Incheon, Korea: A One Day Guide From Street Art To China Town

When most people think of Incheon, Korea, it’s the international airport which is stunning and always gives travelers a good trip that probably comes to mind. There are other attractions out that way though and when it came time to plan a little weekend away, I decided it was high time we saw what was fun in Incheon. We stayed at the Nest Hotel, a great spot just 20 minutes from the airport and then headed inland to mainland Incheon to see everything from China Town to the Incheon Art Platform and more.

Head to Incheon for a day or a weekend, but head there and see all of these awesome things in one day to get the most out of Incheon and really enjoy your time out there.

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Stop 1: Songwol-dong Fairytale Village (송월동 동화마을)

Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village, Incheon, Korea

When things start to get old and run-down in Korea, they’re either torn down and something new is built, or someone has a bright idea to remodel it. Luckily for the Songwol-dong area, remodeling was the idea. This run down neighborhood was given new life when the houses were revived with vibrant colors and fairy tale character decorations. There isn’t a nook or cranny that isn’t painted some bright color or with some smiling character. Alice in Wonderland is sliding down a building to jump out to catch the white rabbit and Rapunzel’s hair is draped nonchalantly down the side of a “castle”. Characters from western fairy tales and Korean fairy tales alike are everywhere you turn making for some fun photo-ops. This is a fun way to start out a day in Incheon and only takes about an hour to cover.

Address: 

38 Donghwamaeul-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon

인천광역시 중구 동화마을길 38 (송월동3가) 일대

Directions: Take Seoul subway line 1 out to Incheon Station and take Exit 1 (the only exit available). Across the street, you’ll see the entrance to China Town. Head through the China Town gate and walk up until it dead ends and turn left. On this road you’ll see the Fairy Tale Village welcome archway and clearly see where all of the vibrant colorful buildings and paintings begin.

Time Needed: 1 hour


Stop 2: Incheon China Town (인천 차이나타운)

Incheon China Town, Incheon, Korea

Opening in the Incheon Port area in 1883 and becoming an extraterritoriality of the Ching Dynasty the following year, this neighborhood is now home to the 2nd and 3rd generation Chinese residents who are descendants of early Chinese settlers. The iconic red Chinese decor is everywhere you look from hanging lanterns to doorways but the area is most famous for the Chinese-Korean fusion dish known as jajangmyeon, or black noodles. The original building that served up the dish is now a Jajangmyeon Museum, an easy and interesting short stop to learn about the history of the dish in Korea and while this dish is popular here and loads of restaurants are selling it, the good restaurants also have lines hours, yes with an “s”, long. Instead of eating the dish here, I would recommend partaking in the numerous but oh so delicious street foods in the area. From lamb skewers to mooncakes, Chinese dumplings and more, there is so much to eat on the streets, you wouldn’t want to wait hours for one dish of jajangmyeon anyway. Check out this post for the best eats in the area and what to see while there.

China Town Address: 

Seollin-dong / Bukseong-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon

인천 중구 선린동 , 북성동 일대

Time Needed: 2-3 hours

Directions: From the Fairy Tale Village, head back into China Town the way you came and b sure to walk up and down and all around to see everything.

Jajangmyeon Museum Address:

56-14, China town-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon

Admission: Adults: W1,000; Teens: W700; Children: W500

Time Needed: 20 minutes


Stop 3: Incheon Art Platform (인천아트플랫폼)

Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, Korea

This complex of buildings is a collection of remodeled buildings from the 1930s and 1940s. They have been artistically decorated and revamped to house artist studios, a library, an exhibition and performance halls. The buildings, of which there are 13 now, are the start of what is hoped to be a huge street museum of preserved historical establishments that display the historical aspects with a modern interpretation. The complex is free to walk along (galleries and experience programs may warrant a fee) and we found it fun to see what history looked like in Korean architecture with some brightly colored artistic touches here and there too.

Address: 3, Jemullyang-ro 218beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon

Directions: While the Fairy Tale Village was just north of China Town, the Incheon Art Plaza is just south, so you’ll walk away from the Fairy Tale Village to get there. If you head back to the China Town main gate and then turn left and walk around the  main road, you’ll come to the platform easily.

Time Needed: 30 minutes (unless going in to peruse art)


If you’ll be heading to Incheon and want to stay the night, check out the Nest Hotel, a fabulous design hotel just 15-20 minutes from the Incheon International Airport. If you’d like to stay a bit closer to the stops mentioned in this itinerary, check out the Benikea The Bliss Hotel which is right outside of Wolmi Park.


Stop 4: Sinpo International Market (신포국제시장)

Sinpo Market dates back to the 19th century when vendors began selling to the settlers from Japan, China and other western countries. Officially registered in 1970, there are now 140 vendors serving up both traditional and modern Korean dishes. One popular dish in the market is dakganjang, or a crispy chicken dipped in a chili and sweet sauce. Visitors hoping to get this dish may expect to wait up to 30 minutes to dig in, but it’s worth it. Get a bite to eat here and then head on for some fun.

Address: 

11-5, Uhyeon-ro 49beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon

인천광역시 중구 우현로49번길 11-5 (신포동)

Directions: From the Incheon Art Platform, you’ll continue walking away from China Town. The market is just down the main road and follow it as it turns slightly left and you’ll see the entrance. You might also see signs for Sinpo Market Subway Station. You’d want to follow exit 4 out if you find that station.

Time Needed: 1-2 hours


Stop 5: Wolmi Park & Theme Park (월미공원) (월미테마파크)

Forest

The Wolmi Traditional park is an area that was redeveloped from military barracks grounds in 2001. The development opened up the area to welcome tourists and provide locals with a relaxing natural park to spend the day in. From a traditional garden area with curated plots of land to a glass observatory and deer to feed from your hand, this park is a great place to take a rest outdoors before heading to the vibrant and loud Wolmi Theme Park. Formerly known as “My Land”, Wolmi Theme Park opened in 1992 and has various rides like the Hyper Shoot Drop, Tagada Disco, a Viking Ship, Ferris Wheel and more. The park became a bit more famous after it was used as a filming location for the shows “We Got Married”, “Two Days and One Night”, “Running Man” and a few more so expect some crowds. This theme park also has a large indoor children’s playground with water activities and other facilities so adults and children alike can enjoy the pier area.Yellow Flowers

Wolmi Park Address: 

329, Wolmi-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon

인천광역시 중구 월미로 329 (북성동1가)

Directions: From the entrance to Sinpo Market, you’ll want to cross the road to find the bus stop. Buses 23 & 45 and get off at the park approximately 15 to 20 minutes away.

Time Needed: 1-2 hours

Hours: March ~ October: 5:00am – 11:00pm; November ~ February: 5:00am – 10:00pm

Wolmi Theme Park Address:

81, Wolmimunhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon

인천광역시 중구 월미문화로 81 (북성동1가)

Time Needed: 1-2 hours

Hours: Weekdays: 10:00am – 10:00pm; Weekends: 10:00am – Midnight


The Soul of Seoul: Incheon, Korea: One Day Itinerary: From China Town to Street Art, Good Eats and More.

All five of these spots are near each other, the first four within walking distance and the last requiring just a 15 minute bus ride. Spend a day in Incheon and see some great sights!

Check the map below for the locations of all of these awesome spots to check out in Incheon and remember to wear some good walking shoes because these areas are hilly and require a bit of a walk to get a good look around.

 

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13 Responses

  1. What an awesome post! I will definitely be stalking your blog more to get tips for when I visit your beautiful country! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Candy says:

    I am a huge fan of Korean food so I would definitely love to visit the Sinpo Market. I don’t mind the wait since I know it will be well worth it 🙂 I’ve never had dakganjang and it sounds amazing. That would be my first stop and then 139 more to go!

  3. Sarah Kim says:

    I love how at the fairytale village the street art is quite fun and energetic. It’s different from the normal graffiti type street art I see. Overall, I like the variance in street art as you go around. Love the Pin! I Pinned it! So handy.

  4. Korea seems like a really fun place to visit. I teach a number of Korean students in International Schools and they are so proud when they talk about Korea, it would be great to be able to talk about their home country with them. I love your infographic at the end, what did you use to produce that?

  5. Melbtravel says:

    I have not heard of Incheon but it looks so pretty. I like the guide and map you have put together amd you have some great tips on walking distance

  6. siniciliya says:

    You are so right, when I think about Incheon it is really about the airport! I just googled the Songwol-dong Fairytale Village and it looks like a cartoon came real!

  7. I wish I had gotten to visit Incheon because a lot of people said it was one of the most underrated destinations. Only a few stops away from Seoul while still having the beach. Sign me up! And I love exploring Chinatown’s all over the world so getting to eat jajangmyun, my fave noodles, would be my perfect kind of day!

  8. Ava must’ve had a total blast in the fairytale village. Looks absolutely perfect for little kiddies. But what I wanna know is, do they have “real” Chinese food in Chinatown. I have been known to book flights to Hong Kong to satisfy my dim sum craving, but going to Incheon would be a heck of a lot cheaper and easier… 😉

    • Hallie says:

      I wouldn’t say the food is necessarily authentically Chinese. The reason it’s the China Town of Korea is because there have been Chinese residents there for decades and generations but the claim to fame is the jjajangmyeon which you know is a Korean-Chinese hybrid. There is definitely delicious food there, but you might still have to take flights to Hong Kong for that dim sum hahaha

  9. I’ve been desperate to visit China Town in Incheon for so long and now you’ve given me all of the information so there’s no excuse! The Fairytale village sounds lovely too and great photo opportunities!

    • Hallie says:

      Yes, you should definitely get going! It’s pretty easy to see it all in one day and there is some great food and awesome photo-ops out there. ^^

    • Hallie says:

      Yes, you should definitely get going! It’s pretty easy to see it all in one day and there is some great food and awesome photo-ops out there. ^^

  1. May 4, 2017

    […] Art Platform and more that are ALL in the same neighborhood and easily seen on foot. Check out my complete itinerary to have a great day out in Incheon. For Chinatown in particular though, keep reading to see what to do, what to see and what to […]

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