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!
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
MEANWHILE IN ISTANBUL:
http://www.timeoutistanbul.com/english/5077/provincial_foods_in_istanbul Nicola Prentis goes on a tour of Turkey’s regional foods without leaving Istanbul. In a country as vast as Turkey, with as long a history and, nowadays, seven borders, it is no wonder that the different regions have developed such distinct yet overlapping cuisines. Cuisines are shaped by what each area produces, which is a result of the geographical influence on agriculture and what is easily available. For example, harsh mountainous conditions in the Black Sea make raising livestock difficult so local dishes feature predominantly fish. Spices and dried fruits abound in South Eastern Anatolia cooking as it borders Arab countries and the Ottoman Sultans controlled the Spice Routes, while further North flavours are le...Read more