Montag, 13. Mai 2013

Chez le Hamam, in Kreuzberg

Since 1988, women in Berlin have the option of their own Turkish bath. Situated in the building of the former Schokoladenfabrik (confused by the name I was almost sure that I can also pay a visit to a chocolate factory..), the hamam - or the Turkish bath - is a place where only women are allowed. The first of this kind in Germany, one day the week, on Thursday it opens the door to children.

It is a non-pretentious place, with a small interior garden where to relax in the sun, a colourful corner where to wait to enter the massage or the sauna while listening to some music (Oriental tunes are always available). Before and after the hamam, you can taste some of the salads or sweets available, whose recipes are included in a cookbook supported by the Berliner Buechertisch. From there were also offered a couple of books that those unable to resist without reading can use for filling their time. 

The busiest season is on winter, when you beg for a drop of sun and hot everything. Many visitors are tourists, but the majority are local women interested to spend some relaxing time in privacy. The prices are more than acceptable, with around 40 Euro for 3 hours during the winter and 60 Euro in the summer (when the overall energy costs are significantly higher). 

The place looks friendly, welcoming, with many furniture or wall decorations in oriental style, but also with colourful paintings made by local artists. Nothing sophisticated or complicated, just a good place for a friendly women gathering. Everyone is welcomed. If you plan to go in July, you need to change your mind, as the hamam will be closed for the vacation. However, now it is open so you should give a try. 

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