Balat
About
One of the hottest districts in Istanbul, Balat is home to beautiful architecture and a vibrant culture. Once the city’s Jewish quarter, Balat is still dotted with centuries-old synagogues, as well as historic churches and mosques. Here, you can browse quaint antique shops, cozy tea rooms and brand-new cafes, and walk down to the waterfront to take in the views of the Golden Horn. The neighborhood is also a popular spot for street photography. Join a walking tour to learn about Balat's rich history and wander through its narrow cobbled streets to view the colorful townhouses and impressive mansions. – Tripadvisor
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The area
Neighbourhood: Fener & Balat
This sleepy and rather socially conservative area of Istanbul hosts a small but thriving Jewish community, the patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the most beautiful churches and Christian art in the world. Much of what’s most interesting to witness in Fener and Balat sits between the surviving ancient city walls of Constantinople and the serene shores of the Golden Horn. Despite the many splendid sights, historic attractions, stunning vistas, and warm Turkish welcome, the area remains largely unperturbed by the tourist trade that characterizes the atmosphere in nearby Sultanahmet and around the Grand Bazaar. Travelers that like to explore off the beaten track will reap big rewards for making the effort to visit this low-key part of town.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles488 reviews
Excellent
276
Very good
142
Average
49
Poor
10
Terrible
11

starlightShanghai
Victoria, Canada3,696 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
Having been to Istanbul several times already, I really wanted to avoid the suffocating tour groups and the crushing crowds this time round. So what better place to do so than the Fener-Balat neighbourhood. It’s a sheer delight to explore.

This area has a definite artistic feel to it. It’s undoubtedly the most colourful part of Istanbul. It probably also has the steepest hills anywhere in the city! Provides a pretty good workout!

Mosques, synagogues and churches are flanked by dozens of outdoor cafes. Lots of little shops and colourful produce stands all along the cobblestoned streets.

It’s one of my favourite places in Istanbul

I think this neighbourhood is still waiting to be discovered by tourists because the many times I poked around the area, there wasn’t a tour group in sight.

Super easy to get to: Tram 5 to either the Fener stop or the Balat stop.
Written 3 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charlotte B
Birmingham, United Kingdom21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Really lovely little town. Lots of fun photo opportunities, and plenty of colour. Some lovely cafes and shops around to look around.
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GSP67
Barnegat, NJ251 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Recently visited Balat with my GF during our stay in Istanbul. As we exited our taxi, we were greeted in Balat by a large banner condemning the United States and Israel. I proceeded with my GF with caution. We found the painted steps and observed a few shops. During our walk, we almost became the victims of a scam but for a warning we saw on YouTube. Not a great experience.
Written 24 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2058-KW
St. Albans, UK24 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
A colourful cafe culture sort of area, so if you like to ruminate and watch the world go by, this is for you, it’s not unique however like the Basilica. Cystern or the walls of Istanbul, so if you are short on time, you can afford to miss this. Some of the area is also a bit run down,
Written 6 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ankit
49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Nice little neighbourhood, with happening cafés amidst history/ old architecture; and river on a side; also easy connections on public transport. Recommended!
Written 11 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gizem G
Madrid, Spain26 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Way too crowded. All the restaurants and souvenir shops are similar. Not that interesting as it is promoted.
Written 9 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Norok E
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
It an amazing place. Very colorful, worth the walk. we came at a right time. There was no crowd. Loved it
Written 27 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Josemike
Alexandria, VA86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Balat is a simply beautiful little colorful town in Istanbul. Here you’ll find many wonderful tea houses, small shops and restaurants. We had a typical Turkish breakfast here and loved it. Most of all, I loved the quaintness and smallness of the town with a mix of people of different religions, the shopping is great because the stores are all small and authentic. If you come to Istanbul, I would highly recommend visiting Balat.
Written 7 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IlyaNJ
Marlboro, NJ1,010 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
One of the most instagrammable places in all of Istanbul, and not too crowded on account of being well away from the city center. After seeing the colorful houses, go down the painted steps towards the waterfront for one of the best quays in the city.
Written 6 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria Elena
Miami, FL30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Interesting town to many coffee shop little stores to buy presents and to many cats for spend two or three hours was perfect
Written 18 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Balat - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Balat

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