Your Essential Guide to Visit a Korean Bathhouse

korean bath house with shower area - Spa World

South Korea, known as the epicenter of the beauty world, is famous for its cultural spa massages and exfoliation. The South Korean bathhouses, or Jjimjilbang, have become a part of their contemporary culture. Jjimjilbang = Jjimjil(heating) + bang(room), is a bathhouse in Korea that people visit to relax and rejuvenate.

You can hang out with your friends or family or date your partner and enjoy the health and beauty rituals. However, there are some etiquette rules to follow when you experience the benefits of a Korean bath house. Read on as we discuss the bathhouse culture and how to behave like a local.

Key Takeaway

  • Jjimjilbangs are integral to South Korean culture, offering relaxation and health rituals.
  • Proper etiquette, like shoe removal and thorough cleansing, enhances the bathhouse experience.
  • The experience includes soaking, scrubbing, and sauna sessions that promote wellness and skin health.

Arriving at Jjimjilbang or Korean Bathhouse

Once you reach the Jjimjilbang, you must remove your shoes and store them in the shoe locker. At the reception desk, you will turn in your shoe locker key and present your ID to be scanned into the system. After paying the entry fee you will receive a spa wristband with a key that will give you access to a larger locker in the locker room. 

locker room in a korean bathhouse - Spa World

After completing the check in process, you will be given a face towel and a traditional Korean spa uniform, and directed to the gender-separated changing room, which is segregated by gender. 

4 girls in traditional korean spa dress

Traditional Korean Spa Uniform at Spa World

Remove All Garments

Being fully nude in front of others might be difficult for first-timers, but it is a part of the authentic Korean bathhouse experience.  

If you feel uncomfortable, you may cover yourself with a towel while walking around before getting into the baths. It is encouraged to maintain your noise level to a minimum throughout the session.

Fully Cleanse Your Body

To maintain a hygienic environment for all guests and keep the bath water free of any chemicals, you will be expected to shower and fully cleanse your body before entering the baths. 

If you have hair that extends past the shoulders, it is also strongly encouraged that your hair be tied up to prevent loose strands from getting into the water.  

Soak for 20 Minutes

Hot and cold water pools can be found in the bathhouse. Hot water tubs come in various temperatures ranging from 38℃ or 100℉ (not too hot) to 45℃ or 113℉ (pretty hot). 

Koreans soak themselves back and forth in hot and cold temperatures, which benefits the skin and circulatory system. The optimum soaking time is 20 minutes to get the utmost benefits. 

Scrub Yourself

Koreans are passionate about skincare. Scrubbing after a hot bath exfoliates your skin, which has myriad benefits, including removing dead skin cells, preventing ingrown hair, unclogging pores, and giving you smooth and glossy skin. 

For an additional cost, you can have the attendees in the Seoul bathhouse scrub you. Though the process can be vigorous, it is worth it for the smooth, glowing skin at the end.

Experience the Korean Sauna

Traditional South Korean saunas are dome-shaped kilns made of stone or clay that provide a rejuvenating experience. The Sauna rooms are heated between 90°F – 200°F (Approx. 32°C and 93°C) for a pleasant experience. It is recommended that you remain in the sauna for 15 to 20 minutes as you start sweating gradually for a wholesome experience.

Note: Sauna durations vary according to the temperature. For the hottest saunas, we recommend not exceeding 8 minutes. For more detailed information check our article – Ideal sauna temperature or talk to our representatives.

Relax in Sleep Zones

Sleep zones come with heated floors for maximum comfort and relaxation. It’s advised to respect the other guests by staying quiet and maintaining your decibel levels to the minimum. 

Check Out After A Blissful Bathhouse Session

After completing your spa experience, you may change back into your regular clothes and place your used uniform and/or towels in the laundry baskets located in the locker room. You will return your spa wristband to the reception desk to begin the checkout process. 

You’ll be charged for any additional costs you’ve incurred inside such as food and/or drink purchases, spa services, or other amenities. Once the bill is paid, you’re good to go.

If you stay near Houston, experience the Spa World’s special mineral and herbal Korean Bathhouse and sauna at $39 (Weekdays) and $49 (Weekends). 

Note: Additional costs incurred for other services. 

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Spa World Houston in Katy, TX, is a Korean-style spa dedicated to promoting relaxation and wellbeing. Known for its soothing ambiance and a variety of rejuvenation services, it's a haven for tranquility.


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