Şifa Hamamı Turkish Bath – Istanbul
/ By Josh
Never been to a Turkish Bath? Have no idea what it’s all about? Make sure to check out the History of Turkish Bath here or our guide explaining just what goes on at a Turkish Bath here before visiting!
Name of Hamam: Şifa Hamamı Turkish Bath
Date Built: Unknown, though possibly shortly after the neighboring mosque which was built in 1472.
Traditional style: Yes and No (Hamam is traditional, change room and common rooms were not)
Date of Visit: Monday Oct 2 2017
Location: Üsküdar, Doğancılar Cd.
Price (in Lira): 30/13/12 (hamam entry/scrub/massage)
Foot Massage: 15 TL
Tip Expected: No
Drinks: Yes Free: No
Rated for: Men
There is a section for both Men and Women.
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Final Score: 38/50
Ultimately the solid service, clean facilities, a good selection of features, well preserved heated section, and solid length of stay made up for an uninspiring entrance and common room to give Şifa Hamamı a great score. If you are super confident getting around the city then this is a great option as Şifa Turkish Bath is right next to one of the cities main transport lines. Not overly touristic, normal prices, and a great overall experience make it the kind of Hamam that we would be quick to visit again!
Length of stay: 5
Note: Often we are rushed on about 20 minutes in. We had none of that here and felt like we got plenty of time.
Change room: 3
Note: A bit small for the taller among us but everything was VERY clean and fresh with locks on the doors.
Common room: 3
Note: Usually this is where a hamam looks the best. Unfortunately Şifa Hamamı has been renovated and lost every ounce of its historic style and appeal. It still scores high though for being very clean, comfortable, as well as a space that people would actually relax and have a drink in.
Hamam Features: 4
Note: Şifa Hamamı is laid out in a standard fashion consisting of a main room with 4 small rooms off of it each at a different temperature. The slab in the middle was quite good as there was a dry sauna as well as a steam room. The foot massage was an extra that you don’t see too often. Basically Şifa Hamamı had everything that you should expect in a good hamam and a bit extra.
Hamam esthetics: 2.5
Note: This is really the only point where Şifa Hamamı did poorly. While the renovations mean that everything looks fresh and clean, the commonroom has suffered. While you can still see the traditional two storeys of change rooms centered on a courtyard everything has become unfortunatley modern in stark contrast to the hot sections of the hamam which retain their classic appeal. It’s not so much that the commonroom looks terrible as much as it looks wrong and isn’t as great as they can and should be.
Note: Newly renovated and restored this place is the cleanest we’ve seen to date.
Note: This was tough because the slab, sauna, steam room, and water temperatures were well above average but the main room was a bit cooler than it should be and there was no difference between the four side rooms that would normally all be different.
Note: A hundred years of hot wet air tend to mean some pretty musty smells; add some very old, struggling plumbing into the mix and the bathrooms can be pretty brutal. Şifa Hamamı had no bad smell to it and so gets a 5.
Quality of Scrub/Massage: 4
Note: The table that they do the scrub on was probably the most comfortable any of us had been on so that was a big plus. Another plus is the fact that they did the more traditional ‘soap in a pillowcase’ thing where they fill the soapy pillowcase with air and as they squeeze it out it makes a big pile of suds. The only thing they didn’t do was crack our joints which, for some of you, may be a plus!
Note: The staff were friendly, not at all pushy, and good at what they do. The only thing missing was the show that they’ll sometimes put on making the whole experience a bit more lively. All in all the staff were great though.
Never been to a Turkish Bath? Check out the History of Turkish Baths here or our article explaining just what goes on at a Turkish Bath here!
Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.