One of the most popular neighbourhoods in recent years is undoubtedly Karakoy. So, why has Karakoy become so popular? Is it because of its proximity to Galata, its reminder of the past with its fishermen, or the traces of art and history in its streets? Maybe it’s all of them. Let’s take a tour of Karakoy together.
🛎️ Reminder: To explore Karakoy step by step with your digital tour guide, don’t forget to download Piri Guide! 😊
Where is Karakoy?
Karakoy is a historic neighbourhood in Istanbul, located on the European side, and is a part of the Beyoglu district. It is also a neighbour of Besiktas and Sisli. Karakoy is exactly between Eminonu and Galata Bridge.
You can also take a look at our travel guide to the beautiful district of Beyoglu!😊
How to Go to Karakoy?
If you are on the European side, you can take the M2 Yenikapi-Taksim-Haciosman metro line and get off at the Sishane stop. Then, you can take the F2 Karakoy-Beyoglu funicular and reach Karakoy.
If you are on the Asian side, you can use the M4 Kadikoy-Kartal-Pendik line or the M5 Uskudar-Umraniye-Sancaktepe line to cross to Kadikoy or Uskudar. You can then reach Karakoy pier directly by ferry from the Uskudar or Kadikoy piers.
Also, if you are close to the T1 Kabatas-Eminonu-Bagcilar tramway, you can easily reach Karakoy by taking it.
What to Eat and Drink in Karakoy?
Karakoy offers many beautiful and famous options for travellers. The abundance of third-wave coffee shops and burger places is particularly noteworthy. We recommend having a nice burger and then a coffee. Of course, you can have a dessert from one of the famous baklava shops, as well. 🙂 Furthermore, Karakoy’s breakfast options are pleasing to both the eyes and the palate.
Places to Visit in Karakoy
We’ve made a list of must-visit places in Karakoy. Yet, we should remind you that you can find more on Piri Guide mobile app. Piri Guide detects your location, offers you the best travel routes, and starts telling you the hidden stories of wherever you are. All you have to do is to get your headphones or earbuds and follow the path at your own pace. Then, don’t set out for your trip before downloading the digital travel guide! 😊
Kilic Ali Pasha Mosque
Kilic Ali Pasha Mosque is a smaller building compared to other works of Mimar Sinan, but you can see the artist’s touch in every corner of the building. According to reports, the sultan of the time, Murat III, asked Kilic Ali Pasha, “You are the head of the navy, the captain of the seas, why are you building a mosque on land?” To this, it is said that Kilic Ali Pasha had the mosque built on the sea, filling it with water. He said to Mimar Sinan, “One of my favourite buildings in the city is Hagia Sophia. I want a mosque similar to it.” In this aspect, Mimar Sinan built a mosque that is architecturally similar to Hagia Sophia, with a similar gallery and many columns.
Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate Church
Some may think, “We have heard of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, but what is the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate?” During the War of Independence, Papa Eftimios, helped Atatürk a lot. In 1920, Atatürk established the Patriarchate, and Papa Eftimios became the head of the church. Inside the church, Turkish flags and portraits of Atatürk are visible, which are not common in most churches.
The most striking feature of the Karakoy Harbour, in our opinion, is its breath-taking view. There is truly a wonderful historical peninsula view here. At a glance, we can see the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia behind it, and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque in the background.
Speaking of the historical peninsula view, you may also want to check out our Historical Peninsula Tour Guide for more information.
The Port of Haydarpasa
The reason we have included The Port of Haydarpasha on the list is its historical background. There is an underground mosque in this area. The special feature of this underground mosque is that it is in the same place as the famous chain tower on Kemankes Street.
There was a chain at the entrance of the Golden Horn, and because of that chain, the Ottomans could not enter with their ships. That’s where the tower of that chain is located. For years, the Byzantines lived on the other side. They always looked at this place. Because there was no Galata Bridge, they could not cross over to this side very often. As they looked at the other side, they called this place “opposite shore” or “Pera” in Greek.
SALT Galata is a museum located in a building that was originally the Ottoman Bank. The building has a beautiful design and houses a modern library, a cafe, and a restaurant on the upper floor. The museum hosts many interesting exhibitions and is definitely worth visiting.
The Arab Mosque
The minaret of the Arap Mosque is actually an old bell tower. After all, this is a Catholic church dedicated to Saint Paul. Its bell tower now appears to us as a minaret. It is truly a striking mosque. It is listed in the top 10 of the 200 most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. We highly recommend seeing it when you come to Karakoy, as it’s hard to miss.