Oldest Turkish Baths in Istanbul

One of the most entertaining activities for visitors to Istanbul is to go to the Turkish bath. Tourists visiting Istanbul for the first time are wondering which is the best Turkish bath in Istanbul. In answering this question in this article, I will introduce you to the oldest Turkish baths in Istanbul.

Because the best Turkish bath is the one that meets your expectations. For example, most Turkish baths cannot be entered as a couple. Women and men are taken into separate sections in the baths. However, there are Turkish baths that can be visited as a couple in Istanbul. The second factor that determines the choice of visitors is price. I will try to give tips on this in the article.

In this blog post, we will examine the baths in Sultanahmet and Beyoglu districts where the most popular hotels are located. Since these two districts are the heart of historic Istanbul, traditional Turkish baths are also located here.

Hammams in the 19th Century Istanbul

Oldest Turkish Baths in Istanbul
Hammams in Istanbul by Thomas Allom

Oldest Turkish Baths in Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Of course, Istanbul’s oldest baths are located in the Sultanahmet area. Sultanahmet has been full of large baths since the Roman and Byzantine times. The bath culture from the Romans was continued by the Ottomans.

  • Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Bath is located in the most central part of the historical peninsula. Located in the park between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the hammam is Istanbul’s most expensive historical bath.

The 500-year-old hammam underwent a major restoration in the late 2000s. After its renovation, Hagia Sophia Hurrem Sultan Bath, which is the most luxurious Turkish bath in Istanbul, has become like a 5-star hotel spa.

This famous Turkish Bath was built by Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. The architect of the bath was Mimar Sinan, the most productive architect of the Ottoman classical architecture.

Best Turkish Bath in Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami
  • Cemberlitas Hamami

The Cemberlitas Hammam is located in an ancient square. This square was known as the Forum of Constantine during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The column erected by Emperor Constantine can still be seen in the middle of the square. (also known as Burnt Column)

The Hammam is right next to the Cemberlitas Tram Stop. It was built for Nurbanu Sultan, the wife of Sultan Selim II,  the successor of Suleiman the Magnificent. Built in 1584, the bath is one of the oldest baths in Istanbul. It is one of the most preferred baths of tourists with its location close to the Grand Bazaar.

  • Cagaloglu Hamami

It is one of the historical baths of Istanbul with its history dating back to 1741. It is located on Yerebatan Street starting from the Basilica Cistern. Cagaloglu Hammam served German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm and renowned pianist Franz Liszt and famous actor Omar Sharif.

Some scenes were shot here for the films in which the most important stars of Turkish cinema played. The Cagaloglu Hammam is the only Turkish bath in the “1000 Places to See Before You Die” list of the New York Times. Cagaloglu Hamami is the best Turkish Bath for those who stay near Sultanahmet.

  • Suleymaniye Hamami

The Suleymaniye Hammam is a part of the Suleymaniye Mosque Complex built for Sultan Suleiman. The complex, built by Mimar Sinan in the 1550s, is located in the heart of Istanbul’s Historic Peninsula. It is one of the oldest baths in Istanbul with a history of nearly 500 years. Most foreign travel guides promoting Istanbul recommend this bath.

The most important feature that distinguishes Suleymaniye Hammam from other baths is that it accepts couples together. Although women and men are separate in traditional Turkish bath culture, the practice is different in Suleymaniye. For this reason, Suleymaniye is the most preferred Turkish bath in Istanbul by couples.

Turkish Bath in Istanbul for Couples

mixed Turkish Bath in Istanbul Old City
Süleymaniye Hamamı

Photo is taken from Flicker by Sinan Dogan

Oldest Turkish Baths in Taksim, Istanbul

Today, most of the large-scale tourist hotels are located in Taksim Square and its surroundings. If you stay in this area, also known as Beyoglu, you don’t have to go to Sultanahmet Old City. Since Beyoglu is an old district of Istanbul, you can find old Turkish baths around.

  • Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami

Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami is one of the recently restored baths. After restoration, it has been very well managed and has earned a well-deserved reputation.

It is located in Karakoy, Istanbul’s increasingly popular district in recent years. It is preferred by tourists since it is the closest Turkish bath to Galataport, where cruise ships are anchored.

After having a local bath experience at Kilic Ali Pasa, you can enjoy the streets of Karakoy. The best third wave coffee shops and boutique restaurants of recent years are in Karakoy. The Hammam is located right next to Tophane Tram Stop.

Best Turkish Bath in Taksim, Istanbul

Best Turkish Bath in Taksim Istanbul
Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami
  • Galatasaray Hamami

The historical Galatasaray Hammam is located very close to Istiklal Street. It was built during the reign of Bayezid, son of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. Built in 1461, it is the second oldest bath in our list.

Galatasaray Bath is located in Beyoglu district, where Istanbul’s most popular 4 and 5 star hotels are located. It attracts domestic and foreign tourists because of its central location. Galatasaray Hamami is the best Turkish Bath for those who stay near Taksim Square.

  • Aga Hamami

Aga Hamami is the oldest Turkish bath in our list since it was built in 1454. Located in Cihangir neighborhood of Beyoglu district. It is one of the rare Turkish baths in Istanbul that couples can enter together.

Famous Turkish Baths in Istanbul by Serhat Engul

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