Athens is a captivating city that seamlessly blends ancient history with modern charm. As you explore its bustling streets and iconic landmarks, take a moment to immerse yourself in a world of serenity and relaxation at the delightful hammams scattered throughout central Athens. These traditional Turkish bathhouses offer an oasis of calm where you can rejuvenate your body and soul. Join me as we delve into the enchanting world of the best Hammam Athens, exploring their locations and opening hours.
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What is an Hammam?
A hammam, also known as a Turkish bath or a steam bath, is a traditional Middle Eastern bathing and cleansing ritual.
It originated in ancient Roman and Byzantine cultures and was later adopted and developed by the Ottoman Empire. Hammams are popular in countries such as Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, and other parts of the Arab world and were introduced to Greece during Ottoman occupation. Today you can find several in Athens as well as places like Rhodes, Crete and Thessaloniki.
A typical hammam consists of a steam room or a series of interconnected rooms with varying temperatures and humidity levels. The design usually includes a central heated marble platform known as the “gobek tasi” or “navel stone.” The steam is created by pouring water on hot stones or by using steam generators.
Visitors typically begin by relaxing in a warm room or hot steam to allow their bodies to sweat and pores to open. This process is believed to help cleanse the skin and eliminate toxins. Next, a masseur or masseuse may scrub the visitor’s body using a coarse mitt or glove to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. This practice is known as “kese.”
After the scrubbing, visitors usually get a soapy massage, where the masseur or masseuse applies olive oil soap or other traditional cleansing products and performs a thorough massage to further cleanse and invigorate the body. The bathing ritual concludes with a rinse and sometimes a cool or cold water splash to close the pores.
These days most Hammams also offer other more mainstream treatments such as facials and even manicures too. Most of them offer a variety of ‘packages’ you can book, including the choice of different types of products.
Hammans also have cultural and historical significance, and visiting one is often seen as a way to promote well-being, relaxation, and a sense of community.
What do I wear to a Hammam?
In Ancient times people would be naked during the experience but today people wear their swimwear or very loose, skimpy clothing that can get wet.
You will likely be given a robe or sarong to change into as well as some slippers or thongs/fitflops. You will also be given the key to a locker to put your bags and valuables away. It’s best to remove all jewelry and remember that any makeup is going to steam off and your hair will be wet.
Don’t forget to take a plastic bag to put your wet items in when you leave, and you may want to take a hairbrush and even some makeup as you will likely walk through busy streets to get back to your hotel. And if you arrived wearing your swimwear under your clothes, don’t forget underwear! I learnt that one the hard way.
Our favourite Hammans in Athens
Polis Hammam one of the largest and most popoular and is an exquisite sanctuary tucked away in the historic Plaka district.
This beautifully restored hammam invites you to unwind in a peaceful environment, boasting a harmonious blend of traditional aesthetics and contemporary comforts. Prepare to be pampered with a range of wellness treatments such as steam sessions, deep cleansing rituals, and soothing massages.
The hammam’s intimate setting and attention to detail ensure an unforgettable spa experience, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and utterly relaxed.
4 Tripodon Street, Plaka, Athens
Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Inspired by ancient routines from Asia Al Hammam have designed exclusive hammam & spa treatments with unique products that help you create a moment of peace and truly enjoy the moment. Lose yourself in their high-quality standard hammam facilities located in Athens at Plaka and Chania Crete, at the Venetian Old Harbour.
This is a small Hammam but the treatments are great and the location is perfect for many visitors. It pays to book well in advance.
Unlock your beauty, increase your confidence and improve your life, with traditional Hammam treatments that transform your inside out!
Monday – Friday from 11:00 to 22:00
Saturday & Sunday from 11:00 to 22:00
16 Tripodon & Ragava 10 St. Plaka, Athens, 10558
Hammam Baths Athens
Nestled in the vibrant Monastiraki neighborhood, Hammam Baths Athens offers a truly authentic hammam experience.
This hidden gem combines traditional Ottoman architecture with modern amenities, ensuring a tranquil and luxurious retreat. Step inside and be greeted by the warm ambiance, adorned with elegant marble and gentle lighting.
Treat yourself to a variety of indulgent services, including steam baths, body scrubs, and massages, administered by skilled therapists. The friendly staff and serene atmosphere make this hammam a must-visit.
17 Agion Asomaton, Monastiraki, Athens
Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
OLD CITY HAMMAM
Old City Hammam is a modern hammam located in the heart of Athens, right at the foot of the Acropolis, near the Acropolis Museum. This one of my personal favourites and it’s been around a long time.
With a focus on traditional Turkish bathing rituals, it offers a serene and relaxing experience. Their services includes steam baths, body treatments, massages, and a variety of packages to choose from.
You will be welcomes with Turkish tea and dried fruit and they even provide disposable underwear if you’ve forgotten something to change into.
Monday-Sunday 13:00 AM – 10:00 PM
1, Athanasiou Diakou Street, Plaka (Next to the Acropolis Metro station).
This Hammam is a very traditional Ottoman design with ornate arches, intricate tilework, and soft lighting creating an ambiance reminiscent of an Arabian palace.
It is located in Plaka right behind Old City.
Immerse yourself in the centuries-old Turkish bath rituals that have stood the test of time. Begin with a steam bath, where the enveloping warmth and aromatic scents open your pores and cleanse your body. Indulge in an invigorating body scrub, performed by skilled attendants, to exfoliate and renew your skin. Then, surrender to the skilled hands of expert therapists as they deliver rejuvenating massages, leaving you in a state of pure bliss and relaxation.
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
12 Porinou, Plaka, 117 42 Athens
LOUSMA HAMMAM & SPA
Lousma Hammam & Spa took its name from the Byzantine Baths, also known as “Lousma”, and has over a decade of successful presence in the field of Beauty and Wellness.
This spa is located in the upmarket, leafy neighbourhood of Kolonaki, at the foot of Mt. Lycabettus and close to the Athens Outdoor Cinema.
They combine the benefits of Oriental philosophy with Western techniques, and have created a luxurious and unique space in the heart of Athens, ideal for relaxing, rejuvenating, relieving aches and pains, and reducing the stress of everyday life.
At Lousma Hammam & Spa you can enjoy a unique range of treatments that will soothe, nourish and rejuvenate even the most fatigued bodies. by focusing on the muscular system, the reduction of blood pressure, the elimination of toxins, the reduction of cellulite, and the cleansing of the skin.
Monday to Saturday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Patriarchou Ioakim 45, Kolonaki, Athens