Balat is one of the oldest and most spectacular districts of İstanbul. The second you step foot along its narrow cobbled streets and historic buildings, you sense an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in İstanbul, and indeed the world.
The district is genuinely hidden away a little bit, set past the shores of Eminönü along the Golden Horn. It’s quite close to the metro stop along the Golden Horn (called Haliç in Turkish), within comfortable walking distance. The coastal road all along the Golden Horn is extremely pleasant, with massive parks all along and families walking along the promenade all the way up to Pierre Loti at the end of the Golden Horn.
turn a corner and you’re walking past one of the oldest cafés in the city, turn another and you’ve got the city’s oldest meyhane, a type of traditional dinner spot.