Over the last 5 and half years, enjoying a scrub and massage in a Turkish bath has been an integral part of The Other Tour experience. After years of trying many different ‘hamam’s in the city, we can now create a list of our favorites based on authenticity, cleanliness and of course, the price.
Here are our Top 5 recommended ancient spots where you may like to let the dogs out:
1- GEDİKPAŞA HAMAMI
This bath is not included in any other blog post that has listed the best hamams in the city. But naturally, we differ because we only speak with experience. Gedikpaşa is real and it’s real old. It was built 1972. Even though it’s located near touristy attractions, a lot of locals still choose to go the this place.
It’s big and it has the space to offer additional rooms like a pool, steam room and sauna where you can surely take your time and enjoy yourself for an extended session. Its price is also quite reasonable. If you stay in the Oldtown, Gedikpaşa may be the right one for you.
2- AĞA HAMAMI
This cute little bath is located in Çukurcuma area of Beyoglu district, aka Taksim. This one was originally built in 1454, which is only a year after the conquest of the city. It’s said that this one was the very first that The Ottomans built in the city of Constantinople. And who do you build the first one for? Of course, the ruler!
This may just be the bath where the Sultan and his ladies had lots of fun. And this is probably the reason why the bath does not have seperated sections for man and women. But no need to worry, women are taken to a different for the massage and of course, by a masseuse. So this one is recommended especially for couples or families who don’t wanna be seperated.
3- KILIÇ ALİ PAŞA HAMAMI
This one is new, fancy, great and a little expensive. But is it worth the money? Hell yeah!
The whole facility has been very nicely restored and it offers a superb service.
4- ÇİNİLİ HAMAMI
If you are the kinda adventurous traveler that I respect so much, you might wanna try a bath on the asian side of Istanbul. And if that’s the case, Çinili is the one for you. It’s quite old and really cute. The staff is friendly and the owner lady is very welcoming.
5- GALATASARAY HAMAMI
This one is the most beautiful. It’s a bit expensive but the place is worth it. Just the ceilings alone might be worth the price. It again is in Beyoglu area and staff are kinda weird but that’s probably because the building is so fantastic that they don’t really care how much business they get anyway. It was originally built in 1458 which also makes it one of the very first ones.
And here is my man Rick Steves breaking it down further: