Gay friendly sauna and Turkish baths in Istanbul

Istanbul Gay Sauna

General Info About Gay Friendly Hammams

There are several gay friendly bath houses in Istanbul, but in most cases their owners do not want to be classified as gay-venues, and some even do not want to be listed on explicitly gay websites mainly for fear that they can be raided or closed down by local authorities. Homosexuality is not and has never been illegal in Turkey but any sexual action (gay or straight) in venues open to public can be a reason for closure of the venues for a short time period. You can find the most up-to-date and detailed information about gay friendly sauna and bath houses on Turkish Bath Guide.Com website, including location maps and reviews of the people who have visited them. You can also contact other people at this Yahoo gay group which is being published collaboratively by Istanbulgay.Com and Turkeygay.Net, and it has over 7000 members by now.

The bath houses are day time venues and most of them closes arpund 10 p.m. They are usually busy after work hours; in the evenings and and on Sundays. Most of the bath frequented by gays are located on some back-streets and they are not very close to each other. For that reason it is advised to make a comprehensive investigation in advance, if you are intending to visit several of them on same day.  Our Istanbul Gay Map will be very helpful for this purpose, being very practical and probably only up-to-date map of LGBT venues in Istanbul.

On this page we will also be listing historical and other none-gay Turkish baths. We would also like to help our visitors by informing you the venues which have already been closed down, although they may still be listed on some out-dated internet or printed gay guides:

-Cukurcuma Hamam and Kosk Hamam are completely closed long time ago. Cesme Hamam was closed in 2015. .
-Aga Hamam in Beyoglu, Park hamam in Sultanahmet and Sultan Hamam in Eyup districts used to be popular gay cruising venues sometime ago, but they are not welcoming gay people anymore. .

Cruisy Turkish Baths & Saunas

Firuzagha Hamam. (10:00-23:00)
Address: Cukurcuma Cd. No: 6   Cukurcuma, Beyoglu
Web: firuzaga.htm
A small old Turkish bath house in Beyoglu. It is located at the end of Cukurcuma street is which is famous with the antique shops all around it.  You can find most easily by walking down from Galatasaray Square, the middle of Istiklal avenue, or walking up from Tophane tram station 

Davutpasa Hamam. (10:00-23:00)
Address: A. Nafiz Gurman Str. No:21 Samatya, Istanbul
Web: davutpasa.htm
It is about 15-20 minutes walking distance to Yenikapi Metro terminal, which is easy to reach from Taksim area with M2 metro line. If you are staying in Sultanahmet district you can take a short taxi ride or walk there after coming to Aksaray by T1 tramcar line, and walk some 20- 30 minutes.

Yeshildirek Sifa Hamam (10:00-20:00)
Address: Tershane Cad. No:124, Azapkapı, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web: yesildirek.htm
It is about 5-10 minutes walking distance to Halic / Golden Horn  M2 metro line

Cihangir Sauna
Address: Altipatlar Sokak, No: 14 Cukurcuma / Beyoglu / Istanbul
Web: cihangir.htm
Located on a back-street near the beginning of Cukurcuma street.  It is not a traditional Turkish bath. Basically it has a sauna, some kind of a dark room, showers and a cafe-lounge area.

Aquarius Sauna
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Sadri Alisik Sokak, 29/1 Taksim-Beyoglu, Istanbul.
A modern venue near Taksim with a dry sauna, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a small gym. Open 7/24, everyday and round the clock. Click here for more details and visitor reviews

Poll - Gay Friendly Turkish Baths

Which one of these sauna or Turkish bathhouses would you recommend to other gay visitors ?
Click here to participate & see poll results in our sister Yahoo group.

Historical Turkish Hammams in Istanbul

Following hamams are not gay venues, but are recommended to people who wants to experience the atmosphere of a real historical & traditions Turkish bath.

Galatasaray Hamam
Opening Hours: 08:00 am-10:00 pm
Address: Turnacibasi Sokak No: 24 Beyoglu, Istanbul +90 212 2524242
This hamam was used exclusively by men for almost 500 years. This all changed in 1963 with the addition of a small section for women. However, aside from this little addition, not much else has been altered. It was originally built in 1481 during the reign of Beyazit II and contains many pretty details, such as the intricate tile work at the entrance to the steam room in the men's section. One major feature here are the marble slabs where bathers can be massaged in semi-privacy rather than on the heated central navel stone. The admission price includes a full service, including massage. Admission fee is around 20 Euro (massage excluded)

Visitor feedbacks:
"I've visited Galatasaray hamam recently and I can give only good feedback. The staff was pretty polite, everything was clean and professional. No gay actions as i could seen. There are 4 semi private bath rooms where you can go with someone and possibly have some action but that's all. I have to mention that full service costs about 40 Euros, not 20 as you mentioned here. Anyway it was worth visiting it" (Posted by Igor from Austria on January 13, 2010)

Cagaloglu Hamam  
Address: Prof. Kazim Ismail Gurkan Cad No:34   Cagaloglu, Istanbul. Phone: (212) 522 24 24
Cagaloglu Hamam ("hamam" means Turkish bath) was built about 300 years ago on an area of 2834 It is considered the last sample of its category and the architectural design is astonishing. It is open everyday. The bathing hours for men are 07:00 - 22:00 and for women 08:00 - 20:00 hours. It also has a café as famous as itself.  Located across from the Iranian Consulate.

Cemberlitas Hamam

Address: Vezirhan Caddesi No:8 , Cemberlitas Phone: +90(212) 520 18 50
It is located in Sultanahmet, near the Grand Bazaar (there is Cemberlitas tram station right across the entrance). This hamam built in 1584 was very popular among the Ottoman Sultans. It is considered to be one of the most important examples of 16th century Ottoman architecture.

Ayasofya Hamam
Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydani No:2, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Ayasofya Hurrenm Sultan Hamami is the most luxury and fairly expensive historical Turkish bath located at the very center of historical Sultanahmet district, across from Santa Sophia. It was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman's consort, Hurrem Sultan, and constructed by well-known architect Mimar Sinan during the 16th century. The building was used as a carpet store until 2007. After a three-year-long restoration project that began in 2008 and cost US$11 million, the bath-house re-gained its glory with its opening in May 2011.

Suleymaniye Hamam
Adres: Mimar Sinan Cad. No:20  Suleymaniye, Fatih, Istanbul. Phone: +90 212 520 34 10
Suleymaniye Hamam is a part of Suleymaniye Mosque's Complex which incorporate the art and genius of Architect Sinan, the greatness and strength of the Ottomans and the beauty and elegance of Istanbul. This is the only historical bath house in Istanbul where men and women can go in together. This venue is listed here as an information only because of its historical importance, otherwise they do not allow single (gay/straight) people into the hammam unfortunately.

"Suleymaniye Hamam. When I was in Istanbul in the spring of 2011 I was told the Suleymaniye Hamam would not admit lone males as part of its family orientation." (Posted by Stehle from US on January 1st 2012)

Gedikpasa Hamami
Address: Hamam Cad. No: 65-67  Gedikpasa, Beyazit, Istanbul.
Bult by an ottoman pasha (high ranked military officer) Gedik Ahmet in 1475. It is centrally located, some 250 mt. away from the famous Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, in Beyazit district.

Istanbul Gay Turkish Bath

Other None-Gay Small Hamams in Istanbul

Most tourists do not like to be in places where there are only other tourists and understandably want to experience the original places where local people go. Although above listed bath houses are easier to find and better samples of historical Turkish baths we would also like to introduce several other good samples of less-known local Turkish baths. Actually, there is always a possibility bumping into people interested in gay-affair in such less touristy bath houses. Intimacy is highly recommended in such cases.

Horhor Hamam.
Address: Hamam Sokak, No:8 Aksaray/Istanbul.
A small historical non-touristy hamam located in Aksaray quarter of Istanbul's Fatih district. It can be confused with Sofular Hamam (see below) in the same vicinity known as Horhor, It is located close to Aksaray Metro station, on a small back street

Tarihi Sifa Hamamı
Address: Sifa Hamamı Sokak No:24  Sultanahmet / İSTANBUL
Not to be confused with Yesildirek Sifa Hamam, also listed above, if you make a Google search. This is a small but historical hamam (Turkish bath) located in historical Sultanahmet district. Most of the clients are tourists because of its location. 

Sofular Hamami
Address: Sofular Caddesi, No: 28 Aksaray/Istanbul.
if you are looking for a local and not expensive one Sofular hamamı near Horhor street in Aksaray, Fatih district is the place. Horhor street area is also the oldest antique market in Istanbul. This is a 16th century hamam with two-story dressing cabins and an elegant pool with fountain. There are separate sections for men and women. Tea, coffee and soft drink services are available. Google map

Buyuk Hamam
Address: Potinciler street. No: 22 Kasimpasa, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
Located in poorer Kasimpasa district of Beyoglu, not too far from Taksim. It was built in the 16th century by Mimar Sinan, famous royal architect of Ottoman Empire's era of prosperity. The bath has both men and women's section, mostly visited by local Turks.

Cinili Hamam
Address: Murat Reis Mahallesi, Çavusdere Caddesi No: 204, Uskudar, Istanbul
The Çinili Hamamı was built in 1640 as part of a mosque complex ordered by the Valide Sultan (mother of the Ottoman Sultan). This is a double bath, with separate sections for men and women. Each has two central domed areas, one for the central room and the other acting as a large vestibule for relaxing. The name Çinili (tiled) comes from the quantities of Iznik tile decorations both the mosque and the bath section. This one is located in Uskudar district on the Asian side. It may not be wise to go all the way just for a bath visit, if you are not staying nearby, but Uskudar has many other places to visit. You can go to Uskudar with ferry boats from Besiktas (not far from Taksim) or from Eminonu piers (closer to Sultanahmet)

What is a Hammam ?

The Turkish hamam (also Turkish bath or hammam) is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, which can be categorized as a wet relative of the sauna. They had played an important role in cultures of the Middle-East, serving as places of social gathering, ritual cleansing and as architectural structures, institutions, and (later) elements with special customs attached to them. Europeans learned about the hamam via contacts with Turkey hence the European name for it: "Turkish" hamam.

Taking a Turkish bath firstly involves relaxing in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an ever hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.

In Turkey, the advent of modern plumbing systems, showers, and bathtubs in homes caused the importance of hamams to fade in recent times.

A typical hamam consists of three interconnected basic rooms similar to its Roman ancestors: the sicaklik (or hararet -caldarium) which is the hot room, the warm room (tepidarium) which is the intermediate room and the sogukluk which is the cool room. The sicaklik usually has a large dome decorated with small glass windows that create a half-light; it also contains a large marble stone at the center that the customers lie on, and niches with fountains in the corners.




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