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Everything You Need to Know About Bomontiada, the Social Heart of Şişli

Created : 21 Nov 2022
Everything you need to know about Bomontiada, the social heart of Şişli

By Justin Mays: 

For many people, finding a place to feel at home in a city as big as Istanbul is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And it is true that sometimes, the hustle and bustle of everyday life prevents us from entering each one of the corners of this metropolis. But it is practically impossible not to feel attracted by the charm of Bomontiada, the most popular socio-cultural space in the Bomonti neighborhood, and probably also from the Şişli district.

To know the history of Bomontiada, it is necessary to go back to 1890. At that time, the Bomonti brothers, of Swiss origin, began to produce the first beer of the Ottoman Empire in Feriköy, specifically, in the area known today as Bomontiada. Their popularity was so great that they even coined the name of the neighborhood. Almost a centenary later, in 1991, the brewery was closed, but in 2010 they decided to reform the area and turn it into a social, cultural, and gastronomic meeting point.


Cultural offers

Bomontiada has cultural offers for all tastes, some of them permanent and others temporary. Among all, the one that stands out the most is the museum of the Turkish photojournalist Ara Güler, who is also known as 'the eye of Istanbul' and 'the photographer of Istanbul'. This museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and shows many of the pictures that Güler took during his active years. Although the museum is always the same, the exhibitions change once every six months.

In addition to this museum, in Bomontiada there are also open-air concerts, live talks, and readings. Being a space that combines open areas with industrial-style buildings, this cultural center is a good option for both winter and summer, although we recommend not missing it during the warmer days when its patio is full of people and a good atmosphere.



Gastronomic offers

It's Saturday and you don't know what to do? If you come to Bomontiada to enjoy its cultural offerings, you cannot miss out on some of its gastronomic proposals either. To this day, the best-known restaurants in this space are The Populist and Kilimanjaro. The first restaurant offers an extensive menu of street food of all kinds, from burgers to fish and chips; while the latter focuses on more elaborate dishes, such as ragu 'parpadelle' and grilled seabass, among many others.

What you can't miss in any way is trying the Bomonti beer. Although the factory is no longer located in this space, The Populist still sells the famous Bomonti brothers' drink.

More things to see in Feriköy

Bomonti is the hub of Feriköy, but this neighborhood has much more to offer. The favorite option of many of the residents of this neighborhood is to go to Feriköy Antika Pazari on Sundays. In this bazaar, you can find all kinds of antiques: postcards, mugs, stamps, pins, photographs...

If you have more free time, you can also stop by the Atatürk Museum, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday. In this center, which used to be the house where the first president of Turkey lived, you will find paintings, medals, and other objects that accompanied him during his life. If after the tour you feel like having a coffee, we recommend doing it at But First Coffee, one of the most popular coffee shops in the area.


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