With over 60 hamams still operating in Istanbul, there are many options to enjoy an authentic, historical Turkish bath. Beyond cleanliness and massage, the goal of each hamami is the purification of your body and mind, which includes introducing relaxing tones into your thoughts and emotions.
The famous Turkish baths, also known as hamams, designates a cleansing bath, specific to the Ottoman Empire. In 1453 the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, which was then the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. They changed the city’s name to Istanbul and brought along their hamam tradition which takes inspiration from ancient Roman baths.
If you’ve never visited a Turkish bath house before, be sure to read about what to expect from a Turkish hamam experience.
Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami
Located by Istanbul’s old port, the hamam’s impressive oriental architecture and beautiful dome form to create one of the most symbolic buildings in the Tophane district.
Ordered by admiral Kilic Ali Pasa , who also has a mosque name after him, to the famous architect, Sinan, the hamam was built between 1578 and 1583. It was part of a greater complex including a mosque and a school. The hamam area was used as a relaxation bath to serve the Levends, the marine forces of the Ottoman navy.
After seven years of meticulous and intensive restoration, the hamam has now been recreated to bring out the historical atmosphere of yesteryear.
The entrance fee gives you a full hamam treatment with pestemal, slippers, and scrub sponge, and olive oil soap.
The program times are split up during the day and accommodate women in the morning starting from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. The men’s programs start late in the afternoon at 4:30 pm and until close at 11:30 pm.
- Website | Email | Phone: +90 212 393 80 10
- Women Only: Daily from 08:00 – 16:00 with last reservation at 2:30 pm
- Men Only: Daily from 16:30 – 23:30 with last reservation at 10:30 pm
- Address: Kemankes Karamustafa Pasa Mahallesi, Hamam Sk. No. 1, Tophane/Beyoglu
Aya Sofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami
A jewel among buildings that stands proud surrounded by the Temple of Zeus, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sofia.
It was built in the 16th century by the famous architect, Sinan, in his jaw-dropping, refined style. The hamami was meant to honor the main wife of Suleiman the Magnificent Sultan, Sultana Hurrem.
The hamam session includes the full bathing process, together with the loan of pestemal, slippers, sponge, and products such as olive oil soap, body cream, and hair lotion.
This a mixed hamami with separate rooms for both women and men. The program schedule for both sexes starts at the same with an 8:00 am opening and a 10:00 pm closing time.
- Website | Email | Phone: +90 212 517 35 35
- Both Men and Women: Daily from 08:00 – 22:00
- Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydani No.2, Sultanahmet/Fatih
The style of this hamam is mostly inspired by Baroque architecture and a combination of other cultural styles. Created by the architect Abdullah Aga, in 1741, under Sultan Mahmut I, it is the last significant hamam ever built during the Ottoman rule.
The entrance fee covers a hamam session and the loan of pestemal, slippers, sponge, and products such as olive oil soap, body cream, and hair lotion.
This a mixed hamami with separate rooms for both women and men. The program schedule for both sexes starts at the same with a 9:00 am opening, a 10:00 pm closing time on weekdays, and an 11:00 pm closing on weekends.
- Both Men and Women: Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 22:00
- Both Men and Women: Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 – 23:00
Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Profesor Kazim Ismail Gurkan Cad. No. 24, Cagaloglu/Fatih
This Turkish bath closed its doors in 1924, but fortunately, after renovations, it re-opened again for the public in 2004.
It was built in 1557 by the architect, Mimar Sinan, this hamam was dedicated to Suleiman the Magnificent. Being dedicated to the King of Kings, it’s also an architectural masterpiece with majestic domes and a specific geometrical alignment of its chimneys. The hamam is further famous for its central heated marble platform which is surrounded by eight imposing columns.
You will receive a complete Turkish bath treatment here, with pestemal, slippers, sponge, and olive oil soap.
This is a rare, mixed hamam with men and women being able to bathe together in the same space, at the same time. Families are welcome here too throughout the day while special earning morning hours are available specific for just men or women.
- Website | Email | Phone: +90 212 519 55 69
- Families: Daily from 10:00 – 22:00 with the last entry at 20:00
- Men Only: Monday to Saturday from 07:00-09:00
- Women Only: Sunday from 07:00 – 09:00
- Address: Fatih Mahallesi, Mimar Sinan Cad. No. 20, Sultanahmet/Fatih
While this is one of the more popular hamams, it simply because it’s the cheapest one. So, if you’re looking for a budget option, this is your best bet.
Built-in 1454, Aga Hamami was created for another great Sultan, Mehmet II. During those times, it was dedicated exclusively to the private use of the Sultan and his sons. Mehmet II is none other than the conqueror of Constantinople, in 1453. As such, Aga Hamami is the very first Turkish bath built in the history of Istanbul.
While it’s a truly historical bath, it’s not what one would consider a luxurious experience which is why it’s almost half the price.
The entrance fee, however, will grant you a full hamam session, including pestemal, slippers, sponge, and olive oil soap.
This a mixed hamami with separate rooms for both women and men. The program schedule for both sexes starts at the same with a 10:00 am opening and closes at 10:00 pm at night.
- Website | Email | Phone: +90 249 249 50 27
- Both Men and Women: Daily from 10:00 – 22:00 with the last entry at 21:00
- Address: Kuloglu Mh., Turnacibasi Cd. No:48, 34433, Taksim/Beyoglu
Tarihi Cesme Hamami
Built at the end of the 1720s, by Grand Admiral Kaymak Mustafa Pasha during a period called the Tulip Age, this hamam has a French-inspired style. The Tulip Age was an era of great development and openness towards Western Europe and France in particular.
After the building of Cesme Hamami, the Grand Admiral was imprisoned and killed by rebels who ended this Europe-oriented period. The hamam remained continuously in the public service until 2017. It was restored in accordance with its original architecture and now it is open to the public.
Cesme translates as a fountain, in Turkish and you can select a simple traditional Turkish bath treatment or packages that include a massage. The massage lasts 30 minutes and you also receive the pestemal.
This a mixed hamami with separate rooms for both women and men. The program schedule for both sexes starts at the same with a 9:00 am start time and a 10:00 pm closing time.