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Guide to the neighbourhoods of Istanbul

From the impressive architectural splendour of the Sultanahmet neighbourhood to the glossy, fashionable district of Nişantaşı to the charming bohemian vibes of Cihangir, we take a look at some of Istanbul’s most popular neighbourhoods and offer tips on what to see and do. Take a look at our travel guide here

Emily Scrivener
City Guide
Emily Scrivener ,


With its winding streets, neighbourhood cafés and bars filled with artists, writers and actors, the Cihangir neighbourhood has a distinctly bohemian vibe, similar to parts of Paris and Brooklyn in New York. Cihangir is home to many antique shops, traditional Turkish cafés and, with the sound of calls to prayer in the distance, it offers plenty of experiences special to Istanbul. Pick up some baklava and a Turkish coffee and explore the hidden gems that Cihangir has to offer.


Sultanahmet, the oldest part of Istanbul, is home to the city’s most impressive historic sites and stunning architecture. Palaces, museums, mosques and bazaars line and tower over the Bosphorus, and top attractions on the historic peninsula include Topkapı Palace, the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. With so much to see and do here, invest your time wisely so as not to miss out.


Karaköy has turned the industrial-chic aesthetic of its dockside location into a positive, encouraging a new wave of art galleries, cafés and hipsters into the area. Wander through its enticing galleries and boutiques and be sure to seek out Karaköy Güllüoğlu, the place to go for some of the finest baklava in Istanbul.


Tucked away along a sheltered, scenic bay on the European side of Istanbul, the charming neighbourhood of Bebek is popular with families and the city’s cosmopolitan residents alike. The area’s natural beauty makes this a wonderful place to while away a weekend, with plenty of sophisticated dining, fashion and nightlife options to keep everyone entertained. The renowned Poseidon fish restaurant Poseidon, a must-visit, is perfect for enjoying the views over the water.


A combination of elegant historical buildings, chic cafés and luxury designer stores makes Nişantaşı one of Istanbul’s most stylish neighbourhoods. Its European-style grace has drawn comparisons with cities such as Paris. Nişantaşı’s upscale restaurants sit side by side with exclusive designer boutiques. Head here to shop major international brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada.



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