5 Affordable Hammams For Your Next European Getaway
Hammams – or Turkish bath – are the height of relaxation. Typically, a hammam experience sees guests progress through a series of hot and cool rooms and pools, including a steam bath and full-body scrub, and can be followed by a massage.
Dotted throughout Europe, they’re the most indulgent way to take a break from pounding the pavement, but that doesn’t mean they need to be expensive. Here are five to try on your next trip across the pond.
Madrid, Spain: Hammam Al Andalus
Located beneath the streets of bustling Madrid, in an 800-year-old building, Hammam Al Andalus is all mosaic tiles and candle-lit walkways. It offers a number of relaxing and aromatic experiences, including the traditional Alumudania ritual.
Prices vary, though Hammam Al Andalus tends to be cheapest in the middle of the day, between 10am and 4pm. While the Alumdania ritual will set you back around $120 (E75), you can take the Water Journey from just $50 (E35). You’ll get the best price by booking online ahead of time.
Where: Calle de Atocha, 14, 28012 Madrid
Istanbul, Turkey: Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı
Built in the 16th century as part of a mosque and school complex, Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı is named after a legendary Ottoman admiral. Located in Tophane, Istanbul‘s harbour district, it underwent seven years of meticulous restoration before reopening to the public in 2012.
It offers a classic hammam ritual under the building’s biggest dome, including complimentary homemade serbet (sherbet) and deep exfoliation topped off with a gentle soap bath. Guests are invited to tack a massage on to the end (treat yo’self, we say) and enjoy the hammam’s grounds for as long as they please.
The Hammam Ritual costs $65 (TRY190) per person.
Where: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Hamam Sk. No:1, 34425 Beyoğlu, İstanbul
Budapest, Hungary: Rudas Thermal Bath
Budapest’s plentiful in thermal springs make it unique among other cities – it’s been dubbed the “City of Spas” – and the perfect place for a public bathhouse. Rudas Thermal Bath was built in the 1930s and boasts a central pool covered by a 10m dome, sauna, and drinking hall serving “cures” from all three local springs, Hungaria, Attila and Juventus.
With six steam pools (one of which is on the rooftop) sitting between a balmy 36 and 42 degrees Celsius, the thermal bath offers a number of services, include massage, body scrubs, and aromatherapy. Pool passes start at $7.40 (HUF1500), including a locker, while massages and other services start at just $21 (HUF4400).
It’s open from 6am daily, depending on which part of the complex you’d like to visit.
Where: Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9, 1013 Hungary
Paris, France: La Mosquee de Paris
Thanks to a large Turkish population, Paris is peppered with luxe hammams and public bathhouses, but La Mosquee de Paris is one of the most authentic – and the easiest on your wallet.
Visitors to the hammam can mix-and-match services like massages and scrubs from as little as $9 (E6) a pop, or let the experts take care of things with one of the packages. Starting at $65, packages include a 10-minute massage, full-body scrub, black soap and mint tea, along with your entry fee. The longer those services last or the more you add, the more expensive it gets.
La Mosquee de Paris is open seven days, with days split between female-only and male-only.
Where: 39 Rue Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris
London, UK: Pasha Turkish Bath And Ottoman Hammam
The only private hammam in London, the Pasha Spa is part of the boutique Pasha Hotel in Camberwell in south-east London. With steam, sauna and bath facilities, it offers Turkish, Moroccan and Ottoman bath rituals including a herbal steam session, full-body scrub and bubble soap massage from $95 (P55).
Or, buddy up with a friend or a loved one and treat yourself to the Indulgent Hammam for two for just $75 each.
Where: 158 Camberwell Road, London SE5 0EE
(Lead image: Hammam Al Andalus)