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Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Edmonton
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Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Can anyone recommend a few hamams in Istanbul where the locals go?

I know about the hotel ones or the spa-like Cemberlitas, Lagoluglu. They are just be opulant for me where you pay top price (for Istanbul) but get maybe a 10 mins massage.

I can travel a bit so distance is not a problem. If there are any great ones outside Istanbul I can make a day trip. Thanks.

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NY, NY/Istanbul...
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1. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Hi JohnnyMango: my favorite Hamman in Istanbul is Cagalogylu, located just across the street from the Grand Bazaar, lots of local people and some turists, very friendly staff who will explain the different plans, historic architecture, Sulaminye Baths are also good, don't forget to tip the bath attendant. LemonLady

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2. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Lemonlady:

Thanks for your post - I did mean to say in my post that I prefer not to go to hamam like Cemberlitas and Cagaluglu (I said Lagoluglu). You suggested the Cagaluglu. I think the spelling is still incorrect.

I read about them being too much like spas and you get a 10 min massage and have to pay top price. I would prefer some hamam maybe a bit away from the city center.

NY, NY/Istanbul...
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3. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Hi Johnny: I know I spelled it wrong. But that particular hamman seemed to me to be used by local people. In fact the last time I was there, there was a whole bridal party, bride, mother, sisters all using the hamman, my husband really liked the mens hamman, we were there for over one hour, was massaged, shampooed and otherwise pampered for about 40 minutes for about 40US. I am sure that there other good hammans in Istanbul in neighborhoods as yet unknown to me. I hope you find what you are looking for. Have a great trip. LemonLady

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frankfurt
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4. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Hi John,

did you find any non-tourist hamam in Istanbul or outside istanbul?

I am interested as well and it would be great to get any information about hamam in istanbul in general...

Thanks

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Istanbul
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5. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Hello everyone,

I am a local of ıstanbul and I felt it my duty to inform you. Although you might rarely see Turks using the hamams in Istanbul, the whole tradition is one that is dying out; and the Turks you see in the hamams will be people who are just trying out the place and trying to get a feel of the whole experience as you yourselves will be.

Hamam - just like the Roman baths- used to be a social thing and an experience that required a very long time. Todays fast paced life does not allow for such pampering and besides running hot water and bath tubs that exist in everybody's homes made the whole thing somewhat obsolete and outdated.

Hence, what you can find in Istanbul will be catering mostly for the tourists. Don't mind it and accept the fact that there is nothing "authentic" or "exotic" left in the postmodern world we live today. The experience will still be worthwhile since the people who work in those "tourist baths" will be "real people", who take pride in what they do.

Another thing is if anyone thinks that 40 dolars for 40 minutes of, being washed and massaged by a person in Istanbul is expensive- they should think it over again. Istanbul is not a cheap city and 40 dolars is what you would pay for an average meal for two.

And by the way - the name of the bath is Cagaloğlu. Both Çemberlitaş and Cagaloğlu baths are very old historical establishments, which served as Turkish baths over the centuries, albeit to a changing clientele. If they are spa-like it is because Turkish baths are like spas and if they are opulent it is because that is how they were built. They were not made that way for the tourists - so that is as authentic as it can get.

Finally as someone has noted - please don't forget to tip the person that washes you - it is very important for them.

Have a nice time in Istanbul,

Yas

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Istanbul
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6. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Sorry about the Turkish characters,

The closest spelling of the baths names would be:

Cemberlitas and Cagaloglu

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7. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Johnmango - we "Canadian Boys" are also from Edmonton - and are interested in the same experience you are seeking - outside the main tourist areas. After the massage etc. - I am not interested in passing the time chatting with some guy from Yonkers N.Y. - discussing what a great exp. it was - but want to be where locals go - so a daytrip out of the tourist area seems the most likely way to find this total experience. Sounds like we will need to do some more research.

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8. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Hi Nimet: thanks for your post which I found very informative. Yes, I agree the old tradition of the Hammam is dying out but I do advise people visiting Turkey to try the Hammam nonetheless, even if you don't want to be very clean and relaxed you can still enjoy the architecture, history and cultural significance of the Hammam. Note to Canadian Boys: and what's wrong with Yonkers? If you want a day trip destination that can include a Hammam try Bursa, the Green City, PerkyPat has decribed her recent visit there in glowing terms and I am sure you will enjoy it. Happy Travel, LemonLady

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Turkey
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Bursa
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Bursa Province, Turkey
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9. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Hi there,

try "Besiktas Hamami".

It used by the locals of Besiktas area. I can guarantee you that it is not touristic. Approx 10$ pp.

Address: No. 2 Safir Vaysi Sokak, Beşiktaş-İstanbul, TURKEY

Tel: (0212) 261 03 77

And... i totally understand this feeling of "being one of the locals", but i am not sure if it will work in istanbul, at least when choosing a hammam. Personnaly i choose "Swissotel" hammam :) it is much more hygienic...

regards,

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Besiktas HamamI
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10. Re: Hamam in Istanbul which is not touristy and locals go?

Some locals I know would rather go the steam rooms of their gyms ( membetship to these gyms are a minimum of $1000/year at Planet, Hilliside, Metrocity, Motus and Mayadrom) rather than go to the hammams particularly the younger generation. Obviously itis not open to the public but you can go as a day member at Motus and Planet for $25/day. Affluent Turks opt to go to 5-star hotel hammams VS the 'touristy' ones as far as I know. One hammam popular with them is Swissotel's hammam. I find that the locals frequent certain places because they favor the practiotioner and not necessarily the establishment. I've tried several hotel hammams and I happen to like the Swissotel's as well. Turkish massage for an hour is about $85 without tip and there can be only two of you at one time and if you are lucky, you get the the whole hammam to yourself. You have to book in advance at the spa.