Know before you go to the Cagaloglu Turkish Bath Hamam
• There are some strict hamam rules to be followed. For example, there is no mixing of the sexes. Either the Turkish bath has 2 sections (1 for each sex), or it admits men and women at different times of the day
• Men usually completely strip and wear nothing underneath the bath wrap. Women, on the other hand, typically keep their underwear on (but often not their bra) underneath the bath wrap. The choice is yours
• Cagaloglu Hamami is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 10 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 11 pm
• The masseur and scrubber will be the same sex as you are
• Standard soap is used. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to some products, bring your own soap
• Advance booking is always advisable
• The tip is normally 10-20 per cent of the total amount
The Turkish bath is a long revered custom, centuries old; perfect for those looking for a truly physical and spiritual cleansing experience.
The Cagaloglu Hamam, finished in 1741, is the last hamam to be built in the Ottoman Empire. It was constructed in Istanbul Eminönü, in Alemdar, on Hilal-i Ahmer street as a public hamam to raise revenue for the library of Sultan Mahmud I, previously situated inside the Hagia Sophia.
Prepare to leave the chaos and humdrum of life behind as soon as you enter the Turkish bath. Immerse yourself and embrace traditional custom by wearing the waistcloth and clogs provided.
Not quite for the faint hearted, inside the temperature can reach up to 50 degrees celcius under the central dome of the building.
The combined intense heat and humidity encourages the pores to open and impurities to be extracted from the body.
Following which, your skin will be gently exfoliated with a Turkish scrub and you will receive a soothing soap massage.
Finally, after resting, you can enjoy Turkish tea before being taken back to your hotel feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed.
About Cagaloglu Hamam
Turkish baths have been considered an art form for hundreds of years. Step back in time to 1741 for a scrub under the stately domes of Cagaloglu Hamami, a bathhouse popular among locals, tourists and even Hollywood royalty.
Close to the massive dome and four minarets of Hagia Sophia (once the world’s largest Christian church), Cagaloğlu Hamami was the last hammam to be built during the Ottoman Empire, in 1741,by Sultan Mahmud. By far the most spectacular of Istanbul’s hammams, it is absolutely stunning and a must for spa pilgrims, or merely curious tourists.
Tourists in search of an authentic hammam are the main customers here, but they are in good company: Florence Nightingale, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Tony Curtis are all said to have come here.
As Cagaloglu Hamam is near the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, it is a good place to refresh after a day of sightseeing and exploring. In the old days women and men had separate days to visit, but now it offers separate baths for men and women and a range of services. The exfoliating and washing is €50. The Turkish Bath Pack, which include exfoliation, washing and 45-minute massage is €120. Self-service treatment is €30.
Address: Alemdar Mah. Profesör Kazım İsmail Gürkan Cad. No: 34 Cağaloğlu Hamamı 34110 Fatih, İstanbul/Turkey