Steam and Soak in a Hammam
A hammam is a public steam bath and they can be found throughout Morocco. These were the only bathing place before private bathrooms and are often found close to the mosque, as it is a custom for Muslim’s to wash themselves before going to pray.
For a more luxurious experience you can try a hammam in an upscale riad, these are not as traditional and more spa-like with private bathing areas, massage tables and attendants to help you enjoy your experience.
Should you decide to try the true traditional hammam on your Morocco tour, be prepared and take spare underwear and shorts with you, it’s expected that you will bathe with only your underwear or shorts on and you will be bathing with many other people from tourists to locals. It’s actually a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the locals.
The traditional hammams are not pretty, they’re not oozing with luxury, in fact they can be dark with chipped tiles, but overall they are part of the Moroccan experience and well worth a visit.
What To Expect
The larger hammams will have a separate men and womens bathing pools and the smaller ones will have separate opening times for men and women. Usually men are in the morning and evening with women in the afternoon.
Once you arrive you will pay a small fee at the entrance and it is here where you decide whether to also have a massage, this will probably cost a little extra.
You will be handed two buckets. Now some hammams will have an attendant to fill the buckets for you, but the majority will be self-service. One bucket is for cold water and the other is for hot. You can refill your buckets as many times as you wish.
All you have to do once your buckets are filled you find a spare space to sit down and soak up the steam. Be aware it can get very noisy with the chatter of all the people in there at the same time and if you are in a womens hammam then expect to hear crying children and have children running around.
The best option is to take soap with you, using the water from your buckets you can wash yourself and wait to be called for your massage. Leave feeling clean and pampered.