Turkish bath entrance
Hot room rest
Traditional full-body scrubbing
Relaxing full-body bubble wash (foam massage)
Turkish tea and home-made sherbet with Turkish delight
Additional massage treatment
The hamam (hammam) is the quintessential Turkish beauty experience, as it captures Turkish approach to hospitality so beautifully. The ritual has a component of kindness, intimacy, and tenderness like no other. During the treatment, you may feel like you’ve lost the sense of time in the best way possible, and at the end of the session, your skin will feel like a baby’s!
In Turkey, the public baths have been around since the ancient Greek and Roman eras, however, the most significant historic hamams are the ones remaining from the Ottoman period. The traditional Turkish bath ritual usually begins in a lounge where you are greeted with a glass of sherbet. The body is then covered with a peştamal (the classic cotton hammam towel) in the dressing room. Your personal attendant (called natır for women and tellak for men) then accompanies you into the hamam it self where the skin is first softened by lounging in the steam room, then scrubbed with a special mitten called a kese, and washed with köpük, a bubbly soap wash on the göbektaşı, a heated marble stage in the middle of every hamam.
Image courtesty of The Çinili Hamam
There are many hamams in various neighborhoods around Istanbul and it is still a traditional ritual for many locals. Traditional Turkish bath houses have separate sections for men and women, ensuring privacy and comfort for all guests. The hamam treatments cost between $65 USD (the standard treatment) to $300 USD (including private massage therapy following the hamam) per person.
"Our top three picks are Cağaloğlu Hamam, Hürrem Sultan Hamam and Cukurcuma Hamam, where tradition meets good service and high hygiene."
Cağaloğlu Hamam offers a unique opportunity to experience a traditional Turkish bath in a historic and beautiful setting. It provides a cultural immersion and a relaxing escape in the heart of Istanbul's old city, making it a special and memorable part of your visit to the city. The hamam features classic Ottoman architecture with impressive domes, intricate tilework, and elegant marble interiors. The design is an excellent example of the grandeur and aesthetics of the Ottoman Empire.
This is a historic Turkish bathhouse (formerly Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı) located right across the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s main landmark. The Hürrem Sultan Hamam was commissioned by Hürrem Sultan, also known as Roxelana, the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, in the 16th century. It was built between 1556 and 1557, and its construction was part of Hürrem Sultan's charitable works for the city of Istanbul. The hamam is a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. It features a striking double-domed design with exquisite Iznik tiles, intricate marble work, and decorative details that showcase the opulence and craftsmanship of the time.
Çukurcuma Hamamı 1831 is a small size Turkish bathhouse located in the Çukurcuma neighborhood of Beyoğlu in Istanbul. It offers a blend of architectural beauty, cultural significance, and an authentic Turkish bath experience. It allows visitors to step back in time and enjoy a wellness ritual that has been cherished for centuries in this culturally rich city. This hamam was featured in the award winning Turkish/Italian director Ferzan Özpetek’s famous film Hamam. After a long renovation period, it started welcoming guests again in 2018. This hammam stands out with its male & female mix treatment, which is a rare find in Turkey.