How to Spend a Day in Istanbul's Arnavutköy Neighbourhood

Arnavutköy | © Ömer Ünlü/WikiCommons
Arnavutköy | © Ömer Ünlü/WikiCommons
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
13 December 2017

Known for its beautiful mansions by the Bosphorus and its many fish restaurants, Arnavutköy is a classic Istanbul neighbourhood where the well-to-do reside. On weekends, Arnavutköy also becomes one of the city’s most happening nightlife spots, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.

Stroll by the Bosphorus

When you’re in Arnavutköy, one of the best things to do during the day is to simply stroll on the promenade by the Bosphorus. You can start your stroll in Bebek (especially since there is a metro stop in the vicinity) and walk all the way to Arnavutköy, taking in the view of the famous strait the entire time.

Arnavutköy | © Moonik/WikiCommons

Get some shopping done

Arnavutköy may not be known for its shopping, but there are a few great stores that you should check out while in the neighbourhood. Çuval, a local designer who makes absolutely beautiful bags that are simultaneously classic and cool, opened its store in Arnavutköy and is one of the shopping highlights of the area. Palmhouse Living is another great store to visit if you’re looking for original and sophisticated home decor.

Courtesy of Palmhouse Living

Eat dinner at one of the many fish restaurants

As mentioned, Arnavutköy is a neighbourhood known for its many fish restaurants that overlook the water. Make sure to make a reservation before you decide to eat dinner at one of the places because they are usually quite full on the weekend. Some of the best restaurants include Takanik, Adem Baba, Revma, and Arnavutköy Balıkçısı.

Get your party on

On the weekend, Arnavutköy becomes one of the city’s most happening nightlife destinations with a row of excellent cocktail bars filled with people. You’ll often see people hanging out on the street because there’s just not enough space inside, but the music is always loud enough so the party continues on the sidewalk. Some of the most popular bars include ANY, Alexandra and Whisper.

Cocktail | © Michael Korcuska/Flickr

Eat some late-night mantı or ice cream

There’s another reason why people come to Arnavutköy quite late on the weekend: mantı. The Arnavutköy branch of Bodrum Mantı stays open late and has become one of the city’s iconic stops to get something to eat after a night of drinking. The small dumplings filled with minced meat and topped with garlic yogurt and a spicy tomato sauce are absolutely excellent, no matter time of the day. For dessert, drop by one of the best ice cream stands in Istanbul. Serving up original Italian gelato, Girandola Arnavutköy is open until the very late hours and there are always people in line waiting to get a cone of delicious ice cream.