Written by Summah .Co

A Turkish bath (hamamArabicحمّام‎, ḥammām) is a place of public bathing associated with the culture of the Ottoman Empire. 

Kılıç Ali Paşa hamam is one of our favorite spots and treats in Istanbul, bursting with culture and history. It is a 16th-century hamam restored into a luxurious bathhouse. Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam is our hidden gem where you can unwind and get pampered. A Turkish hamam is used for social gatherings for women and men, the timing is split by gender, allowing women to bathe between 8:00 am – 4:00pm and men-only between 4:30 pm – 11:30 pm.


Typically, you are given and covered with a thin Turkish towel called a “peştamel / push-te-mahl”. The Peştamel is the authentic Hamam Towel that is a flat-woven 100 percent cotton, hand-tied fringe. It is an essential element of the legendary Turkish bath house experience.

The ritual starts by being escorted by a bathing attendant  (natır  for ladies) and tellak for men)  to a steamy space with a high dome and soft, low light room.  The dome is filled with hand blown glass sky lights that stream in natural light from the outside .

Your attendant will take you to the next phase, to the Kurna (the marble water basin) where silver bowls are filled with warm water that used to rinse you prior to lying on a heated marble platform “Göbektaşı,” This relaxation room is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely. 

She continues to massage you with a soap foam called Köpük (bubble soap) which is then followed by intense scrubbing with a rough “kese” mitt to remove your dead skin cells. You are rinsed and cleansed from head to toe, and re-wrapped in the softest absorbent “peştamel” and taken back to the cool room where you are rehydrated with tea / water – where you relax for the rest of the morning.

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