A historically Greek district located on the Golden Horn, Fener offers a peek into Istanbul of old. The neighborhood is home to Byzantine and Ottoman-era homes, churches, and other buildings, along with the Greek Patriarchate. Walk the side streets where you can't help but pass historic buildings and trendy cafes, stores, and galleries.
Fener’s atmospheric streets are an ideal place to wander. Notable buildings, including the unusual Fener Red School and the Church of St. George, dot the curving streets, while colorful cafes sit alongside Byzantine walls. A bike path runs along the water of the Golden Horn.
Private and small-group walking tours of the Fener district often stop at the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, Walls of Constantinople, ruins of Blachernae Palace, Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate, synagogues in the Balat district, and other historic highlights. Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes to explore the Fener district.
- Fener is a must-visit for history and architecture buffs.
- The Greek Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener is an active place of worship, and not always open to visitors.
How to Get There
The Fener district is located up the Golden Horn and is easily accessible by bus from the Eminonu pier. It’s possible to walk to Fener from Eminonu, though not all of the streets have sidewalks. Taxi service to Fener is an option if you prefer to avoid public transport. For maximum ease, book a tour that includes transportation.When to Get There
The scenic streets and bustling coffee shops of Fener fill up in the afternoon with locals and visitors. Come in the morning to beat the crowds and have the streets to yourself. Peak tourist season in Istanbul is June to August—visit just before or after for fewer people.Nearby Neighborhoods
Fener is adjacent to the neighborhood of Balat, a historically Jewish area that is dotted with synagogues. Combined, Fener and Balat provide an interesting look at the diverse history of Istanbul. Wander farther up the Golden Horn to Eyup, a Muslim neighborhood with a wide open square and a notable mosque.