About Balat in Istanbul

Balat is one of the oldest districts of Istanbul with some wooden houses over 200 years old. Friendly local families, a cultural mix of Jewish, Christians, and Muslims people are all welcoming you to their neighborhood. Balat has Synagogues, Churches, and Mosques, something you don’t see all along that often. The second you enter Balat with its colorful historical buildings and narrow streets, you will forget that you’re in Turkey.

Perhaps the most iconic part of Balat is the district’s colorful houses along sloping cobbled streets. These homes are mostly over 50-years-old, and in some cases are up to 200-years-old. These historic wooden homes are amongst the most photographed buildings in the city, and given its popularity many of these streets now feature cafés and restaurants for you to stop off at and admire the setting.

Or if you want a break (because remember, most of these streets are QUITE steep!), just sit on the steps of these homes, as people have been taking a break on that same stoop for literally centuries!

Balat’s Colorful Homes

The neighborhood itself is incredible welcoming, with many family having lived here for generations. You’ll meet locals who are very happy to talk to you and ask you about your background, and as we’ll see… many of the locals have quite the diverse background themselves!