Hammams (Turkish baths) are common in Cairo, Damascus and many other Middle Eastern and North African cities, elegant and civilized places to steam the city dust out of your pores. Amman is an exception: its short recent history means that it doesn’t share the centuries-old urban traditions of its neighbours. Other than in five-star hotels, there are only a few hammams in the city, most prominently these two.
Al Pasha Turkish Bath
Mahmoud Taha Street, opposite the Ahlia girls’ school t 06 463 3002, w pashaturkishbath.com. Beautifully designed in traditional style, the hammam offers two hours of soaking, scrubbing, lathering and olive-oil massaging with professional male or female therapists for JD25. There are separate times for male and female access, though you can book ahead as a mixed group or a couple; call for details. Decor is looking a bit tired these days, but its still a pleasant city-centre retreat. Fifth turn on the right coming from 1st Circle along Rainbow Street. Daily 10am–midnight.
Alf Layla Wa Layla Turkish Bath
191 Medina St (Madina Al Munawwara St) t 06 552 8868. Out in West Amman, in a retail zone of shops and restaurants off Gardens St, this fresh, superclean hammam offers the full range of soak, steam, scrub and massage treatments, starting from around JD30. Standards are high, and the place is split between areas for men and women. Daily 10am–midnight.