Stay in a recently renovated apartment in a Historical building that sleeps 4 people.
Originally a Greek Family shop, now a tastefully decorated comfortable visit with all the old features remaining (Coved brick and wooden ceilings) but with modern facilities.
1 bedroom, double bed, fully equipped kitchen, 1 good sized bathroom and a large lounge with dining area and LCD TV, DVD and Convertible sofa bed..
Come and stay in Balat Fener for an authentic experience of Turkish life.
On the Shores of the Golden Horn, it's only a 5 minute walk down the hill to the water and original Byzantine walls.
In the heart of Istanbul's old districts and one of the 7 hills of the Old city, the area is changing as its ancient homes, churches, mosques and synagogues go through gentrification, guided by UNESCO and EU programs..
The right choice for the discerning traveller.
The apartment was excellent and is located in a friendly and historic neighbourhood. After the second day several locals recognised us and made us feel welcome. The flat was comfortable and well appointed. The facilities were excellent and there was enough space to cook at home if you chose to. The local markets and shops are full of delicious produce to experiment with. The property is clean and well maintained.
Ozkan was an excellent host and we would recommend his walking tour of Balat and Fener. He is knowledgeable and shows you things you might otherwise miss.
The flat is well placed to see the main attractions. There is a regular bus service or a pleasant 20 minute walk along the riverbank to Eminonu, where you can catch ferries or walk through the Spice market to the main attractions, such as the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Balat and Fener for evening meals. Most don't serve alcohol, but that wasn't a problem. Agora, Forno's and a newer Fanaraki were all delicious.
Don't be put off by the recent attacks reported in the media. Once in Istanbul you feel safe and especially in a local areas like Balat. it is advisable to avoid large crowds in the main tourist spots, but there is so much more to the city. You will be charmed.
The apartment is tastefully and comfortably furnished, clean and just the right size for 2 adults for a week. In addition to that it is an a excellent location, right in the old town but within easy walking distance of shops markets, buses, restaurants (there are some properly good restaurants in the area!) and everything you need. The area is facinating, you can see how the area must have looked 100 plus years ago and how it will look like in a few years when the regeration is complete. Everyone in the area is very friendly and we felt completely safe all the time we were there. Ozkem was at the apartment to let us in before we even had a chance to call him and even dashed off to get us some milk so that we could make tea! After that Ozkem and Peter looked in on us every few days to suggest places to go, things to do etc and to make sure we were comfortable. They even arranged a cab to take us back to the airport at the end of our break. I don't think we could have asked for more.
What a GREAT experience! Everything from our inquiry and reservation many months ahead, to our arrival in the rain, and our 5-day stay was wonderful. Peter and Ozkan created a clean, well-equipped "home" that was perfect for the two of us. The magic of Balat is the slow emergence of rehabilitated homes in one of the older areas of Istanbul. It was alive with friendly people, lots of children playing in the streets, etc. Yet, with a 5-minute walk down the hill, and a 10-minute bus ride, we were in the heart of "tourist" Istanbul.
Ozkan spent time with us to better understand the area, and all it has to offer. Information that is not in any guide book. With a small shop across the street we could buy water (2TL for 5 liters), snacks, and other necessities. If you want to avoid the crowds and noise of central Istanbul, at a fraction of the cost of the major hotels, this is where you want to be.
One caution. Istanbul, and especially Balat, are NOT easy for those who are lesser-abled. Many cobbled street, and very few places with access to wheelchairs, etc. are a simple reality. But for the independent traveler with just a little taste of adventure, this place is where you want to be!
What a great place to stay! Our first experience with HomeAway, this lovely flat in Balat, hit the mark, a true discovery. The place was exactly what we expected from the pictures and the description. Everything was comfortable, clean, well equipped, and beautifully decorated. We didn't want to leave after a 4 weeks stay! Peter and Ozkan were very helpful, from arranging airport transfer, sharing info about the neighbourhood and their favorite spots in town, to simply being there for all our questions.
Balat is a very interesting quickly developing neighbourhood, dynamic, vibrant and exotic. We didn't feel like touristst at all but above all as one of the neighbours. we always felt safe to wander around. Most of our shopping we did at Vodina street, down the hill, where we quickly had a personal contact with the shopkeepers (also thanks to the few Turkish words we learned at home). But also shopping in the Carsamba area, up the hill, the more conservative part, was great. Everybody was very helpful. Don't forget the Wednesday market (Carsamba market) near Fatih Mosque. We bought wonderfull veg and fruit, cheese, olives, and other stuff.
Balat is a very central location and you can easily reach Istanbul's highlights and hidden gems within minutes by bus, tram, metro, ferry (use Istanbulkart, and even use it for public toilets!). Down the hill you also find the Golden Horn, always good for a walk with a view. We'll be back!
My friend and I just spent a week in Istanbul and this apartment was perfect for us. We were both very comfortable. The place had everything that we needed. We never cooked (except coffee) but we could have if we had wanted to. The neighborhood was cool and if you want a less expensive but great meal or any food, you could get it there instead of in the touristy areas. We walked almost everywhere and it was also easy to access the ferry, bus or taxi to get to other areas. Peter's information sheet was the basis for my itinerary. We went to the oldest Turkish baths that he suggested which was an experience. We bought the croissants type rolls from the street vendor who comes by every morning about 10. The store across the street is great for most of your necessities but there are also great shops down on the main street of the neighborhood. Peter and Oksan arranged our taxi to and from the airport which was a big help. I have already recommended the place to a coworker who is going to Istanbul in September. It is off the beaten path but that is what we enjoy.
We stayed for 6 days. It was our first time in Istanbul and you couldn't find a better place to stay. We liked the neighborhood with its old houses, friendly and helpful people, corner shops, children playing in the streets just a short walking distance or a few bus stops away from the busy, more Western neighborhoods with its hordes of tourists. At the apartment we found everything according to the description. The kitchen is well equipped, though we usually went out for dinner. The owners Peter and Ozkan were very helpful before and during our stay. In short: We can fully recommend the apartment and will surely come back!
On the edge of the more busy tourist area stay in a authentic neighborhood and immerse yourself in the local culture,yet still have easy access by foot, or a 10 minute ride on local transportation to Aya Sofia, The Blue Mosque, Topkapi palace, the Grand Bazaar, Beyoglu Taxsim etc, and all of Istanbul's major tourist attractions.
On hilly cobbled streets, the twin neighbourhoods of Balat Fener were once the home of Istanbul's minorities. Here you'll see old Greek, Jewish, and Armenian homes, and some of the cities oldest Synagogues and Churches.
The area, because of so many national treasures, was recently declared a world heritage sight by UNESCO and so now has a mixture of older more conservative residents and more modern new comers living in their restored houses.
Your host's are local British/Turkish residents on hand to give any information or help if required.
The area is loved by photographers and film makers so don't be suprised to come across film crews as you wander around. The street were you will stay was featured in the last Bond movie 'Skyfall'.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
One week £325
Four week £1000
A £150 deposit is required on reservation. The balance has to be paid two months before arrival in Istanbul.
In case of a late arrival (after 11:00 pm) or an early departure (before 8am) an extra of £20 is kindly requested for the person opening the house/returning the deposit for you.
If more than 2 people stay an extra cost of £15 per person per night.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.