Çemberlitaş Hamamı

(5 customer reviews)


Built in 1584 by the Ottomans’ most celebrated architect, Mimar Sinan, the hamam is still heated in a time-honoured way, by a furnace that burns wood chips, producing steam that warms the entire structure. Çemberlitaş Hamamı has undergone two restorations in recent decades and is especially atmospheric – it’s no surprise that scenes in several movies, including the recent Taken 2, have been filmed there. Along with classic hamam services, oil massage, Indian head massage and clay facial masks are also available. Cemberlitas Hamam is a favourite with visitors and also has a loyal local clientele. Book a session and enjoy the surprising benefits of the centuries-old bathing rituals of the Ottomans.

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Know before you go to the Cemberlitas Bath

• 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
Cemberlitas Hamami is open every day from 6 am to midnight.
• 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
• The price includes towels, slippers, a locker with key, soap and shampoo.
• Advance booking is always advisable
The tip is normally 10-20 per cent of the total amount

About this activity

Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Once your online booking has been confirmed an order confirmation will be sent to the email address you specified. This will contain a link to allow you to download your e-tickets.
Your ticket(s) is/are valid only for the number of person(s), the date and the entry time slot stated on its/their face(s).
Pregnant women are not advised to participate in this hamam experience

Full description

Visit Cemberlitas Turkish Bath in Istanbul and experience a relaxing, refreshing and invigorating Turkish custom that’ll leave you feeling thoroughly pampered!

The Turkish bath is a long-revered custom, centuries-old; perfect for those looking for a truly physical and spiritual cleansing experience.

The Cemberlitas Hamami, is located on Çemberlitas Square on Divanyolu Street situated in the midst of some of Istanbul’s greatest monuments. The bath was established by Nurbanu Sultan, wife of Selim II and mother of Murat III, for the purpose of bringing in revenue to support the Valide-i Atik Charity Complex in Toptasi, Üsküdar. The bath is one of the structures built by the architect Sinan, in 1584.

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 encourage 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 Çemberlitaş Hamamı

Perhaps the most famous, and certainly one of the longest established, of Istanbul’s grand Ottoman hamams is Çemberlitaş, located just off the Divan Yolu not far from the Grand Bazaar. It has a great location, 10 minutes walk from Sultanahmet.

Çemberlitaş Hamam, built-in 1584, is commonly hailed as one of the most beautiful. Designed by Sinan, it was commissioned by Selim II’s wife Nurbanu Sultan, as a way of providing financial support for the Atik Valide Sultan Mosque in Uskudar, of which she was the sponsor. Today, Çemberlitaş is still used by Turks, but is the most popular tourist and photographers – it’s a regular location for film and fashion shoots.

The dressing room areas are roofed with large domes and the baths have 38 washing basins. The large dome covering the hot section (Harare) is supported by high arches on top of columns with baklava-shaped heads. Marble slab walls topped by tulip shapes separate the cubicles from the main area. These dividers have inscriptions carved into each side. This building dates to Sinan’s last period, known to be his most skilful. For this reason, the baths attract Turkish and foreign researchers alike, as well as thousands of bathers.

At the ticket office, you are given a pestemal (a sarong-like garment, for modesty), a kese (a coarse mitt for scrubbing the body down) and tokens to give to the attendants. Men and women are then sent off to separate sections.

Men’s section
Originally the hamam consisted of two identical suites of rooms, each with a separate entrance. The men’s section of the baths is still exactly as envisaged by its creator, Sinan.

Women’s section
The women’s changing area was lost in 1868 when Divanyolu Caddesi was widened, so women now change in a corridor: but their hot room is unaltered.

Dressing Room (Camekan)
Here, an attendant will assign you a locker and give you a pair of slippers. Most people go nude under the pestemal, but wear a swimsuit if you wish to.

Hot Room (Sıcaklık)
The hot room has a domed ceiling supported by 12 arches that rise from marble columns. The dome is pitted with glass “elephant eyes”, which channel the light through the steam polka-dot the floor.

Private Cubicles (Halvet)
Around the walls are a number of private cubicles with taps running cold, warm and hot water, which you can use to wash or cool down if the heat gets too much for you.

Navel Stone (Göbek taşı)
In the centre of the hot room is a large slab of marble. Lie down and wait for the attendant. You will be covered in soap suds, and scrubbed all over with the kese. Then you will be lathered again, washed with a cloth, and soap-massaged. Finally, your hair will be washed, and you will be vigorously rinsed with buckets of water.

Cool Room (Soğukluk)
The cool room is the place to sit and chat. The men’s is as elegant as it was in Sinan’s day; the women’s is more modern. Afterwards, head back to change, or go for your oil massage.

Oil Massage Room
You will be one of several people being massaged on a row of beds under bright lights. It’s worth any discomfort you may experience – you’ll feel great after.

Take as much time as you like to return to the steam room or sit in the cool room. If you want the full works, the attendants will be happy to give you a manicure, pedicure or facial.

Tip1: If you are planning to stay in the hamam for any length of time, take a small bottle of water in with you.

Tip2: The baths are sited halfway between the Grand Bazaar and Sultanahmet Square, and are an easy walk from either. The surrounding area is bursting with cafes, tea shops and restaurants – take your pick.

Open from 06:00 to 24:00, visit the Hamam whenever it is most convenient for you.

Address: Vezirhan Cad. No: 8, Çemberlitaş Hamamı, 34440 Çemberlitaş, İstanbul

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Reviews (5)

5 reviews for Çemberlitaş Hamamı

  1. Rachel Gavenda

    Best hamam in Istanbul!
    Very clean, relaxing and professional! I will definitely visit it again if I’m going back to Istanbul. I heard some guys saying the scrubbing was hard but my boyfriend said it didn’t hurt at all when the guy at the hamam scrubbed him so maybe the others just had sensitive skin. At the end we both felt like newborns and were very happy with our choice.

  2. soozcarm1

    Beautiful building, With super clean facilities. Read the ‘what to expect’ bit on the turkishbaths.org website so you know what to expect! It can be a bit confusing about where to sit or go next but the ladies are very helpful.
    The scrub and wash were very professional and I then had a Thai massage which was super. You are in a big room with others having massages too but it is very calm and chilled and you don’t notice anyone else really. I felt lovely afterwards and it was wonderful to be inside this fabulous historic place.
    One criticism would be that we were left on the hot marble slab for a bit too long. It was lovely at first but we did have to wait a while.
    Another would be that you are charged extra for water or çay whereas it would have been a nice gesture to have that as complementary rather than having to rummage for extra money.
    Lovely experience and a must-do in Istanbul. Thanks to Turkishbaths for organizing everything so it was easy for us.

  3. Christine David Auger

    I was really impressed with Çemberlitaş Hamam. I went with 3 friends and we all had the basic Hamam experience and then different treatments. The staff were very welcoming, professional and organised. It was very relaxing and you could use the hot room rest for as long as you wanted. The scrubbing and foam massage was good. I then had an Indian head massage which was extremely relaxing and also included a good back massage. The changing facilities were of a high standard and very clean. One thing which would be good is if they could provide free drinking water as it should be readily available in a Hamam.

  4. Nichola H

    I visited Cemberlitas hamam with a group of girlfriends. The booking and payment processes were super easy. The ladies at the haman explained what would happen and what to expect . Laying on the warm slab of granite looking up at the beautiful windows it was hard to believe how much history had happened in this ancient building . The hamam washing and scrubbing was carried out without any discomfort or embarrassment . I felt super clean and glowing. We followed up with a massage in a side room. The masseures make sure you get the full allotted time and are really good at getting rid of your knots of stress. There are hair dryers in the changing room area so you don’t have to walk out with frizzy hair 😃

  5. Hayley P

    It’s my first time at a Hammam. I thought this was a very traditional looking spa that was clean and tidy. Good changing rooms with lockable lockers and good quality spa briefs supplied in a useful bag.
    Plenty of time on the hot floor to relax and warm up.

    The bath and service was very good and I felt squeaky clean at the end. I thought there was a good split between the hot stone and the bath.

    I had a Thai massage after my bath and I thought the pressure of the massage was good.

    The shower and the toiletries supplied were of good quality and I would definitely go back again.

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