Korea’s winter seasons can be harsh at times and if you’re looking for a few ways to thaw out for spring, today’s episode is just for you.
A Korean jjimjilbang is a perfect way to warm yourself up during or even long after winter has passed. Jjimjilbangs traditionally feature heated rooms of varying temperatures often with different properties such as jade, charcoal, clay, and more. The toasty floors and rooms makes for a great way to unwind from the winter chills and the sweating is said to be good for everything from your skin complexion to various health issues. Most jjimjilbangs also feature restaurants or shops that sell quick bites and eats, sleeping rooms, and lounging areas to watch TV, read a book, or just rest. Afterwards, you can go to the gender-separated public baths to soak in the various tubs and even get the infamous Korean body scrub treatment if you’re brave enough.
For a more upscale version of pampering, a number of Korean and international cosmetics brands have their own spas in the city where one can receive services like massages, facial and body treatments, and other services in luxurious yet comfortable venues. Some of the Korean centers offer treatments that feature unique Korean techniques, procedures, and ingredients. Do a simple search online to find some of these centers.
Korean styling and beauty shops are well known and highly sought after by many visitors. Neighborhoods like Apgujeong, Cheongdam, and Gangnam are considered to have the best beauty shops not only in Seoul but all of Korea as attested to the numerous celebrities that make use of these top shops on any given day. From hair styling and cutting to pedicures and other services, this is where you can temporarily escape from the cold while getting yourself styled up for spring. Looking for a budget-friendly option? Try the beauty shops near Ewha Womans’ University which are said to be still excellent and less costly.
Prepping yourself for some spring cleaning? You’re not alone as DIY home redecorating and restyling is quite popular in Korea these days. The Euljiro 4-ga neighborhood features numerous shops specializing in furniture, appliances, lighting fixtures, and more. Shop around the hundreds of shops and get your home redecorated just in time for warmer weather.
If the colder weather has turned you into couch potato mode, don’t give up on those get fit resolutions for the new year. On top of numerous gyms and exercise centers in Seoul, there are fun ways to get some exercise indoors such as indoor rock climbing centers, bowling centers, batting cages, and indoor golf ranges. Another option for both fun and socializing are the various dance studios and groups around the city. Learn and master dancing with others in all genres including salsa, tango, hip hop, and even K-Pop.
If you’d rather cozy up to a good book your options are plentiful as well with numerous large-scale bookstore chains, libraries, and foreign bookstores around the city. Upgrade the experience at the numerous book cafes in Seoul that offers tea, coffee, pastries, and other tasty snacks with books of all genres. A recent popular trend has also been book bars and pubs that sells a range of good beers and drinks- bottled and on top- books, and cozy spaces to make a temporary escape.
Lastly, indoor museums and cultural venues are a great way to take in arts and culture during the chillier seasons. Check the homepages of some of the city’s top museums like the Leeum Museum of Art, The Seoul Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art for information on the latest exhibitions and even special lectures and discussions. Cultural venues such as the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the Seoul Arts Center also regularly features a range of interesting exhibitions as well.