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A delightful tasteful place to stay. Come and visit Balat Fener for an authentic experience of Turkish life.
On the Shores of the Golden Horn, it's only a 5 minute walk down the hill to the water and original Byzantine walls.
In the heart of Istanbul's old districts and on the 7th hill of the Old city, the area is changing as its ancient homes, churches, mosques and synagogues go through gentrification, guided by UNESCO and EU programs.
The right choice for the discerning traveller.
On the ground floor of a listed historical building in the heart of Istanbul's Old town.
All the mod cons including air con, central heating, well equipped kitchen (including full oven) TV/DVD, separate bathroom (with power shower) comfortable double bed, dining area and sofa/sitting area.
Find all you need for a comfortable pleasant stay.
Your British/Turkish hosts live close by and are available to give help and advise when needed.
I am a young professional loving Istanbul and Balat this Unesco world Heritage sight, here in the heart of the Old City. My passion is hospitality and welcoming guests from all over the world to this unique neighbourhood. Travel and going places fascinates me. What better than getting together with old and new friends and sharing travel stories from around the world!? So far I've collected stories from 17 countries visited from my wanderings on 5 continents! But all the places visited so far Istanbul I still rate my number one favorite place.
Is Balat for you?
Do you think happiness smells like bread sticks pulled straight from the wood fired oven?
Do you think shopping at local markets is an adventure-especially when the vendor takes his time to teach you how to signal half a kilo?
Are you up to trying local breakfast pastries from the carts that travel down the cobble stone streets?
Have you ever wanted to be the only one, alone with your camera, with incredible mosaics surrounding you?
Would you climb up to the top of the ancient city walls to get an incredible view of Istanbul?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you would indeed reverence the moment you are caught in the rain with one of Balat's own (in conservative dress)...she smiles at you..reaches up toward the heavens as if to tell you rain is a blessing from God...now you know you belong in Balat.
Enjoy a real travellers experience, staying in the World Heritage Sight - Balat.
On the edge of the busy tourist zone have an authentic experence of Turkish Life.
Modern comfort in beautifully restored historical houses.
A short 5 minute walk to the waters of the Golden Horn.
Easy access to everywhere 'down town' by taxi, bus and ferry.
We truly enjoyed our stay! The studio is small, but very cozy and has just about everything you need for a comfortable stay. The kitchen, which we took a complete advantage of is fully equipped. Good location, literally a step away from shops snd restaurants. Ozkan, one of the owners we spoke to, was very nice and helpful with directions. Great for younger couple. Strongly recommend!
Ozkan and Peter were fantastically welcoming hosts and really helpful. The apartment was beautifully decorated and very well equipped. We were really glad that we decided to stay outside of the touristy areas and the neighbourhood of Balat was incredibly interesting and friendly - it was good to see how the locals live! The centre was easy to reach on public transport and the apartment was an excellent base for exploring the city! Thank you Ozkan and Peter!
As a traveler and travel journalist, I'm always trying to avoid crowded places and live as a local. The tips that Ozkan and Peter gave me did it posible. Both are very friendly and the house is in my prefered neighbourhood in the city, the lovely Fener-Balat. I strongly recommend this place.
I and my partner stayed in this splendid studio apartment whilst on our 4 day trip to Istanbul and i can honestly say it was one of the best locations i have had the privilege of staying in. The layout of the room lent to a very open feel with a no one single piece of furniture acting as the centre piece of the room but each one making a contribution to the overall relaxing atmosphere of the studio. it has a really nice shower and toilet and the kitchen area is really well presented. the sofa's were also really comfortable and were exactly what I needed after a long days hike, on the whole a very nice stay and would recommend to all who see it to have a stay in this wonderful studio.
We had the privilege of being the first guests in this flat. We could not have asked for anything more! With markets and bake shops close by in every direction, we were able to enjoy many meals at the flat. Part of our experience was the ambience of this neighbourhood: the children playing outside and coming to say hello; gentlemen selling 'simit' in the street; people strolling by to take their children to school or go to the market. We found the location ideal and quiet. Sometimes we would walk to the sites, other times we took city transit. Both were convenient, as long as you're able to manage a good hill! As far as the hosts, Peter and Ozkan, you couldn't find any that would be more hospitalble and helpful. We have stayed in many vacation rentals and the commuication and information given by Peter and Ozkan is second to none! If we are ever back in Istanbul, I would definitely contact Peter and Ozkan to stay in one of their suites.
Istanbul’s new creative hub retains Ottoman flavour – for now
The Fener-Balat quarter, once the little Greece of Istanbul, is now one of the city’s trendy design districts and regaining the international feel of its past.
Just two miles north along the Golden Horn from Eminönü – the quarter known for Topkapi Palace, tour groups and Hagia Sophia – lies another Istanbul altogether. In the side-by-side quarters of Fener and Balat, lines of drying laundry stretch across steep, winding streets.
Century-old Ottoman houses lean against each other in a kaleidoscope of reds, blues and greens. And art galleries and design shops dot the area along the water.
Like the rest of Istanbul, Fener-Balat is changing. Unlike much of the rest of the city, though, the changes don’t yet involve condominiums and shopping malls. Nor have rents sky rocketed as much as in other areas that have retained an Ottoman flavour. This is why the quarter has become a cool hangout and a recognised design district; last autumn, tours of the area were a main event at the Istanbul Design Biennial.
The same is happening just to the north in Balat, Istanbul’s Jewish quarter since the Byzantine era. Many people left in the mid-20th century and many Ottoman homes fell into disrepair. And then, from 2003, the city and European Union instituted a renovation programme for Balat and Fener, repairing many of the dilapidated buildings.
Artists and designers followed other residents back to the area. Places to eat are changing, too. Café Vodina, an initiative by the NGO Balat Kültür Evi, is entirely run and staffed by local women, and offers both cooking classes and traditional Turkish plates. Or try Balat’s Agora Meyhane, a 125-year-old restaurant reopened by Istanbul film director Ezel Akay last year. Serving meze and meals from Anatolia, the Balkans and the Middle East, it was listed by Travel+Leisure in January as one of the world’s best new restaurants.
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