Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Incheon International Airport - FREE KOREA TRANSIT TOUR!!!

Hello readers! It's been a month since my trip to Seattle, Washington, USA. I had a long layover to South Koreaa total of 13 hours. My route was Manila (Philippines) → Incheon (South Korea) → Seattle (Washington, USA) via Asiana Airlines. Fortunately, Incheon International Airport provides free local tours to travelers with long layovers. It was a great decision to join at that time. 


» Conditions «

  • Those who are eligible to enter South Korea without a visa. Citizens from the following countries must hold a Korean transit visa: Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Yemen
  • In general, passengers who has a connecting flight to South Korea within 24 hours and travelling to the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and has a valid visa to those countries.

Please consult South Korea's transit tour page for more information.

» Book Online «

It's better to book the tour online because it easily get fully booked. Walk-in is possible but it comes with first come first served upon arrival. 

You can head over to this link: https://www.airport.kr/ap/en/trn/trnTourMain.do for more details.


» Course Information «

There are 8 local tours to choose from according to your preferences. There are 1-hour, 2-hour, 4-hour and 5-hour tours. Each transit tours are led by English-speaking tour guide.

  • Temple Tour (1 hour) → Airport - Temple - Airport
    • Terminal 1 → 08:00~09:00 / 09:00~10:00 / 14:00~15:00
    • Terminal 2 → 07:00~08:00 / 08:00~09:00 / 13:00~1400 / 14:00~15:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • Paradise City Art-Tainment Tour (1 hour) → Airport - Paradise City - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 10:00~11:00 / 13:00~14:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • Old & New Tour (2 hours) → Airport - Songdo Hanok Village - Triple Street - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 15:00~17:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • Temple Tour (4 hours) → Airport - Jeondeungsa Temple - Deokjinjin - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 8:00~12:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • Adventure Tour (4 hours) → Airport - Gwangmyeong Cave - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 9:00~13:00 (Not available on Mondays)
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • K-Culture Tour (4 hours) → Airport - World Cup Stadium - Hongdae Street - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 14:00~18:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • Tradition Tour (5 hours) → Airport - Gyeongbokgung Palace - Insadong - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 8:00~13:00 / 10:00~15:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website
  • Shopping Tour (5 hours) → Airport - Myeong-dong - Namdaemun Market - Airport
    • Terminal 1&2 → 13:00~18:00
Credit: Incheon International Airport website

» Transit Process «

  • While inside the plane, the cabin crew(s) will give quarantine card and arrival card for passengers who will travel to South Korea. Fill-out the form for easy transit process. Use TRANSIT TOUR as your accommodation in the arrival card.
  • From Manila, I arrived at Incheon International Airport at 4:30 am. The original arrival time was 4:40 am.
  • Asiana Airlines from Manila is Gate 14.
  • Follow Transfer signs but when you see the Arrival sign, go straight until you reach the Quarantine Area. Surrender the Quarantine card
  • Then, head straight to the Immigration. For foreigners, go to Counter C.
  • Tell the immigration officer that you reserved online for transit tour. Show your boarding pass, passport and printed reservation form (from email).
  • Questions asked: Do you have a US visa? Do you have companions?
  • No passport stamp. The officer will just give you an entry confirmation paper with your personal details: name and passport number as well as your date of entry and date permitted.
  • Go down to 1st floor and look for exit.
  • Surrender your arrival card to the officer.
  • Note that the you're not going to get your checked bags in the carousel because it will be sent straight to your travel destination.
  • Then, look for Gate #8. Beside it, you can see the Transit Tour Information Desk Desk #41 and #42.

» Transit Tour Information Desk «

The desk is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm only. Please be there at least 30 minutes before the tour starts. Prepare your online reservation form, passport, previous and next boarding pass.



I chose the Palace Tour (8:00 am to 1:00 pm) so I paid $10, for the palace's entrance fee $3 and for the lunch $7.

The officer will ask you to come back by 7:45 am for the meeting time. He will also give a transit tour pin (free of charge).


At 7:45am, participants made a long line and followed the tour guide to the very end of the terminal, where the tour bus was waiting. You can put your carry-on baggage and store it beneath the bus. Just make sure your valuables are with you.

» Actual Tour «

Luckily, Asiana Airlines is located in Terminal 1. The passengers of Terminal 1 are the first one, who will board the bus.

Note: Check the weather outside before the tour. When I got here, it was 0°C. Good thing that I was wearing thermal turtle neck, thermal leggings and thermal socks from Uniqlo. I also wore two layers of jackets from Uniqlo. It's not sponsored, huh.

Our tour guide was Jennie. She was very nice, warm and informative. Our first stop was Gyeongbokgung Palace

Photo grabbed from Free Korea transit tour Facebook page

I've been here last March 2016 but I didn't witness the changing of guards. It's good that I witnessed it this time.


The second and last stop was Insadong. We went to a traditional Korean restaurant. I ordered Bulgogi.




After the tour, we were dropped off at the airport.


» After the Tour «

Here are the steps that I did after the tour:
  • Get off the bus and get your bag(s) beneath the bus. The bus driver will help you get your things.
  • Go inside the airport and look for the elevator or escalator.
  • Head over to the third floor and look for the immigration.
  • Fall in line and do the common immigration procedures.
  • Then, go to your boarding gate (indicated in your boarding pass) or try other activities to do at the airport.

» Things to Do at the Airport «

Here are the main attractions that I checked that time:

  • Korea Traditional Culture Experience Center (T1 East) - Located in Terminal 1 near Gate 25.
  • Mini Classical Concerts - Located in Terminal 1 near Gate 27/28.
  • The Walk of Royal Family - Located in Terminal 1 between Gate 25 and 29.

  • Free Korean traditional clothes experience - Located in Terminal 1 near Gate 25. The event was only from December 14, 2019 to December 18, 2019 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. I joined and they also gave me free 2 postcards with my photo at the back.



  • Free call booths with surprises - Located in Terminal, near Gate 25. The event was only from December 14, 2019 to December 18, 2019 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. I got a free gift after joining the call booth.



You can check this link: https://www.airport.kr/ap/en/svc/attractionMain.do for more details on other attractions.

» Info «

Website:                        https://www.airport.kr/ap_cnt/en/trn/tour/trtour/trtour.do
E-mail Address:              transittour@airport.kr
Telephone Number:       +82-32-741-3139
Managing Team:             Airline Marketing Team

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