Aziziye Turkish Bath – Istanbul

/ By Josh

Name of Hamam: Aziziye Hamamı

Date Built: 1860

Traditional style: Yes

Date of Visit: June 9, 2019

Location: Kadıköy, Recaizade street, about 100 metres up from the bus station/ferry terminal area.

Price (in Lira): 30/15/15 (hamam entry/scrub/massage)

Tip Expected: Yes

Drinks: Yes     Free:  No

There is a section for both Men and Women.

Reviewed for: Men

Aziziye Turkish Bath Kadıköy

Final Score: 37.5/50

Aziziye Turkish Bath is a good choice for those looking to experience the living tradition of the Turkish Bath. Looking at the size and the architecture of the hamam its obvious that it was never meant to be a luxurious bath house of the important and the wealthy. So while the architecture may be simple what you have at Aziziye is a real authentic historical bath that represents the bath houses of the common people.

The building has been fairly well maintained and most modernizations haven’t taken much away from the authenticity. Unfortunately, the main entry room, which is usually used as a sitting room for drinking tea is too small and so the whole common room part of the experience is missing. The massage and scrub (kese) were quite good. Not overly extravagant, and at no point did it feel like torture, though it could have been a bit more thorough.

While it’s by no means an extravagant experience Aziziye Hamam is a decent place to experience real, living, non-touristic, Turkish Bath culture for a reasonable price and as cheap Turkish Baths are a bit hard to find in Istanbul this is great reason to visit.

 

(All scores out of 5)

Length of stay: 5

Note: Usually staff will try to rush you through; our experience at Aziziye was the complete opposite and we wondered if they had forgotten about us.

 

Change room: 3

Note:  Change rooms are rather small and the clear glass in the doors doesn’t exactly offer much privacy though everything was clean and tidy.

 

Common room: 1

Note: This was rather a challenge to rate as there wasn’t a common room. For missing this great part of the Turkish Bath experience and architecture we gave it this low score.

 

Hamam Features: 4

Note: Aziziye Hamam had the essentials of a proper Turkish Bath as well as a decent wood sauna.

 

Hamam esthetics: 3.5

Note: Judging by the architecture Aziziye Turkish Bath was not built as some grand luxurious bathhouse for the wealthy. So while the design is nicely historical, it is quite simple and somewhat small. While not original, the tilework on the walls is nice and gives the space a nice historic feel. There are a couple of details where authenticity was lost though they aren’t major. For example the ornate brass spouts that you normally see in a Turkish Bath have been replaced with the much cheaper hose spouts.

 

Cleanliness: 4

Note: Overall the place was quite clean. Mildew on the dome was getting to be worse than normal though.

 

Heat: 5

Note: Hot water was hot, sauna was hot, the marble table in the middle of the room was hot, and the cold water was cold. That’s all you could possibly ask for.

 

Smell: 3.5

Note: Overall the smell at Aziziye was fairly average. The only place that smelled bad was the bathrooms which is quite normal. In the main heated part of the hamam there was a musty smell from the mildew on the dome; not too bad but definitely noticeable.

 

Quality of Scrub/Massage: 4

Note: Good scrub and good massage. Points were only lost for not being quite as long and thorough as it could have been.

 

Staff: 4.5

Note: Staff were friendly, at no time pushy, and quite helpful. Importantly they weren’t at all pushy about tips.

 

For more details check out the Aziziye Hamamı website.

 

Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.

1s & 0s by knowler