One of the most entertaining activities for visitors to Istanbul is to go to the Turkish Hammam. 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.
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 is one Turkish bath 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 have a look the best Turkish baths in Sultanahmet (Istanbul Old City) and Beyoglu (Taksim, Galata, Karakoy) 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.
Best Turkish Bath in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Sultanahmet area was the administrative center of Istanbul during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. The bath culture in this neighborhood started with the Roman period and continued with the Ottoman period.
During the Roman period, the most famous public bath in the district was the Baths of Zeuxippus. In the Ottoman period, magnificent Turkish baths were built. It was common for individuals who got rich in the Ottomans to build baths and mosques for charity.
The largest bathhouse built in Sultanahmet was built by Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. Today, the best Turkish bath in Sultanahmet is Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam.
For this reason, we start the list of the best Turkish baths in Istanbul Old City with Hurrem Sultan Hamami. However, other historical baths should not be ignored. For example, couples can enter the Suleymaniye Hamami together.
1. Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami
Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamami is located in the most central part of the Old City of Istanbul. Located in the park between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, this place is the best Turkish bath in Sultanahmet. However, it should be noted that it is the most expensive traditional Turkish bath in the area due to its location.
The 500-year-old hammam underwent a major restoration in the late 2000s. After its renovation, Hagia Sophia Hurrem Sultan Bathhouse, 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, also known as Roxelana. Hurrem was the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the greatest sultan in Ottoman history.
Mimar Sinan, the most famous architect of the period, built magnificent mosques and baths for the Ottoman Empire. He created one of his most important works for Hurrem Sultan. Built in the 1550s, the hamam is among the oldest Turkish baths in Istanbul.
Of course, it is a privilege to experience the Turkish bath here. However, the price of packages including massage at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hammam starts from 80 Euros. The package without a massage in half an hour costs around 50 Euros.
2. Cemberlitas Hamami
Cemberlitas Hamami 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 Station. It was built for Nurbanu Sultan, the wife of Sultan Selim II, the successor of Suleiman the Magnificent. Built in 1584, this bath is one of the oldest Turkish baths in Istanbul. It is one of the most preferred baths of tourists with its location close to the Grand Bazaar.
Prices in Cemberlitas Hamami are cheaper compared to a Hurrem Sultan Hamami. A complete hammam experience, including massage, costs around 50 Euros. Considering that the average Turkish bath prices in Istanbul are between 40 and 60 Euros, this is a reasonable fee.
3. Cagaloglu Hamami
Cagaloglu Hamami 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, Sirkeci and Eminonu neighborhoods of Istanbul Old City.
The price of a self-service Turkish bath in Cagaloglu Hamami is 30 Euros. However, if you want to experience a real Turkish bath with massage and bubble bath, you have to pay at least 50 Euros.
4. Suleymaniye Hamami
Suleymaniye Hamami 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 Hamami is the best Turkish bath in Istanbul for couples.
The price of the Turkish bath in Suleymaniye Hamami is 40 Euros including massage and bubble bath. This is one of the most affordable pricing on our list. Suleymaniye Bath is a very suitable Turkish bath for tourists as it accepts couples together. The only disadvantage is that it is a little further from Sultanahmet compared to other baths.
Best Turkish Bath in Taksim, Istanbul
Beyoglu, along with Sultanahmet, is one of Istanbul’s most important tourist centers. The oldest Turkish bath in Istanbul is located in Beyoglu, which has been a very popular settlement since the Ottoman period.
Popular accommodation spots such as Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cihangir, Galata and Karakoy are actually the neighborhoods of Beyoglu. Beyoglu is more commonly referred to as Taksim in the local language.
The newly restored Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami stands out as the best Turkish bath in Taksim. In addition, there are Aga Hamami, the oldest bath in Istanbul, and the famous Galatasaray Hamami on Istiklal Street.
1. Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami
Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami is one of the recently restored baths. After restoration, it has been very well managed and has earned a well-deserved reputation. That is why it is known as the best Turkish bath near Taksim these days.
This hammam 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 Hammam, 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 Station.
The price of Turkish Bath at Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami is 40 Euros including scrub and foam massage. Considering the proximity of the bath to tourist centers, it has a reasonable price. You can reach this hamam on foot from Galata Tower and Taksim Square. For those staying in Sultanahmet, it is possible to reach the entrance of the bath by tram.
2. Galatasaray Hamami
Galatasaray Hamami is located very close to Istiklal Street. It was built during the reign of Bayezid II, son of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. Built in 1461, it is the second oldest Turkish bath in our list.
Galatasaray Hammam 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.
Galatasaray Hammam is one of the cheapest Turkish baths in Istanbul. Here, the price of a complete hammam experience with scrub, foam and massage is around 35 Euros.
3. 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.
Aga Hamami has very rich service packages. A full package including scrub, foam, oil massage and even head massage costs around 40 Euros. If you buy only Turkish bath and bubble bath without massages, the price can go down to 25 Euros. This is the most affordable pricing among traditional Turkish baths in Istanbul.
After refreshing yourself at Aga Hamami, you can explore Cihangir. Cihangir is the neighborhood of the Nobel Prize-winning Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk. The Museum of Innocence, which is dedicated to him, is also located here.
There are also nice antique shops on Cukurcuma Street in Cihangir. You can shop for antiques or at least take beautiful pictures on this instagrammable street.
Best Turkish Bath in Istanbul 2022 by Serhat Engul