The Turkish bath is essentially a Roman bath arranged according to Islamic rules. Turkish baths in Istanbul have a dressing room, a steam-heated domed hot room and a cold room to relax after bath. The best hammams in Istanbul are often found in historical districts.
Baths had a very important place in Ottoman Istanbul. For example, the bride-to-be would meet with the women in the groom’s family here. Likewise, celebrations among women were held here before the wedding.
In this article you can find the 10 best Hammams in Istanbul for a Turkish bath experience. Most of the historical baths in Istanbul were built between the 15th and 19th centuries.
Among the traditional Turkish baths in Istanbul, the structures built by Mimar Sinan, the most famous architect in Ottoman history, stand out. There are many baths in this category near Sultanahmet, which is the most famous tourist attraction in Istanbul.
Tourists who visit Istanbul usually stay in Sultanahmet, Taksim and Kadikoy. For this reason, we have listed the best historical Turkish baths in these districts.
10 Best Hammams in Istanbul 2021
There are 10 Turkish baths in the list of the best hammams in Istanbul. The first 5 of these baths are located in Istanbul Old City. 3 of them are located in Beyoglu and are close to Taksim Square. The last two hammams on the list are in Kadikoy and Uskudar, the popular places of Istanbul’s Asian Side.
After choosing the right bath for you, you can read the Turkish bath experience in the second part of the article. This section contains information about bath equipment, scrubbing and bubble bath.
1. Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami
Of course, the prices of the bath, which is located in the middle of tourist attractions, are quite high compared to others. The cheapest service in this bath starts from 50 Euros and packages with massage go up to 80 Euros.
If you want to pamper yourself, you can choose the all-inclusive package called Ab-i Hayat. However, you should consider that the price is 185 Euros.
Hurrem Sultan Hamami was built for the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the most famous sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Hurrem Sultan, also known as Roxelana, had the bath built by the most famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.
The bath has a history dating back to the 1550s and is the most aesthetic Turkish bath in Istanbul. Hurrem Sultan Hamami is ranked among the best hammams in Istanbul by many travel websites.
2. Cagaloglu Hamami
Cagaloglu Hamami is located on Yerebatan Street, which starts from the Basilica Cistern. Cagaloglu Hamami, which is almost as centrally located as the first bath on the list, is much more affordable.
Cagaloglu Hamami draws attention with its history dating back to 1741. It hosted famous guests such as the German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm and the famous actor Omar Sharif.
Cagaloglu Hamami is among the best Turkish baths in Sultanahmet. If you use the bath as a self-service, prices start from 30 Euros. The prices including massage and foam are around 50 Euros.
Having an average price compared to other baths, Cagaloglu Hamami was listed by the New York Times among 1000 places to see before you die.
The Hamam is within walking distance from popular Sultanahmet hotels such as White House Hotel, Sura Hotel and Adamar Hotel. It is also located at the beginning of Nuruosmaniye Street leading to the Grand Bazaar.
3. Cemberlitas Hamami
Cemberlitas Hamami is among the Turkish baths close to Sultanahmet. It is located right next to Cemberlitas Tram Stop, which is a 5-minute walk from Sultanahmet Tram Stop.
The hamam, which is in a very easy to find location, is also very close to the Grand Bazaar. You can choose this bath to relax after shopping in the Grand Bazaar.
Cemberlitas Hamami was built in 1584 by Nurbanu Sultan. Married to Selim II, son of Suleiman the Magnificent, Nurbanu was one of the powerful women in Ottoman history.
The hamam, where you can buy the all-inclusive package for around 50 Euros, is among the reasonable Turkish Baths in the Old City of Istanbul.
4. Suleymaniye Hamami
Suleymaniye Hamami is a little further away from Sultanahmet compared to the first three baths on the list. But it is worth it as it is part of the Suleymaniye Mosque, the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul.
Suleymaniye Hamami was built in the 1550s for Suleiman the Magnificent. Built by Mimar Sinan, the most productive architect of the Ottoman Empire, the bathhouse is an architectural masterpiece.
Suleymaniye Hamami is also the best Turkish bath for couples in Istanbul. The bathhouse, which allows visitors to visit as a couple, is an exception in this sense.
The bath, which costs around 40 Euros, is one of the most affordable Turkish baths in the Old City of Istanbul. This hammam is very close to Beyazit, Laleli and Aksaray, which are popular accommodation places in Old Istanbul.
5. Gedikpasa Hamami
Gedikpasa Hamami is the oldest Turkish bath in Istanbul Old City with a history dating back to 1475.
The main thing that distinguishes Gedikpasa Hamami from others is that it has a small pool inside. The bath, which is very close to the Grand Bazaar, is located in Beyazit.
We also mentioned Beyazit in the article where to stay in Istanbul. Most of the families who have come to Istanbul in recent years prefer hotels with large rooms in Beyazit and Laleli districts.
Gedikpasa Hamami, which is ideal for those who stay in this area, offers average bath packages in terms of price.
6. Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami
Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami was recently restored and became the most popular hammam in Beyoglu. Connected to Istanbul Old City by Galata Bridge, Beyoglu is mentioned as Istanbul New City in most guidebooks.
Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami is part of the mosque complex of the same name. Located right next to Tophane Tram Station, the hamam is only walking distance to Taksim Square. It is possible to reach the bath, which stands out with its proximity to the tram, in 10 minutes by public transport from Sultanahmet.
Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami is located in Karakoy, one of the fastest growing districts of recent years. After refreshing yourself in Kilic Ali Pasa Bath, you can go to the streets of Karakoy, which are full of bars, restaurants and cafes, and have a good time.
Istanbul Cruise Port reopens this year after many years of restoration. With the opening of Galataport, Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami will be the most popular Turkish bath of 2021.
7. Galatasaray Hamami
Galatasaray Hamami is one of the oldest baths in Istanbul, with a history dating back to 1461. The bathhouse is located on Istiklal Street, the most touristic walking street of Istanbul, and is also popular with locals.
Galatasaray Hamami, which is among the best hammams in Istanbul close to Taksim Square, has a perfect location. In Galatasaray Hamami, which is cheaper than the Turkish baths in the Old City, a full Turkish bath package costs around 35 Euros.
8. Aga Hamami
Aga Hamami was built in 1454 and is the oldest Turkish bath in Istanbul. Located in the Cihangir district of Beyoglu, Hamam is very close to the boutique hotels in the vicinity.
The price of a traditional Turkish bath experience at Aga Hamami is 40 Euros. Aga Hamami is ranked as the best Turkish bath in Taksim by many travel platforms.
9. Aziziye Hamami
Aziziye Hamami is a Turkish bath located on the Asian Side of Istanbul. Located in Kadikoy, a popular place on the Asian Side, the bathhouse dates back to the 19th century.
Aziziye Hammam is a little newer and not a very luxurious place compared to other historical baths on the list. However, it is a good option for those looking for a cheap Turkish Bath in Istanbul.
There are many luxurious hotels on the Asian side of Istanbul. Many hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriot in Kadikoy have luxury spa centers, including a Turkish bath.
If you like nostalgia, you can choose Aziziye Hamam, or if you like modern designs, you can choose other luxury hotel spas. Because there are not many options for baths in Kadikoy.
10. Cinili Hammam
Cinili Hamam is located in Uskudar district of Asian Side. The bathhouse, which dates back to the 17th century, is the best Turkish bath on the Asian Side of Istanbul.
The bath takes its name from the historical Ottoman art of tiles. Iznik tiles produced in the 16th and 17th centuries were predominantly blue. Even Blue Mosque takes its name from the tiles of this period.
Although the name of the bathhouse is associated with the art of tile, the original tiles have not survived. However, in accordance with the original, it has been restored with blue tones.
If you want to experience a hammam at cheaper prices than Istanbul’s tourist attractions, Sultanahmet and Taksim, you can go to Cinili Hamam.
Turkish Bath Experience in Istanbul
There are generally two options in baths. One of them is self-service where you will be on your own, while the other is traditional Turkish bath. If you want to have a real hammam experience in Istanbul, I suggest you choose the latter.
1. Turkish Bath Equipments
Before telling you about the Turkish bath experience, I should introduce the bath equipment. Pestemal is a piece of fabric that you need to wrap around your waist. Hamam Tasi is the bowl you will use to carry water. Kurna is the sink where hot and cold water are mixed. Kese is the glove the masseur will use to scrub you.
2. Traditional Hammam
In traditional hamams, you first go to the dressing room and leave your clothes in the locker. The security of your belongings is provided in all Turkish baths in Istanbul.
Afterwards, you will be taken to the warm room of the hammam and bathed until your body relaxes. Then the tellak (masseur) comes and scrubs you to remove the dead skin. Then you take a bubble bath and be thoroughly cleaned. While these are happening, you lie on a raised marble platform called gobektasi in the middle of the room.
After the Turkish bath experience, you will move to the cold room. Here it is necessary to wait until the body cools down. Meanwhile, the local drink sherbet or Turkish tea is served.
In expensive Turkish baths such as Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami, many extra food is served in the cold room. In addition, head and neck massage is also offered.
Bathing in the historical Turkish baths in Istanbul is a very refreshing experience. Most baths accept reservations. For this reason, you can make your bath reservation at the end of the sightseeing tour. So you can relax after a busy day.
Wait until your body temperature drops in the cold room before leaving the bath, especially in the spring and winter months. Because the weather in Istanbul can be unexpectedly windy in the evening.
The best hammam experience in Istanbul can be found in the historical districts of the city. For this reason, I recommend you to prefer traditional Turkish baths instead of modern hotel hammams.
10 Best Hammams in Istanbul by Serhat Engul