Incheon is South Korea’s third largest city after Seoul and Busan, an important seaport that is also steeped in culture and history.
Mostly known to tourists as the city where the country’s main international airport is located (Incheon International Airport), many who stay behind to explore Incheon will find that it is a historically and economically significant place for Koreans.
Incheon, which literally means ‘wise river’, was the first seaport that was open to international trade as early as the 15th century during the reign of the Joseon Kingdom. The city was also the landing site for General Douglas MacArthur and his American troops in 1950 during the Korean War , popularly gone down in history as the “Battle of Inchon”.
In 2003, Incheon was designated as South Korea’s first free economic zone, which propelled the city as the center of industrialisation where large local companies and global enterprises were based. The recently-built Songdo International Business District along Incheon’s waterfront is another latest development to attract foreign investors.
Incheon is also host to many large scale events, like the Incheon Global Fair and Festival, Global Model United Nations Conference and the 2014 Incheon Games. The city is worth a day trip or two from Seoul, with other attractions being Bupyeong, Chinatown, Jayu Park and outlying islands like Jakyakdo, Seongmodo and Ganghwado.