Hammam Guide

Not Nearly Hot Enough

by admin on Feb.28, 2009, under Beyoğlu hamams

Ağa Hamamı. Turnacıbaşı Sok. No. 60, Beyoğlu.
Hours: 24. Prices: Hamam 29 YTL, 5 for Kese, 5 for Massage.
Visited Dec. 28th, 2008, Sunday, 3:30 pm

It was a raining day, and after my friend and I walked back to Galatasaray
hamam to take photographs of the interior and exterior, and we had
planned to take a trip to another hamam on the same road as
Galatasaray – being that it was raining, and seeing the sign
for Ağa Hamamı as we walked to our destination we decided to
walk in and check it out. The entrance was not street-level;
we had to walk down a few marble steps to get to the lobby. It
was very dim; even after the lights were raised for our
arrival (there no one else there at the time) it still stayed
quite dim. Discussing, and then settling on a price, the two
of us opted to receive the base-hamam experience, as well as
massage and scrub. We changed, and entered the hamam. The
dimness there was not an issue – it was much nicer than the
florescent colored lights of Galatasaray. As we lay upon
the stone I was surprised that it was not as hot as expected.
There was either condensation gathering and falling from the
dome, or there was water leaking in from the roof, dripping on
the two of us. The stone was also not nearly hot enough –
throughout the entire experience, until after my massage and
scrub and sitting in a side room (including a request for a 15
minute delay for our services to begin) I did not break a
sweat! Regardless, the experience was relaxing, and the keseci
was decent enough. The keseci did, though, react in a
particularly odd way concerning my body – for example, as he
scrubbed my arm (and this happened for both) he was, from how
it appeared, purposefully placing and rubbing my hands
particularly on his body- it was not offensive, but quite
Another odd note – during the visit a small group of women
came into the hamam, at first using one of the side rooms,
but then laying on the central stone. I felt no objection
other than shock – this happened after the two of our massages
and as we were sitting in the side rooms – even a regular to
this particular hamam was in shock!
Overall, this was an “ok” experience – apparently, this hamam
is open twenty-four hours, which sounds great, say, after a
long night out. The prices were much more reasonable,
especially for the neighborhood (located just off Istiklal)
and my only chief complaint was the heat of the central stone!
To have been waiting to break a sweat was taxing on my relaxation!

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4 comments for this entry:
  1. Mize

    I was for one week in the hostel of the Aga Hamam in Istanbul and it was a great experience! It is situated right in the center of the old town of the city. So you have access to all the important buildings and streets of the impressive town. The prize is 15 Turkish Lira per night.
    Every morning you get a wonderful breakfast served by the owner of the bath. What s more you can try a bath in the hamam of the house for free! I would not miss it because it was relaxing, relaxing, relaxing! So enjoy your stay and breath the air of the great orient city!

  2. Félix

    We were this week in Istanbul in this HAMAM. This was a great place, I think the best which we couldn´t find. The hostel is a hamam, and in the third floor have three rooms. All is new, the hostel just to open, so the room and the furniture is new and clean. Also the price is good. In the price enter free breakfast everyday: this was amazing. Nothing better to start a day in the great Istanbul. Also you have a free hamam and for a little Liras more you have a massage to make you new.

    The place is very nice, but for me the best thing is the men who is there, the owner. Is a men with a great heart, who help you and treat very well. I felt like in home.

    The place is great, and Istanbul amazing.

  3. BillR

    This place was reccommeneded to us, my wife and I, by the hotel we are/were staying at. I had a bad back and I was a little afriad of getting to rough massage. At the end of the experience we both left refreshed. My back fixed and my sinuses clear for the first time in days.

    We were treated well and in a very friendly and respectful manner. It was not rushed and we took our time throughout the experience. I would reccommend this hamam.

  4. Paul

    Visited this hammam in Nov 12 for my first hammam experience. I wanted to steer clear from the more tourist oriented places and this fit the bill. It was very close to my hotel, clean enough, a little old / worn, and no frills. It was not crowded at all and I was basically allowed to stay as long as I wanted. Oh and cheap at 40 TL for hammam, scrub and massage. Recommended, enjoy!

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