A Famous District in Istanbul

Karaköy Tours & Experiences

Istanbul Tourist Pass: 35+ Attractions & Services

All of your sightseeing plans, sorted! The Pass will let you skip ticket lines, save you money and guide you around all the best attractions in the city!...

From €95.00 /per person

Guided Museum Pass Istanbul

Get skip-the-line admission and a talented guide to explore Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahçe Palace and more!...

From €65.00 /per person


When we think about Istanbul we think about a change, a transformation not in the sense of urbanization but the animation of social life, innovation, modernization and decoration of the streets with art. Istanbul manages to keep her historic fabric while contributing to this change. Karakoy is one of those towns that you can witness Istanbul’s contemporary and historic nature at the same time. With its cosy little cafés, colourful shops, always full bars and restaurants it is the meeting centre of young Istanbul. The most exciting and alive change occurs in this very town.  If this is your first time in Istanbul, you might wonder where Karakoy is located. Karakoy is located down the Beyoglu district, near Galata Bridge and the Tower carrying the same name, covering an area from the banks of Golden Horn to Bosporus. For an enjoyable and memorable visit in Karakoy this is your guide to know the things to do in Karakoy.

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Where is Karakoy?

Let’s start by understanding where is Karakoy in Istanbul and how you can reach there. If you are on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, it is quite easy to reach Karakoy. You will take the Kadikoy to Karakoy ferry and take off at Karakoy Port. It is also easy to reach from Karakoy to Sabiha Gokcen Airport since you can take the shuttle to the airport from Kadikoy. If you are on the European side, you might ask how far is Karakoy from Taksim. It is not so far. You can easily reach Karakoy from Taksim by M2 metro line or by taking the bus. Karakoy is also close to other significant districts of Istanbul, so you might choose to stay at a hotel in Karakoy and save your time. There are many hotels near Karakoy Istanbul. We will recommend you three: Vault Karakoy the House Hotel, Sub Karakoy Hotel and 10 Karakoy A Morgans Original.  

Exploring Karakoy

Now, it is time to figure out what to do in Karakoy. When you land off from the ferry, you are on the Karakoy Port right next to Galata Bridge. You might start your journey by first experiencing the wonderful view of Galata Bridge and take good pictures there. You will see the fisherman fishing from the bridge, ferries coming and going from under the bridge, seagulls flying around catching bagels that people are feeding them. From there, you might choose to walk towards Galata Tower and explore the tiny, colourful shops on your way up before discovering the landmark of Istanbul. Besides the dynamic streets of Karakoy full of cafés and bars you should taste the historic fabric of it first. You should definitely try the Turkish Bath, hamam, because it is a Turkish tradition for hundreds of years. Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami is a hamam in Karakoy, where you can experience Turkish bath to the fullest. You will see the hamam dome which considered one of the largest ones in Istanbul. It is one of the finest places to experience Turkish hamam in Istanbul. Karakoy fish market is very significant because it is not just a market but a place you can eat anything from uskumru to hamsi. The fish sandwiches are also local and worth trying. You will see many kinds of fish on counters and hear the inviting yells of salesman therefore will experience the real Istanbul. As we mentioned before, from Karakoy it is easy to access other historic districts as well. If you want to go to Sultanahmet for instance the transportation from Karakoy to Sultanahmet is not difficult.  It is a half an hour walk via passing Galata Bridge or 15-minute road with public transportation. If you want to go from Karakoy to Grand Bazaar, it also is possible either on foot or via public transportation. If you also want to see the Princes’ Islands of Istanbul Karakoy provides you with ferries. You can take Karakoy to Buyakada ferry and also experience the island life of Istanbul. For a whole experience of all four islands, you should take a Princes’ Islands full day tour. The district is also famous with its nightlife. It definitely is an option to try one of the Karakoy bars after your long day of exploring the district and taste the Istanbul kind of nightlife.

Where to Eat in Karakoy?

The question where to eat in Karakoy is a very tricky one since there are tons of places you can choose from. You surely will need an advice before you visit Karakoy. This is our selection of restaurants near Karakoy. Our first recommendation is Balthazar, where you can make your stomach very happy if you like burgers. It is one of the best burger places on the district and is very popular. Pap’s Italian is also very popular and is located in the French Passage. You can have delicious pizza of Italian cuisine. Karakoy Gumruk on the other hand presents an exceptional atmosphere and legendary tastes for the ones who would like to crown their evening meal with good wine. Surely, you might want to try a little bit more local menu while discovering Karakoy. It is always a better idea to taste traditional cuisine or local dishes of a place you are visiting. Our suggestion to you is to taste juicy local meat dishes at Namli Gurme. If you are not a fan of meat but more of a fish person Tarihi Karakoy Balik Lokantasi is for your appetite. This is a restaurant that will give you chance to taste different flavours of Istanbul in each bite. It has a 100 years of history in Karakoy and is one of the oldest fish restaurants in Istanbul. For a menu with broader options, variety of olive oil appetizers made of local products, different kinds of hot and grill dishes cooked in charcoal grill or in nutshell embers; Mukellef Karakoy is where we are talking about. When you are full, it is time for a cup of coffee! Karakoy is packed with coffee places, displaying the social diversity as well as the dynamism of Istanbul. First up, Coffee Sapiens which defines itself as “coffee roaster”. You can try special brewing varieties and different aromas as well as classic espresso-based beverages. If you are a bookworm and want to take your day off, FilBooks is a place dedicated to books and coffee. You can have the exceptional brownie they serve for the desert of the day. Pim, Karabatak or Dem Karakoy are also on the list for a coffee. Our final option for you is Federal Coffee Company.

Karaköy Comments

Nathaniel - September 24, 2019

We had a nice plan to visit all 5 attractions but unfortunately we could go only Saint Sophia. When we contact them they refund the calculated amount. Nice job done with heart.

Deborah - September 11, 2019

Nice idea. In my country there is not any pass like this. We get one to visit the places. In one tour it was just a little bit crowded. But the guide covered people well.

Denise - August 24, 2019

We got the pass for 3 days. When we extended our stay in Istanbul we extended our pass as well. Next to traditional visiting places other activities are selected well. Madame Tussauds, was incredible.

Frances - August 05, 2019

If you wish to visit these 5 places with guidance "the best choice". Otherwise you can have the Museum Card which is obtained by government.

Eleanor - June 15, 2019

I use always Tourist Passes on my travels. I am a routine user. According to Istanbul the content seems some poor. Also they can add some discount in some restaurants etc as well.

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