Commissioned to the great architect Sinan by Ottoman admiral Kılıç Ali Paşa, this hamam was constructed between 1583-87 to serve the Ottoman army’s marine forces. Before reopening as a modern facility, the Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam underwent intensive restoration for seven years. Set under one of Sinan’s biggest domes (14 meters across and 17 meters high) the exposed brickwork and light wooden frames are all illuminated by natural light, exuding a harmonious aesthetic. After sipping on a glass of homemade şerbet, your attendant will lead you to the marble hamam for body exfoliation and a bubble soap wash. If you want to go beyond the basic hamam package, you can also add a massage to your Turkish beauty routine.
Note: if you feel uncomfortable being totally naked during your hamam bath, take a bikini bottom along to cover the essentials.
Kemankeş Mah., Hamam Sk. 1, Tophane-Karaköy, +90 212 393 80 01
One of the best shops to buy everything organic (and healthy), Kırk Ambar is also the perfect place to pick up natural soaps, oils, and kese (the traditional hamam scrubbing mit). If you’re interested in treating your innards as well, check out their wide range of herbs and teas.
Sinanpaşa, Kazan Sk. 23, 34353 Beşiktaş, +90 212 236 9888
Peştemal (the traditional thin hamam towel) is sold here in every color, texture, and thickness imaginable. You’ll want to buy a few to add a touch of Turkishness to your daily bathing routine. Also check out their natural olive oil soap and beautiful bathrobes made of peştemal material.
Yeni Çarşı Caddesi No.25, Beyoğlu, +90 212 243 60 27