I had a unique opportunity to stay in beautifully renovated house in Balat. If you want to truly immerse yourself in other culture there is no better way than rent an apartment in one of the local neighbourhoods. Balat and Fener are two of Istanbul's most mesmerising. Area is modern, vibrant with abundance of small shops, fruit markets and cafe's towards Golden Horn and quite conservative, traditional uphill from water. Public transport works well and it is easy to get to more touristy areas of Sultanahmet, Eminonu and Karakoy. Actually you can get there by foot in 30-40min. House is very comfortable, decor is superb and it is everything it promises. Do not go looking further. Highly recommended.
We had an absolutely perfect stay in this gorgeously restored Ottoman house in the historic formerly Greek Orthodox/Jewish neighborhood of Balat Fener. I can't say enough about the house which is truly a work of art and full of gorgeous cleverly chosen colors. With a wonderful view of the Golden Horn from the terrace (perfect for watching the sunrise or having cocktails at the end of a long day of site seeing or shopping) the house is located close enough to all the touristic sites yet provides a more authentic experience of a traditional Istanbul neighborhood. The area is totally safe and local residents are a mixture of the arty hip young crowd and the more traditional but both are welcoming. There are also several cafes and good places to eat including the famous Agora restaurant which is a must. Ozkan was a wonderful host and there were some staples like water, milk, coffee, olive oil and eggs provided for us.I truly can't recommend it enough. I plan to stay here every time I return to this magnificent city.
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