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What can you not do in a Korean spa?

What Can You Not Do in a Korean Spa?

A Korean spa, also known as a jjimjilbang, is a popular relaxation destination for Koreans and non-Koreans alike. It is a place where people can unwind, soak in hot tubs, get scrubbed down, and even sleep overnight. However, there are certain things that are prohibited in a Korean spa. In this article, we will explore what you cannot do in a Korean spa.

No Alcohol or Smoking

Alcohol and smoking are strictly prohibited in Korean spas. This is because these activities can be dangerous when combined with the hot temperature of the saunas and hot tubs. Additionally, smoking is not only harmful to the smoker but also to those around them. Therefore, it is important to respect the rules and refrain from drinking or smoking in a Korean spa.

No Outside Food or Drink

Most Korean spas have restaurants or snack bars where visitors can purchase food and drinks. However, bringing outside food or drink is generally not allowed. This is to prevent messes and keep the spa clean. Some spas may allow visitors to bring their own water bottles, but it’s always best to check with the staff beforehand.

No Clothes or Swimsuits in Saunas

In Korean spas, it is customary to wear only a towel or robe in the saunas and hot tubs. Wearing clothes or swimsuits is not allowed because it can lead to bacterial growth and make it harder for the body to sweat out toxins. Additionally, clothes or swimsuits can damage the sauna benches and mats.

No Talking on Cellphones

Korean spas are meant to be a place of relaxation and tranquility. Therefore, talking on cellphones is not allowed in the sauna or other common areas. If you need to make a call, you should step outside or use the designated phone booths.

No Running or Horseplay

Running or horseplay is not allowed in Korean spas for safety reasons. The floors can be slippery, and visitors may be carrying hot liquids or sharp objects. Additionally, loud noises can disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the spa and disturb other visitors.

No Shaving or Hair Dyeing

Shaving or hair dyeing is not allowed in Korean spas because it can create a mess and damage the spa’s facilities. If you need to shave or dye your hair, it’s best to do it before or after your visit to the spa.

No Cameras or Recording Devices

Korean spas are meant to be a private and peaceful space. Therefore, taking photos or videos is strictly prohibited. This is to protect the privacy of other visitors and maintain a respectful atmosphere.

No Nudity in Common Areas

While it is customary to be naked in the gender-segregated saunas and hot tubs, nudity is not allowed in the common areas of Korean spas. Visitors should wear a robe or towel when walking around the spa outside of the gender-segregated areas.

No Sleeping in Unapproved Areas

While many Korean spas have sleeping rooms for visitors to take naps, sleeping in unapproved areas is not allowed. This is because it can create a safety hazard by blocking exits and interfering with staff operations.

No Loitering

Korean spas are meant to be a place of relaxation, not a place to hang out all day. Visitors should not loiter in the spa after their treatments are finished. This is to allow other visitors to enjoy the facilities and to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

No Pets Allowed

For health and safety reasons, pets are not allowed in Korean spas. Visitors should leave their furry friends at home or with a pet sitter before visiting the spa.

No Disrespectful Behavior

Finally, visitors to Korean spas should always behave respectfully toward staff and other visitors. Disruptive or disrespectful behavior can lead to ejection from the spa and could even result in legal consequences.


Korean spas are a wonderful place to relax and unwind, but it’s important to know what is and isn’t allowed. By following the rules and respecting the environment, visitors can have an enjoyable and restful experience in these unique and rejuvenating spaces.

What not to do in a Korean spa?

Don’t be too self-conscious as you enter the sauna, as everyone is there for the same purpose of relaxation and rejuvenation. However, be aware of the intensity of the heat and how your body reacts, and don’t overexert yourself. Listen to your body and be mindful of your limits.

What do I need to know before going to a Korean spa?

If you plan on visiting the baths, it is required to leave all of your clothing behind and only bring a small towel and toiletries with you. Make sure to wear your locker key on your wrist. If you plan on using the sauna, you will be provided with pajamas to change into. It is important to follow the rule of washing before entering the baths.

What to expect at a Korean spa?

Jjimjilbang, or Korean spas, are spacious bathhouses that are open to the public and feature hot tubs, showers, massage tables, and separate areas for men and women. Additionally, there is a communal area for both genders where you can find snacks, heated floors for sleeping, lounge and watch TV.

Do you wear a bathing suit at a Korean spa?

To enter a Korean spa and sauna, you must be comfortable with being completely naked as clothing is not allowed on the gender-segregated floors. Bathing suits are also prohibited in the spa and it is required that you shower before entering.

Do you wear undergarments at a spa?

When getting massages or body treatments, it’s best to remove all clothing, including underwear. Many spas provide paper underwear for use during treatments like scrubs, wraps, or self-tanning, which don’t offer much coverage but provide some level of modesty.

What do you wear to a Korean body scrub?

Although we recommend being completely naked, it is acceptable to wear a swimsuit bottom if you prefer. Our Korean Body Scrub treatment will leave your skin feeling incredibly soft, but if you have allergies or are pregnant, it may not be suitable for you.

No Inappropriate Behavior or Clothing

Visitors to Korean spas should also avoid any inappropriate behavior or clothing. This includes wearing revealing clothing or engaging in sexual activities. Such behavior is not only disrespectful but also illegal and can lead to serious consequences.

No Excessive Noise

In addition to no running or horseplay, visitors should also avoid making excessive noise in the spa. Loud talking, shouting, or playing music can disturb the peaceful atmosphere and disrupt other visitors’ experiences. Visitors should be mindful of their surroundings and keep noise levels to a minimum.

No Sharing of Personal Belongings

While it’s okay to share towels and robes provided by the spa, visitors should not share personal belongings with others. This includes sharing toiletries, razors, or other personal items that can spread germs or infections. Visitors should keep their personal belongings with them at all times and avoid leaving them unattended.

No Tipping

In Korean spas, tipping is generally not expected or accepted. The spa staff is paid a fair wage for their services, and tipping can sometimes be seen as disrespectful. Visitors should simply enjoy their treatments and services without feeling obligated to tip.

No Littering or Disposing of Trash Improperly

Visitors should also avoid littering or disposing of trash improperly. The spa provides ample trash cans and recycling bins for visitors to use. Visitors should make sure to dispose of their trash properly and keep the spa clean and tidy for everyone’s enjoyment.

No Bringing Children Under a Certain Age

While some Korean spas may allow children under a certain age, many do not. Parents should check with the spa beforehand to see if children are allowed and what age restrictions may apply. Even if children are allowed, parents should make sure to supervise them at all times and keep them under control.

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