Historical baths of Istanbul
Turkish Bath Istanbul

Historical baths of Istanbul

As always, before going into the matter and the status and offers of Hamam in Istanbul, I take a step back, and try to briefly explain what this tradition is.

The Origins Of Tradition
One of the bases of religion is cleanliness, sometimes almost an obsession, not for nothing the faithful before washing in the mosque wash themselves thoroughly to purify themselves. With this in mind we also see the customs that forbid entering the house with shoes or with the pets.

The tradition of building bathrooms within the city dates back to ancient Rome, with the Baths combining engineering perspectives with a mood of comfort. The Ottomans have preserved this tradition by combining with distinctive traits of their culture and this is how the so-called “Turkish Baths” are born. The historic Hamams all have the same central dome structure, with marble tops at the base, used to stretch out and practice massages.

Already in the Middle Ages in Europe the tradition of spas in clear decadence, while in the Ottoman Empire, for the reasons explained above, the tradition remained very much alive. And it remained alive over the centuries, so the hamam fulfilled its main function of cleaning. The common people of every social class went there to wash themselves. But not only. The Hamam was also one of the main social experiences, it was a meeting and entertainment point, in the past it was common to eat inside, and it also organizes pre-wedding ceremonies, with women who drew henna embroidery on their hands together singing typical songs .

The Hamams Day Of Today
Nowadays the hygienic habits inside the houses have changed considerably, all are in the bathroom and running water, so it was inevitable that the tradition is little more than spignée almost to disappear. In reality there are still about sixty Hamam active in Istanbul, but they fall into two categories. The seven or eight “historical Hamams” that have transformed and meet the needs of tourists, and all the other small Hamams of the neighborhood, almost always desolately empty and often with hygienic and dubious conditions. Inevitably, these little ones will be forced into the short term if they are not able to reinvent themselves and lead the way the market is pushing.

A luxury bathroom at affordable prices
So what to answer to tourists (practically everyone!) Who are looking for a Hamam experience in Istanbul? We say that it is still very fascinating, largely due to the splendor of the internal architecture, but we must be sure that it will be difficult to find the authenticity of the past.

If you decide to try this experience, you should know that generally you will pay a price of 30 to 80 euros depending on the type of treatment and that a tip is mandatory.

How The Turkish Bath Works
Having said that, we now move on to illustrate the phases and areas of a Turkish bath.

In the Ottoman Hamams, come from tradition, they sell the separation of the sexes, so they are divided into male and female part, but some Hamam (for example the Süleymaniye) are mixed. Each Hamam is divided into 3 zones. The first area is basically called a sort of vestibule, in which you can sit and relax drinking a cup of tea, in a patch of fabric to cover your private parts. Later you enter the past, the real center of the hammam, the warm and full room of water in which to sleep and sweat before bathing.

In the center of the hararet is the large marble slab called göbektaşı, right here, lying on your stomach, you can receive the necessary main treatments. The skin is the traditional cleaning of the skin, in this case it is a dark skin and then it is rinsed with hot water. Immediately afterwards a massage is performed, normally quite rude, lasting 5 or 10 minutes and the final washing is carried out with hot water and soap. Massage is a simple way to see if you prefer to look at the related rates before entering, if you don’t want to you can wash yourself or have it washed and “rubbed” by friends or relatives. Normally you stay within the hararet for about an hour or an hour and a half.

Booking Hamam Online
We now offer online booking at selected Istanbul hamams.

Our List Of Hamam Recommended In Istanbul
Below we provide a list of Hamam of different types, with their addresses, opening times and a comment for each of them.

The first six are those most architecturally beautiful and fascinating and safe from a hygienic point of view. The last 3 are more interesting options for those still searching for the spirit of the old neighborhood hamams.

We hope these little reviews will help you:

Cağaloğlu Hamamı

Cagaloglu Hamami Istanbul
Address: Ismail Gürkan Caddesi No. 34
Open: every day, from 8 to 20 for women, from 8 to 22 for men

Booking Istanbul Hamam Appointments Online:
👉 Booking Cagaloglu Hamami Online

It is probably the most famous Hamam in Istanbul, built in 1741, with a splendid and fascinating architecture, inserted by the New York Times in the list of 1000 places to visit in the world. The basic treatment only with kese costs 50 euros, the one with kese + 30 minutes massage costs 65 euros, there are also treatments with prolonged massages of 45 minutes and aromatherapy with prices ranging from 75 to 180 euros. It is always preferable to book in advance because in high season and at certain times it is difficult to find a place.

Çemberlitaş Hamamı

Cemberlitas Hamami Istanbul
Address: Vezirhan Sokak No. 34
Opening: Every day, from 6 am to midnight

Booking Istanbul Hamam Appointments Online:
👉 Booking Cemberlitas Hamami Online

The second most famous Hamam, also wonderful from an architectural and aesthetic point of view, built in 1584 by the great architect Mimar Sinan. The basic treatment with kese only costs 40 euros, the one with kese + massage costs 65 euros, there are no other types of treatments unlike Cağaloğlu. Also in this case it is always better to book and you can purchase your tickets online through our secure booking page.

Süleymaniye Hamamı

Suleymaniye Hamami Istanbul
Address: Mimar Sinan Sokak No. 20
Opening: Every day, from 8am to midnight

Booking Istanbul Hamam Appointments Online:
👉 Booking Suleymaniye Hamami Online

It is part of the magnificent complex of the Süleymaniye Mosque, built in 1557, recently restored. It allows entry only to 32 people at a time, for this reason however it is necessary to book well in advance (in truth it is difficult to find a place, given that they have agreements with the hotels). The price is 40 euros for treatment with kese and a short massage, the staff is courteous. In spite of the tradition it is a mixed Hamam, therefore it allows access to males and females together, this for a “purist” would be considered a negative aspect, but for tourists (often couples or families) it evidently turns into a positive aspect . However, entry is not allowed to single people or couples / groups of one sex, this in order not to break the balance.

Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami Istanbul
Address: Bab-ı Hümayun Caddesi No. 1
Opening: Every day, from 7am to 11pm

Booking Istanbul Hamam Appointments Online:
👉 Booking Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami Online

In 2011 a meticulous and respectful restoration was completed by the historic Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, located right next to the Sultanahmet Hippodrome, between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Aya Sofia Hurrem Sultan Hamam dates back to 1556, always the work of the great architect Mimar Sinan and stands on the remains of what were the Roman Baths of Zeusippus. Originally dedicated to Hürrem Sultan, the legendary Roxelana, a Ukrainian slave who became the favorite of Suleiman the Magnificent and later the repository of enormous power. Here you will find a truly luxurious environment, a professional level massage, at the entrance they will give you your set of silk towels, soaps and essential oils all made in Anatolia, even the 160 bowls you need for rinsing are gold plated! Obviously the prices are high, you can choose between 4 different treatments, with prices starting from a minimum of 80 euros for the basic treatment up to a maximum of 160 euros. Special treatments such as aromatherapy and foot reflexology are also possible. Booking essential.

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı

Historical baths of Istanbul
Address: Hamam Sk. No 1, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa
Open: every day, from 8 to 16 for women, from 16.30 to 23.30 for men

Booking Istanbul Hamam Appointments Online:
👉 Booking Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami Online

Recently restored within the Kılıç Ali Mosque complex near Tophane, it is for us one of the best among the historic hamams. High quality service in a historic and refined environment. Prices in line with the average, the basic treatment with kese costs around 45 euros, if you want to add a complete 50 minute massage you must add another 50 euros.

Galatasaray Hamamı

galatasaray hamami istanbul

Address: Turnacıbaşı Sokak No. 24
Open: every day, from 8 to 19 for women, from 7 to 22 for men

Booking Istanbul Hamam Appointments Online:
👉 Booking Galatasaray Hamami Online

In the Beyoğlu area, built in 1715, also one of the most famous and tourist destinations.
Historical Galatasaray Turkish Bath – Hamam is among the most popular historical hamams of Istanbul for its beautiful architecture; as well as for being in Beyoglu right at the heart of the city.

It was built in 1484 along with the beautiful building of Galatasaray High School with the wish of Sultan Beyazıt and visited by many admiral, kadi (religious judge), grand vizier and sultan. Now it is your turn to visit this magnificent place!  The basic treatment with kese+bubble massage only costs 30 euros, the one with kese + oil massage costs 60 euros.

Kasımpaşa Büyük Hamamı

Kasimpasa Buyuk Hamam Istanbul

Address: Camiikebir Mahallesi, Potinciler Sokak No.22
Open: every day, from 9am to 7pm for women, from 5.30am to 10.30pm for men

This hamam is also the work of Mimar Sinan and dates back to 1533. It can therefore be considered a historic hamam and is one of the largest hamams in the city, as the name implies. It is located in Şişhane area and is easily accessible on foot from Istiklal. It remains one of the last hamams in the neighborhood still frequented by locals, recommended for those looking for a hamam rude experience and no scruples about hygiene. It costs around 15 euros.

Aziziye Hamamı

aziziye hamami istanbul kadikoy

Address: Rıhtım Caddesi, Recaizade Sokak No. 17-19
Open: every day, from 8 to 19 for women, from 6 to 23 for men

Another good example of neighborhood hamam dates back to 1860 and was built during the reign of Sultan Abdülaziz. Inside it is embellished with Iznik ceramics and preserves the typical architecture of the Turkish baths, with many rooms. It is located in the historic Yeldeğirmeni district in Kadıköy, on the Asian side, an area where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together in the past. The complete treatment with massage and scrub costs around 15 euros.

Beylerbeyi Hamamı

beylerbeyi hamami istanbul
Address: Yalıboyu Caddesi No. 70
Open: every day, from 8 to 19 for women, from 6 to 22 for men

Another little known hamam that deserves to be mentioned. This choice could give you the most satisfying experience of hamam in Istanbul, but you have to get to Beylerbeyi, which is on the Asian side just after the Bosphorus Bridge. It is not difficult to get there, just take the ferry from Beşiktaş to Üsküdar and then take a bus, you can get there in 20 minutes. The hamam dates back to 1778, was built in honor of Sultan Rabia by architect Mehmet Tahir Ağa, and is part of the Beylerbeyi Mosque complex, near the splendid Ottoman Palace on the Bosphorus.

We hope with this treatment that you have made some clarity on the subject, we await your comments if you have further doubts or if you want additional information. Please also leave your impressions if you have had a Hamam experience in Istanbul, we are curious about how you found yourself!

 

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