Spa + Wellness

World's Top Spots to Sweat

by Anja Mutić

Turkish Hammam, Cağaloğlu Hamamı, Turkey

For a quintessential Turkish delight, do as the Turks do and head to a hammam. These public baths are a social institution in Turkey, dating back to Roman times. There are approximately 35 historical hammams in Istanbul, but Cağaloğlu Hamamı is tops for beauty and authenticity. Built in 1741 by Sultan Mahmud I, it was the last of the great hammams constructed before Sultan Mustafa III forbade them, due to the city's increasing needs for water and wood. Today, you might run into a sweating celeb (Cameron Diaz, John Travolta, and Kate Moss have all been spotted here). Note, however, that there are separate sections for women and men. There is more than enough eye candy in the outstanding Baroque and classic Ottoman architectural motifs, but if you opt to lie on the so-called "tummy stone" and get pummeled within an inch of your life by a masseuse, you may be too distracted to notice. The range of bath services, including scrub massages and aromatherapy, is as wide as your body's pores after the sauna.

Cağaloğlu Hamamı, $25 for two hours.

Next: Get scrubbed up in Thailand >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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