Meet your guide in central Istanbul at a time that fits with either the women-only or men-only opening hours of the Turkish bath.
Then, set off with your guide to your first stop: Istanbul’s legendary Grand Bazaar. Delve into the chaotic corridors and courtyards of this historical market, and check out some of the thousands of colorful stalls. Scout out souvenirs and gifts at the stands selling everything from perfumes and gold to jewelry, leatherware and more.
Get bartering tips from your guide as you shop, and then move on to the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Market. Breathe in the exotic colors and aromas of the herb, sweets and spice stalls, and hear how this hive of activity dates to the 17th century.
Next, head for Karakoy, one of Istanbul’s oldest neighborhoods and an important trading and maritime area in Byzantine and Ottoman times. Drink in the trendy vibe of this ultra-cool shopping, restaurant and party haunt, and follow your guide to one of Istanbul’s oldest hamams, a bathhouse dating to the 1580s.
Head inside the restored building and admire the magnificent interiors as you get ready for your bathing experience. Be supplied with everything you need, including slippers, towel, shampoo and a peştamal (traditional cotton robe), and then either strip completely or change into the bikini, swimwear or change of underwear you’re advised to bring with you.
When you're ready, enter the steam-filled bath chamber, the first step in the hamam process. Then, simply let yourself relax into the revitalizing experience, first building up a sweat, before enjoying a vigorous massage, an exfoliating scrub and a soothing spell of relaxation.
After your bath, change back into your clothes and then end your tour outside the hamam when you say goodbye to your guide.
Please note: Turkish baths are not recommended if you are taking medication, or have sunburn and/or any skin lesions. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, so on these days, a visit may be substituted by time in Istanbul’s Galata area. The hamam visited on this tour abides by women-only hours between 8am and 4pm, and men-only hours between 4:30pm and 11:30pm.