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If you’ve watched Korean dramas or reality shows, you’ll be familiar with Korean jimjilbangs.

They’re where family members sometimes share heartwarming moments, anguished teenagers escape to stay the night, and fun-loving friends crack hard-boiled eggs on one another’s foreheads for a good laugh.

Korean jimjilbangs are traditional bathhouses that are furnished with baths and saunas, and they’re where locals, young and old, go to unwind and reap a bevvy of health plus beauty benefits.

Translating literally to “heated room”, it follows that Korean jimjilbangs have pools that are heated to a variety of temperatures, from warm to hot, and saunas too.

Since these public bathhouses are where locals and visitors alike go to, well, bathe, you’re not allowed to wear anything in the baths but your birthday suit – not a problem as these baths are segregated by gender.

If the stripping down rule surprises you, we’ll let you in on a secret: there are lots more unspoken codes for when you visit a jimjilbang in Korea.

To help you really relax and enjoy (rather than feel awkward and embarrassed at) your first Korean jimjilbang visit, we’re sharing what you need to know.

Keep reading, because we also share the best Korean jimjilbangs to look out for when you’re planning a holiday to Seoul, Busan, or Incheon in South Korea!

What Is a Korean Jimjilbang?

Korean jimjilbang (9)

A traditional Korean jimjilbang (짐질방) visit involves a trip to the bath, where you’ll soak for about 20 minutes, and the sauna, where you’ll lie down on heated stones as your body relaxes and detoxifies.

One activity that’s central to Korean jimjilbangs is exfoliation. The hot water softens the skin so that dead skin cells can be sloughed away easily, so you shouldn’t be surprised to find locals scrubbing at their skin with mitts or towels inside the bathhouse.


3 Things You Can Do In Korean JJIM JIL BANG

♬ original sound – Korean Hoon – Hoon 훈 🇰🇷

If you’re daring enough, you can even ask for a deep scrub and let the jimjilbang staff exfoliate you from head to toe, as you lie naked on the treatment table. Your skin will be so smooth and radiant after that you might deem the discomfort all worth it.

There are also communal sleeping rooms where people can take a nap during the day or even stay overnight. Since Korean jimjilbangs are affordable and open for 24 hours, they’re common places for visitors to “crash” just to tide through the night.

While a jimjilbang used to be a place that locals visited only for the baths and saunas, the modern bathhouses now include a plethora of facilities including outdoor pools, nail salons, and restaurants.

What to Take Note of at a Korean Jimjilbang?

Korean jimjilbang (7)

Hurshimchung Spa. Photo source: Klook

Even though you should be stripped down completely when entering the baths, you’ll lounge in a T-shirt and shorts at the saunas or in the other communal areas.

The jimjilbang will provide you with the attire you need when you collect your towel and keys to your locker after paying the admission fee. You should also note that shoes are not allowed in a Korean jimjilbang.


Once you get past the nakedness it’s actually pretty cool! #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #korea #korean #studykorean #learnontiktok #kdrama

♬ original sound – H

One important thing to note when you’re at a jimjilbang is to wash up before entering the baths. There are washing stations and soap is often provided, but it’s best to bring your own just in case.

You’ll also hardly find other toiletries like shampoo or conditioner, so pack your own if you’re planning on washing your hair too. If you don’t want to wash your hair, you don’t have to. However, you should tie your loose hair up into a bun instead of letting it trail in the bath water.

Korean Jimjilbangs to Visit in South Korea

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