Typing this entry on a whim because it is currently 2:39am KST and Stef and I are surviving the night at Incheon Airport in Seoul!
I guess our parents aren’t the most pleased because the whole idea of two girls out alone late at night isn’t fantastic – although the airport is probably one of the safest places to be for us.
But anyway! The thing is, Stef and I decided a long time ago that we would forgo booking a room for our first night in Seoul because we arrive pretty late (got here at around 9.20pm KST) and by the time we get to Hongdae (where we are staying at Boa Guesthouse for the rest of our trip) we are basically just paying to stay the night. Between the two of us, we save about ₩40,000 if we just spend the night at the airport. And trust me, it really isn’t that bad, considering just how clean and spacious and well-equipped the airport is. So here are just some of the things we recommend if you are planning to save some money and ~rough~ it out at Incheon Airport:
1. Sleep as much as you can on the plane
This totally did not work for me because somehow, I can’t fall asleep on planes. I mean, I do manage to doze off occasionally but it never lasts more than half an hour to 45 minutes at best. But I highly recommend this because you are likely to not get much sleep in Incheon Airport if you aren’t the type to sleep in public. If you are, you shouldn’t have a problem at all.
2. Where to find food?
A standard meal at McDonald’s here set me back about ₩4,500 which is about S$5.50.
Although the variety isn’t craazzzy, food isn’t a problem if you are staying for just a night. There’s cheap fast food like McDonald’s or Lotteria (Korea’s answer to their own fast food chain), a couple of 24 hour restaurants, and a 7-11.
3. Where to sleep and where to charge your electronic devices?
There are benches around everywhere! Not to mention seat clusters like these:
These are great! Why??? You can totally sleep across! Also, check out that charging port over – as long as you have an international plug with you, you should be good. There are also USB ports. I recommend bringing portable chargers that you can power up here as well.
The airport has quite a few of these charging stations scattered everywhere, but from what we found out walking around, most people seem to use the ones on Level 1. This is likely because it’s the arrival hall. We were getting quite annoyed because we sat at a bench on Level 1 for about two hours and the guys charging their phones didn’t budge at all, so we went upstairs to try our luck…and woohoo here we are. A lot happier too because more chairs here have backrests!
So I would definitely recommend trying Level 3 (the departure hall) if Level 1 is too crowded. It could be different every day, so just keep walking around until you find a place most suitable. If not, just grab a chair/bench and hope the ports free up.
Toilets in the airport are really clean in general…but I just visited the toilet at the departure hall right beside Lotteria and man it’s huge and super pretty. So yup nothing to worry about.
5. If all fails and you decide you need civilisation…there’s an overnight spa at Basement 1
We actually considered going to this spa, something like a luxurious jjimjilbang (찜질방), called Spa on Air at the airport. We Googled reviews and it’s apparently pretty nice – not just some average bath and saunas – but we decided to just forgo it in the end. It’s ₩20,000 if you are staying the whole night, and an extra ₩15,000 if you would like a public room. Otherwise, you can just sleep on mats/couches anywhere inside.
Also…free, awesome Wifi at the airport! No reason to not stick around.
Hope this helps! xx