Hello, I am Serhat Engul, an Istanbulite who has been working as a licensed tourist guide in Istanbul for about 20 years. Fener and Balat walking tour is the history tour that I enjoy doing the most.

I first designed the Fener and Balat walking tour in 2008 for the photography club of a university in Istanbul. Over time, I improved the tour with the feedback I received from dozens of people and it became one of my most popular tours.

About Fener and Balat

Colorful Houses of Fener and Balat

Fener and Balat neighborhoods were among the relatively upper-class areas of the city during the Ottoman period. However, they began to decline after the 19th century, and this continued during the Republic period.

However, since the early 2000s, as Istanbulites, we have witnessed Fener and Balat on the rise again. The hidden treasures of the area began to come to the fore, especially with the development of social media, and became popular among both local and foreign tourists.

Although the most prominent features of Fener and Balat today are their colorful houses and stairs, there are many different things to discover in these districts. These districts, which have a wonderful cosmopolitan structure, were among the most lively places in Istanbul during the Ottoman period.

The most striking feature of the Fener Balat tour is that it introduces you to the life of non-Muslims in Ottoman Istanbul between the 15th and 20th centuries. So you get to know Fener, a Greek neighborhood, and Balat, a Jewish neighborhood.

Serhat Engul on TripAdvisor

Fener Balat tour reviews on Trip Advisor

Over the years, hundreds of guests, especially from the USA and UK, have joined my Fener and Balat tours. If you want to read their feedback about the tour, you can review these comments on my TripAdvisor page.

Although most of the comments on this page are about my Old City and Byzantine Istanbul tours, some of them are feedback about the Fener and Balat walk. Thus, it can provide you with general information about my guidance services.

Contact Me for a Private Tour

If you are going to visit Istanbul and would like to discover the history of these wonderful districts with a private guide, you can fill out the form on the contact page for availability and price.

You can do the Fener Balat walking tour yourself by following the places in the article on the home page of this site. However, it is not possible to enter some mosques, churches and synagogues on the list without knowing their officials.

You can discover the hidden gems of the district and at the same time learn its cosmopolitan history in depth through a licensed tour guide who knows the area well. This way, your visit to the neighborhoods will not be limited to just the colorful houses.

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