This ancient practice of rejuvenation is a must on any Istanbul to-do list. Here are some suggestions for your first hammam experience.

Also known as the Turkish bath, hammam has become a wellness treatment for locals, as well as a special experience for foreigners. If you are naturally inquisitive, here are some recommended hammams in Istanbul and everything you need to know before you go.

The majority of hammams in Turkey operate both men’s and women’s sections at different times or space, with the sex of attendants mirroring the guests. For some hammams, male or female services are limited to certain hours of the day, so it is always important double-check in advance to avoid misunderstandings.

How to hammam step-by-step

Every hammam’s design and service differs slightly. For first-time visitors to a Turkish bath, make sure to choose a service that includes the essential scrubbing and bubble wash. Other options include self-service or an additional oil massage. It is recommended to make a reservation before you visit.

Once you walk into the hammam lounge, find the reception area to confirm your service. You will then be led to a private room to change and lock up your personal belongings.