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What to Wear in a Moroccan Hammam

As you prepare for your hammam experience, one question that likely springs to mind is, what to wear in a hammam. This guide is designed to help you navigate the clothing etiquette in a hammam, ensuring you feel comfortable and respectful of the tradition. We’ll explore attire options for both men and women, consider different comfort levels, and examine the variances in dress code between spa hammams and neighborhood hammams.

Pictures of men and women wearing attires for Hammam with the text What to Wear in a Moroccan Hammam

Understanding Hammam Attire: Basics and Cultural Respect

A hammam, with its roots in Middle Eastern and North African cultures, is not just a bathing space but a place of social and cultural significance. Attire in a hammam is about balancing personal comfort with respect for tradition and the environment. Generally, modesty is key. For men, this usually means wearing swim trunks or shorts, while women often opt for swimwear or a bikini. It’s important to note that in traditional neighborhood hammams, nudity might be more common and accepted, contrasting with the modest attire expected in spa hammams.

A bathrobe and towel in a Hammam

Attire Options for Women: From Conservative to Comfortable

Women have various options when choosing what to wear in a hammam. The choice largely depends on personal comfort and the type of hammam being visited. In more traditional settings, such as neighborhood hammams, women generally only wear underwear bottoms and in some cases may wear nothing. 

However, in tourist-oriented spa hammams you will typically be given disposable bottoms to wear. In spa hammams, a two-piece swimsuit or a bikini is typically appropriate if you prefer more coverage. It’s advisable to avoid wearing expensive or embellished swimwear as the hammam process can be rigorous, especially during exfoliation.

Two women in swimwear  enjoying in a Hammam

Men’s Attire in Hammams: Simple and Respectful Choices

For men, the attire in a hammam is usually straightforward. Swim trunks or shorts are the norm, providing comfort while respecting the communal nature of the space. In neighborhood hammams, where the atmosphere might be more relaxed and familiar, some men opt for a towel wrapped around their waist. 

In contrast, spa hammams often expect swimwear, to align with their more structured and tourist-friendly environment. They also may provide disposable briefs or boxers for men. Regardless of the type of hammam, men need to choose attire that they feel comfortable in and that adheres to the modesty expected in these communal spaces.

Men's swimming attire and towel for hammam

Spa Hammams vs. Neighborhood Hammams: Dress Code Differences

The dress code can vary significantly between spa hammams and traditional neighborhood hammams. Spa hammams, often found in hotels or tourist areas, usually cater to a more international crowd and might have specific guidelines for attire, generally leaning towards more modest swimwear. 

In contrast, neighborhood hammams, deeply embedded in local culture, might have a more relaxed approach to attire, with some allowing or expecting nudity. Be sure to do a little research about the hammam you plan to visit or ask for guidance upon arrival to ensure your attire aligns with their specific customs and expectations. This is also helpful to make sure there’s no surprises and you have everything needed.

What Else to Pack for the Hammam

When deciding what to wear in a hammam, your comfort is paramount. Remember, hammams are not judgmental spaces; they are about relaxation and rejuvenation. Choose attire that makes you feel at ease, as this will enhance your overall experience. 

Additionally, you’ll want to bring a change of clothes for after the hammam, as you’ll likely want to change into dry, comfortable attire post-ritual. You’ll typically feel a bit tired and so bringing something easy to slip into and wear is going to feel more comfortable than putting on more structured attire. 

A woman choosing clothes to bring to a Hammam

Embracing the Hammam Experience with Confidence

Dressing appropriately for a hammam doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety. By understanding the cultural nuances and respecting the norms of the hammam you’re visiting, you can choose attire that aligns with both your comfort and the hammam’s traditions. 

Whether it’s a spa hammam with its structured environment or a neighborhood hammam rich in local customs, being mindful of what to wear contributes significantly to a respectful and enjoyable hammam experience.

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