While the wave pools and rides at an energetic water park are great, nothing really compares to the open-air spas and hot springs where you’ll want to sit in a warm pool, take in the view, and relax all day long. It’s a wellness experience like no other, so we’ve rounded up some of the best open-air baths in and around Seoul, as well as a couple of spas a bit further afield, for a truly relaxing day out.
1. Cimer, Paradise City
Found in Incheon, the Cimer spa complex at Paradise City is a place that blends the spa cultures of Europe and Korea. The Aqua Spa Zone was designed with memories of Venice’s Piazza San Marco, whilst the Jjimjil Spa Zone embraces Korean jjimjilbang culture to soothe body and mind. In addition to the infinity pool, there is also a virtual spa with media projections, a cave spa, and an aqua club with DJ music. It might not be a classic spa experience, but it’s definitely a memorable one!
📍 186, Yeongjonghaeannam-ro 321beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon
A German-style spa that’s about a 40-minute drive from Seoul, Termeden in Icheon is a relatively large water park and spa complex with a heated pool, steam room, and sauna. A variety of heated pools, including a lazy river for tubing, are available for those who want to enjoy the outdoors, and the Forest Bath Zone features Korea’s first fire and water fountain. Termeden also has a traditional hot spring in the Therme Zone, offering an outdoor bathing experience that’s hard to find in Seoul. Here, you can experience a steam room, sauna, and hot pool all at a reasonable price.
📍 984 Sasil-ro, Moga-myeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Nature is a rare treat in Seoul, and at the foot of Bukhansan Mountain to the north of the city, you’ll find the hotel Paraspara Seoul. They’re serious about enjoying the water here; the rooftop infinity pool and jacuzzi are especially popular in winter. The pool and jacuzzi are only available to guests staying at a Paraspara hotel, but if you’re looking for open-air spas while staying close to home, Paraspara Seoul is a great place for a mini-break.
📍689 Samyang-ro, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul
4. Splas Resom
A water park that uses the hot spring waters of Deoksan Provincial Park, Splas Resom is found in Budae, Chungcheongnam-do. The Deoksan hot springs here have a history of welcoming bathers for more than 600 years, and today there are about 15 open-air baths, all with great water quality. The same Resom group also features the Forest Resom in Jecheon, with open-air spas, which makes this resort group a favourite for those who seek wellness in nature.
📍 45-7, Oncheon Complex 3-ro, Deoksan-myeon, Budae-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
A bit further afield from Seoul, in Sokcho, Gangwon-do, the Choksan Spa & Hotel offers natural hot spring water that bubbles away at 50 degrees. The view of Seoraksan Mountain and the forest from the open-air bath is impressive, and you can enjoy the outdoor experience while bathing in a heated pool. This is a resort facility with hotel rooms, but day visitors can use the sauna and open-air bath facilities separately for 10,000 won per adult. There is also a family hot spring room for families to share, if you’re planning on bringing the kids.
📍 327 Gwangwang-ro, 노학동 Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
A place to enjoy hot springs by the beach, the Seongmodo Mineral Hot Springs are made of reinforced stone (and some are even domed to keep you warmer in the winter). These hot springs are characterised by the ability to enjoy the open air while watching the sunset over the West Sea. Feel the wind, moisture, and salt of the ocean as you soak in the warm waters, and at 9,000 won per person, it’s a bargain.
📍 865-17, Samsanam-ro, Samsan-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon