that prefer enjoying the time they have. The city offers a wide variety of wines from the different areas of the country.
You can drink tap water without filtering, but the locals will give you some side-eye. Boiling or filtering is not necessary, but you can do it just like locals. One of the most common things tourists need to know before landing in the city is water quality. Knowing the quality of tap water will help you to know if you can drink it or not. As an eco-friendly traveler, try to avoid drinking packaged water. Instead, boil and filter the tap water and drink it. If you are staying in a green hotel, you will get the best drinking water. In most parts of the city, you will be able to get bottled mineral water that you can buy.
Here are some of the most famous names of the organic cafes that you need to try in Incheon to get the best experience. Most of these places provide 100% genuine organic vegetables for the customers.
- The 1St Shop Of Coffee Bean
- Café Organic
- Illy Café
- Café Sun Vegan Kitchen
- Tous Les Jours
- Twg Teas At Paradise City
- The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf
You will find that there are many decades old breweries and industries that follow traditional methods to produce alcohol and beer. Unlike other Asian cities where there are age restrictions or a legal drinking age, you will find no such thing in Incheon. The national alcoholic beverage and is widely consumed by both locals and tourists in the city of Incheon. It is an anise-flavored aperitif that is considered relatively more robust than most liqueurs in Asia.
- Playground Brewery Taproom Songdo
- Amazing Brewing Company
- Songdohyang Brewery
- Sloth Brewing
- Big Brewery
- Caligari Taproom (BREWERY)
While the city may seem like the perfect tourist destination with plenty of activities to do, you will soon realize that the city is extremely crowded with tourists, and you may feel the urge to do some off-beat activities. Some of these include going and enjoying a few drinks and a meal with the local people. It is recommended that you go out and get lost at night in the city and explore as much as possible; it is undoubtedly at its stunning best post-sunset. The activities are designed to ensure that no one is left out, and people of different interests can still enjoy and have a great time. Some of the most popular activities include museum tours, hikes, bike riding, game drives, visits to the many religious sites, and beautiful gardens, to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city center while others are just on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city offers.
Yoga and Retreats
Many tourists like to take care of their health on their tour and join local yoga centers to care for it. Taking a break from the hectic journey and relaxing at their yoga retreats help very much to get your energy back. From online to offline yoga, the city offers you various options to get in good shape here. The teachers are experienced, the styles are diverse, and the locations are, of course, stunning. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. As the city's local people are very well known for maintaining their health, you will find many yoga centers and retreats in the city.
- The Center Of Yoga Studies
- Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon
- Maitri Yoga Studio
- Lotus Lantern International Meditation Center
There are many green hotels, camping sites, and couch-surfing hosts that offer accommodation at much cheaper rates and are ideal for those with a tight budget.
The city has many options when it comes to accommodation, so foreigners are not stranded. These accommodation options range from hotels to apartments, and much more. There are many hotels, hostels, and guest houses that offer various rooms according to your budget's affordability. These places help the tourists to have a comfortable and convenient stay in the city.
If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in the city to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
- Incheon Airport Hotel June
- Grand Hyatt Incheon
- Sheraton Grand Incheon Hotel
- Best Western Premier Incheon Hotel
- Hotel Sky, Incheon Airport
- Hotel Skypark Incheon Songdo
- Howard Johnson Incheon Airport
Hostels and Guest Houses
You might not be able to get many options and features of big hotels, but they are pocket friendly. You will be able to stay in the city for a long time without spending a lot of money. Here are some of the hostels and guest houses that you can choose to stay.
- Home Guesthouse And Homestay
- Leeon Guesthouse
- Edel Guesthouse
- Guesthouse Innergarden
- Kozykorea Guesthouse
- Guesthouse Hue
- Better Guest House
Hotels are often the number one choice for tourists as they are usually cheaper and convenient, but tourists visiting the city for a longer time should always prefer renting out an apartment. A lot of these places are located near the prime locations and are the best ones to rent. Before renting out an apartment, inspect the site properly and get reviews from the other residents. It is a small apartment within a hotel ideal for families and groups. These apartments have an en-suite kitchen with the required appliances and utensils. There are many affordable apartment options for tourists.
As a foreigner, you do not need to pay your host. However, it is your responsibility to be respectful and abide by the laws of the city. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in the city. The idea surrounding Couchsurfing is that locals of the city offer hospitality by opening their homes to foreigners. It is usually voluntary so that there will be no complaints. Thus, anyone who signs up to accommodate people through Couchsurfing is expected to treat them right as they were not forced to do it.
There are few better ways to rest, relax, and reinvigorate than to get back to nature for a dose of the inimitable joys the great outdoors offers. And among the best ways to do this is camping. Incheon's main spots in the city and many offshore islands possess all requisite ingredients for high-quality experiences, a moderate climate, natural splendors in singular abundance and diversity considering the city's comparatively small size, something which amazes many international visitors who get out of the cities and easy access to quality sites.
- Songdo International Camping
- Gimpo Camping Park
- Marie Won Campsites
- Baegot Camping Site With Swimming Pool
- Nanji Camp Ground
- Caravan Factory
How to Get There
Many different options are available that you can use to get to Incheon. If you are traveling from foreign countries, then the best way to reach the city might be by air. But if you are traveling from another city in South Korea, then you will have many different options available that you can take. The best way to travel to the city depends on your location or starting point. All of the options come with different advantages and disadvantages that you need to know before choosing one.
Incheon International Airport is the main airport in the city of Incheon. The airport serves over 50 million passengers every year and is considered the busiest airport in the country. It offers many international and domestic flights to various major cities. There are more Korean flight options available worldwide, so it should not be a hassle finding one that operates from your current location, especially within Asia.
Most companies serve the same west-coast routes. Buses are reliable, cheap, and comfortable. Some companies offer large, cozy airplane-style reclining seats. Reservations are advisable on weekends and holidays. The bus terminuses are chaotic, and you may have to take some local help to determine which bus to choose for your requirements. This is because the intercity bus terminus is located around one hour from the city.
Another interesting way to travel to the city is by train. Although most people choose flights to reach the city from outer countries, many people like to travel on a train and look at all the beautiful scenery on the way. You will be able to get the best and memorable experience by traveling using a train. The high-speed trains take less time to reach the destination and take less time than many other transportation modes. Make sure to book the train ticket a lot before the date of the starting journey to confirm your seats and avoid being on the waiting list.
Local people are amiable and usually very honest. Waiting times to hitch are short, and people often don't mind driving a bit further than the place where they needed to be. While the locals are quite friendly and hospitable and hitchhiking is a common practice in many parts of the city, it is not common to encounter hitchhikers.
You will be able to get a perfect time on the road trip. Although it will take a lot of time to reach the city using the roadway, you will watch all the different places on your way and feel the different cultures. Make sure to take some extra time on your hand as some routes might be filled with traffic. You can take a car or bike to reach Incheon's city by road to have a unique experience.
As a foreigner, you should make it a habit of asking the locals questions when you are in a new city. As we earlier mentioned, the city people are friendly even if it does not show in their facial expressions. People will always be moving from one place to another, and tourists would always be curious as it is a new area. The idea is to help them tailor their movement as they would not want to get lost or do something out of line because they do not have adequate information.
Walking around helps to ease the mind, and you will notice that the atmosphere and serenity of the city are alluring. It would be best to have a camera as many attractions are worth snapping at as you walk around. You can also tell a local to help take pictures of you at these places. The easiest means of moving around sometimes is by walking, as you are the one to set the pace, and you can quickly turn around if you get tired or do not feel like exploring anymore.
The city of Incheon can be best explored by foot and by cycling because they are eco-friendly and have no carbon in the air, but also because most destinations are located quite close to each other. With your city card, you can rent an e-bike for a maximum of 3 days from the rental office. They will also offer you a lock, a charger, and a helmet for a safe ride.
The city is highly urbanized, and they are in touch with the latest features in the world. Thus, electric vehicles are not strange to any of the locals. Knowing that you can get an electronic vehicle if you desire, the next question for foreigners is how safe it is to use such in the city. It is expected that everyone would have safety procedures at the back of their mind, and you would not want to use something like an electronic scooter on a busy road to obstruct cars. This way, you would get a less busy environment. You should also use it at the edge of the road to avoid any stories that would touch the heart.
Public buses are the preferable options amongst the locals. You will find that almost everyone uses buses to get to areas inside and outside the city. These buses are a very efficient and comfortable mode of moving around the town. Not only do they connect different parts of the city well but they also run on electricity too. However, the newer technology implemented here goes as far as hydrogen-powered buses as well, so be assured of the eco-friendly traveler in you being completely satisfied. The best thing about the local bus is that the fare is meager and connects with all the famous attractions.
Tram, Train and Subway
Incheon has an efficient train and tram system that can help you reach different parts of the city. These are not only efficient but also relatively cheap. You will find that locals and tourists prefer traveling via trams and trains to areas inside and outside the city. You can also learn a lot about local culture and traditions by interacting with fellow passengers. As a tourist, your hotel shall accommodate you with tram tickets, since getting on the green and yellow trams in the city of Incheon without tickets is finable and embarrassing. Also, it is forbidden to eat or carry any food into trams.
It would be best if you did not miss the opportunity to buy a few souvenirs, like t-shirts, mugs, and magnets for refrigerators, some of the beautiful handcrafted items, or you want to buy a swimsuit or sunhat. And of course, if you’re in the city on one of its few rainy days throughout the year, the mall is a good place to spend it. You’ll find plenty of reasons to shop around on this trip of yours to the city of Inchoeon. There are plenty of options in and around this popular beach destination when it comes to retail therapy.
These places provide visitors with an authentic taste of the local food while promoting local businesses. Incheon’s food markets are popular amongst the locals and the tourists as they are packed with fresh and high quality produce. Here are some of the popular food markets in the city of Incheon:
- Sinpo International Market
- Incheon Complex Fish Market
- Halalco Food Market
- Asia Maret
- Emart – Incheon Airport
- Lotte Mart
- Incheon Moraebae Market
Exploring the flea markets will help you very much to know about the life of local people. Buying items from these flea stores will help the local people very much to continue their work. Many people are dependent on tourism, and you can support them. Some of these markets operate daily, whereas some markets operate on special days or fixed days of the week. Flea markets are markets that sell low priced products by local traders. These markets often consist of used or second-hand items in good condition and can be used again.
- Should Folk Flea Market
- Hwanghak-Dong Flea Market
- Dongmyo Flea Market
- Starway Flea Market
- Bucheon Jayu Market
- Daeryong Market
Second Hand Stores
You should know Korean, or have a friend with you who speaks Korean- since most of the shop owners don’t speak English. Secondly, you should carry cash as these shops accept only cash. There are no trial rooms and no exchange policy, so before buying clothing, make sure it’s your right size.
- Korean Used Cars
- Bukook Ltd
Many eco-friendly fashion stores in Incheon's city offer a wide range of sustainable and organic fashion collections. With the widespread need for eco-friendly practices, eco-fashion or sustainable fashion has started to gain huge popularity because they are environment-friendly and pocket-friendly. These clothes are made with organic fabrics and recycled materials with the use of sustainable practices.
Many recycling centers in Incheon provide adequate recycling for used items without harming the environment. In Incheon, recyclable items are called materials and not waste as they can be re-used in the future. The recycling laws in the city help in making the city healthier and hygienic. You will find many recycling stores in various districts where you can take your recyclable waste and get it appropriately recycled. These stores offer various monetary or store voucher services that you can use for buying other recyclable items and services. The government has also provided multiple incentives to people following various recycling waste measures and saving natural resources.
Additionally, people on the move are given free tickets at subway platforms for recycling plastic bottles and cans. The waste segregation method employed here is based on the above-mentioned category system. You shall find cleanliness in common places to be marvelous, and trash cans are found everywhere. The solid waste management system is terrible because there aren’t many plants available in this city. Incheon city is a well-known tourist center; hence the waste collected mainly comes from the tourist industry sector.
Work and Study Abroad
Many places in Incheon city can be used for better understanding and studying the Ancient Korean period. Because of so many discoveries, South Korea is quite famous and attracts people in history and archaeology. Many institutions for such studies where many foreign scientists and students work and study together to make discoveries. All you need to do to get admission is to apply to the various institutions and meet their requirements. The education system is one of the best, and you will learn a lot about Korean culture, history, heritage, and people.
You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors. As the birthplace of Western culture, au pairing can be seen in the city of Incheon. The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. Au pairing refers to a foreign person who takes a share of the family's responsibility for childcare and housework. Such a person receives monetary allowances for his or her personal use. Although such practices are not very common to see in the city, some families live with an Au Pair's help. These families are often the lower-income ones who cannot afford necessities such as education, healthcare, food, etc.
The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors. Au pairing is a relatively new concept in some countries where a foreign couple helps out a family meet their responsibilities and manage a household. This is a give-and-take process where you will be taking care of a child or older person for a limited time in exchange for shelter, food, and some money. Taking care of the baby or older people might not be easy because of the family members' busy schedules.
A lot of the volunteering in the city of Incheon is involved in helping out the refugees. You can take part in such volunteering activities to help the people of Incheon lead a better livelihood. Volunteering activities in the city of Incheon are quite common. The majority of these activities are related to social welfare, such as spreading awareness regarding environment-friendly practices and their need, waste management, volunteering with archaeologists as interns or social help, etc. As a foreign tourist, you need to involve yourself in activities that help the cities environment and society. Many volunteering organizations in South Korea are fighting to resolve various cultural, environmental, and social problems such as violence against women and children, child labor, animal protection, environmental protection, humanitarian rights, etc.