Local Customs


The only city in the world on two continents,
Local Customs
Turkish Bath; Hamam: You may have heard of Turkish Baths or Locally called as Hamams. In our daily life we don’t use Turkish baths, Hamams have largely gone out of fashion in Turkey. However many historical hamams survive, and a visit is highly recommended.What is special with a Turkish Bath; A raised marble platform graces the centre of the hamam. Known as the “gobek tasi”, or navel stone, it is positioned above the wood or coal furnaces which heat the hamam. You shall lay on the marble platform, Care for the heat. The water is coming from the Tabs and on one of them you have the very hot water and the other very cold one.. You prepare a mixture with hot and cold.. While you are getting sweat, just pour the water from your body.. Now you feel that you are “Alive”.

When I am in a hamam, I always think that the pleasure I got is somewhat not possible to explain by words. How many more typing I would made would not still make you understand the joy of it. So just spare some time during your visit and try one. Some historical hamams in Istanbul are as follows..

Cagallu Hamami: Built in 1741 in order to supply income to Aya sophia mosque. Built in Baroque style and has women and men sections separately. On the left side of Yerebatan street near the St sophia.

Cemberlitas Hamami: Built in 1584 by Sultan Murad the third. Has only men section. Near the Cemberlitas monument, on Divanyolu (Between Sultanahmet and Covered bazaar)

Galata Hamami: Built in 1715 but massively renovated in 1965. During the renovations, lost some of its spirits.. Men section and a small ladies section.. Located near the Istiklal street, pera region.

Turkish Tea & Coffee: After having your meal in Istanbul, you will be asked if you would like to have something to drink. Many restaurants are offering Tea and Turkish coffee services at the end of the dinner free of charge. So you shall enjoy the taste of the Turkish coffee.  Turkish coffee is well known through worldwide.. Though it tastes like an espresso, it has a different taste and smell..There are many ways to make Turkish coffee, but most agree that the most reliable method for producing consistently good coffee is to fill a 250 ml. Finjan to within 2 1/2 cm. of it with cold water. To the water, before heating, add 4 or more heaping teaspoons of coffee. For moderately sweet coffee 2 tsp. of sugar should be added. The mixture should then be stirred and put on a high flame. As the mixture approaches a first boil it should be removed from the flame for a few moments to let the foam settle. One should take care not to let the mixture boil over, for this will result in a very messy stove top.
In a Mosque: Usually there are no admission fees for entry to the mosques. The bigger ones are open all day, but tourists shouldn’t enter them during prayer. When entering a mosque you have to cover your head (women), wear long sleeves (arms and legs) and take off your shoes. if you happen to visit a mosque while somebody is praying, do not walk in front of them. Muslims didn’t like anyone walking in front of them at prayer because it might be misinterpreted that they were praying to the person in front of them instead of to God.