Colorful Buildings in Istanbul, Balat


Balat, a vibrant district in Istanbul, is one of the city's best-kept secrets. This historic neighborhood, with its brightly colored wooden homes and cafés, will immediately make you feel happy. Balat is best visited early in the morning, and it is relatively unknown to most visitors, but we can assure you that it is one of the finest things to do in Istanbul, so be sure to include it to your itinerary! 

Balat is one of Istanbul's oldest neighborhoods, with some wooden homes dating back over 200 years. Friendly local families, as well as a cultural mix of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all welcome you to their community. Balat has Synagogues, Churches, and Mosques, which is not something you see all the time. You'll forget you're in Turkey the moment you reach Balat, with its colorful ancient buildings and tiny alleys. 


History of Balat


Many churches and even a synagogue – the Yanbol Synagogue, constructed by Bulgarian immigrants – can be found in the area, and the inhabitants match this with many renowned Turks, as well as a Moldavia and Wallachia prince and other dignitaries. The Vaftizci Yahya Church, constructed during the Ottoman era and modeled on a monastery Sultan Selim visited during his conquest of Egypt, is one of the most unusual churches in the world. 

In a nutshell, this neighborhood is one of the most varied in the city, and its old buildings and people give you that impression the moment you walk through it. 


What To Do in Balat?


Wander around Balat's peaceful, sloping streets. The neighborhood is steadily becoming a hipster hotspot, with abandoned buildings being converted into trendy Istanbul cafés, restaurants, and design stores. Forno is one of the best locations to enjoy a wonderful lunch. Delicious Turkish pide and other baked products are prepared right in front of your eyes. 

Balat is a wonderful place to stay in Istanbul if you want to avoid the tourist traps of Sultanahmet and Eminonu. Because Balat is still not a full-fledged tourist destination, lodging choices are restricted. The finest locations to stay in Balat are the Troya Hotel and the Balat Residence. 


Colorful Buildings of Balat


The homes on Kiremit Street are one of Istanbul's most famous and photographed attractions. Houses painted in pastel colors provide a vibrant street picture. It's such a peaceful and pleasant place to stay, tucked away among the residents and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. One of the homes is rented out as an Airbnb! 


How Do You Get To Balat? 


Balat is located on Istanbul's European side, close to popular tourist attractions such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, and Topkapi Palace; however, it is not within walking distance of these top things to do in Istanbul, and it is also in the Fener Istanbul neighborhood, so keep that in mind when planning how to get to Balat. 


The best way to get to Balat is via bus or boat. The Fener ferry terminal is located just across Balat's main street. A bus stop, where several buses stop, is located at the same place. Plan your journey with Google Maps.

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