10 (Literal) Hot Spots in Korea to Keep You Warm This Winter

10 (Literal) Hot Spots in Korea to Keep You Warm This Winter

From hot springs and saunas to hot food and tea, there are plenty of ways to keep you warm in Korea this winter.

Yes, the scenery is beautiful and completely photo-worthy, but Korea’s winters can be harsh, with temperatures often dropping below zero. Still, a trip there during the cold season is one that’s worth taking – here are ten ways to help you enjoy Korea’s winter without letting the cold get into your bones!

Check out 10 Instagrammable Places to Visit in Korea This Winter.


1. Relax in hot baths from all over the world

Located in Centum City, Spa Land boasts 22 spas fed with natural spring water and 13 specially-themed jjimji-bangs (public baths) and saunas.

Have you ever tried a Roman sauna, where modern technology enables heat to be radiated in a bath inspired by the ancient Roman baths? Or maybe a Finnish sauna that is said to keep people healthy during the chilly winter? These are just two of the warming experiences Spa Land offers!

Opening hours: 6am–12am daily

Address: 35, Centumnam-daero, Haeundae-gu, Busan

Contact: +82 51-745-2900


2. Shop indoors in the largest departmental store in the world

Image credit: Rsmokov

Speaking of Centum City, did you know that Shinsegae Centum City Department Store holds the Guinness World Record for the largest department store in the world?

Feel all the comfort of the heated indoors as you hunt out and seize the best deals, taking the chance to shop for some winter wear. Be warned though, we’ve been told a day isn’t enough to finish your shopping spree here.

Opening hours: 11am–8pm daily

Address: 35 Centumnam-daero, U-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea

Contact: +82 1588-1234


3. Savour freshly roasted chestnuts

Image credit: cezzie901

Gwangbokdong Food Street is probably one of the most popular places in Busan for locals and tourists alike, and for good reason! With delicious eats at cheap prices, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

Image credit: gagasoap

Keep an eye (or your nose) out especially for freshly roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes. These treats are extra popular during the winter months as they make nifty and delicious hand-warmers as well!

Opening hours: Until they sell out!

Address: Gwangbok-dong, Jung-gu, Busan-si

Contact: +82 51-245-7389

Check out 7 Must-Eat Foods in Seoul During Winter.

4. Feel the heat with freshly grilled Korean BBQ

Image credit: Yinan Chen

One of the easiest ways to heat up in the winter is to indulge in Korean BBQ – the sizzling hot meats are a godsend in the cold!

Though its prices are a little on the high side, Anga in Busan is well worth the money spent for its quality.

Opening hours: 11.30am–12am from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday.

Address: 494-1 Jwadongsunhwan-ro, Jung-dong, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea

Contact: +82 51-742-7852


5. Warm up in a traditional hardwood Kiln

Image credit: Dragon Hill Spa

Situated in Yongsan – the heart of downtown Seoul – Dragon Hill Spa prides itself in providing a place for people to take a break out of their busy lives to reconnect with nature.

Not only do they provide a range of services from nail art to massages, they also have a large variety of salt rooms – rooms where the walls are covered in rock salt – steam rooms and saunas for you to relax and sweat it out in.

Image credit: Dragon Hill Spa

Our favourite? The traditional charcoal kiln. Similar to entering a sauna, step into the chamber and allow the slow and constant heat to take the chill off you.

This process is said to lessen fatigue and stress, as well as improve metabolism and blood circulation. Health benefits or not, one thing is for certain: you won’t be complaining about the cold in this chamber.

Opening hours: Open 24 hours daily

Address: 40-712 Hangangno 3(sam)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Contact: +82 2-792-0001


6. Customise your own hot stew

Image credit: LWYang

Probably one the best places to get your army stew fix in Seoul is Mukshidonna Samcheongdong, a cosy restaurant that specialises in communal-style stews at affordable prices.

One of the best features of this place is the freedom in customising your own ingredients in the stew. From vegetables to a variety of meat, all you have to do is tick it off a list to customise your bowl of hot, comforting stew. Just don’t forget to opt for the tteokbokki (Korean rice cakes) – it’s their signature ingredient!

Opening hours: 11am–9pm daily

Address: 74-7 Yulgok-ro 3-gil, Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Contact: +82 2-723-8089

7. Grill up a BBQ good enough for the Hulk

Image credit: Maple Tree House

Maple Tree House is probably one of the most renowned barbeque restaurants in Korea, and it really comes as no surprise. With its spread of fresh meat at wallet-friendly prices, it’s hard to say no to this place. Its success is a testament to its quality; they first started out as a small eatery but today have opened four branches in popular areas such as Gangnam.

Image credit: Maple Tree House

Besides, if it’s good enough for stars like Katy Perry, Angelina Jolie and Mark Ruffalo, it’s good enough for us!

Opening hours: 11.30am-10.30pm daily


Seoul (Samcheong-dong), Samcheong-ro 130, Jongno-gu, S 31-1 1, 2F

Seoul, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-ro 27 Gachil 26 (Itaewon-dong) Hamilton Hotel Annex 2F

Seoul, Korea 113 (Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) B-101

Contact: +82 2-790-7977


8. Sip hot tea in a traditional tea garden

What better way to warm up than with a nice hot cup of tea?

Dawon not only serves a wide selection of tea, but the tea house also operates in a hanok, a traditional house, in the middle of the bustling city. In other words, here’s your perfect opportunity to snap picturesque photos before indulging in your hot cup of tea.

Have your pick from over 15 varieties of tea, all originating from Korea, and indulge in assorted tteok (Korean rice cakes) as you heat up in Dawon’s peaceful atmosphere.

Opening hours: 10.30am–10.30pm daily

Address: 11-4, Insadong 10-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Contact: +82-2-730-6305

9. Burn it up at Daeboreum Festivals

Image credit: Republic of Korea

More specifically, burn it up with a daljip – a heap of straws – a tradition believed to invite good luck and ward off bad luck. You definitely won’t be feeling chilly around this bonfire!

Burning a daljip is one of the many traditions performed during Jeongwol Daeboreum, a festival in Korea occuring on the 15th day of the lunar calendar – the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. The date according to the Gregorian calendar varies every year but Jeongwol Daeboreum usually falls between February and March, at the tail-end of winter.

During this festival, children also spin cans of fire and compete to see whose burns better, in a folk game called Jwibulnori.

Since you’re here, what is a festival to celebrate the full moon without actually seeing and appreciating the full moon?

Step into Namsan Seoul Tower, located on Namsan Mountain, the most popular observatory and best viewing place for the night sky in Seoul. With an outdoor observatory, you’ll get to admire the full moon in all her glory.

Opening hours: 10am – 11pm every day except Saturday, 10am – 12mn.

Address: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Contact: +82-2-1330


Check out 10 Things to Do in Seoul at Night.


10. Soak in hot springs

Image credit: Paradise Spa Dogo

Asan is well known for their hot springs, and Paradise Spa Dogo is one of the most popular hot spring spas there. Located in the heart of the hot spring city of Asan, this large-scale spa can accommodate up to 5,000 people at a time!

From water massage treatments to large hot spring water pools infused with sulphur and an array of recreational activities, you’re bound to find something that fits your criteria.

Don’t forget to check out their outdoor spa! In winter, the spas are infused with ginseng, ginger and mandarin peels. The themes change according to the seasons, providing you with what’s best for your body according to the weather.

Opening hours: Varies by season and spa type, refer to the website for details.

Address: 176, Dogooncheon-ro, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do

Contact: +82-41-537-7100


There you have it, from spas and saunas to a multitude of hot food to keep your belly happy and even a couple of activities to get your circulation going, there are plenty of ways to thaw out in Korea this winter!

For more information on places of interest, please visit Korea Tourism Organization’s official website and Facebook page.

Brought to you by Korea Tourism Organization (Singapore Office).

About Author

Chan U-Jane
Chan U-Jane

U-Jane is non-stop, a lover of all things Disney, and may or may not be slightly obsessed with musicals. When she's not off gallivanting, she's probably binge-watching some show on Netflix. That, or she's meticulously planning her next adventure.