Seoul: Where to go for a power nap
Nomad team, Nomad Team
Mar 24 · 4 min read
Took an overnight flight and landed in Seoul really early — your hotel doesn’t allow you to do an early check-in, shops are not open, and you could do with some sleep before starting your day? Or you have had a long day out shopping, and are looking for a place for a quick rest before continuing your day? We have put together a list of options that you could possibly consider for a quick break.
For those who have watched Korean dramas and variety shows, you would probably be familiar with the jjimjilbang - a Korean public bathhouse. There are multiple spa treatments that are available at the jjimjilbang, and most jjimjilbangs offers showers, hot and cold tubs, various types of saunas, and sleeping areas. Jjmjilbang culture is an important part of Korean daily life and provides a space for people to relax and rejuvenate.
An integral part of the Korean daily life, there are many 24-hour jjimjilbangs all around Seoul, making it a great option if you were looking for a place to catch some rest. As most jjimjilbangs do not have a time limit on how long you stay there, you could also consider spending the night at the jjimjilbang as a cheaper alternative to a hotel stay. The public sleeping areas at the jjimjilbang typically consist of a comfortable space with mat or cushion to lie down. While they do not provide the same type of privacy and comfort as a hotel room would, the jjimjilbang provides an experience that is uniquely Korean.
Jjimjilbangs usually charge a flat entrance fee to enjoy their facilities, and additional services would be separately charged. There are small lockers available for you to store your small items, but they wouldn’t be big enough for you to store your luggage — if you had your luggage with you, you would likely have to deposit them with the staff at the counter.
After paying the admission fee, you will receive a wristband, which would be used to track the additional services that you purchased during your time at the jjimjilbang — any additional payment will be made at the end of your visit.
There are certain etiquettes and customs that you should observe at a jjimjilbang:
- You will be given a jjimjilbang outfit that is to be worn in all common areas (other than the bath, at which complete nudity is expected).
- The first thing to do at a jjimjilbang is to shower thoroughly, to maintain the hygiene standards of the place
- As the jjimjilbang is a place for relaxation, do keep your voices low and avoid disruptive behaviour.
Apart from catching some rest, we also recommend that you try the soft boiled eggs and Sikhye at the jjimjilbang to complete the experience!
In today’s digital world where everything is moving at such a fast pace, the comic book cafes in Seoul provide a rather refreshing break from the hustle of life. Also known as "manhwa cafes," these cafes offer a unique and relaxed atmosphere where visitors can enjoy reading physical copies of manhwa (or comics) while having snacks and drinks.
These cafes have a large collection of both local and international comics, and visitors can purchase a day pass to access the entire collection. You can also bring your own books to read if you would like. Comic book cafes are usually rather quiet, though not as quiet as a library, making it a very suitable place if you wanted to chill or get some work done.
If you were just looking for a place to catch some rest, you would be glad to know that some comic book cafes also have bed cubicles and private rooms, which you could take a nap at! When going to the comic book cafe, you will first pay the entrance fee for the number of hours you plan to be there. Do note that if you exceed the planned time, there would be additional charges, so you might want to set an alarm, especially if you were planning to take a nap.
In addition to just comics, these manhwa cafes also have a snack bar where you can get snacks and drinks. For a more local experience, you might want to consider getting a bowl of ramyun!
Not all comic book cafes are 24 hours, so you might want to check the opening hours of the ones nearest to you before heading over. Here are some 24-hour comic book cafes that provide bed cubicles and / or private rooms that you may consider heading to:
- Nolsoop Book & Cartoon Cafe Plus - Hongdae Branch
- Nolsoop Book & Cartoon Cafe Sookmyung Women’s University Entrance Branch
- Nolsoop Book & Cartoon Cafe Jongno Gwancheol Branch
- Dinggul Dinggul Altamira
- Comic Book Cafe Kikkik Namu
- 24-hour comic book cafe Yeongdeungpo Branch
Multibangs, which literally mean multi-rooms, are a type of entertainment room in South Korea which combine a variety of South Korean entertainment options like noraebangs (karaoke rooms) and PC bang (Internet cafes) in a single location. The popularity of multibangs has grown in recent years, and they are very popular among the young people in South Korea.
With the variety of activities you can do at a multibang, it is a great option for those looking to pass time. You can rent a private room at these multibang establishments, where you can watch movies, sing, play computer games, and play board games. These rooms are also often equipped with sofas, so you could get some shut eye as well! As these rooms are typically used for group hangouts and parties, it could get a loud during the weekends or in the afternoon when the students are off school.
With a private room, multibangs are suitable for those who prefer some privacy when taking a nap. However, as it is charged by the hour, it could total up to be slightly pricier compared to the options of going to a manhwa cafe or jjimjilbang. Here are some multibangs that are open 24/7, which you could consider visiting when you are in Seoul: