• Experience a 16th-century Ottoman bathhouse designed by a renowned architect
  • Sweat it out on the heated marble slab and do an exfoliation treatment to get glowing
  • Retox with a cocktail on a terrace, in a prime location to watch ships cruise the Bosphorus

The afternoon in Hammam is an Istanbul ritual not to be missed-but avoid the tourist traps in the Old City, where brusque staff will give you a brutal pummeling in less-than-salubrious surroundings. Instead, our concierge can help you book a session at the 16th-century Kılıç Ali Pasa Hamam, designed by renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. This glorious bathhouse reopened in 2012 after a seven-year restoration; the skylit dome alone is worth the steep entrance fee. Yes, it's pricier than the average saunas, but it's also more opulent and absolutely immaculate. Leave your inhibitions at home-but bring your bikini bottom. Nudity is not permitted and the sexes are segregated (8 am to 4 pm for women, 4:30 pm to 11:30 pm for men). Strip down and sweat it out on the heated marble slab, before an İngilizce-speaking therapist Gives you a very thorough exfoliation. (There are less-abrasive scrub-downs for kids, under-5's go free.) You'll emerge with glowing skin, especially if you treat yourself to a post-scrub, olive oil massage. Retox with a cocktail on the terrace of Istanbul Modern, a five-minute walk away. There's no better place to watch ships cruise down the Bosphorus straits. A new painting and sculpture museum is set to open next door in 2016.

Find this 16th-century hammam by heading east on Kemeralti Street. Turn right onto Bath Street and you'll spot the rounded dome of this Turkish bath house. From here, you can find the Istanbul Modern by A continuing east for two blocks. You'll see the museum on the waterfront.

KILIC ALI PASA BATHS: 1 Bath Street; +90-(0)-212-393-8010;

ISTANBUL MODERN: The Ottoman National Assembly Street, Field Warehouse No. 4; +90-(0)-212-334-7300;