Places to Visit: Cihangir

Cihangir is a hip place and located in the Beyoglu district, also nearby the Istiklal Street that can be easily reached in 5 mins from the avenue. Actually, in spite of this closing situation, these places are way too different. Cihangir is a chic place with its elegant cafes, stylish restaurants which provide a wide range of different dinner options, cool coffee shops and boutiques.

Therefore district is usually visited by famous artists and foreigners beside the local ones. In Cihangir Square, you can settle down at a cafe to make some people watching, you couldn’t notice how time passes.

The meaning of the word “Cihangir” is “The person that captured the major part of the world”; If you wanna know why they gave this powerful name to the district, we need to go back to the past, to Suleyman the Magnificent.

Suleyman the Magnificent had a son from Hürrem Sultan, named Cihangir. For the memory of his son, who died young, Suleyman had a mosque constructed in this place that looked like a large rock protruding from the sea. The mosque that was constructed by Mimar Sinan between the years 1559 – 1560 and was named Şehzade Cihangir Mosque. This is why the district began to be called Cihangir.

It is surrounded by caricaturists, painters and actors who lives in Istanbul, this is the place when you think  “bohemia” in Istanbul,  where cinema, theater, literature, philosophy are discussed at corners, banquettes, alleys, cafes along the road, openings and popular meeting points. This is Cihangir. 

If you ask Cihangir stairs to the local people, you can easily find and I highly recommend this stairs for watching sunset over the fascinating Istanbul view. Istanbul has always held a special allure to me. The fascinating history, unique culture and world-class food are irresistible.

One side of it maintained its small, cozy spirit, and the other side combined the bohemian aura brought by its residents and the traditional spirit of the district. This was so successfully done that neither the spirit of the district was damaged, nor the bohemian aura lost its taste.

Where to go?

There are many cafes to go for chat, while you have a drink and eat and relax. The most popular of them are Susam, Kahvedan, Meyra (former Leyla), and Smyrna. For fish, you can drop in at Sur Balık at Villa Zurich Hotel and to embrace the sea you may go down to the shore through the colourful stairs to Fındıklı.


Have fun!