As someone who loves to travel and explore on a budget, I am loving all the free things there are to do in Seoul. As the capital city of South Korea, Seoul has so much to offer for all types of travelers. One thing that I enjoy doing is visiting the parks around the city. Each park is unique and beautiful in its own way and is a nice way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Recently we decided to venture off to Incheon to see what it had to offer. I didn’t really do my research, and we went on a whim. We were headed to check out the Chinatown located in Incheon, but when we arrived at the tourist information kiosk just outside of the subway station, we decided to take the local’s advice and explore Wolmido Island. Although there are many attractions here that are not free, there are also many more that are free. The amusement parks seem to charge per ride, but we had a great time watching people spin and fall over on a ride called the DJ Booth.
Korean Traditional Gardens
These gardens may not be as big as some others that I have seen here in South Korea, but they were still beautiful. Each section is split up into a variety of gardens from flowers to vegetables.
Within the grounds of the garden, you will also find the Changdeokgung Palace, which you can also visit for free.
After walking through the gardens you can climb to the top of the peak of Wolmido. In the summer months it is hard to see the seaview because of the trees, but that is why you should go to the top of the Observation Tower to get a view of Incheon, Yellow Sea and the Yeonan Pier. I was amazed by all the giant cargo ships that I saw there as I had never seen anything like them before. You can also watch a sunset if you come in the later part of the day.
One bonus is that you can see the Incheon Bridge, the 8th longest in the world, from the top of the observatory.
Wolmi Cultural Center
Although we did not go inside the Wolmi Cultural Center as we were short on time, according to the tourist map that we picked up it says that the entrance is free and you can even dress up in traditional Korean clothing for free. Here you can also learn about the history of Incheon and the Joseon Dynasty.
Waterfront Park of Wolmido Cultural Street
I loved this part of the island as it was bustling with people enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon. This was one of the few spots that we have visited in Seoul where you can walk along the seashore. There are street performances throughout the day which you can watch for free. It was pretty entertaining watching an older lady sing in Korean. She was dressed like a figure skater and singing opera style songs. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but it was entertaining nonetheless.
If you enjoy watching a fountain show, then you can stop by the Wolmi Moonlight Music Fountain and watch one of the many 20 minute shows during the day. On a hot summer day, this is a great spot to be splashed by the fountains to be cooled off. Since Koreans love their shade, there are a lot of shaded areas where you can sit to beat the sun.
Wolmi Amusement Park and Wolmi Theme Park (Cost)
There are two amusement parks in Wolmi, which in my opinion are exactly the same. One of the most entertaining rides to watch is the DJ Booth (pictured above). People are spun around in circles and bounced up and down by a DJ. It is fun to watch people fall all over the place and try to get up as the ride spins. Oh, and there are no seatbelts, so the people have to hold on to the railings. This was entertaining for me since I don’t think anything like this would pass safety regulations in Canada!
To get to Wolmido Island, take the Dark Blue Number 1 Subway line to the last stop at Incheon. There is only one exit at this station. Just as you leave the station, you will see buses parked in front on the same side of where you exited. Take bus 2, 23, or 45 and be sure to stop by the tourist office to get a map and information about what to see and do on the island, as there is more to see and do than what I have covered in this post.