This is a tourist friendly hammam that you should try when in Istanbul. Many americans and canadians come here. It is still very authentic and the architecture is very cool. After a day in the busy city of istanbul running between the wondrous tourist sites, a good turkish hammam experience is very advantageous since your killing two goals of hammam and relaxation.
First pay i think 20 euros (expensive, but this place is good). The atmosphere is very relaxing and spa like. The main dome room is euphoric created by the light rays shining through the holes in the roof. There is three other smaller domes branching off with cold water so you can pour on your body. this is very fun, and the stone is very smooth and precious.
First you will walk into the grand room, which has a massive marble circle piece where you slump your tired body onto. Somehow this stone slab has a deep warm quality; perhaps heated stone? The authentic Turkish man begins his work, of removing the old and rough layers of your skin; very thourough work he does. Now he beats you up real good, stepping on you, kneeing you, pulling your arms apart and cross each other, and ju-jitsu all over. lol Then he applies the sweet smelling soap all over you, finishing off with a layer of oil. This unique experience leaves you sqeeky clean like a newborn baby, and truly rejuvenated to take on the city again...
To visit a hamam is another wonderful highlight of a visit to Istanbul. There is quite a choice from which you can choose, eg Cemberlitas and Galatasaray. I do suggest to visit a hamam which is frequented by the locals, and which is less touristy.
There are quite a few all over the city. It is less expensive.
You usually start in the sauna which is the hottest, then move to the washrooms where an assistant will help, after which you can have a good massage on the marble slab.
It is quite an experience.
I was really nervous when I went there as I had never been to a hammam before. So I searched the net and tried to understand the 'customs'.
I went really early to avoid the crowd (and also to avoid embarrasement in case I was doing something really strange, hehehehehe)
First they asked me to 'cleanse' - which meant that I was sitting by the tap and kept pouring water on myself for 20 minutes or so. Then the woman masseuse came in and 'bathed' me - washing my whole body and was also doing exfoliation. Followed by a nice massage.
Then I relaxed a little bit in the steam room. Finally, enjoyed a cup of hot apple tea.
I felt great. And it also gave a nice start of the day. More energy to do a lot more walking and exploring. I would recommend anyone who is visiting Istanbul (or Turkey) to give a try.
I went to Istanbul with my boyfriend, just the two of us. We wanted to go to a hamam very much, only we wanted to have the experience together (to be honest, I was a little worried about fainting due to the heat, and not having anyone to help me, plus it's nice to have someone to talk to during all that time). Thanks to my little travel book, we managed to find the one and only mixed (i.e. both for males and females) hamam in the city, the Suleymaniye Hamam. It is part of the Suleymaniye complex, which includes the Mosque, the Mausoleum, the public kitchens, etc. As most of the buildings of the complex, it was costructed by Sinan, the famous architect of the 16th century, in 1550. If you book through your hotel reception, they will provide free transportation from your hotel and back, which comes very handy when you have spent an hour in steam and then had the most incredible body masage you could dream of. There was no way we could walk and look for a taxi after such relaxation :-) The atmosphere in the hamam was..out of this world, with light coming in the main room from the tiny openings on the dome and the thick hot air filling your lugs. I almost did faint, but I moved to a cooler room, and waited until the masseurs (tellaks in turkish) came for us. It costs 30 euros per person, more than average, but it has more facilities (eg hair dryer and moisturiser), it includes the transportation, plus you get to be with your sweetheart! :-)
Cemberlitas Hamam. One of the best experiences I had while traveling. It was great. I paid a bit extra for a half hour massage, that Jaymie didnt go for. I chose to do it because in Hungary in the Budapest Baths, I had regretted not doing it. It is cheaper than any massage in Canada and is all part of the experience. So we paid, got our tokens and went in. You have the option of going fully nude or not, as you feel comfortable. We chose to wear our bathing suit bottoms. In hindsight, I would not both with them next time, but them I am not terribly shy. Jaymie is a bit more self conscious than I. So anyway, you walk in with your towel (not a towel by Canadian standards, more a thick sheet), spread it out on the large marble slab in the middle of the room and just relax. The room is beautifully warm and cozy. Think sauna, only not that extreme. Eventually one of the bath attendants gets free and taps you on the shoulder. You move to the outside and they proceed to scrub you down like your hide is made of rock. A bit rough, but the purpose is to get all the dead skin off and get you clean. And lets just say I did not know I had that much dead ugly skin on me. Uck. After that then you get the nice wash with tons of suds and more a massage factor. Then you generally go back and lay on the marble slab for as long as you want. Well until they close anyway. But if you got the massage like me, you relax until they come get you and you get your massage and then you come back and relax some more. Very Awesome Experience. Worth every penny.
You absolutely cannot travel to Turkey without having a hammam, or Turkish bath. Stay away if you are shy to nudity because all the locals and even the ladies scrubbing you down with a loofah that feels like a brilo pad will more than likely be topless if not totally nude. I recommend also that you have your hammam before you obtain a wonderful bronze tan from the Mediterranean sun, the loofah exfoliates your skin completely, leaving it silky smooth.
Cagaloglu Hamami was built by a sultan more than 300 years ago. Although the date of the construction and the name of the architect of the hamam is not known, it is said to have been built in the beginning of the 18th century. It is also said that the construction is one of Sinan's works of art.
The Ottomans perfected the hamam, or Turkish bath which, like the Roman bath, had three rooms: the grand, steamy hot room (caldarium) for steam-soaking and massage; the warm room (tepidarium) for washing with soap and water; and the cool room for resting or napping (perhaps in a private cubicle) after the bath with a cup of Turkish coffee or a glass of tea.
Istanbul is a very noisy populated city and it was great to visit two small local hammams (not very touristic ones). Every visitor had a towel wraped around the waist. The interiors
looked very simular: they were decorated with white and gray marble. When I entered the central space there was a warm marble plate on which people were laying down to relax. And in different corners there were warm- and coldwatertaps above washbasins for mixing water to a right temperature. People splashed the water with a bowl over their bodies.
The temperature in the hamman was not too high, I usually do not like sauna's because I feel suffocated but I really liked it there. And you could cool yourself down with cold water if you got too warm. The little holes in the litte dome let some bundels of light in and created a mystic atmosphere. I did not hear any noise from outside, just the dripping of taps and the splashing of water. After a good massage I was totally relaxed and felt as if I was in the 16 th century. The turkish sultans must have bathed in the same manner as I did. It wasn't easy to get out and face the 21st century with dirt, airpolution and rain.
This Hamam (Turkish bath) was an amazing experience! I really had no idea what to expect and was a bit unsure about what to wear or if they wear anything at all! It turned out the most women (I was in the women only area - obviously!) go naked. This isn't the rule though and a bathing suit or underwear is fine if you don't mind them getting wet, the attendants (women who wash you) are generally naked too. It turns out the some of the female attendants were amazing singers and were being recorded the day I was there so it was a very special experience. Laying on the slap of hot marbel, naked with a room full of women, looking up at the light shining through tiny windows in the high dome ceiling you felt like you were being carried away by the angelic voices echoing beautiful through the marbel and stone cavern. The only concerns was the shampoo they used, I recommend you take your own and you definately look like you've been to a hamam when you walking down the street you come out steamed red!), and gentlemen don't hesitate to mention your escapades which can be embarrasing if you are modest!!
The Cemberlitas Hamam is located on the Divanyolu near Cemberlitas (Hooped Column). It was built by Sultan Murat III's mother, Nurbanu Sultan in 1584 to provide a source of revenue for the Atik Valide Mosque complex in Uskudar and is the work of the famous architect Sinan. It was built as a double hamam with sections for both men and women, but during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz (1841-1824) part of the women's section was destroyed to allow for the widening of the nearby road so it is smaller.
Cemberlitas Hammam is a historic hamam built in 1584 by Sinan. It has a lovely marble interior and is seperated with a men's and women's side. Tourists will be at ease here as its history draws quite a few eager visitors.
Here is a description of what will occur if you choose to pay a visit.
You will be handed a towel and a locker key and instructed to go into a changing room. There you will completely disrobe and make your way through the door where there is a huge heated stone. I'm sure in your modesty you will have the towel wrapped around yourself, but don't be surprised when one of the bare chested women take your towel from you and lay it out on the huge, round marble heated stone. Enjoy 20 minutes or so of relaxing on this sauna like stone and your skin will be ready for treatment.
Your masseuse will come to you and srub you down removing all the dead skin with a coarse mitt that she wears. You will definitely be surprised at how much she manages to scrape off of you. Next she will proceed to drench you with buckets of water.
She will then give you a nice massage (don't worry they are not overly rough as some have claimed).
Oh and the fun is just beginning. Next she will bring what looks like a pillow case and a small sudsy bowl of water and will dip the case in it and then shake it to trap it full of air. As she squeezes downward you will be covered in suds. She will proceed to scrub you clean and afterwards will wash your hair as well.
When all of this is done you are welcome to lie on the stone for as long as you would like, before drying off and redressing.
The whole experience is out of this world and is an absolute must for anyone that has the opportunity.
Obviously pictures are not permitted here, but there are wonderful and free postcards for guests to take home.
After four days of heat and hiking all over Istanbul in the middle of June, my back went out and I was limping along, unable to enjoy the cay, nargileh or the constant requests to buy a flying carpet. I took refuge in the Cemberlitas Hamam.
It costs 25.000.000 Lira for the works (at the time ? 15) but (you can bargain, if you try)
It may be considered touristy, but it was worth every lira and went back twice over the following 3 months.
Steam bath and turkish massage in a clean marble hammam, chosen the best Turkish Bath in the world for the 2003 Year.
Built more than 300 years ago, you can enjoy a Turkish Cafý after your relaxing bath.
Price for a self bath is 10.000.000 TRLiras, you can add the same by an agreement with the Masseuesses/Masseur, having this way a complete bath for 20 milions instead of 30, and you can help the woman (who doesn't earn enough for the job).
Open for men from 7 a. m. to 10 p.m. and for ladies 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Everyday including Sunday.
The Cemberlitas bath was built in 1584 and is close to some of Istanbul's most important monuments. Based on a plan of the legendary Turkish architect Mimar Sinan, it's one of the most important works of 16th century Ottoman architecture.
The two-chambered bath has separate sections for men and women. When you leave your clothes in the lockers, you receive a bath towel ("pestemal") and shoes. Then you're ready to enter the hammam. First of all, you lie down on the heated marble platform in the center to sweat a little. If you asked for it, you can then have a massage with a "kese" to rub your skin and turkish olive oil soap. After enjoying your vigourous massage, you can stay as long as you want.
The Cemberlitas bath is open everyday from 6:00 am to 24:00 pm and costs about 25 million turkish liras but it worths it !
Before entering for prayer, Muslims are required to wash essentially whatever parts of their bodies will touch the carpets inside. Ablutions are required three times over, but few Turks seldom carry the requirements to the letter. Unlike a few of the other sadirvans around the city which are for form's sake only, the sadirvan at Fatih Camii operates as designed.
Un baño en un Hamam, para conocer una tradicion del pais. Uno de los mejores y mas antiguos es el de Semberlitas, en el barrio del Gran Bazar. Si pides un completo te incluye el masaje y si estos te gustan te dejan como nuevo.