The Balat neighborhood in Istanbul is a sight to behold. You may have seen pictures of its colorful houses and wondered what it’s like to visit. Well, let me tell you, it’s a special place. In Balat, you’ll find houses painted with lovely designs and colors, children playing happily, and people from different backgrounds living together peacefully. This neighborhood is even recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, we’ll take a step-by-step journey through this incredible neighborhood.
A Gem In Istanbul
Balat is one of the best neighborhoods in Istanbul, especially if you visit in the spring or June when the weather is mild and the streets are beautiful. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, located in the famous Fatih area. In the past, Greeks and Jews lived here, and their influence can still be seen in the culture and architecture of the neighborhood. Some say Balat means palace, but there’s some doubt about that.
Why Balat Is Spectacular
Before visiting Istanbul, many people think that the only attractions are mosques, shopping malls, and the Bosphorus Strait. But Istanbul is much more than that. Balat is a neighborhood that’s worth exploring. It’s even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the reasons why Balat is so attractive is that you can see mosques and churches within a short distance from each other. You can even visit a university called Qadir Khas, which is a popular spot in the neighborhood. And don’t forget to sit in a cafe and try some delicious Turkish tea. It will make your trip even more special.
Imagine walking through Balat and seeing every house painted in a different color. One house may be pink, the neighbor’s house green, and the building next to it blue. It’s a photographer’s dream! The narrow streets, colorful buildings, and locals wearing traditional clothes will leave you satisfied and amazed.
Must-See Sights In Balat
If you love exploring historical places, Balat is the neighborhood for you. Here are some of the special attractions you shouldn’t miss:
This university used to be a tobacco factory in the past. Today, it’s not only a place of education but also a tourist attraction because of its beautiful scenery.
This gate dates back to the ancient Roman era. It faced the city of Constantinople, which was an important city during that time.
Gol Mosque was originally a church but was converted into a mosque in the 15th century.
This historical school has now become a cultural attraction in Istanbul.
St. George Church
Considered one of the great Orthodox churches in Istanbul, this church is over 500 years old.
St. Stephens Church
Also known as the Iron Church, this church belongs to the Bulgarian Cathedral.
This is the most famous spot for photographing the colorful houses in Balat.
How To Get To Balat
If you’re wondering how to get to Balat from Taksim Square, here’s what you need to know. First, head to Eminuno, Karakoy, or Uskudar neighborhood. From there, you can take a ferry to Ivansaray and then enjoy a short walk along the beach to reach Balat. You can also take a bus, which is an easier way to get to the Balat neighborhood.
If you’re not familiar with transportation in Istanbul, make sure to check out the public transportation options and plan your route accordingly. And if you have the location of Balat neighborhood saved on your phone, finding your way will be a breeze.