About the property
- Apartment538 sq. ft.
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay3 nights
Beautiful Greek home restored in a tasteful way attracting discerning travelers
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
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few days
- English, Arabic, Turkish
- Calendar last updated:
- Mar 23, 2018
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 12:00 AM
Check-out: 10:30 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Neither Peter nor Ozkan were available to meet me when I arrived and to walk me through the apartment to explain how things worked and where shops/restaurants are located. Instead their housekeeper Nana met me; she speaks only Georgian and broken Turkish.
The professional photos on the website look much better than the reality. At least the bed was comfortable. And the shower worked nicely. Plenty of kitchen supplies and utensils if you want to cook for yourself.
However, no TV existed “because most of our guests spend time outside the room or watch their smartphones.” Hey, I prefer my sports, news and movies on a TV. There are no taxi stands nearby. No breakfast included in the price. No paper napkins or paper towels or Kleenex or trash basket on the premises. Street cats and rubbish populate the area. Electricity and the internet went down once. My front door was just feet from the busy and noisy street where rumbling trucks, honking taxis and shouting children passed regularly. I didn’t sign up for this. If you are an older person, as I am, and want some conveniences and easy sightseeing, this is not the place for you.
... Wait, why is there a TV shown here in this picture?
... And wait again, I paid for 6 nights but stayed only 5. How do I get a refund? I asked Ozkan but he did not reply.
So sorry you did not enjoy your time in Istanbul and we were unable to able to accommodate your many needs. I should point out, however, we are not a hotel, which is probably the best place for you to stay the next time you visit our wonderful city.
We have welcomed discerning travelers from all over the world, the vast majority who have enjoyed the apartment and its location immensely; a fact supported by the many positive comments we have received from our guests over the past five years – many of whom we now consider friends.
This is a special historical corner of Istanbul and while it might not be to your liking, we call it home.
Ozkan and Peter
Absolutely fabulous apartment. Well stocked with a dream of a bed! Best night sleep you will have in Turkey! Thank you!
Clean, characterful and relaxing apartment.
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.
A perfect place to escape from Christmas in the UK
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.
A great place in a wonderful neighborhood
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!
a true discovery
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!
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'.