Spas in Paris

As well as being the capital of fashion, Paris is the world's capital of beauty, home of many of the world's top cosmetic brands. Yet the top ten spas in the city look towards north Africa and the tradition of hammams or steam baths, with their associated body scrubs and massages, rather than high-tech treatments. Named for the Arabic word for "heat", these hammams are often decorated with mosaic and Moorish tiling and you will be offered a mint tea to replace the liquid lost in the steam bath. As a rule of thumb, contemporary hammams will also offer facials and other more mainstream beauty treatments, while older, more traditional ones will not. In a peculiarly French touch, most have restaurants attached or at least a little café serving oriental pastries. A proper hammam visit takes about two to two and a half hours, though for time-pressed travellers many of the hammams in Paris have a one-hour minimum entry free. The hammam ritual begins with a spell in a warm steam room and a body scrub, often with black soap, to help remove dead skin and toxins. Then the body is ready for hotter steam, with breaks to dip into a cold pool or a cold shower to boost circulation. Once the skin is clean and warm, it is ready to benefit from a massage with natural oils, before resting, perhaps with a mint tea or a something to eat to replenish the body's resources.
image © courtesy Pacha

expert pick

Hammam Pacha

17 rue Mayet

Smart, women-only hammam - best for a first experience... read more

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Hammam de la Grande Mosquée

La Mosquée, 39 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

A hammam where you can steam in the old Moroccan style... read more

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Les Bains d’Orient

7 Place de Stalingrad

Hammam with an oriental atmosphere in the centre of the city... read more

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Aux Bains Montorgueil

55 rue Montorgueil

Private hammam hidden away in the city centre...
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Les Bains du Marais

33 rue des Blancs-Manteaux

Hammam with lots of hours devoted to men and mixed steaming... read more

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Le Comptoir Paris Marrakech

22 rue de Châteaudun

A hammam-spa to enjoy as a couple... read more

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La Sultane de Saba

8 bis rue Bachaumont

A hammam-spa that draws its ideas from across Asia... read more

Hammam Medina Centre

43-45 Rue Petit

Exotic spa... read more

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Les Thermes Saint-Germain

5 Passage de la Petite Boucherie

Left Bank day spa with a hammam... read more

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Les Cents Ciels

45 bis Avenue Edouard Vaillant

Huge hammam with good range of facilities... read more
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