Hey there, savvy travelers! If you’re in Antalya, Turkey, and you’re in the mood for a little relaxation and cultural immersion (who isn’t?), then you’re in the right place. We’re diving headfirst into the world of Turkish bath, or “hammams,” to show you where to find the best ones in town. So, grab your towel, and let’s get steamy!
Alright, let’s start with the basics. A Turkish bath is like a spa day on steroids, minus the fancy cucumber water and plus foam. It’s a centuries-old tradition where you strip down, scrub off layers of stress (and dead skin cells), and emerge feeling like butterfly – by that I mean “a whole new person”.
Why Antalya, You Ask?
Well, Antalya has its own love affair with Turkish baths. These places are steeped in history, and the city’s got plenty of spots that have perfected the art of hammam-ing (yeah, we’re making that a verb). Also, we have explored them first hand (so I guess that makes us experts)!
Where to Find 'Em
So, where can you experience this ancient form of Turkish relaxation? We’ve got you covered. There is a pretty short list of hammam and spa places in, and around, Antalya. Most of them do not even have a website! So we went investigating in person stopping at 4 to get a feel for pricing, hygiene, and serenity.
Prices change all the time and different places (as expected) have different ambiance and services.
Dao Spa: Very uninviting from the outside but this is the one we actually went with due to the price for value ratio (as you should expect from us by now). They have 3 programs ranging from 1000TL-1450TL ($27-53USD).
BlueSpa: Connected to a hotel, this spa seemed a little touristic. Although it offered a 2.5 hour spa experience for 1100TL ($40), we decided it wasn’t what we were looking for.
Aura Spa: Tucked away out of the main line of traffic is this well recommended hammam. It is 800TL($30) for a 1.5 hour session. It seemed clean and is well reviewed on google.
Kristal Hamam: We walked in, a guy with no shirt on and 666 tattooed across his chest greeted us…and we quickly left. No thanks. Reading some reviews, it seems traditional but not hygienic.
What to Expect?
When you waltz into a Turkish bath, expect a routine that goes like this: steam, scrub, and soak (not necessarily in that order). It’s a bit like a production line, but for pampering. Most places split men and women and other people will probably be there with you – go at off times (9am or 2pm) for a more private experience.
Steam Room: You’ll sweat like a marathon runner in the Sahara, but it’s worth it. The steam opens up your pores and gets you ready for the main event.
Exfoliation and Foam Massage: This is where the magic happens. A burly, yet surprisingly gentle, attendant will scrub you down until you’re as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Then, it’s foam time. Prepare to look like a Santa Claus impersonator.
Massage: Once you’ve got your skin peeled, you’ll be taken for a true massage from head to toe. At the end, you’ll be given a face mask.
Relaxation: After all that pampering, you’ll be led to a serene room where you can kick back, sip some tea, and bask in your newfound glow.
what do I bring? What do I wear? Where do I put my Stuff?
First off, bring as little as possible. No need to bring your massive grandma size bag that holds everything and then some more. There aren’t generally lockers, just a few out of the way areas. It’s common – your stuff will be fine.
They have towels and soap, so no need to bring those either… unless you have skin sensitivity… then definitely let them know and bring your own soap.
Do people go naked here? Nope. Most people go in their underwear. So bring an extra pair because you will want to change out of them after as they will be wet… like incredibly wet. If you have swim trunks or bottoms, that’s not a bad Idea.
Bring flip flops or some type of shower shoe. However, do not wear them into the rooms you will be moved through, especially the sauna.
For the women, you could go topless or wear an easy to unclip top. It’s up to you but be sure to cover yourself with a towel around the spa.
Why should you even bother with a Turkish bath? Well, aside from the obvious relaxation factor, it’s good for your skin and circulation. Plus, it’s a great excuse to treat yourself because… you know… you deserve it.
Be Cool yo!
Before you go all-in on your hammam adventure, remember to respect the local customs and etiquette. Don’t be that person who breaks the serene silence by shouting in the steam room. Don’t be the person getting annoyed for no reason. Everyone is trying to have a nice time! Just… relaxxxx.
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