Best time to visit Istanbul

Warm up in Traditional Hamam, Istanbul 2024-2025

Want to feel like Sultan Süleyman or his beloved Hürrem? Centuries-old hamams and professional masseurs and masseuses do miracles

Best time: November–February

Warm up in Traditional Hamam
Warm up in Traditional Hamam
Warm up in Traditional Hamam

Turkish baths were built for the Ottomans a few centuries ago by the world's most talented architects of the times. Restored hamams today offer a wonderful bathing experience, including scrubbing, foam washing, and excellent massages. One of the most famed hamams found in Istanbul is Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, or Roxelana's Bath, which was designed especially for the glorious Hürrem Sultan.

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı, Çemberlitaş Hamamı and Cağaloğlu Hamamı are also listed among the most luxurious hamams, and naturally, the most costly ones. However, you may also opt for less-expensive hamams found in every district of the city or simply stay in any of local hotels whith hamam-style bathrooms.

Although the most popular hamams are found in Istanbul, Turkish baths may be actually enjoyed in other cities across Turkey. Other renowned locations include Ölüdeniz, Alanya, Side, Fethiye, Antalya, Kalkan, and Goreme. The best time to enjoy a warm Turkish bath is the chilly winter season from November to February.

Practical info

What is the significance of hamams in Turkish culture?

Turkish culture has centuries-old bathing rituals known as hamams that promote socialization, relaxation, and hygiene. Hamams date back to the Ottoman Empire and were popular among Turks as spaces where they could socialize, enjoy massages and scrubs, and catch up on the latest news. They were considered not just a place of cleansing but a sanctuary to unwind and relax. Show more

What makes Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı unique?

The Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı is Istanbul’s most famous bath or hamam. It was built in the sixteenth century for exclusive use by Hürrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. The hamam's grand architecture features marble slabs and domed ceilings. The hamam experience offers a Turkish-style bath with foam washing and massages, ensuring visitors enjoy an authentic Turkish experience. Show more

How much does it cost to experience a hamam in Turkey, and are there cheaper options available?

Experiencing a hamam in Turkey cost varies by location and level of luxury desired. Istanbul's high-end hamams can cost from 20 to 100 euros. However, there are more affordable options like local hamams or hamam-style bathrooms of hotels. In smaller cities and towns, hamams are generally cheaper with about 10-20 euros. While the prices may vary, visitors can still expect to enjoy a fantastic spa experience. Show more

Are hamams located only in Istanbul, or are they found elsewhere in Turkey?

Hamams are not limited to Istanbul. Turkey has many hamams in other cities, including Alanya, Antalya, Fethiye, Kalkan, Göreme, and Side. Each of these hamams has its unique style, architecture, and experience. Hamams in small towns are less crowded, offering visitors a more intimate and relaxing experience. To have the best experience, tourists are advised to do some research and ask locals for recommendations before visiting hamams outside Istanbul. Show more

What is the best time of year to experience a hamam in Turkey?

The colder months, from November to February, make for the ideal time to experience a traditional hamam in Turkey. During this period, the warm and steamy environment provides a comforting contrast to the cold temperatures outside. The experience has various health benefits like improved blood circulation, alleviating respiratory issues, and sore muscles - making it a perfect way to recover from a cold or flu. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych