Istanbul Guide: Best Things to Do in Balat

All the Tricks You Need to Know to Get Lost in the Colorful Streets of Balat

Created : 23 Nov 2022
All the Tricks You Need to Know to Get Lost in the Colorful Streets of Balat

By Justin Mays:

It has very colorful houses, small charming alleys, and a lot of cozy cafes. It also has antique shops, shops to make pottery, and beautiful views of the Golden Horn. It is Balat, a small neighborhood full of Ottoman houses located in the Fatih district. During the last few years, it has become one of the most modern and alternative areas of Istanbul, not only for tourists but also for residents.

Balat is a quiet neighborhood where it is not difficult to find inspiration. Dozens of vintage cars and hundreds of family houses hide in its alleys, making it clear that this is a close neighborhood. And although in recent years the facades of Balat have been the scene of thousands of photographs, the local atmosphere can be appreciated in each of its corners.

What are the most beautiful streets in Balat?

For those seeking comfort, Balat's main attraction is tranquility, the local essence and proximity. But it does not stop there, and both residents and tourists fall in love with the streets and houses of this neighborhood. With the rise of social media, moreover, Balat has become one of the most Instagrammable areas of Istanbul. If you want to know some of its most popular streets, we give you the keys:

  • Kiremit Caddesi has some of the most beautiful houses in Balat. You can find them in all colors: blue, orange, yellow… They have narrow facades and some of the most beautiful balconies.

  • Vodina Caddesi is the main street of Balat. It is full of cafes and small shops selling clothes, ceramics, antiques...

  • Renkli Merdivenler is the most famous stair in Balat. This space is located next to Balat Antik Café and each of its steps has a different color.

  • Tarihi Çeşme is the name given to the most popular corner of this neighborhood that joins Sancaktar Yokuşu street with Akçin street.

  • Merdivenli Yokuşu Evleri also offers one of the most picturesque settings of Balat, since, in addition to being one of the steepest streets of the neighborhood, it also has dozens of colorful houses.

What else can you see in Balat?

In addition to getting lost in the streets of Balat, you also have to visit some of its most historic places, such as the Bulgarian Saint Stephen Church, the Ahrida Synagogue, and the George's Cathedral. As it is a relatively small neighborhood, it is possible to do this entire tour in less than half a day. After this tour, we recommend you stop to enjoy a good coffee in one of the cafeterias in Balat.


Get to know the coziest cafes in Balat

  1. Balat Antik Café

If you are still not tired of seeing colors, you have to stop by Balat Antik Café. This cafeteria stands out because its terrace has dozens of colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. In addition, it offers the most complete and appetizing breakfasts.

  1. Velvet Café

Velvet Café is one of the most charming coffee shops in Balat. It has a very vintage decoration and its staff is so charming. The interior of this place makes you feel at home and they also have a very cozy terrace.

  1. Cumbalı Kahve

If you are going to spend some time in Balat, we recommend you also try Cumbalı Kahve, a really small coffee shop located in one of the most striking corners of this neighborhood.

  1. Cafe Naftalin K

Last but not least, we present you Cafe Naftalin K, a cafeteria with a beautiful façade and a vert original interior. In this place, you can enjoy delicious coffee... and also unparalleled company, since it is usually full of kittens.

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