Fener and Balat Neighborhoods
Fener and Balat neighborhoods, set along the banks of the Golden Horn, were once home to the Jewish and Greek populations of İstanbul.
Now on the verge of change, these historical neighborhoods are charming with their cobble stone streets, wooden houses, synagogues, churches and the famous Phanar Greek Orthodox School. This famous building, built in the 19th century by the famous Ottoman Greek architect Dimadis, was the school to prominent Greek and Bulgarian families of the Ottoman Empire.
Walking through these narrow and colorful streets, you will really feel the history of Istanbul, some houses are impeccably restored while others remain like artifacts from another century. These days it is very common to see a film set in the streets as many movies and commercials are shot here.
If you’re curious about local art make sure you stop by the Bal-Art Sanat Evi. Ceramic artist Beyhan Gürsoy makes replicas of the wooden houses of Balat, which can be used as candle holders.
We also recommend lunch at Forno Balat. Their ‘lahmacun’ (flat bread) and ‘pide’ (Turkish pizza) are delicious.
And if you would like to stop for tea or coffee, you will have plenty options to choose from!
These neighborhoods are visited during the following tours: