I've moved this up from the "comment" link at the end of the "Turkey Is Terrific" post. I suspect that anyone thinking of going to Istanbul will be curious about the hamams. --SB
My girlfriend and I will have a two-day stopover in Istanbul in November. What will the weather be like? What are the turkish baths like and is there one that you recommend? Thanks.
July 28, 2010 12:12 PM
Steve Bailey said...
It's likely to be chilly and rainy during your visit. As your visit there gets closer, check Yahoo weather (http://weather.yahoo.com/turkey/istanbul/%EF%BF%BDstanbul-2344116/) for a detailed forecast.
As for the Turkish baths, which are called hamams, the two best-known ones are near the Hagia Sophia. Cagaloglu Hamami (click HERE for its website) is one of the "1,000 Places To See Before You Die," and has had a lot of famous customers. The other is Cemberlitas Hamam (click HERE for its website). My wife and I went to both. Each charged 95 Turkish lira (about $60) for the deluxe program -- heat, body scrub and massage. At Cagaloglu, the massage part was incorporated into the scrub. At Cemberlitas, an oil massage in another room followed the bath/scrub portion. Both are beautiful places with separate facilities for men and women; most of the rooms have large, domed ceilings, often with tiny skylights. At each, the men wear towels for the whole process. At Cemberlitas, women are given panties to wear; at Cagaloglu, women are nude. At both, everything takes place in large rooms with other people. My wife and I agreed that we much prefered Cemberlitas -- the body scrub was better and the massage felt like a real massage. Cagaloglu does give you a souvenir, though: the rough silk mitt that was used to scrub you.