Spending some time in one of the traditional Turkish hammams in Istanbul is a must when visiting the city.

The “hammam” is the original Arabic spelling while “hamam” is the Turkish spelling – both are used today to refer to Turkish baths. Sometimes you see the word “hamami” too.

Public hammams were a carry-over from the Roman social bathhouse. They played an important role in the social fabric of everyday life as gathering places to gossip and discuss events.

AyaSofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam

One of the best hammams in Istanbul – and perhaps the most opulent. The hamam was designed and built in 1556 by Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect, for Roxelana.



Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami

The another one of the most historic hamams in Istanbul. It was built between 1578 and 1583 to serve the Ottoman navy, not the sultan’s wife.


Cagaloglu Hamam

Built in 1741 on the orders of Sultan Mahmut I. Listed in the New York Times bestseller, “1,000 Places To See Before You Die,” these historic baths have been featured in more than 138 movies.


Ritz-Carlton Istanbul hammam

There’s a marble Turkish hammam couples suite. In this cocoon a steam, scrub and soap bubble massage helped us get over jetlag on one visit to Istanbul.


Ciragan Palace Kempinski hammam

We tried a private couple’s treatment at the Sanitas Spa. It is a towel headrests on the marble slabs, soft Turkish music added to the comfort of our experience.

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