8 Reasons to Celebrate a Layover at South Korea’s Incheon Airport
When is a layover awesome? When you’re at Incheon, South Korea’s massive modern airport that has everything you need for a pampered, comfortable, and enjoyable connection. I recently spent 10 hours basking in the wildly affordable glory of Incheon — I took a free city tour, relaxed in a massage chair, found a comfortable spot to nap, refreshed with a free shower, and found endless diversions throughout the airport. Here are some favorites.
Free Massage Chairs
Tucked away on the airport’s quieter upper level (along with the sleeping areas, kids’ play areas, free showers, and other treasures) are rows of free massage chairs just waiting to embrace you. The chairs are often radically undersubscribed, and while there’s a 20-minute time limit for each blissful session, there’s no limit to how often you can return (for me, the number was four times, separated by other activities).
Lounge And Sleeping Areas
Most airports go out of their way to make it impossible to catch a quick nap by installing small chairs with fixed armrests. Incheon, however, embraces the fact that travelers are often totally exhausted, and welcomes them with wide chaise lounges arranged in dimmed or cordoned-off areas throughout the airport. And a left-luggage counter makes it easy to make sure your bags are secure while you sleep.
Need to wash the plane-smell off between flights, or in preparation for a red-eye? Step into the world of Incheon’s free showers. You’ll receive a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a hairdryer, and one very small towel. Come prepared with your own toiletries kit and a pair of flip flops (and maybe a quick-dry travel towel to supplement), and you’ll be unstoppable.
Turn any long layover into an opportunity to explore with Incheon’s free city tours. Tours take you into Incheon, Seoul, and surrounding areas. Advance planners, take note: You’ll have to wait until you’ve arrived at the airport for your layover before booking your tour. For best results, drop off your bags at left luggage then head to one of the free-tour podiums. The staff will figure out which tours will work with your layover length and get you on your way.
Musicians covering everything from The Beatles to the Frozen soundtrack? Check. Designated craft areas where you can try your hand at creating traditional bags, fans, and other items? Of course. Miles of shopping and restaurants? There’s also an ice skating rink, a cultural museum, and gardens. No, this is not your average airport.
If what you need is a quiet place to rest, shower, and work, you can find it in the terminal. The Transit Hotel & Matina Lounge offers affordable and comfortable rooms that feel a world away from the bustling airport. Free Wi-Fi, televisions, and tea and coffee makers are available to passengers in transit on international flights. The hotel has half- and full-day rates.
Want to take a nap but don’t have something warm to cozy up under? Prefer to relax but don’t have anything to do? Then head to the left-luggage counter, where you can not only drop off your bags for free but also borrow a blanket, book, or tablet. Then you can just head around the corner and find a comfy spot in the sleeping area, or pull up a reclining chair in the television-watching area next door.
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While it’s true children can turn almost anywhere into a play area, Incheon offers seven genuinely kid-friendly zones for running, playing, yelling, and scrambling. Many are conveniently located close to cafes or restaurants, offering plenty of opportunities to tire out the kids and then fuel them up for the next leg of the journey.
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Read the original story: 8 Reasons to Celebrate a Layover at South Korea’s Incheon Airport by Christine Sarkis, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.
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Originally published at www.smartertravel.com.