In Turkey, the tradition of Turkish Baths Hammam is in danger. Less than 100 years ago, there were about 2,500 public Turkish Baths Hammam. Nowadays only about 100 remain, this decline is mainly due to the installation of bathrooms in homes in the 50s – 60s.
Most Turkish baths Hammam are ancient constructions and date back over 500 years. Turkish baths were essential to personal hygiene before, while nowadays it is a place in which priority is given to relaxation.
Public Turkish Baths are never mixed (it may be in the private sector, in hotels for example where it is not uncommon for you to be offered a couple formula).
In the Hammams, there are timetables or different rooms for women and men. Men wash and massage men while women wash and massage women.
Check with residents beforehand if the place is clean and if the staff is professional so they do not hurt your muscles. The expression “strong as a Turk” has never taken on its full meaning. You will experience it, gentlemen!
In Turkey, some Turkish Baths Hammam remain meeting places. Interpret the gestures of those around you and know how to say no. Masseurs sometimes have wandering hands.
Do not hesitate to ask to be massaged more gently, masseurs can sometimes lack delicacy. The experience remains very pleasant, allowing complete relaxation.
Avoid places that are too touristy at all costs, which display far too expensive prices and an overly sanitized atmosphere.
Women are generally softer with each other and they go there with friends to spend a friendly moment… There are bath kits including a “peshtemal” (loincloth with often red or blue tiles) that you put while entering, soap, a pumice stone and sometimes the old Turkish Baths shoes in wood or gold and silver. These are called takunya.
A peshtemal is loaned to you at the entrance of the Turkish Baths in order to be able to stroll around in peace.
What are the main Turkish Baths Hammam in Istanbul?
At Sultan Ahmet, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, a magical place where history is omnipresent.
With a bit of imagination, we come back to the time of the sultans, don’t you see Hürrem Sultan crossing the gardens with her maids?
I see them going together to the Turkish Hammam, wearing takunyas, those of Hürrem are made of silver, those of his maids and slaves are in wood. They wear peshtemals and they have soap in their hands.
Hürrem’s Turkish baths Hammam are getting a new look. Closed for 100 years, they have been rehabilitated identically in an Ottoman atmosphere.
Come and be pampered, wash, rub, massage, taste fruit, drink a good tea…
A pure wonder, in a splendid decor, for a little while you become Sultan!
If not here are the names of some of the best Hammams in Istanbul below:
Also you can click Istanbul Baths