The Top 7 Things To Do and See in Tünel, Istanbul

Ayse Huseyin

This artistic district of Istanbul has endless adventure waiting for those waiting to explore it. From its artistic stores to its museums and cultural scene, almost every interest and character in your groups will find an aspect of Tunel that captures their heart!

The Tunel Funicular

1. The Tünel Funicular

The Tünel Funicular

One of the most phenomenal aspects of Istanbul is the variety of methods of transport available to its inhabitants. From taxis to ferries, the Istanbul travel card gives you access to a word of transportation. Most unique amongst them would be The Tunel Funicular: a two-stop only, underground train system that takes travellers from Tünel to Karakoy. The bright red train is clean and efficient and will have you on your way in no time! The Tünel Funicular, Istanbul, Turkey


Tunel is popular amongst tourists for retaining a uniquely bohemian ambiance. The shopping experiences on offer therefore are unique and you will return home at the end of each day, delighted with the unique, hand-craft or one-of-a-kind purchases that you have made! There are also bookshops, clothing shops, restaurants and delis specializing in Turkish sweets so don’t delay in visiting to add artisan finesse to your time in Istanbul.

Market finds

2. Music



There are specific areas of the Tunel quarter that will appeal to creative-types and especially musicians. Galip Dede street is lined almost exclusively with music shops selling an array of Turkish and western instruments, sheet music, electronic equipment and accessories that could furnish a nightclub as easily as a full orchestra! For all of your performance needs, Tunel is your place! Galip Dede Street, Istanbul, Turkey

Traditional Greek folk music instruments | © Joan/WikiCommonsTraditional Greek folk music instruments | © Joan/WikiCommons

3. Galat Mevlevihanesi


Galat Mevlevihanesi

It is an image that has become synonymous with Turkey, its culture and Middle-Eastern mysticism. At Galat Mevlevihanesi, you will be treated to the poignant and captivating sight of skilled Turkish Dervishes hypnotically spinning in deep prayer, a display staged in worship and benevolence of Allah. The ceremony which has long been performed for awed spectators, shows groups of men whirling for a quarter of an hour in a trance like state to the sound of ululating, sonorous, Islamic hymns. For an authentic glimpse into Turkey’s cultural and spiritual past, this spectacle is not to be missed. Galata Mevlevi Lodge, Şahkulu Mah, Galipdede Caddesi 15, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 245 4141

Galat Mevlevihanesi | © Vladimer Shioshvili/WikiCommonsGalat Mevlevihanesi | © Vladimer Shioshvili/WikiCommons

4. Galata Tower


© JOHN BRACEGIRDLE / Alamy Stock Photo
The Galata Tower is one of Istanbul’s most striking monuments. The medieval tower has a phenomenal observation gallery upon which you can marvel the entire city and the coast. Additionally it contains a restaurant and bar, which truly defines luxury dining. Enjoy world-class food, wine from around the world, and a stunning sunset as the Istanbul night illuminates beneath you. For those of you who have always enjoyed your history on the immersive side, don’t hesitate to try on some historical costumes and truly experience Ottoman decadence! Galata Tower, Bereketzade, Galata Kulesi, Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey


This region of Tunel has gained notoriety for being an essential destination for dining. For an authentic taste of Turkey, you have a choice of dozens of restaurants serving all types of Turkish food. From meat to seafood to sweet treats to meze, every palate and dietary requirement will be catered for exquisitely. Whilst in the area, why not pay a visit to the oldest and most well known restaurant in Tunel called ‘Refik’. It has been in business for over 50 years!


Street Art

It seems like a peculiar thing to highlight, but in an age where graffiti is being considered as a raw form or urban art and not petty crime, the political complexities of Turkey are stunningly presented in large murals on walls across the city. Additionally, around Tunel, there are portraits of famous figures, pop culture icons and messages of peace and love in bold declamatory colors. Keep a note of the pieces that you see as an interesting side project!

Graffiti presumably by Viking mercenaries in Hagia Sophia

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