In this article, we have listed the most visited baths for you to relax and have fun. If you can’t decide which Turkish Bath to choose, or if you want to go to the best while you’re at it, this article is for you.
It is true that in winter we retreat to warm indoor spaces. Especially the hot showers that make us feel good when we can’t get in and out are a panacea. We wanted to skip a level and get rid of all our dirt. Until we see the brown dead skins in the scrub, our fingers are wrinkled, our bodies stick to that navel stone.
To be able to do this, first of all, we have to choose one of the most beautiful baths.
A Short History of Turkish Bath Culture
The Turkish bath, which is frequently visited as the Turkish nation, is also seen as a cultural and social activity and a chat space, not only with the thought of bathing and grooming. The use of water, steam, and soap for health purposes, which is one of the vital necessities of human beings, has led to the construction of water spaces such as baths and spas. The structure of the baths, which is one of these types of buildings, gives a nostalgic atmosphere to the environment when you enter it based on history. It meets the needs of people, especially for washing and cleaning. In addition, in every period, the baths have been shaped according to the religious beliefs of the societies and became a part of the social life.
The construction of Turkish Baths has a history that dates back to the Roman Empire and even to the 1st century BC and to the 33rd century AD. One of the important and underscored institutions of our civil architecture is the Turkish Baths. Baths, which have great importance in terms of art and architecture, are also important in terms of cultural history. It resembles a mosque with its dome and some other architectural features. In terms of the interior design and architectural design of these institutions, there are very simple ones as well as very spectacular ones. Today, when you look at the pre-Ottoman and Ottoman period, many bath ruins or the restored ruins of the baths can be seen.
When talking about the Ottomans, Mesopotamians, Babylonians, and Egyptians, it is possible to come across bath-style baths with heating. While these places were used only as bathing places, after the construction of navel stones and large ceilings, which were heated by the Romans under the heating system, this culture was transferred to the Ottoman Empire.
Important parts of the internal structure in the baths, which have a special architectural style, are generally called the câmegah (dressing place), soğukluk (place of drying and loincloth), and sıcaklık (washing place).
Bath culture is very important for the sociality of women since the Ottoman period. There are traditions such as going to the baths on Thursday evenings, the fact that the baths are open until the morning on the eve of the holidays and this is still going on today, but there are differences in the hours. There was a bath culture in Anatolia since ancient times. While the Turks lived in Central Asia, they carried the existing bath traditions to Anatolia where they emigrated. They placed their own traditions on the marble bath culture left by those who lived before them. Over time, there were baths where special days were celebrated. Even today, “bridal bath”, “maternity bath”, “40 of the baby”, “votive bath”, and “mourning bath” for women, “groom bath”, “circumcision bath”, “soldier bath “, and “holiday bath” for man are up to date, and wherever you go to Anatolia, including large cities, they are performed as a ceremony.
Every civilization living in Istanbul, a city of history and culture, has left its mark. One of these traces is the bath culture dating back to the ancient Roman period. Baths, with their acoustics, harmony, design, basin, snapdragon, stone, navel stone, marbles, have the main place in Ottoman and Turkish culture.
Baths were used as bathing, purification and even healing places in the Ottoman period.
Peeling and foam massage applications are performed in the bath ritual which is the most important tradition of our culture. This ritual is a practice for loosening, relieving, and removing the dirt from the body.
The places where hot and cold water is provided by a special mechanism and designed for bathing are important structures of the Ottoman period.
Baths, one of the most important buildings of the Ottoman period, were built by the rulers and prominent people, just like mosques. The most famous baths have the signature of Mimar Sinan, who left his mark on Ottoman architecture.
Nowadays, the baths, which have decreased considerably, have been known for centuries as the sine qua non of Ottoman and Turkish culture. Today, Turkish baths, which are among the cultural heritage of our country, continue to attract not only foreign tourists but also Turkish people.
Let’s see the historical baths in Istanbul together …
Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Bath (Haseki Bath)
This bath, built by Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, is a haseki bath. Mimar Sinan, the head of the architect of the period, built the women’s and men’s section together and achieved a first in Turkish bath architecture. The bath built by Hürrem Sultan as a charity was used as a warehouse for many years. The bath, which was repaired between 1957 and 1958, was reopened in 2011 with the function of 5 centuries.
Haseki Hürrem Sultan Bath, located in the historical peninsula, was named after Hürrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the famous Ottoman sultan of the period and built by Mimar Sinan in the 16th century. Located in the middle of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Museum, this hammam consists of cold, warm and warm sections. Over 450 years of history in the Turkish bath, the massage is performed by sustaining. Many of the employees have been trained on this issue.
Services for arriving guests include hammam packages, massage therapies, and traditional rituals (bride and groom baths). Zevk-i Sefa, Keyf-i Hamam, Pir-i Pak, Ab-ı Hayat are also available in packages that promise you cleanliness and comfort.
Ottoman style sherbet, Turkish delight, apricot, walnut, and tea will also attract you while listening. If you need urgent clearance right now, make a note of this place.
Address: Cankurtaran District, Hagia Sophia Square No: 2, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul
Phone number: 0212 517 35 35
Entrance fee: Scrub and Foam Massage Included, 55 EUR. Men and Women are served separately between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm.
The bath, which was built in 1741 to provide income for the Hagia Sophia Mosque, is on Yerebatan Street, which connects Sultanahmet to Cagaloglu.
The atmosphere is great. Florence Nightingale, German Emperor Wilhelm II, Gianfranco Ferre, Omer Sharif, Harrison Ford are among those who come to this bath, where Ottoman architecture and baroque style are blended.
What distinguishes this bath from others is the presence of bars, restaurants, and cafes. There are also many options such as scrub, dry massage on navel stone, soapy massage and foam wash.
Cağaloğlu Bath was built by Sultan Mahmud I in 1741 in place of Nevsehir Damat İbrahim Pasa Palace. As soon as you enter the bath, which is quite old, you will be fascinated by its historical and architectural structure. However, restoration work is now required.
Cağaloğlu Bath is one of the largest double baths of Istanbul and built in baroque architectural style. The main difference of the bath from classical Ottoman architecture is that the cold and hot parts are made differently. Standing for 300 years, the bath has separate sections for men and women. Hamam is also on the New 1000 Places to See Before You Die ”list of the New York Times. It is worth noting that this bath is the last big bath built during the Ottoman period. If you want to feel the historical texture of Istanbul, you should definitely visit here.
Address: Alemdar District, Cağaloğlu Bath Street, No: 34, 34110 Fatih/Istanbul
Phone number: 0212 522 24 24
Entrance fee: The entrance fee to the building which is open to visitors during working hours is 90 TL. The price for those who want to get a massage is 150 TL.
Historical Galatasaray Hammam
The Galatasaray Bath was built by the Ottoman Sultan of the time, Bayezid II, in Beyoğlu. It was built in 1484 upon the request of Gül Baba, one of the most important people of the time, from Bayezid II. The baths have been used by the kadis, sultans, and grand viziers, who have always been one of the great names of the state. Turnacıbaşı Street, which connects İstiklal and Çukurcuma as its location, conquers our hearts with its beautiful cafes, small stale shops, and design shops.
There is no different service in the hammam, classical services such as scrubs, soapy massage, foam bath, oily massage.
If you rent the place, you can close the hammam, watch fasıls or oriental shows.
Address: Kuloğlu District, Turnacıbaşı Street, No:8, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 252 4242
Entrance fee: 80 TRY. Scrub and Foam Massage cost 130 TRY. If you want an oily massage too, the price is 240 TRY.
Mihrimah Sultan Hammam
This time we are in Edirnekapi. The bath built by Mimar Sinan for the daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent was completed in 1565. This is the place to be refreshed, and to make your cheeks pinkish.
According to historical sources, it was built by Mimar Sinan in 1562-1565 in a planning scheme that was common in the classical period. Mihrimah Sultan Bath plays an important role in Turkish Bath culture.
The historical Mihrimah Sultan Bath, which is a part of the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Complex in Edirnekapı, was built as a double bath in 1562-1565. Mihrimah Sultan Bath, built by Mimar Sinan, is one of the most important historical baths to date.
First sweat thoroughly in the navel stone or sauna, then, have a dry massage and a foam massage after the scrub.
As many of the baths, this one also has bridal/groom bath services.
Address: Karagümrük District, Fevzipaşa Street No:333, 34091 Edirnekapı, Fatih/İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 523 04 87
Entrance fee: 30 TRY. Peeling and Massage Included Price: 50 TRY.
Kılıç Ali Paşa Hammam
Kılıç Ali Paşa Bath was built by the order of Kılıç Ali Paşa, who is known as the conqueror of the seas, in Mimar Sinan in 1583 to serve the beams in the Ottoman Navy in Tophane. The building was restored in 2012 and opened for use. Activities such as bridal baths, groom baths, and forty baths are organized for special occasions. The hammam is open for women in the morning and for men in the afternoon. Guests can spend as much time in the hammam. Dressing rooms, cafes, massage rooms in the hammam, hammam culture souvenir shop is located outside the building.
One of the works of Mimar Sinan, one of our most important architects, the bath was opened in 2012 after a thorough restoration. Designed by Mimar Sinan in 1578-1583, the bath is characterized by its elephant eye-shaped domes. There is also a shop selling bath products on the outside of Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam, the second largest dome in Istanbul. Here you can find various loincloths, towels, and bathrobes, fibers, scrubs, bowls, stamped soaps, copper bowls.
Not only will you go once, but you will also be a regular here.
It serves for ladies between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm and for men between 4.30 and 11:00. You don’t need to bring any clothes. Everything you need is covered here.
Address: Kemankeş District, Hamam Street, 1, Tophane, Karaköy, Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 393 80 10
Entrance fee: Entrance fee including scrub, massage, and sauna is 190 TRY.
We are in one of the most famous baths. This bath, which is a favorite of tourists, was built in 1557 upon the request of Suleiman the Magnificent. The bath, which attracted much attention with its original chimneys and ornaments, was closed in 1924. Until the restoration is over. Until 2004.
It has been standing since 1557 and is one of the most beautiful ornaments of Istanbul with its domes and chimneys arranged one after the other. It is among the structures that should be seen due to the bath structure preferred by foreigners than the Turks and that it remained during the Ottoman period.
The Süleymaniye Bath is part of the mosque. The Turkish Bath located on the European side of Beyazıt consists of three sections. These sections in the bath are women, men, and Kanuni Sultan Süleyman’s private bathing room. The bath is very popular with its marbles and ornaments.
Capacity is not so wide so you must make a reservation. Besides, there’s no distinction between men and women. This is a unisex bath. But it is more open to the family and tourists as we can tell from the website. The site has German, English or even Spanish language options, but not Turkish.
Drinks such as tea and coffee are also served in the venue.
Address: Mimar Sinan Street No:20. Süleymaniye/ İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 520 34 10
Entrance Fee: Scrub and Massage Included, 165 TRY
Çinili Hammam (Tiled Bath)
This time we go a little bit away from the touristic places and go to Üsküdar. Historical Tiled Bath was built by Kösem Sultan in 1640. His brother had finished the bath which was not enough for his life. The name “Tiled” comes from the fact that it was adorned with special tiles at that time. But the tiles were stolen.
During the restoration works of the bath, the architectural structure was not changed much and only the walls were decorated with original blue stones. The beauty of the bath attracted the attention of the producers and was used in many artistic projects. Located in Üsküdar and in Istanbul’s historical baths, it still managed to protect itself as a neighborhood bath.
Despite the flat and closed baths, this bath is very spacious. This is due to the fact that it has a large area and the domes are quite high.
The hammam, which is open every day of the week, also offers foam massage, scrub, and oily massage. Let’s not forget the henna and bridal bath.
Address: Çavuşdere, Çinili Hamam Street No 6, 34664 Üsküdar/İstanbul
Phone number: 0216 553 15 93
Entrance fee: 25 TRY. You should also pay 20 TRY for massage and scrub.
Historical Gedikpaşa Hammam
The Gedikpaşa Bath, one of the most important works of Ottoman architecture near the Grand Bazaar, was built in 1475 by Ahmet Pasha.
Built in 1475 by the order of Gedik Ahmet Pasha to the architect Hayrettin, one of the most famous architects of the Ottoman Empire, the bathhouse is one of the double Istanbul baths where there are male and female sections. There is also a pool called “aslanağzı” next to the navel stone. The historic hammam is 250 meters from the Grand Bazaar and includes a sauna. Although it is a forgotten place in Istanbul, its functionality still continues.
Address: Hamam Street No:61 Gedikpaşa/İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 517 8956
Entrance fee: Peeling, Foam Massage and Sauna Included, 80 TRY.
It was built in 1584 by Mimar Sinan upon the order of Nur Banu Sultan. There are Ottoman inscriptions on some navel stones in the baths. Today, the historical building welcomes foreign and Turkish guests with baths.
Çemberlitaş Hamam is one of the famous baths near Çemberlitaş and very close to the Grand Bazaar. The bath consists of two separate parts: men and women. Çemberlitaş was also known as Valide Sultan and Gül Hamam for a while. Evliya Çelebi, who has visited the Ottoman lands and gathered what she saw in her book Seyahatnâme, refers to the building as the 3rd Murat Bath, for example. It is possible to come across Ottoman inscriptions in some navel stones in the baths. The building, which is very close to the Grand Bazaar, is on Divanyolu in Çemberlitaş.
When you enter this bath, it may not be easy to get out. There are such beautiful services that will enchant you: Aromatherapy Oil Massage, Reflexology, Indian head massage, clay mask, sultan bath…
Bridal baths, which are now very popular again, are also here. The female side can enjoy and purify here with or without food.
Address: Mollafenari District, Vezirhan Street, No:8, 34440 Fatih/İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 522 79 74
Entrance fee: 80 TRY. If you want to have a scrub and foam massage, 125 TRY.
Tarihi Kocamustafapaşa Hammam
The bathhouse is on the Kocamustafapaşa Street near Sümbül Efendi Mosque. This bath, which is still in operation, is one of the clean and well-maintained double baths of Istanbul. In Evliya Çelebi’s bath classification, this place is devoted to ahl-i tevhid.
The bath was built in 1486 by Koca Mustafa Pasha, one of the Ottoman grand viziers who was sacrificed for the sultanate fight. Hamam is the foundation of Koca Mustafa Pasha, who played an important role in the turning points of our history. During the 2nd Bayezid period, Pasha served as the governor of Rumelia and then as grand vizier.
At the entrance of the building, there is an elegant marble fountain. The roof and the lighthouse are also wooden. The marble fountain at the entrance of the ılıklık, seen in some baths is also found here. In the sıcaklık section, there are four corners and three halvets (private rooms). One of the halvets serves as a sauna today.
It is said that Sümbül Sinan Efendi, one of the spiritual leaders of Istanbul, was bathed in this bath. The private room, which is reserved for this person, is kept closed for use on normal days and opened for public use on the eve of blessings and blessed days.
Koca Mustafa Pasha Bath is one of the rare historical baths that has been able to preserve the quality of being a charming, beautiful neighborhood bath thanks to its location in an area of old Istanbul that has not lost its neighborhood character.
Aga Bath was purchased by an Armenian woman in 1923 and opened to the public for the first time. In 1940, Ağa Bath was sold to Hüseyin Yılmaz. Hüseyin Yılmaz, after operating the Ağa Hamam for 34 years, sold the bath to his nephew Ali Yılmaz in May 1974 due to his age. The last modification was made by Ali Yılmaz in 1986. It has been serving for over ten years.
After the Galatasaray Hamam, one of the most preferred baths in Beyoğlu is Ağa Hamam.
It was built in 1454 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. At that time, the bath was only used by him and princes. Nowadays it is a favorite of tourists. The price was also affordable compared to many baths.
If you ask for its location, it is 100 meters away from Galatasaray Bath.
Address: Kuloğlu District, Turnacıbaşı Street, No:48, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Phone number: 0212 249 50 27
Entrance fee: 80 TRY. Scrub and Foam Massage included.
Üsküdar Old Hammam
This historical monument, whose real name is Şifa Hamam, was built in the 15th century in Üsküdar. It is not known who built this historical building, which is also known as the Old Hammam, because it is the oldest bath in Üsküdar.
The Old Bath consists of two parts: men and women. It also serves as a bride and groom bath. It is open for women between 09.00 and 17.00. For men, it is open between 06.00 and 21.00.
Address: M. Sinan Mah. Doğancılar Cad. No: 46 Üsküdar / İSTANBUL
Phone number: Men: 0216 343 24 53, Women: 0216 492 23 08
Towards the end of the 18th century, upon the order of Rabia Sultan, it was built by Mehmet Tahir Aga, one of the most important architects of the period. Beylerbeyi Bath managed to come from the day it was built to the present day without any serious changes. This bath, which has an unusual appearance with its double dome, was last privatized in 2014. This bath is one step ahead of other historical baths on the Anatolian side because of its tellaks (bath attendants). There are even customers coming from outside the province for tellaks.
Address: İstanbul, Beylerbeyi, 34676 Üsküdar/İSTANBUL
Phone number: 0216 321 4683
The Acemoğlu Bath, located in the Celal Ağa Mansion, was one of the greatest examples of Ottoman architecture. Like many others, this bath is a work of Mimar Sinan.
This hamam is the oldest bath in Istanbul. The first name of the bath, which was restored two centuries after its construction in the 17th century by the order of Suleiman the Magnificent, was Acemi Oglanlar. Later, he took the name Acemoğlu.
What makes this place special is the scrub, foam massage, as well as the chocolate mask they make.