Neighborhood Tour: What to Do in Kuzguncuk

It might be the tiniest neighborhood in the city, but there are still plenty of exciting places to fill your morning on the axis of Kuzguncuk’s two main streets.

A morning ferry ride is one of Istanbul’s little pleasures. If you need to cross continents in order to get to Kuzguncuk, consider yourself among the lucky ones. Since the Beşiktaş-Üsküdar route takes less than 10 minutes, you might find yourself wishing it didn’t end so quickly. From Üsküdar, you can decide between a 20 minute walk or a two minute cab ride.

Walk up the main street of Kuzguncuk to stumble upon Pulat Çiftliği. On a sunny day you might be lucky enough to enjoy the view from one of the outdoor tables, along with a delicious breakfast spread and çılbır (a traditional breakfast dish made of poached eggs and yogurt) to die for.

Making time for a short neighborhood stroll is a must-do in Kuzguncuk. Besides dozens of Instagram-worthy spots, there are also places that offer analog experiences—ensuring you remain mindful in the area. One such place is the lovely Nail bookstore; if your knowledge of Turkish does not allow you to enjoy its literary collection, simply stop by for a cup of coffee.

Kuzguncuk is also home to one of The Guide Istanbul’s favorite natural skincare brands, Homemade Aromaterapi, which opens its cozy office to those who would like to deepen their knowledge on the subject. Four hour classes teach you how to make your own cosmetics and cleaning products at home, as well as revealing the secrets of aromatherapy. The space downstairs is the company’s storefront.

If you have some free time, take a lunch break at one of the neighborhood’s colorful eateries to refuel before continuing your stroll up the hill towards Nakkaştepe. Although it’s not entirely a cake walk, you will be rewarded with a visit to the impressive Abdülmecid Efendi mansion and surrounding park, or—upon making an appointment—to the Creative Industries Library located inside the Vakko headquarters.

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