The Turkish bath - one of the ancient world's most widely exported customs- is also one of the worlds least understood.


The tradition of the Turkish bath was born generations ago, adopted from Romans and Byzantines and then perfected by the Seljuk Turks and has continued even until today. There are both traditional and modern Hamams in Istanbul. While Çemberlitaş and Galatasaray Hamams are traditional most five-star hotels offer you modern Hamam facilities. Please check our yellow pages for their addresses and our comments about their unique characteristics.


The Hamam was much more than just a place where believers could fulfill the Islamic precept of cleanliness. It was intimately bound with everyday life, a place where people of every rank - rich and poor, young and old, could come freely to mingle, socialize and gossip. Women used to proceed from the Harem to the Hamam with great ceremony, and were even accompanied by servants. The young girls used this opportunity to show off their embroidered towels and clogs while older women would choose potential wives for their sons. Men as well as women made use of the Hamam, although of course at separate hours. Men would talk mostly business and politics.


There were also special bathing traditions with their own unique protocol. These special bathing rituals had names such at: the Bride's, the Circumcision, the Groom's, Off-to-the-Army, and others. As you can see, the Hamam experience is intricately woven into the Turkish culture and though not surrounded by as much pomp and ceremony as before, many Turkish continue to make it a regular part of their lives.