This old custom of regeneration is a must-have for any list of to-do activities in Istanbul. Below are a few tips for your first Hammam encounter.
Often known as the Turkish spa, the hammam is now a relaxation resort for locals and a rare experience for foreigners.
Most Turkish hammams serve both men’s and women’s parts at various times or in separate rooms. Some Turkish baths facilities are restricted to some certain hours of the day for ladies and gentlemen, so it is often necessary to have double check in advance to prevent confusions later.
2. Hammam Vocabulary
3. Things you need to keep in mind
4. The best Turkish baths in Istanbul
5. History of Turkish baths
Architecture and operation of each hammam varies slightly. If you decided to give a try to Turkish spa, make sure that you pick a package that contains the necessary scrub and bubble wash, included self-service or special oil massage. We can advise you that you make a reservation prior to your stay.
When you reach the hammam lounge, visit the reception area to validate your reservation. Later they will show you the way to a separate place to change and lock up your personal belongings.
Once you have discarded your clothing, it is compulsory to cover the bottom portion of your body in most hammams. Having a bikini, women don’t need to cover the bottom of their bikini. Wrap yourself in a peştemal (a hammam towel), put on your slippers, take your locker card, and you’re good to go.
By entering the sıcaklık (warm room), your hammam journey begins. The marble-covered space consists of many sections, such as kurna (water basin) along the hall, and a göbek taşı (heated marble platform) in the middle under the dome. Get soaked by pouring water over your body and lie back on the göbek taşı for a couple of minutes.
After 10-15 minutes of heat and moisture, the skin has hardened enough to exfoliate. Your attendant — natır for women or tellak for men — will come with a kese, a special mitten used to clean the dead cells on the flesh. Ease up, it’s not as uncomfortable as you may have thought, yet you can warn the attendant if you feel stressed or there are areas of the body where you don’t want scrubbed. You don’t need to worry about language, some simple English terms and body language are everything you need to interact.
It’s time for köpük to wash and massage the long-awaited, dreamy bubbles. Special fabric filled with soap, the attendant can push a mound of puffy, smooth bubbles all over the body. Enjoying how nice it looks, the attendant can give you an unforgettable massage.
After taking care of your face, you’ll get a simple shampoo and a head massage.Get ready for a couple more water bowls that have been dumped over your head before you are absolutely done.
Your hammam experience is almost done. It will usually take one hour. However,lay back on the taşı göbek and enjoy your moment at maximum. The moment you’re ready, the attendant will give you a clean towel to dry your body before you leave the hot room.
Feeling already lighted? You are more than happy to continue your rest. An enjoyable way to finish a Turkish bath is to relax in the lounge, read something, or talk to your mates. Maybe some coffee , tea, a cup of şerbet (cold, sweetened fruit juice) and some refreshment snacks.
Peştemal: popular Turkish hammam post, the lightweight peştemal (hammam cloth), renowned for its absorbency and softness, is woven with special loops and made of 100 % cotton. They are normally worn inside the hammam and dry very easily.
Hamam Kese – The hamam kesesi (Turkish bath gloves) tellak uses it to exfoliate your skin and scrub dead cells during a rejuvenating massage.
Olive oil soap: Turkey’s popular olive oil soaps provide a natural way to nourish and moisturize your skin.
Hammam bowl: You can use these cups to catch water from marble basins.
Takunya: wooden clogs, usually made from exceptionally hard Eastern Hornbeam wood, are typically worn in the hammam to keep your feet clean. They are more likely to give you disposable flip flops in the hammam today.
Hammams in Istanbul differ considerably in size, consistency and expense. Turkish bath service in some of the best hotels is another choice. Massage remains the same, but you will have it in a private room alone probably.
Visit to one of Istanbul’s popular historic hammams is an fascinating option. The biggest advantage of these places is that you have a opportunity to enjoy the beautiful designs and authentic interior. Relax in the same position that people have lived for generations.
Compared to tiny hammams in the city, big ones have more experience welcoming foreigners. Knowing that you might not be acquainted with this procedure, reception personnel may provide you instructions in English, advise your attendant of how to better support you, and ensure that you feel not stressed.
Bring your swimwear or spare clothing. It’s not common to wear boxers or underwear during the hammam process. People with delicate skin should even carry their own soap or kese.
Nude—but not fully bare. Turkish baths are sex separated and nude is the rule, but note to cover the genital region. It is common custom for people to cover themselves with peştemal. It’s appropriate for ladies to wear their bikini top or swimsuit. Surely remove your lipstick, make up, contact lenses, or sunglasses. You’re getting wet from head to toe.
There’s no need to quit the hot room immediately after the scrub and bubble wash. You can stay in the hot room if you feel like.
Move around with takunyas or flip flops. Otherwise, you could fall quickly on the steamy, damp marble surface.
No pictures inside. The marble interior is certainly very photogenic, but people won’t like having their mostly naked photos on other devices. Besides, this is a time of resting in water and bubbles, it’s not logical to bring electronic devices in.
Throughout the past of Istanbul, the Hammam has kept an significant role in the lives of all, from the Sultans to the commons. It’s simple to see them today as merely lavish spas, but the room, the procedures, and even the accessories are all part of a historic chain.
They are easy to see from a distance, the somewhat bulbous roofs that cover the steam clouds ignited by the central dome. Hammams of Istanbul, a mix of sacred and purifying spaces that have operated as significant gathering places across the region for hundreds of years.They first popped up in the city as simple swimming pools during Roman and then Byzantine times. Running water, which was required for Islamic ablutions, was later introduced by the Ottomans. Today, they are seen as simply places to rest, but before the twentieth century, it was necessary to gather spaces for enjoyment and need.
This could be hard to believe, but there was a period in Istanbul when there was almost one hammam in every neighborhood. Funded by the Ottoman Government and the local mosque, people would pay a small amount to use them and keep the baths running. Although some were built by renowned architects, such as Mimar Sinan, others were common items used on a daily basis by both men and women.
For women in particular, a trip to the bathhouse was an essential part of the week, the only way they could rest and interact with people outside the family and keep up on local gossip. They were often an important part of other, more formal activities.Throughout the midst of a wedding, the hammam acted as a venue for the bride and her friends and relatives to have a kind of bachelorette party called “Henna Night.” They were singing songs, holding dinners, and the ladies were painted with henna polish. And, with the bride leading the way, the group will gradually pass behind a lady, pounding a tambourine across the main room, laughing and laughing joyfully. the hammam was also used as a location for circumcision.
By 1936, the Hammam had passed from being held by the government to private hands. As maintenance became costly, and as indoor plumbing became more and more popular, the hammam began to fade as the cornerstone began to fade. Most great architectural creations have lost some of their grandeur.
There are only around 60 (historical) hammams accessible for general usage in Istanbul today. Nevertheless, their reputation is starting to rise again. Although most people have their own showers in their building, the hammam always acts as a welcoming oasis in the hustle and bustle of the modern world.They might no longer be a must, but they are also a cherished component of both Turkish culture and an integral element of today’s contemporary beauty wishes, helping to maximize the radiance of the skin and promoting comfort and mental peace of mind.