Real Turkish Bath Experience in Istanbul

Best Hamams (Turkish Baths) in Istanbul Where You Can Relax

A trip to Istabul is never complete without a Turkish Bath experience. Even though many civiliziations in history had public bathing culture, none of them have become as popular as Turkish Baths. This is due to the fact the Turkish Bath experience has some unique rituals and it plays an important role in Turkish culture. In the old times, all the neighbourhoods had their own hamams which served as a meeting place for locals to partake in conversation along with bathing and massage experience.

Today, the Hamams are not used very often by the public as they were used to be. They have become some kind of health centers where you can go to relax your mind and body. Turkish Bath experience is a very popular touristic activity for many tourists who come to Turkey. In this article, we listed the best Turkish Baths in Istanbul where you can experience the relaxing effects of a hamam and get over your jet lag.

1) The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam


As you may guess from it’s name, The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam is located next to the famous Hagia Sophia. It was designed and built by the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan in the year 1556 by the order of Hürrem Sultan, the wife of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. With over 450 years of history, the building itself is a tourist attraction. Thanks to it’s location, The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam is one of the most popular Turkish Baths among tourists visiting Istanbul.

The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam offers a luxurious hamam experience in a very clean environment. Specially produced soaps, top quality towels and gold coated bath bowls are provided by the establisment. The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam has both men and women sections which are located seperately. They offer different package options from a classic body scrubbing and bubble wash on the marble stone to full body and aromatherapy massages. You can follow this link to see their price list and find out the location of the hamam.

2) Cağaloğlu Hamam

The Cagaloglu Hamam is located in the historic peninsula of Istanbul, within the Fatih district. The hamam building was built in the year 1741 and it’s very close to the Sultanahmet area. It’s one of the famous and oldest hamams in the city which is still operating. Throughout the history, Cağaloğlu Hamam hosted many leaders, famous businessman and celebrities including; Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz, Oprah Winfrey, Chevy Chase, Kate Moss and George Soros. The Cağaloğlu Hamam building has  been used as a filming location for many movies as well.

The Cağaloğlu Hamam offers different packages from self service bathing to full body Ottoman massage and skin therapy. Visitors can refresh themselves with special shampoos, hair creams, body lotions and olive oil soaps with exotic scents. After a refreshing hamam session, they can enjoy a warm cup of Turkish tea or a cold homemade sherbet together with delicious Turkish delights. You can follow this link to find out more about Cagaloglu Hamam.

3) Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam was constructed in between 1578-1583, by the order of famous Ottoman Admiral Kılıç Ali Paşa, in order to serve the marine forces in the Ottoman navy. The Hamam is part of a building complex which also includes a mosque and a school.

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Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam is located in the Tophane quarter in Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. It’s very close to the famous Karaköy quarter and the seaport where cruise ships dock.

In addition to the standart hamam ritual with bubble wash, they offer additional services such as: full body massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, partial-body massage, foot and lower leg massage. To check out ther price list and other useful information, you can follow this link.

4) Çemberlitaş Hamam

The Çemberlitaş Hamam is located on Çemberlitaş Square in Fatih district of Istanbul, where it’s named after. It was built next to the famous monumental column “Çemberlitaş Obelisk”. It is a 57 meters high column which was unearthed from the Apollo Temple in Rome and brought to Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor Constantin I.

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Çemberlitaş Hamam was built by the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan in the year 1584, by the order of Nurbanu Sultan, wife of Selim II and mother of Murat III. The purpose of building the Çemberlitaş hamam was to crete an income source for the Atik Valide Mosque and the charity complex attached to it.

Çemberlitaş Hamam consist of 2 identical building facilities which are being used as man and women baths. Visitors can enjoy self service bath near the marble basins after a relaxing lay down on the marble stone. Additional services and packages are also offered by the Çemberlitaş Hamam such as; scrubbing, bubble bath, sultan’s bath, aromatherapy oil massage and clay mask. To find our more information about their services performed by expert attendants, you can follow this link.

5) Süleymaniye Hamam

Süleymaniye Hamam is another Turkish Bath in our list which was built by Mimar Sinan. Sülaymaniye Hamam is part of the Süleymaniye Mosque complex which is one of the most visited touristic sites in Istanbul. It was opened in 1557 and still in use.

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Unlike many other hamams in Istanbul, Süleymaniye Hamam serves both man and women visitors at the same time without seperate sections. Only couples are accepted to the Süleymaniye Hamam and therefore most of the customers are tourists.

The entire hamam experience in Süleymaniye Hamam takes about 60 to 90 minutes. They offer washing, peeling and massage services. The place is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m to  10 p.m. but the last entrance is at 8 p.m. If you would like to find out more about Süleymaniye Hamam, click here to see their website.

6) Ağa Hamam

Ağa Hamam (Ağa Hamamı in Turkish) is the oldest Turkish Bath in Istanbul, which was built in 1454, after the conquest of Istanbul. Although most of the Turkish Baths in Istanbul were built as public buildings, Ağa Hamam was one of the Hamams which served only to Sultans and their families. Mehmed the Conqueror built this building near Beyoğlu as a hunting house, together with it’s Turkish bath. The Ağa Hamam was used by the Ottoman Sultans until the last years of the Empire. In 1844, during the reign of Sultan Abdulmecid, the Hamam underwent a major renovation.

Today, the Ağa Hamam is in service of only the tourists who would like to experience an authentic Turkish Bath. It is a mixed Hamam, which means that couples can enjoy a relaxing session together. Ağa Hamam offers 3 different packages; traditional package, massage package and massage package with face mask. All three of them includes bubble wash and scrubbing services. To check out their price list, you can click here to reach their website.

7) Galatasaray Hamam

Galatasaray Hamam was built as part of the Galatasaray Külliye together with the several other buildings in the complex in 1481. The hamam is located behind the famous Galatasaray Lycee on the İstiklal Avenue.

Thanks to it’s unique atmosphere, it has been used as a filming location for many movies and song clips. Like other Turkish Baths in our list, Galatasaray Hamam offers different services to it’s visitors. It has both man and women sections located seperately. To find out more about the Galatasaray Hamam, you can follow this link.

8) Historic Vezneciler Hamam

Vezneciler Hamam Lobby and Interior
The lobby and the interior of the Historic Vezneciler Hamam

The Historic Vezneciler Hamam was built in 1481 by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II. It is the first and only Hamam that was built on the second floor. It’s located in the Fatih District of Istanbul, which is inside the historic peninsula. It’s believed that the healing water in the bath and sauna, is good for jaundice.

Like the Süleymaniye Hamam and Ağa Hamam, Vezneciler Hamam is also operating as a mixed hamam, serving man and women visitors at the same time. There are 3 different packages offered in Vezneciler Hamam. The bathing experience takes about 60 to 110 minutes depending on the package you choose. You can click here to find out more about their services and prices.

Written by emreozmen

Blogger, traveller, car and aviation enthusiast living in Istanbul. Writing about automobiles on otomobiltavsiyesi.com and about Istanbul on 10thingstodoinistanbul.com

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