Granada is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Its historic center has an endless wealth of monuments and in every corner there is always something fascinating to see.
However, if after so much sightseeing you need a break I suggest you visit the Arab baths of Granada to enjoy a unique hammam experience in a magical place with the essence of the traditional baths of Al-Andalus.
1. What is the Hammam and why is it advisable to enjoy the Arab baths of Granada?
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.
To feel in your own skin how the hammam ritual was carried out by the ancient Andalusians, a great plan to do during a getaway to the south is to 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 and cold with steam. By means of this contrast of temperatures, abundant benefits are obtained for the body such as reducing stress, relaxing the muscles, eliminating toxins from the skin or improving circulation and breathing, among others. If you are looking for the best, you have it in the Hammam Al Andalus Granada.
2. Why do I specifically recommend the Hammam Al Andalus Granada?
If you have never been to the hammam before, this getaway to the ancient Nasrid kingdom can be a great opportunity to do something different and original in Granada.
There are plenty of Arab baths in the city but if you want to experience the authentic hammam ceremony in Granada, I recommend you visit the Hammam Al Andalus Granada because it is located in an ancient 13th century building at the foot of the Alhambra, where centuries ago an original hammam was located as determined by archaeological excavations. Amazing, isn't it?
Once you enter these Arab baths in Granada you will see that it is not a typical spa but the rooms are characterized by their 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 intimate atmosphere.
What I like the most
If anything fascinated me about the Hammam Al Andalus Granada, it was the relaxed 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 a moment to that time of splendor of ancient Al-Andalus.
What is this hammam ritual like?
Located in the old part of the 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.
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 of these Arab baths welcomes visitors with great courtesy and before starting the ritual they will inform you about the different types of pools and how they work, although you can make the tour at your leisure.
In these Arab baths in Granada you will enjoy 1 hour and a half to complete the hammam ceremony. You can enhance the experience by including either 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).
The ritual, step by step
- To begin with, I advise you to take a warm shower and move on to the warm room (36°C) in order to maintain the same body temperature at the start of the session.
- Then, with your skin ready to begin the session, the hot room (39°C) and the Turkish bath (90°C) await you. The action of the heat and steam promotes sweating and dilates the pores, which in turn eliminates toxins and cleanses the epidermis in depth.
- The result is a cleaner and more elastic skin but the high temperatures also get the mind and muscles to relax, which prepares us 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 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 (18°C), the action of the cold water will activate blood circulation and decongest your muscles.
- Once out of the water, you can rest to recover your usual temperature while sipping a delicious mint Moorish tea. You will leave the hammam very relaxed, with a feeling of lightness in your body and peace in your mind.
4. Organize your experience in the hammam of Granada
How far in advance should I make a reservation?
Since 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 after making your reservation, depending on availability. Once you have chosen the service and schedule you prefer , you will have to contact the local provider to confirm the exact start time of your experience in this hammam in Granada.
To enjoy the hammam ritual , please arrive a little in advance of the reserved time and be punctual at departure. Once the shift has started, the time not enjoyed will not be recovered.
Where is the hammam?
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 to the hammam?
I advise you to go to these Arab baths in Granada by public transport.
- By cab, there is a cab rank in Plaza Nueva, 3 minutes away from the hammam.
- As for the bus, any line leaves you at Gran Via, located 5 minutes walk away.
- If you want to go by car to this hammam in Granada, the nearest parking lot is San Agustin next to the cathedral.
5. Frequently asked questions
When will I receive the massage?
Don't worry, when it's time for your massage, the hammam staff will alert you to go to the massage area by easily 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. So you don't have to worry about when it's your turn, you only have to worry about enjoying yourself!
Are children allowed?
The Arab baths are spaces for rest and relaxation of body and mind. Its thermal pools are not recreational pools, so during the hammam ritual you are 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 children between the ages of 6 and 17 to enter as long as they are accompanied by an adult who must sign a disclaimer. In this way, they can have their first contact with the wellness routines in the Arab baths and live a unique experience.
Children under 6 years old are not allowed in the Arab baths.
What to bring to the Arab baths?
You will only need to bring 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 pool shoes is reserved for the changing rooms.
On the other hand, this hammam in Granada provides a towel to the client to dry off and in the changing rooms there is everything you need to get ready after the bath: shampoo, conditioner, gel, hair dryer and lockers to store your personal belongings.
Should I wear a bathing cap to the hammam?
It is not necessary but clients with long hair are asked to tie it up in a bun or ponytail.
Can I take pictures inside the Arab baths?
It is likely that at some point in the hammam you will want to immortalize for memory this special experience by taking some pictures of the Andalusian style decoration or of yourself to share them on social networks.
However, in order to maintain the privacy of all visitors to the hammam, the use of video or photo cameras is not permitted.
Can I eat or drink inside the hammam?
The only beverage you can drink inside the hammam is mint tea and water, which is available to guests in the relaxation area.
Regarding food, it is not possible to eat inside the Arab baths.
6. Besides visiting the Arab baths in Granada, what else can I do in the city?
There are few places more beautiful and charming than Granada to enjoy an unforgettable getaway. A city full of dreamy corners for its enormous beauty and its long and interesting history.
Sierra Nevada and the Alhambra are its most popular attractions, but not the only ones. If you want to discover all that the ancient Nasrid kingdom has to offer during your vacation, don't miss my article what to see and do in Granada, you'll fall in love!