A newly-renovated third-floor (top floor) apartment in the historic area of Fener/Balat within the walls of the old city of Constantinople. The apartment is about a three-minute walk from the Golden Horn and the public transport network. Until the 1920s Fener/Balat was an entirely Greek and Jewish area, filled with distinctive Greek-style houses. Then, at the end of the Greco-Turkish war came the great population exchange between Greece and Turkey, during which most of the Greeks departed. The area is now being rediscovered. UNESCO has put a preservation order on hundreds of local houses. New cafes and eateries are opening all the time and the go-ahead has been given for a new port complex on the Golden Horn. At the same time the area retains the unique feel of old Istanbul: children playing football in the streets, lines of washing strung between coloured stone houses, small, chaotic neighbourhood stores and traditional bakeries. There is also the Patriarchate, the home of the Greek Orthodox Church, with its history and relics, various other sleepy Greek churches and nearby the Chora church, with its Byzantine mosaics, the finest in Istanbul. A little further is the northen end of the Great Land Walls of Constantinople, which can still be followed the 7kms between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara.
From Fener access to the centre of the Old City could not be easier. Istanbul’s transport system is entirely integrated – bus, metro, tram and ferry. The same electronic Istanbulkarts, which we provide for guests, are used on all forms of transport. From the bus stop at the bottom of the hill it’s a ten-minute journey to Eminönü then a stroll, or two stops on the tram to Topkapı PALACE, three to Aya Sophia, the Blue Mosque and so on. For those wanting to sample the bustle of the city centre and all its shopping, from the same bus stop a ten-minute ride goes across the Golden Horn to Taksim Square, the centre of the city. Alternatively, from Eminönü a ferry can be taken to Asia, the Princes Islands, along the Bosphorus to bustling Beşiktaş and the other ports on the European side, or just a gentle tour.