With its maze of rooms, special lingo and, oh yeah, that getting naked with strangers thing, the Turkish bath experience can be an intimidating one for first-timers. This beautifully restored 16th-century hamam-turned-museum offers the chance to brush up on bath procedure before taking the plunge, with interesting displays (most with English signage) of bath accessories and the rituals that go along with them, plus maps of typical bath layouts and some archaeological finds.
Look for the pumice stones carved in animal shapes and the wooden platform bath clogs – inlaid with mother-of-pearl – on which wealthy women once managed to navigate a hamam’s slippery marble floors. The museum is located up a short set of stairs on the İstanbul University side of the tram road near the Beyazıt stop. No photography is allowed inside.