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The Top 7 Things to Do and See in Istanbul’s Tophane

The Top 7 Things to Do and See in Istanbul’s Tophane

Picture of Ayse Huseyin
Updated: 9 February 2017
The Tophane region of Istanbul alone can provide attractions for every sort of traveler no matter what their interests or the sort of holiday they hope to have. From authentic Turkish pampering to roaming the streets of Istanbul in search of modern art, join us for seven essential attractions in Tophane.

Tophane Art Walk

Tophane Art Walk is a comprehensive and expertly guided tour of some of the essential contemporary art galleries, museums, and exhibitions that the Tophane region has to offer. The arts scene of Istanbul is an ever-evolving, social commentary reflecting culture, politics, and an aesthetic unique to Turkey. This is your chance to be a part of this fascinating world. From canvas to the city streets you’ll have industry experts leading you on one of the walk’s pre-chosen routes, where a love of art is your ticket to seeing Istanbul as you never have before.

Tophane Nargile Cafés

This row of cafés is infamous to the Tophane area for serving potent Turkish coffee, sweet chai and snacks as you enjoy nargile, more commonly known as shisha. Follow the aromatic scent of the flavored smoke and choose from indoor or outdoor seating, where you can recline and allow the evening to softly drift by. The row of cafés offers packages to its visitors including the ‘VIP Package’ for TL50, in which you’ll get one nargile, tea, and some snacks to share with those in your party. This is an authentic taste of Turkish culture.

Smyrna Bar

This former antiques shop still retains its eclectic décor with relics from its bric-a-brac past, still embellishing most surfaces and walls. This intimate and colorful space is a largely unknown gem in Tophane that offers a wide array of drinks and a warm atmosphere. This is an excellent place to enjoy a couple of drinks on an evening, either to take the edge off after an exciting day of exploring the city, or to set a fun tone for a night on the town.

Smyrna Bar, Emniyetevleri Mh., Akarsu Cd. No:29, Turkey, +90 212 244 2466

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı

This 600-year-old hamam is an essential stop for anyone seeking a high-class, traditional Turkish experience. The hamam is impeccably clean and spacious with the bare bricks, high ceilings, and chic wooden fixtures, inspiring serenity and relaxation with a rustic yet luxury ambiance. The service is phenomenally efficient and welcoming ensuring that you will make the very most of the time you spend here. Don’t delay to experience one of the most rejuvenating, peaceful experiences that Tophane has to offer- 600 years of luxury can’t lie!

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı, Hamam Sokak 1, off Kemeraltı Caddesi, Tophane, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 393 8010

Kahve 6

Kahve 6 is a place to see every season in the year seamlessly pass as their gorgeous botanical garden sprouts, and blooms and withers through the year. This is a location to enjoy traditional Turkish delicacies, sweet and smoky coffee. You may even be lucky enough to have your fortune told by a local, glancing at the dregs left in your cup- a popular Turkish custom. Be enchanted by the serenity of the hanging vines and lush greenery. Kahve 6 can make for a breathtaking retreat from urban Istanbul and is just as magical every time you visit.

Kahve 6, Akarsu Cad./anahtar Sok. 13/A, Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 293 0849

Jewish Museum of Turkey

This beautiful museum is in the 19th century Zullfaris synagogue and was erected to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Sephardic Jews arriving in the Ottoman Empire. The museum, though small, documents with photographs, artifacts, the co-existence of Jews and Muslims in Turkey during this period. The former Constantinople was a hub for multicultural exchange and this museum provides one of many examples. This is a fascinating stop for an insight into the history that existed between these two major faiths in the predominantly Muslim country. Today, there are a total of 16 synagogues in Istanbul.

Jewish Museum of Turkey, Karaköy Meydanı, Perçemli Sokak No.1, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 292 6333

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, founded in 2004, was Turkey’s first private museum showcasing modern art pieces. This is a comprehensive collection of international art pieces that appeals both to art enthusiasts and has a commitment to educating those who wish to learn more about this vibrant movement. The museum takes great pride in its cultural identity and hosts many educational and social programs for the local community and tourists to enjoy. For a fascinating, cultural, and interactive experience, make the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art an essential stop and be sure to check ahead of time which workshops you can partake in!

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi Antrepo No.4, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 334 7300

By Ayse Huseyin