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Berlin’s Turkish Hamams: Where to get a good scrubdown

Posted in: Berlin Sightseeing

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Berlin hamam
Berlin's women-only hamam is located inside a former chocolate factory. Photo: abuaiman

The German capital, known for its large Turkish immigrant community, has heaps of Turkish culture on offer. Supermarkets, outdoor markets, shops, restaurants, and bakeries across the city cater to this population, their language, and their specific needs and preferences. Those of us who can’t afford a warm winter getaway to the Black Sea coast know that there are corners of Berlin where we can get a taste of Anatolian flavor.

Related story: Where to go swimming in Berlin

This is perhaps nowhere more true that in Berlin’s hamams, or Turkish-style baths, where the doldrums of winter are sloughed off like so much old skin under silk gloves in the warm, moist air and congenial atmosphere. Berlin offers two such bathhouses to refresh both body and spirit.

Sultan Hamam

For both men and women, Sultan Hamam is the only option. Open from noon to 11 p.m. daily, for men only on Mondays only, women from 9:30 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and families (with bathing suits) Sundays.

It is possible to book the traditional kese and sabunlama treatments, as well as massages and cosmetic treatments from facials to pedicures. You can also rent towels and bath shoes for a small additional fee. Located in a warehouse side entrance just a short distance from U2-Bülowstr. Or S1/S2/S25-Yorckstr. Entrance €16 for three hours, €21 for five hours.

Women-only hamam

Women also have the option of visiting Germany’s first Hamam, located in the women’s center Schokoladenfabrik. Open until 11 p.m. from 3 p.m. Mondays, noon Tuesday-Sunday; Thursdays are the only days children are also allowed to visit. Bathing suits not recommended.

Here you will find a similar array of services on offer, including the opportunity to rent or buy any necessary items. Located in the heart of Kreuzberg, a short distance from U1/U8-Kottbuser Tor. Entrance €16 for three hours, €11 between 12-14 Thursdays.

Treatments or massages are only possible in combination with a hamam visit, and booking by telephone in advance is highly recommended. Contact information for each hamam is easily located on their websites (linked above).

About the author

Hilary Bown

An academic by training, a writer by day, and a Cheapo by heritage, Hilary Bown's meagre means and insatiable travel appetite have helped her sharpen her "no-budget travel" skills across the European continent over the past decade. At home in Berlin or on an adventure abroad, you'll find her in sandals, riding the bus, reading novels while walking, drinking the local wine, writing out postcards with a felt-tip pen, and browsing the shelves of the supermarket and hardware store. Find her unique blend of travel adventure and tested advice at Less Than a Shoestring.

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