Arnavutkoy is located in between Ortaköy and Bebek on the Bosphorus seaside. It is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Istanbul. The name was given because of Albanian-origin Janissaries population settled before 1453. The area is famous for its architecture and old wooden mansions. Although the fires in the second half of the 19th century lead to the disappearance of the historical wooden houses, the district still preserves its historical texture. After a long day of the tour, You will feel like you came to a small fishermen’s village far from the busy streets of Istanbul. You’ll be immediately in love with colorful wooden houses, cobblestone streets, Bosphorus view, and fresh air.
In Arnavutkoy you’ll find some nice fish restaurants and pretty cafes. From day to night, It is lively in between the streets of the neighborhood. Some of the most popular bars or coffee places are ANY, Alexandra for its nice cocktails, Whisper for a coffee, A bit of Eggo for breakfast. Melina Kantina Cafe for working and chatting and Padre for a delicious hamburger. As for the restaurants, you can find fresh fish in any of them. Probably the first one that you’ll see and visit will be Arnavutkoy Balikcisi.
Another cute little restaurant is Hayri Balik and you’ll find it when you go up from the Bosphorus. It’s painted in yellow so you can’t miss it. If you feel like trying some special Turkish food, there is Bodrum Manti Restaurant. (Mantı-Small dumplings filled with minced meat and topped with garlic yogurt and a spicy tomato sauce) When you walk inside of Arnavutköy, you will see Taksiarhis Church. In the garden, there is a cemetery that belongs to Musurus Kostaki and his family, a diplomat in the Ottoman Empire, who translated Dante’s Divine Comedy to Turkish.
If you feel like walking along the Bosphorus, you can go in the direction of North and visit the Bebek neighborhood. You can have your ice cream from the famous little “Bebek Dondurmacısı” and enjoy watching Bosphorus sitting at Bebek Park, next to the sea.
Tip: It will be crowded on the weekends. Especially, if the weather is good. Better in the week.