Are you ready to explore Turkish culture while relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time? Turkish baths, or hammams in Turkey, have been forming a large part of old Turkish culture and habit since the 16th century. The Hamams located in İstanbul offers the perfect Turkish bath experience by making you feel refreshed on warm marble.
What Is Going On there?
Although there are some hammams where women and men can spend time together in İstanbul, In many of the hammams of İstanbul, there are separated areas for the sexes. You may also be surprised to learn that complete nudity does not allow since covering the bikini areas is a must generally with peshtemals. Still, it is a culture, and experiencing it is fun!
If you decided to jump into this adventure, the first thing that will welcome you will be The heart, the marble-covered hot room. In the middle, you will see a marble slab called the “Göbektaşı”. There should also be basins on the walls.
When you get there, there will be a 15 minutes duration to relax and sweat. The main reason for doing that is to sweat everything out and make your skin softens. When 15 minutes duration is over, an attendant wants you to lie on Gobektasi and starts washing and scrubbing you. The benefit of this process is removing all the dead skin and dirt that even a body scrub can’t work properly.
Now it is time for soap massage! Although it takes 1 or 2 minutes, it is so relaxing. After that, you will go to the marble basins and you will be washed with cold water. Now you can sit and enjoy the atmosphere as long as you want. There are also pool and jacuzzi facilities in some of the luxurious hammams in Istanbul. Don’t forget to taste Turkish tea and sherbet!
Kilic Ali Pasa Hammam
Known for its magnificent dome, and for being the largest in all of the hammams in İstanbul, it is one of the best hammams in İstanbul. There is this huge possibility that you will be welcomed with traditional sherbet. You can also have some delicious Turkish food at the cafe. Don’t forget to make a reservation and be aware of the schedule: morning and noons are for the ladies while nights are for the gents.
Hagia Sofia Hurrem Sultan Hammam
This splendid building was built by the famous Turkish architect Mimar Sinan upon Sultan Hurrem’s request. It is located between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and close to Topkapi Palace. One of the significances of this hammam is that it was built on the ruins of the Baths of Zeuxippus from the Byzantine era.
If you plan to visit İstanbul, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia should be on your places to explore list. After visiting there, Cagaloglu Hammam comes to mind since it is very close to these landmarks. Besides being one of the best favorite hammams, it is the only hammam that is listed among “1001 Places to Visit Before You Die” in New York Times bestseller. More than having a perfect hammam experience, there are also different facilities about beauty. Don’t you forget to taste tasty Turkish delight which they treat with tea?
Cemberlitas can be classified as the child of Hagia Sofia Hurrem Sultan Hammam since it is constructed at the time of Sultan Selim II, the son of Hurrem Sultan. Cemberlitas is also built by the well-known architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan. What is so different about this Hammam is that this place offers international massages like Indian Head Massage, Shiatzu, or Thai only for women. You can find Cemberlitas Hammam nearby the grand bazaar.
Suleymaniye Hammam was constructed by the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan in the honor of Sultan Suleiman. Suleymaniye Hammam differs from the others by being the only Hammam in that can men and women can spend time together. There are also schedules for women only.
Catma Mescit Hammam
This Hammam is for the ones who want to experience the Turkish Hammam culture and break the general boundaries of hammam culture. Catma Mescit Hammam is famous for offering organic products and a wide range of peels: such as brown sugar, sea salt, or rose. If you visit there, don’t forget to have a hot stone massage.
Mihrimah Sultan Hammam
This Hammam is named after the only daughter of Sultan Suleiman and Sultan Hurrem: Sultan Mihrimah. Although women's and men's sections are separated, this Hammam can be the perfect choice if you want to attend as a large group.