If you choose to experience the completely different experience of a traditional Moroccan hamam you must forget about your privacy!!!! A local hammam reminds me of a three part locker room shower house. On entering you will pay someone, usually a woman at the entrance. If you want to bathe yourself it’s 10-20 dirham (depending on the hammam), if you want to be scrubbed it’s about 50 dirham. The first room you will enter, after you pay, is an area with long benches Here you can change your clothing . What do you wear to a hammam? Nothing or at least a little. Take off everything except your underwear, wrap up in your towel and wear your flip flops. Then you will give your bag of clothing to a woman who looks after the cubbies of customers belongings. Take with you what you need (soap / shampoo etc).
Then you will be greeted by the woman who is going to bathes you. For someone who has never been to a hammam, it can be a shock to find that not only the woman who welcomes you will also likely be naked aside from underwear , but the hammam will be full of other women of all ages in similar situation. Most of us believe that the conservatively dressed women we meet outside should be more cautious… but isn’t so…. will take you to the bathrooms and put your towel aside. Once inside you’ll notice three different rooms. Starting from the first warm room, you go to a warmer and finally to a hotter one. Let her lead you! Find a spot and relax. She’ll use your bucket of water as well as the others do. Important is to remember which your bucket is, so you won’t get the bucket of someone else!
After rinsing off you start by using savon beldi and rubbing it all over. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes, sit and relax. Moroccan women go to the hammam for bathing but also for social commenting (gossip!) When the time comes, your attendant will come back and wash you off. She will ask for your kess (scrub glove) and start scrubbing you. This is not a gentle process! Remember ” bshwiya ” means ” softer’’. You may feel like a toddler being constantly flipped over and handled while she ensures you’re cleaned top to bottom. When she’s satisfied of the result, she’ll begin rinsing away all the removed skin. After this procedure is completed, you can soap up by yourself and rinse your body, wash your hair, shave your feet or do anything else you usually do in the bathroom. Your attendant will continue to bring you water to use as needed. When you’re done, pack your things and go back to the room to get dressed. And Voilà ! You don’t need to rush!!! Wait at least 45 minutes in the hammam , and take your time to relax. Many Moroccan women spend several hours here before leaving!
The hammam in Morocco is unique!! Is a great way to experiencing local culture. . Leave your modesty at the door and let the experience speak to you. Believe me, I never felt as clean as I felt after Hammam ! What you need to bring when you go to a traditional neighborhood’s Hammam
-a full change of clothing (underwear) -savon beldi (a black soap with olive oil) -a kess (scratch glove) -your own soap and shampoo -a large bowl or a bucket for water -a small floor mat -razor, facial soap or whatever other personal toiletries you use when bathing, -a towel and / or a bathrobe
-plastic flip flops -a hair brush and anything else you can use after bathing