I am flying to Tokyo in November, and I have the choice to go direct (paying extra) or transit via Seoul. Is 6 hours transit time enough to leave Incheon airport for a bit to see something of Seoul? It might make my trip more worthwhile to see something of South Korea too. I don't know much about the busyness of the airport around this time, and travel time between the airport and the city, so that's why I am asking.

  • You could get a passport stamp with the extra time that you have lol – neubert Jun 10 '14 at 13:13
  • @SpehroPefhany Hm yeah, if it's that far away, it sounds like I could take a picture or two in downtown Seoul before I'd have to leave to the airport again. Does not seem worth the 6 hours extra travel time and the stress that comes with transit. Thanks for the info, if you make that an answer I'll put it as accepted. – Deniz Zoeteman Jun 10 '14 at 13:14
  • Done. If you just hang around the airport I'm sure you could explore some different kimchis and perhaps their ultra-fast internet service. Should be stress-free. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 10 '14 at 13:20
  • With only six hours it will probably not be worth attempting to visit Seoul, but you can easily visit Incheon to get a sampling of South Korea. – choster Jun 10 '14 at 15:31
  • Incheon airport is one of the larger and more interesting airports around too – EdmundYeung99 Jun 10 '14 at 16:17

You don't indicate what time of day you will arrive and depart, but Incheon Airport offers a series of free Transit Tours of varying lengths and departing at various times of the day. The shorter tours are within the city of Incheon, which is a major city in its own right, whereas some of the longer 4- and 5-hour tours are of sights and sites in Seoul.

While such bus tours are by nature superficial, they will give you a small taste of Korea beyond the airport spa. Because no planning effort is involved beyond purchasing the ticket (and because they are accustomed to dealing with rushed travelers), they are far less stressful than trying to tour an unfamiliar city independently in just an hour or two.


  • Eurwangni Beach or
  • Masirang Beach


  • Paradise City Art-Tainment or
  • Songdo Hanok ("traditional") Village, Central Park Songdo, Triple Street or
  • Incheon Airport Maglev, Lotte Mart, Eurwangni Beach



  • what does 1-hour, 2-hour mean? 1 hour tour, or 1 hour to/from airport – EdmundYeung99 Jun 10 '14 at 16:04
  • @EdmundYeung99 They indicate the total time for the tour, from boarding to return, as is more clear on the official site— depart from the tour desk at 0800, return by 0900, etc. – choster Jun 10 '14 at 16:14
  • yep, so people need to know that they will need extra time for clearing immigration etc – EdmundYeung99 Jun 10 '14 at 16:18
  • 1
    +1 The Incheon ones might well be do-able with a 6 hour layover. – Spehro Pefhany Jun 10 '14 at 16:42
  • 2
    Since other questions about how to spend longer layovers at Incheon are getting dupe-closed to this one, I just wanted to comment to recommend the 5 hour tours of Seoul for those who have the time. I went on one back in June of 2014 and it's definitely the best way I've ever spent a layover. There is a small charge for the 5-hour tour to cover lunch and admission to one of the palaces, but it was only about 13 USD, IIRC (and they do accept USD for it directly without need for currency conversion.) – reirab Jan 19 '15 at 16:02

I don't think you'd have much time- it's about one hour to downtown by train (they say 43 minutes, but they run 10-20 minutes apart), and of course you'd have to transit customs and immigration both ways, as well as security.

Here is the train schedule.

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Seoul actually has 2 airports, if you happen to be going to the one closer to central Seoul (Gimpo) you might be able to do something.

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