Fener and Balat Walking Tour with Audio Guide

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Historical Landmarks
Audio Guides

Fener and Balat Self-Guided Audio Tour with Istanbul Tourist Pass®

Historical Landmarks

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Colorful Historical Neighborhoods of Istanbul: Fener and Balat!

If you are ready to discover Istanbul, you can't miss the landmarks of Fener and Balat! Located on the southern shore of Golden Horn; Fener and Balat are among the oldest and most spectacular districts of İstanbul. Famous for their historical heritage, colorful streets, various churches, and synagogue, Fener and Balat have become two of the most known tourist zones of İstanbul in recent years. Once you set foot in Fener and Balat, it surrounds you with a unique atmosphere. Istanbul Tourist Pass® is here to guide you in the colorful streets of Fener and Balat with a specially created audio guide! 

About The Fener and Balat Walking Tour with Audio Guide

Mobile ticketing - No need for printed voucher, we're digital!

Duration - 60 Minutes approximately on your own 

Audio Guide- English


Free Audio Guide for Fener and Balat Istanbul

History of the Church of Saint George

Discover Ahrida Synagogue

Beautiful Building of Greek High School of Balat and Fener

Explore the Colorful Houses in Balat Istanbul

Colors of a Multicultural City: Balat and Fener

Balat and Fener are among the historically significant neighborhoods of Istanbul! Despite the fact that they are included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, tourists still don't frequently travel to this area. We enjoy getting lost and wondering about these places since the vibe is so distinctive.

The network of uphill and downhill cobblestone streets, organized like miniature villages, provides the sensation of a treasure-filled maze. This region has a unique beauty that will allow you to escape time, thanks to the vibrant Ottoman houses, some of which have been magnificently maintained, the religious structures, the tiny craftsmen, the merchants, the children playing in the streets, and the linen hanging from the windows.

Explore the beautiful streets of Fener and Balat with the Istanbul Tourist Pass® Audio Guide so you will not be alone while you learn all about the historical landmarks!

Hours & Meeting

The best time to visit churches in Fener Balat Istanbul is early mornings, but you can enjoy the neighborhood anytime you'd like. 

How To Get There?

From Eminonu toward Eyüp, it is easy to get to Fener and Balat, which are situated on the Golden Horn's southern shore. Eminonu, Karakoy, and Eyup are all around 5 km from Balat and Fener Istanbul.

Using public buses leaving from Taksim or Eminonu and traveling along the coast over the Golden Horn is the most convenient and straightforward way to reach Fener and Balat. Some buses you can take 36CE, 99, 28E, 44B, or 99ADon't forget to have Unlimited Public Transportation Card with you. 

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All About Fener and Balat Walking Tour with Audio Guide

Spending a day getting lost in the intriguing streets of the historically multicultural Fener and Balat neighborhoods is the best option if you're the kind of traveler who prefers to venture off the beaten route and away from the crowds. Children play in the streets, washing lines are stretched between buildings, and remnants of the Jewish, Armenian, and Orthodox populations may still be seen in this area.

About Fener

Turkish for "lighthouse," Fener is derived from the Greek word "Fanari," which means lantern. Since 1600, Fener has housed the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, making it one of the most significant Greek communities in Istanbul. Up until the turn of the 20th century, a sizable portion of the Greek population in Istanbul resided here.

Fener, a very impressive neighborhood, provides visitors with an amazing experience thanks to its authentic atmosphere, which includes numerous fascinating churches, the Fener Greek Patriarchate, unusual architecture and splendor, the Fener Greek High School for Boys, and steep, narrow streets lined with vibrant cafes, restaurants, and antique stores.

Greeks have settled in Fener since the sixteenth century, and the affluent Greeks who lived there attained prominence throughout the Ottoman era. Even in the middle of the 20th century, there were still Greeks living in Fener. Fener is known as the "Vatican of Greek Orthodoxy". The Bulgarian Church of St. Stephen, one of the few prefabricated cast iron churches in the world, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople are both located in Fener. The Fener Greek Patriarchate continues to serve as the mother church for all Greek Orthodox Christians.

About Colorful Balat Istanbul

The less wealthy Greeks and Jews of Istanbul resided in the nearby Balat neighborhood, which is home to an astounding number of churches, mosques, and synagogues, including St. John the Baptist; the Metochian of Mount Sinai; Yanbol Synagogue; Surp Reşdagabet Gregorian Armenian Church; and the Ferruh Kethuda Mosque, thought to be the creation of renowned architect Mimar Sinan. 

Similar to Fener, the nearby area of Balat captivates tourists with its vibrant cafes and eateries, vintage and antique stores, signs of Jewish heritage, and many synagogues and churches. Jews who speak Greek have lived in Balat since the Byzantine era. The expelled Sephardics from Spain, however, moved to Balat in the 15th century.

The Byzantine heritage is also very strong in the Balat region. It has always been less wealthy than Fener because it is an older Jewish neighborhood. Balat has a sizable Jewish population, thus there are numerous synagogues and other Jewish institutions there in addition to a few churches and mosques. Balat colorful houses are the most famous colorful houses Istanbul, so don't forget to visit colourful houses Balat.

Landmarks of Fener and Balat

Church of Saint George

The Church of Saint George, sometimes referred to as the Bulgarian Orthodox Church of Saint George, is a revered building in Istanbul's Balat district. By Bulgarian immigrants who had settled in the area, the church was constructed in the late 19th century. The church was built thanks to contributions from the local Bulgarian population. One of Istanbul's biggest and most stunning churches is the Church of Saint George. The facade features elaborate carvings and ornamental accents, as well as a sizable clock tower that can be seen from a distance. The church's interior is as spectacular, featuring tall ceilings, stunning stained-glass windows, and elaborate ornamentation.

Ahrida Synagogue

An old synagogue in Istanbul's Balat district is called the Ahrida Synagogue. It is regarded as a key site of Jewish heritage in the city and is one of the oldest and most prominent synagogues in Istanbul. The spectacular interior of the Ahrida Synagogue, which features elaborate woodwork, opulent chandeliers, and lovely stained glass windows, is well-known. In the sanctuary's middle is the bimah, or pulpit, which is encircled by wooden benches where worshippers can sit throughout services. An important place of worship and social interaction for Istanbul's Jewish population is the Ahrida Synagogue. It is also a well-liked tourist attraction where visitors can take in the stunning architecture and discover more about Istanbul's Jewish community's past.

Greek High School of Balat and Fener

The Balat Fener Rum Lisesi mostly referred to as the Greek High School of Balat and Fener, is a storied institution that is situated in Istanbul's Balat district. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the spiritual heart of the Eastern Orthodox Church, established the institution in 1881. To serve as a school for the Greek Orthodox community in Istanbul, the Greek High School of Balat and Fener was founded. The structure that once housed the Greek High School is still intact today and is regarded as a stunning example of neoclassical design. Although the structure is currently being utilized for different purposes, it nonetheless serves as a significant reminder of Istanbul's rich Greek Orthodox tradition and cultural legacy.

Colorful Houses of Balat

The distinctive and most well-known feature of Balat is its vibrant dwellings. The age of these antique wooden houses ranges from 50 to 200 years. They are among the Istanbul buildings that receive the most photos. And Merdivenli Yokuş street, which is notorious, is the perfect location for photos (literally, "slope with stairs" street). Here, a row of colorful cumba cottages is waiting for visitors to snap photos of them. We advise you to stop by this renovated region included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage project when you are in Balat.

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By having the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, you can visit more than 100+ attractions in Istanbul. You can save huge amount of time and money by not waiting in the long queues or paying fees at the entrances of the museums or for other facilities and activities. You can buy the Istanbul Tourist Pass®️ for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days. So many attractions are available with Istanbul Tourist Pass®️ such as Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe Palace, Sapanca Lake daily tour, Dinner on the Bosphorus, Istanbul Airport Shuttle etc. included in the pass. For more details and updated attractions available with the pass can be found on website.

Fener and Balat Walking Tour with Audio Guide Frequently Asked Questions

What is Balat known for?

Colorful houses, cobblestone streets, churches, mosques, and synagogues line the streets of Balat, scattered among antique auction houses, trendy cafes, and vintage clothing shops.

How do you spend a day in Balat?

Most Popular Things to Do: See colorful houses Visit historical churches Walk around Balat Stop by the famous pickle shop and taste pickles Have a Turkish coffee in one of the colorful cafes Discover Balat Toy Museum- Free with Istanbul Tourist Pass®

Where are colorful houses in Balat?

The colorful Balat houses on Kiremit Street are one of Istanbul's most famous and photographed attractions.

How do I get from Balat to Galata Tower?

First, you need to get to Eminonu, you can take the metro from Sishane or you can just simply walk over Galata Bridge. Then take a taxi or a bus to go to Balat.

How to go to Balat from Taksim?

First, you need to get to Eminonu, you can take the metro from Taksim Square or get on a bus to Eminonu. Then take a taxi or a bus to go to Balat.

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