Istanbul’s Must-See: The Colorful Houses of Balat Istanbul’s Must-See: The Colorful Houses of Balat

Istanbul’s Must-See: The Colorful Houses of Balat

One of Istanbul’s best-hidden gems is the colorful neighborhood named Balat. This old district filled with beautiful colored wooden houses and cafes will instantly give you feel-good vibes. Visiting Balat is best during the morning, it is relatively unknown for most tourists, but we’ll promise: it is one of the best things to do in Istanbul, so make sure to add it to your list!

About Balat, Istanbul

Balat is one of the oldest districts of Istanbul, with some wooden houses over 200 years old. Friendly local families and a cultural mix of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people are all welcoming you to their neighborhood. Balat has Synagogues, Churches, and Mosques, something you don’t see all that often. The second you enter Balat, with its colorful historical buildings and narrow streets, you will forget that you’re in Turkey.

colorful balat istanbul turkey

What Do To in Balat, Istanbul

Wander around the quiet sloping streets of Balat. The area is slowly transforming into a hipster area where old neglected buildings are renovated into cool cafes, restaurants, and design shops.

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Istanbul’s Must-See: The Colorful Houses of Balat

One of the places to have a delicious lunch is Forno. Delicious Turkish pide’s and other goods baked freshly in front of you.

istanbul colorful balat

After lunch, walk up to the rainbow stairs of the cafe: Incir Agaci Kahvesi. Follow the extremely colorful steps uphill toward our next location.

Colorful Houses Istanbul

One of the iconic and most photographed places in Istanbul is the houses on Kiremit street. Pastel-painted houses make a lively street scene. It is such a quiet and relaxing area to stay in, in between the locals, away from the busy city.

colorful houses istanbul

While making your way back down, pass the Phanar Greek Orthodox College. This beautiful red school overlooks the entire neighborhood. Locals told us that you should be able to visit the inside, but unfortunately, we couldn’t figure this out.

Hotels in Balat

As a lot is being renovated, the hotels and guesthouses are very limited here. Because of this, it’s better to choose a hotel somewhere else in the city and visit Balat in the morning or afternoon on your trip to Istanbul.

How to visit Balat, Istanbul

Balat is best to reach by bus or ferry. The ferry point named Fener is directly across the main street of Balat. At that same location is a bus stop where many buses stop. Use Google Maps to plan your trip or download Google Maps offline while exploring.

istanbul transportation ferry
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