Local Turkish Hammam

Trip Start Aug 27, 2013
1
58
61
Trip End Oct 20, 2013


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Flag of Turkey  ,
Wednesday, October 16, 2013









Having finished early today and with most places closed for the holidays the last stop I planned on making was to a Turkish bath next to my hotel. I'd checked prices yesterday and they were better at 18 TL ($9) compared to 80 Euros for the tourist bath house

I'd been to the Cermberlitas bath house my last two trips for $40 but now wanted to try an authentic back street one I was too scared to last time.  

I left my camera and wallet in the hotel for security and I don't think you could take pics anyway. I have internet pics of the inside below

   

First you go into your own changing room and wear the red cloth they give you. You keep the key to the changing room 

Although it doesn't look like much from the outside this is a 15th century bath house. You enter an inner stone chamber and steam room

After sitting in the sauna for a bit he brought me into the main bath area.  This was under the big domes you normally see from outside and had the skylights



There is a big marble slap in the middle you lie down on. First he gave me a rub with a glove peeling away lots of dead skin. Then the foam bath. It felt nice like being in a car wash and was quite relaxing

Finally I told him to give me a soft massage as I remember it being quite rough last time. That time they kept calling me 'Arabi' thinking I was Arabian and used to this kind of rough treatment

Then he left me and said I could stay on the slab or wash myself again. Unlike Korean saunas there is no stool to sit on when you wash yourself. When I was done they sat me in the changing area, wrapped me in towels like a mummy with a towel around my head to dry off.



He charged me 38TL ($19) even though it said 18TL ($9) for the hammam. He said he charged 10 TL for the foam and 10 TL for the massage.

On a scale of being ripped off it wasn't as bad as the bus station lunch and did feel quite good. I just might not have enough to go again tomorrow or will tell them to leave the massage out which wasn't great anyway.

Before leaving they douced me in lemon scent which was quite strong. Hammams are very common in back streets and there is another 15th century one a few doors down. For women there are less choices and they may have to goto the expensive tourist ones.


 





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Comments

Jo-Anna on

This is totally different from my experience in a Turkish hammam.. The one I went to was much smaller in Eskishehir (about 4 hours by train from Istanbul and famous for bath houses). I asked before hand what people wear when they go in and I was told that some women go in wearing their underwear, others don't. I figured that more would go in naked like Korea, but that was not the case at all. Every woman there went into the bathing area wearing their underwear. There was no stone slab in the middle, in the middle was one stone bath. Woman were on all sides of the bath scrubbing down and when I tried to find a spot to scrub down women seemed to block me from doing so. I was told later that while bathing they can't be near non-muslims for purity reasons? Anyway, the staff realized what was happening and brought me into my own kind of modern tub in a separate room where I scrubbed myself and then went into the big bath for a while where a little elementary school girl chatted with me in English. Then the staff woman came and got me and gave me a good scrub, just like they do in Korea where they get all the dead skin off your whole body. And then that was it. I rinsed off and went home... Kind of disappointing after Korean jjimjilbangs...

londone7
londone7 on

I cant comment on women's hammams, it tends to be more for men so I don't know how widespread it is for women outside of touristic areas. I went to another one in 2005 for $20 in a smaller town located inside a hotel aimed at westerners. It was modern with no authentic features. Men and women were mixed together, but bathed by men, so there might be some inappropriate touching! I didn't like that experience as it felt too fake and preferred the older original ones for a more authentic experience. thx for comment :)

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