Souq al-Bzouriyya, Damascus, Syria
Hammam Nureddin Damascus Reviews
Full body cleansing experience Apr 18, 2007
If you're only visiting one Hammam while in Syria, make it the Hammam Nureddin. The Nureddin has been in business for 850 years so you can be sure they know what they are doing.
Behind the easy to miss inconspicuous entrance lies a large garden slash hotel lounge slash relax area slash dressing area. This is where you'll be welcomed by a man who will give you your towels, pack your valuables in a safe, store your shoes and look after your clothes. You are required to leave all your clothes behind, though not supposed to walk around bud-naked. You are to keep a towel wrapped around your loin for the duration of the stay.
The whole kit and caboodle takes about an hour. You start with sweating it out in the sauna, after which you enter the steam room to sweat some more, and wash yourself at the antique basins using the famous Syrian Aleppo olive oil soap and a wash cloth that resembles a bird's nest.
You can stay as long as you want in this steam room, but once you are ready you move on to the more painful part of the experience: a full body scrub. An attendant will use minimum soap and a wire brush to scrub dead cells from your skin, taking along part of your body hair as he goes.
After that it is another wash down in the steam room and then on to the final part: a very quick but powerful massage.
You end with a very cold shower after which you will be ushered back to the lounge/reception area. Here you will be wrapped in many towels and served tea, which you'll drink while you relax, feeling dazed, confused, but remarkably refreshed.
The Hammam is open daily from 9 am to midnight, and is strictly men only.
Part of the Middle East 2007 travel blog
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