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Best Hammam and Spa

Discover the ancestral ritual of the Andalusian hammam and all its health properties, a magical experience that will awaken your senses!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

Best Hammam and Spa

Inside Hammam Al Andalus | ©Hammam Al Andalus

Granada is one of the most stunningly beautiful cities in Spain. Its historical center is a utopic sprawl of monuments, with something fascinating waiting at every corner.

However, exploring it up and down can be exhausting and certainly, you will be in search of a much-needed break after sightseeing. You will find it in the Arab Baths of Granada, where you can enjoy a unique Hammam experience set in a magical place that retains the essence of the traditional baths of Al-Andalus.

1. What is the Hammam and why I recommend you to experience the Arab baths of Granada?

Interior of the baths | ©Wikipedia - Hammamgranada
Interior of the baths | ©Wikipedia - Hammamgranada

In addition to being an important social gathering place in the medieval Islamic world, from the East to Al-Andalus, the Hammam is primarily a form of steam bath that the Ancient Arabs used to relax the mind and cleanse the body.

Experiencing the Hammam ritual in the way of the ancient Andalusians is a great inclusion in your plans during a trip to the south of Spain. Visit the Arab baths of Granada, which have preserved to this day this wonderful ritual.

The secret of the Hammam lies in a combination of heat, cold, and steam. This contrast of temperatures produces a variety of beneficial effects in the body: reduces stress, relaxes tense muscles, eliminates toxins from the skin and improves blood circulation, and facilitates breathing, among others. If you are looking for the best place to experience the true Arab bath, you will find it in Hammam Al Andalus Granada:.

2. Why do I specifically recommend Hammam Al Andalus Granada?

Relax and unwind | ©Logan Stone
Relax and unwind | ©Logan Stone

If this is your first time in the Hammam, it will be a great way to experience Granada in a different and original way while reminiscing over the traditions of the ancient Nasrid kingdom.

There are multiple options that you can try in the city, but if you want to experience the true feel of a Hammam ceremony in Granada, my recommendation is to visit Hammam Al Andalus Granada:. Located in an ancient 13th-century building at the foot of the Alhambra, this place is located in the exact same place where centuries ago stood an original Arab Hammam. That’s what I call genuine.

Inside these Arab baths in Granada you will find yourself worlds away from the present time: room characterized by Andalusian style decoration with Islamic arches, tiles with geometric motifs, and beautiful ceilings with starry skylights that allow access to natural light creating a very pleasant and intimate atmosphere.

What I like the most

If there is one thing that fascinated me about Hammam Al Andalus Granada, it was the peaceful atmosphere that can be perceived in its rooms, where time seems to stand still and silence reigns, interrupted only by the soft murmur of the water in the thermal pools.

Immersed in this calm atmosphere, the dim candlelight, the perfumed air, and the Andalusian music make you feel like a sultana and transport you for an evening to the days of splendor of ancient Al-Andalus.

3. About the Hammam experience

Enjoying a relaxing massage | ©Katherine Hanlon
Enjoying a relaxing massage | ©Katherine Hanlon

Located in the old city, this Hammam in Granada was the first to open in Spain to recover the tradition of the Arab baths five centuries after their closure following the conquest of the Nasrid kingdom by northern Spaniards.

The Hammam experience begins as soon as you enter the building, as the interior decoration is designed to stimulate the senses and relax the mind. The staff at these Arab baths welcome visitors with great courtesy and before starting the ritual they will inform you about the different types of pools and how they work, but you can do your own itinerary.

In these Arabic baths in Granada you will enjoy 1 hour and a half of a complete Hammam ceremony. You can enhance your experience with a couple inclusions: a Mimma 30 ritual (a 30-minute relaxing massage) or the Midra 30 or Midra 45 rituals (exfoliation with a kessa glove followed by a 15 or 30-minute massage respectively).

4. The ritual, step by step

  • First, take a warm shower and then move to the warm room (36°C) to maintain the same body temperature at the start of the session.
  • Then, your skin is ready to start the ritual and the next step awaits you in the hot room (39ºC) and the Turkish bath (90ºC). The hot steam will get your pores to dilate as you sweat, which will eliminate toxins and deeply clean your epidermis.
  • The result is cleaner and more elastic skin but the high temperatures also make the mind and muscles relax, which prepares you for the next step of the Hammam.
  • The relaxation process continues in the massage area, where the masseur will cleanse your body of skin impurities through a gentle massage as you lie on a heated stone. You can choose your own massage oil from a selection of rose, lavender, amber, or pomegranate essences - a delight for the senses!
  • Finally, in the cold room (18ºC) the action of the cold water will activate blood circulation and decongest your muscles.
  • Once out of the water, take a rest to regain your usual temperature while sipping on delicious Moorish mint tea. You will leave the Hammam very relaxed, with a feeling of lightness in your body and peace in your mind.

5. Organize your Granada Hammam experience

Church of Santa Ana, Granada | ©Matt Kieffer
Church of Santa Ana, Granada | ©Matt Kieffer

How far in advance should I make a reservation?

As places are limited and the Hammam in Granada is an activity in high demand, I advise you to make your reservation as soon as possible.

How does the reservation work?

You will receive confirmation within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability. Once you have chosen your preferred service and schedule you will need to contact the local provider to confirm the exact start time of your experience at this Hammam in Granada.

To fully enjoy the ritual of the Hammam it is best to arrive a couple minutes in advance of the reserved time and be punctual at the exit. If you are late, you will not be able to recover the time that you miss.

Where is it?

The Hammam Al Andalus Granada is located at the foot of the Alhambra and behind the church of Santa Ana, in Santa Ana Street, 16 next to Plaza Nueva.

How to get there?

The best way to get to the Arab baths in Granada is by public transport.

  • By taxi you can stop in Plaza Nueva, 3 minutes away from the Hammam.
  • As for the bus, any bus line will drop you off at Gran Vía, which is a 5 minute walk away.
  • If you're getting to the Hammam by car, the nearest car park is the San Agustín car park next to the cathedral.

6. Frequently asked questions

Pools at different temperatures for the ultimate relaxing experience | ©Haley Phelps
Pools at different temperatures for the ultimate relaxing experience | ©Haley Phelps

When will I receive the massage?

Don't worry, when it's time for your massage the Hammam staff will accompany you to the massage area, identifying you through the color code on your wristband.

The massage time is included in the 90 minutes of the Hammam ritual and you can receive it at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the tour. This way, you don't have to worry about when it's your turn and just enjoy yourself.

Are children allowed?

The Arab baths are spaces for rest and relaxation of body and mind. Its thermal pools are not for recreational use so during the Hammam, it is required to speak quietly to maintain a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

However, this does not mean that the Arab baths are not suitable for children. This Hammam in Granada allows the entrance of children between 6 and 17 years old as long as they are accompanied by an adult. This way, kids can have their first contact with the wellness routines of the Arab culture and live a unique experience.

Children under 6 years old are not allowed in the Arab baths.

What should I take to the Arab baths?

You will only need to wear your bathing suit. You can enter the Hammam barefoot but, if you wish, you can buy latex booties at the reception to use them inside the baths as the use of flip-flops is reserved for the changing rooms.

The Hammam will provide you with a towel to dry off and you will find everything you need to tidy yourself up after the experience: shampoo, conditioner, gel, hairdryer, and lockers to store your personal belongings.

Do I have to wear a bathing cap to the Hammam?

It is not necessary but they do ask clients with long hair to tie it up in a bun or ponytail.

Can I take pictures inside the Arab baths?

Maybe you will be tempted to immortalize a special moment or show on Instagram the amazing Andalusian style decorations. However, to maintain the privacy of all visitors to the HammamF, the use of video or photo cameras is not permitted.