The Turkish bathhouse, known as the hammam, dates to the time of the Ottoman Empire. Back then, it was a spot for both socialising and religious purification in line with Muslim traditions. It was also a way to showcase the grandeur of the Sultan through its architecture. Although most of Istanbul’s old bathhouses have closed, a few historic ones still stand, keeping traditional cleansing alive. Let’s dive into the best bathhouses in Turkey.
1. Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı
Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami is another fantastic creation by the famous architect Mimar Sinan. It was ordered by the famous Ottoman Admiral Kilic Ali Pasa and was part of a mosque complex still in use today. Built from 1578 to 1583, the hammam underwent an extensive seven-year renovation. After this revamp, it turned into a lavish and beautiful place it is now. This is why it’s one of the most extravagant Turkish baths.
In addition to the hammam experience, special helpers guide visitors to the hammam. They sit by the water basins to get used to the heat and soften their skin by pouring water over themselves. Then, the helper scrubs the skin well with a special mitten called a Kese. Next, visitors lie on a heated marble stage called Gobektasi for a soapy wash and massage. Afterwards, moisturising the skin is crucial. If it’s your first time and you’re not comfortable being washed nude, it’s a good idea to bring a bikini bottom.
2. Süleymaniye Hamamı
Suleiman the Magnificent asked Mimar Sinan to create Suleymaniye Hamami in 1557. Moreover, it boasted incredible domes and chimneys aligned in a cool pattern. Sadly, it closed in 1924 but got a major facelift and reopened in 2004, welcoming dazzling visitors once again up to this date.
Furthermore, visitors can benefit from improved skin exfoliation, a cleansing ritual that revitalises the body, a unique cultural experience, stress relief, and a chance to unwind in a beautiful historical setting. The hammam provides effective healing to the body for tourists, ensuring a positive transformation and a unique ease of relaxation. It’d no surprise why this is one of the most extravagant Turkish baths.
3. Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı
Built in the 16th century by Mimar Sinan, the Haseki Hurrem Sultan Hammi was ordered by Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman. After being closed for a while, the hammam underwent three years of renovations starting in 2007. Lastly, the aim was to provide modern and luxurious Turkish bath services while preserving its historical charm. Today, this ancient hammam offers a mix of old-time and modern comfort for visitors to enjoy a unique bathing experience.
Lastly, lodgers are introduced to a magnificent relaxation treatment with unique bath treatments to ensure maximum healing through purification. These are just some reasons why this is one of the most extravagant Turkish baths.
4. Çağaloğlu Hamamı
Established in 1584 by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan, Cemberlitas Hamami was designed as a twin bath, with separate sections for men and women facing each other. While it may seem square from the outside, inside, it is a twelve-sided shape made of twelve columns. This unique design showcases Sinan’s advanced skills and highlights his architectural expertise, making it one of the most extravagant Turkish baths.
5. Çağaloğlu Hamamı
Constructed in 1741, Cagaloglu Hamami is the final hammam built during the Ottoman Empire. It was built as a public bath to gather funds for the Sultan Mahmud Library. Equally important, Abdullah Aga, the esteemed architect of that era, completed the construction. This hammam, one of the few remaining, still caters to both locals and tourists, maintaining its service to this day. That is why it’s one of the most extravagant Turkish baths.
6. Ağa Hamamı
Back when Beyogulu wasn’t populated, Aga Hamami began as a private hunting lodge and bathhouse in 1454, made solely for Faith Sultan Mehmed and his sons. After the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923, the hammam switched owners multiple times before transforming into today’s famous tourist attraction. Indeed, this is one of the most extravagant Turkish baths.
Immerse Yourself in the Relaxing Hammams of Turkey
In Turkey, the Hamman services are a cultural treasure, offering a blend of cleansing, relaxation, and historical immersion. These age-old bathhouses, originating from the Ottoman era, provided a means of physical purification and served as communal spaces fostering social connections. In addition, tourists are guaranteed a fantastic time of wellness transformation with these amazing hammams to provide comfort and satisfaction to all guests. Read more about hammams in Turkey here.