Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

Istanbul in Photos

Istanbul, Turkey
Plane loader
Animated dots
Hamam How to Guide: Rubba-dub-dub, It’s Time for a Scrub Istanbul  Turkey

Hamam How to Guide: Rubba-dub-dub, It’s Time for a Scrub

When visiting Turkey, one experience is not to be missed: the Turkish Bath (hammam). Here's a guide to enjoying one of the best tourist attractions in Turkey. 1) Most hammams have separate male and female baths, while others are unisex. Find a hammam that will suit you. 2) Hammams can be over 600 years old, with bathing methods just as old. Don't expect modern staff uniforms—underwear or towels are it. 3) Hammams were once where business deals were made and mothers sought wives for their sons by checking out the goods of local girls. Bathing is therefore for all ages, shapes, and sizes. Leave body hang-ups at the door. 4) Bring a hairbrush and anything else you use after bathing. Hair dryers are available. 5) On arrival, you will be given a locker, scrubbing glove, and towel. 6) Wear what is comfortable for you under your towel—bathers, underwear, or nudity is acceptable. 7) Enter the hammam wrapped in a towel, and wear slippers provided to avoid slipping in the wet. 8) Be prepared, the hammam is warm, so before lying on the dais, drink water to hydrate and pour water on yourself. 9) Take your time. Lie on the dais for 10 to 20 minutes. An attendant will gesture you for your scrub, but it's OK to tell them to wait if you want to relax longer. 10) The hammam includes a 10-minute scrub with splashings of water, followed by a lathering of soap and massage for about 10 minutes—finishing with a wash-down. You can exit the hammam sparkling clean and radiant in your own time.