Thanks to local laws against any sexual action in public – or public venues – most venues in Istanbul do not want to be labelled as gay or even gay-friendly from fear for raid, reprisals or shutdowns by local authorities and instead play the ‘three monkeys’ :”see nothing, hear nothing, speak nothing”.
While there are many busy saunas, gyms, and hamams (Turkish bath houses), you should realize this is a very traditional and cultural past time in Istanbul and popular with both gay and straight men.
Below we have listed the most popular Istanbul gay hamam which are often frequented by gay men – however, please practice discretion and care. To avoid any issues or disappointment, best to go into the Istanbul bathhouse scene simply want to experience the history and tradition of the Turkish bath, and if more happens – so be it!
Due to the current political climate in Turkey, crackdowns, temporary and permanent closures of Istanbul gay hamam and saunas are increasing. If possible call ahead to confirm they are still open to avoid wasting your time.
34421,10 Yüksek Minare Sokak,Istanbul
A mixture of various types, ages of gay people visit here, but most of them are middle aged and mature guys. It is located close to the Eastern end of the Ataturk Bridge. Facilities include three bathing rooms, dry...
here 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 more 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 interact 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 around 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. .