The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Şişli, Istanbul

Photo of Carrie Chan
9 February 2017

While Şişli is often regarded as one of the upscale districts in Istanbul, there’s a lot more to it than just 5 star hotels and shopping malls. For a taste of Turkish culture, you can find impressive museums, churches and mosques all around this opulent district. Going to Şişli really is an experience of contemporary Turkish life. Read the following list of 10 things to do and see in Şişli to kick start your Şişli adventure.

Cevahir Shopping Mall | © Christine und Hagen Gref/Flickr

Istanbul Cevahir

Istanbul Cevahir, opened in 2005, is the largest shopping mall in Europe and the second largest in the world. Istanbul Cevahir houses over 300 shops and several restaurants over an impressive six floors. From international brands to local brands, from fast food stalls to casual dining restaurants, you never feel bored of this mall. Take a look at the second largest clock in the world at the rooftop or choose one out of 12 cinemas in the mall to watch a show. You are always spoilt for choice at Istanbul Cevahir.

Address: Cevahir Avm Büyükdere Cad. No: 22 Mağaza No: 136 Şişli, 34100, Turkey +90 212 368 6900

Atatürk Museum (Atatürk Müzesi)

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The Court Pavilion in the gardens of Ihlamur Palace
The Court Pavilion in the gardens of Ihlamur Palace | © Lambiam/WikiCommons
Located on Halaskargazi Street, Atatürk Museum is a three story house museum painted in pink. Atatürk, the founder and the first President of the Republic of Turkey, first used the house for storage and residential purposes, but it was later changed to a museum to exhibit some of the personal belongings of Atatürk and depict his lifetime through historical documents and photographs. Since Atatürk did actually live and work in the house during significant historical events like the War of Independence and invasion of Istanbul, you will have a true experience of Atatürk’s life and Turkish history whilst visiting the museum.

Ihlamur Palace (Ihlamur Kasrı)

Surrounded by Linden trees, Ihlamur Palace is a former imperial Ottoman palace and now open as a public museum. There are two mansions – Merasim Köşkü and Maiyet Köşk. The interior design of the mansions is influenced by Western styles, yet retains the 19th century Turkish architectural characteristics. While Ihlamur Palace gives you a perfect introduction to the history and architectures during the period of Sultan Abdülmecid I, relaxing yourself and enjoying the greenery in the cafe and garden is a good treat too.

Address: Ihlamurdere Cd., Turkey +90 212-259-5086

Teşvikiye Mosque

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İstanbul Askeri Müzesi
İstanbul Askeri Müzesi | © Mirada/WikiCommons
Teşvikiye Mosque, located in Teşvikiye, was built during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecit I. Well known for its neo-baroque structure, the Mosque has elements of European architecture and is one of the signifying historical spots around the area. The white stone columns at the entrance of the Mosque are unique to Teşvikiye. The adornments inside the façade are reminiscent of the imperial family who once lived there.

Istanbul Military Museum (Askerî Müze)

As one of the most renowned military museums in the world, Istanbul Military Museum is located in the Harbiye district where the Ottoman imperial military academy was once situated. With a collection of weapons, guns, cannons, and other military tools, the Museum records one thousand years of Turkish military history. More than nine thousand exhibits from the Ottoman era to World War One are housed in the Museum. In the afternoon, try to catch the live music show of the oldest military band in the world and learn about the role musicians played in making military campaigns successful during the Ottoman period.
Address: Valikonagi Caddesi, Harbiye, 34298 Istanbul, Turkey +90 212-233-2720

St. Esprit Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Spirit)

Built in 1846 in Şişli, St. Esprit Cathedral is the second largest Roman Catholic church in Istanbul. The church, built in exquisite Baroque-style, attracts many tourists and is one of the most visited church by Popes. Masses at weekend are in French and English. Light a candle inside and listen to the sermon delivered by the priest. It is certainly a peaceful and tranquil place for meditation and reflection, or to just admire the spectacular art and architecture of the period.

Address: Harbiye, Cumhuriyet Cad. 127/A, Şişli/İstanbul – Avrupa, Turkey +90 212-248-0910

Maçka Modern Art Gallery

With the principle of bringing an innovative approach to art work collection, Maçka Modern Art Gallery welcomes diverse disciplines of art and exhibits modern and contemporary art work of famous Turkish artists. The gallery makes sure these featured artists are not only locally known but it helps them to gain international recognition through regular exhibition and various promotional channels. With a popular restaurant inside, the gallery is located in a 19th century building in Tesyikiye, close to Maçka Park.

Address: Tesvikiye Mah. Macka Cad. No:24 D:1 Tesvikiye, Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey +90 212-259-4513

Maçka Park

If you are planning a trip to Şişli, you have to go to Maçka Park and take the Maçka Gondola (Maçka-Taşkışla Teleferiği). It is a aerial cable car in Şişli, connecting Maçka and Taksim Square. Maçka Gondola does not only act as your transportation tool, but it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the picturesque scenery of the green valley Maçka Park. If you are overwhelmed by the modern and wealthy neighborhoods of Teşvikiye and Nişantaşı, Maçka Park is definitely your ultimate green break.
Address: Harbiye, Kadırgalar Cad., 34367 Şişli/İstanbul

Kanyon Shopping Mall (Kanyon Alışveriş Merkezi)

Park, Shopping Mall
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Kanyon shopping mall, Levent, Istanbul, Turkey.
Be sure to visit Souq Dükkan in Kanyon shopping mall | © Alex Segre / Alamy Stock Photo
Smaller and less daunting than its huge brother Cevahir, Kanyon Shopping Mall nonetheless provides a wide range of shops from globally reputable brands to top local brands, and from fine-dining restaurants to small cafés. But with its cool and modern architecture, it makes shopping here enjoyable on many levels. Putting together the nature elements through gardens and terraces, and the modern features through the interior structure, Kanyon Shopping Mall provides you with unique shopping experience and getaway at weekends. Round off your shopping day with open air performances at night.

Park Hyatt Hotel and Spa

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If you find yourself feeling a little drained after so much sight-seeing and shopping, round off your trip with a pick-me-up visit to Park Wyatt. Their terrace pool is the perfect place for a leisurely swim with a view, which is perfectly followed by a visit to their in-house spa. Hyatt Spa features all the best facilities, including sauna, steamroom, hydrotherapy bath and even a juice bar to complete that ultimate cleansing experience! Feeling a little sinful after all that cleansing? Then treat yourself to a glass of the finest wine at their Wine Bar, or maybe an elegant dinner at their French and Mediterranean restaurant La Petite Maison.

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