The most beautiful hammams of Istanbul

The hammams (Turkish baths) of Istanbul

Once in Istanbul you can not miss a hammam session in one of the many historical Turkish baths of the city, here is some history and some addresses:

Origins of the hammam:

hammams-istanbul

In Turkey, the traditional hammams or also called Turkish baths are wet steam baths that developed in the Ottoman Empire after the capture of Constantinople in 1453. Inspired by Roman baths, the hammam developed in the Ottoman Empire, the Maghreb, and as far as the Middle East.

A hammam is a place of purification of body and mind and cleanliness. Istanbul has about sixty baths, it would be a shame to miss this experience!

Traditionally, the hammam is divided into three rooms. You will find the first room at room temperature which acts as a cloakroom. In the second room, the temperature is a little higher but remains warm (37°C/38°C), the last room is the warmest room (50°C) where we sit on a bench in marble and where you let yourself sweat.

Benefits of the hammam:

hammams-istanbul

A hammam is a meeting place that allows you to evacuate stress and daily toxins and come out clean and calm.

The steam helps cleanse the skin deeply because the pores expand, and it releases and eliminates toxins and bacteria.

The hammam is generally better supported than the sauna thanks to its smaller temperature difference. However, it is not recommended for pregnant women 6 months and older, people who suffer from respiratory problems or heart disease. If you are sick or do not feel well, we advise you to seek the advice of your doctor.

To make the most of your hammam session, we do not recommend that you come after a large meal (wait at least 3 hours) or after a large intake of alcohol.

The course of the hammam session:

hammam-ritual

When the hammam is not mixed, as soon as you arrive, make sure you enter through the right door (in Turkish: woman: kadın; man: erkek).

At the reception after choosing your formula, you will have access to the locker room. Keep only the swimsuit, roll up in the towel you were given, and head to the next room. For women: you can only keep it down if you feel comfortable.

For 15-20 minutes sweat and rinse your body and hair using the copper bowls. The hammam staff will then pick you up for the scrub. Using a glove (kese) they will rub you vigorously to remove dead skin. After having put on your skin, you will discover the bubble bath (köpük). It is made with a large pocket of cloth soaked in soapy water then inflated with air and finally passed over you.

After your session, they will take you to a cool room where they generally offer you tea (çay). It is nice and advised to drink tea after a hammam session.

Here is our selection of the best hammams in Istanbul:

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı: 

kılıç-ali-paşa-hammam

Ordered to the great architect Sinan by the famous Ottoman admiral Kılıç Ali Paşa as part of the mosque and the school complex, the Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı was built between 1578 and 1583 to serve the Levents, the soldiers of the Ottoman navy. Famous for its architectural lines and its majestic dome, this hammam is one of the symbolic buildings in Tophane, the district of the old port of Istanbul. The Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı re-opened its doors in 2016 after seven long years of meticulous and intensive restoration and offers an unforgettable experience to its visitors.

The entrance ticket gives you free access to a hammam session and includes the loan of a bath towel, peştemal, a pair of slippers, a sponge for exfoliation, and olive oil soap.

Opening hours: the hammam is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for women (last reservation at 2 p.m.) and from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (last reservation at 10:30 p.m.) for men. The hammam is not mixed. The hours are different for men and women.

Address: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi (Hamam Sk. No 1, Istanbul). You will find the prices of the hammam here.

Aya Sofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı:

aya-sofya-hürrem-hammamı

If they are no longer as frequented by the Stambouliotes as they once were, the Turkish baths remain for travelers a strong image and a new and unique experience. The Hürrem Sultan Hamamı was built at the request of the wife of the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, by the Ottoman architect Sinan,  and between the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Temple of Zeus. It is a true architectural innovation, it is one of the only Turkish baths to have designed identical men and women sections, on the same axis, mirroring each other.

The entrance ticket gives you free access to a hammam session and includes the loan of a bath towel, peştemal, a pair of slippers, and a gift box containing a sponge for exfoliation, a hand olive oil soap, and a cream lotion for hair and body.

Opening hours: the hammam is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The hammam is not mixed. The hours are the same for men and women but in different spaces.

Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi (Ayasofya Meydani No 2, Istanbul). You will find the prices of the hammam here.

Cağaloğlu Hamamı:

çağaloğlu-hammam

Cağaloğlu Hamamı is the last large hammam built during the Ottoman era. It was built during the reign of Mahmut I in 1741 by Abdullah Ağa. Cağaloğlu Hamamı has Baroque features and other building stylistic novelties that were not common in classic Ottoman architecture.

The entrance ticket gives you free access to a hammam session and includes the loan of a bath towel, peştemal, a pair of slippers, as well as a gift box containing a sponge for exfoliation, a hand soap. olive oil, and a cream lotion for hair and body.

Opening hours: the hammam is open every day from 9 am to 10 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 11 pm on weekends. The hammam is not mixed. The hours are the same for men and women but in different spaces.

Address: Alemdar Mahallesi (Profesör Kazım İsmail Gürkan Cad. No 24, Cağaloğlu, Istanbul). You will find the rates for the hammam here.

Süleymaniye Hamamı (mixed):

süleymaniye-hammam

The Süleymaniye Hamamı was built in 1557 by architect Mimar Sinan for Suleiman the Magnificent. The Suleymaniye hammam is one of the most beautiful hammams in Istanbul with its domes and geometrically aligned chimneys. Eight marble columns surround the central massage stone. The bath, which was closed in 1924, was renovated and returned to service in 2004.

The entrance ticket gives you free access to a hammam session and includes the loan of a bath towel, peştemal, a pair of slippers, a sponge for exfoliation, and olive oil soap.

Opening hours: the hammam is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm.

Address: Fatih Mahallesi (Mimar Sinan Cad. No 20, İstanbul). You will find the prices of the hammam here.

Ağa Hamamı (mixed):

ağa-hammam

The Ağa Hamamı was built in 1454 for Sultan Mehmet II. This hammam was used for the private use of the Sultan and his sons. Sultan Mehmet II is known worldwide for his conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The Ağa Hamamı is the first hammam of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul. It is a mainly popular hammam with more affordable prices in a traditional atmosphere.

The entrance ticket gives you free access to a hammam session and includes the loan of a bath towel, peştemal, a pair of slippers, a sponge for exfoliation, soap, and shampoo.

Opening hours: The hammam is open every day from 10 am to 10 pm.

Address: Kuloğlu Mahallesi (Turnacibasi Cd. No 48, İstanbul). You will find the hammam prices here.

Çeşme Hamamı (mixed) :

çeşme-hammam

The Çeşme Hamamı (“çeşme” means “fountain” in French) was built by Grand Admiral Kaymak Mustafa Pasha in the late 1720s. Shortly after the construction of the hammam, he was imprisoned and executed in a rebellion called the “Rebellion of Patrona Halil” that put an end to the Tulip Age, during which time the Ottoman Empire developed its political relations, economic and cultural relations with Western Europe, where the European way of life was appropriated by the Ottoman sultans and statesmen of the time. This period lasted twelve years: from 1718 to 1730.

The hammam continued to be used as a public bath until 2017 when it was restored while preserving its original structure. Indeed, the Çeşme Hamamı was reopened by The Galata Istanbul Hotel Mgallery in accordance with its original style and perpetuates the well-being tradition of water therapy, which is 300 years old. It offers massage packages or simply a traditional Turkish bath experience.

If you would like to enjoy this harmony of historical and modern experience or the feast of the bridal hammam, you can simply fill out the form below and call us.

The entrance ticket gives you free access to a hammam session, a 30-minute massage with black soap, and includes the loan of bath linen, the peştemal.

Opening hours: the hammam is open every day from 9 am to 10 pm (massages are available until 9 pm).

Address: Azapkapı, Bankalar Cd. D:No 21, Beyoğlu, İstanbul.

For more information on the rates, do not hesitate to contact them here.

This selection is just a small selection among the many other hammams in the city, do not hesitate to share your experience in the comments or by email.

No Comments

Share.

Leave A Reply