The Colorful Houses in Istanbul: Beautiful Balat

Author picture

Moving to a new country every two years

Read more about me

A must-see: the colorful houses of Balat in Istanbul!

Istanbul, which connects Europe and Asia in Turkey, has a long and interesting history and a culture that can be seen in its buildings and neighborhoods, like Balat.

Balat is a neighborhood that shows how Istanbul’s mix of cultures and traditions is very unique. Balat is known for its colorful houses and is definitely in the top things to do in Istanbul.

When you walk through the streets with the coloured houses of Balat in Istanbul, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. From pastel pink and blue buildings to bright red and yellow ones, these famous houses in Istanbul add a lot to the charm and personality of this area.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the colorful houses of Istanbul through the lens of my Sony a7C camera.

Table of Contents

The Colorful Houses in Istanbul

Balat, a vibrant district in Istanbul, is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. This historic neighborhood will light up your day with its brightly painted wooden homes, colorful streets, and cozy cafes. 

You will find lots of street art, synagogues, antique shops, historical buildings and many cafes and restaurants.

Today, Balat is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The colorful houses in Istanbul have been well preserved and restored when it was needed.

It’s not just about the past but also the present where everyday life unfolds in the most colorful way. It is one of the oldest districts of Istanbul.

Merdivenli Yokuşu

Balat used to be a lively Jewish neighborhood where a lot of Jews who moved to Istanbul in the early 1600s lived.

A famous street in the area of Baalt is Merdivenli Yokuşu. It is a street with stairs on both sides of the street. An interesting sight to see and a totally different side of traditional Istanbul.

What do the colors in Balat mean?

The colors of the houses are not chosen randomly; The colored houses of Balat show the different groups of people who have lived in the area. It is believed that the Jewish community is represented by blue, the Greeks by green, and the Armenians by red. I like it!

The colors of the houses in Balat are important to their culture, but I’ve been told that they also have practical uses.

The bright colors make it easier for visitors and delivery drivers to find their way around the neighborhood’s narrow streets.

The colors also help reflect heat, which keeps the houses’ interiors cooler in the summer. Pretty cool! (pun intended).

Some say that In Balat, each color has its own symbolic meaning, such as yellow for happiness and blue for protection against evil. 

From pink and blue to bright red and yellow, the colorful houses in Istanbul are a delight for the eyes. Even some of the cars are colorful!

The colorful houses in Istanbul have various patterns and details on their fronts that show off the skill and craftsmanship of the people who built them. Each house has its own unique colour and design.

The colorful houses of Balat show how the Ottoman and European styles of architecture were mixed. The houses have arched windows, balconies, and intricate details made of iron.

Exploring the colorful houses of Balat is something that everyone who goes to Istanbul should definitely do.

What to do in the area of the Colourful houses in Istanbul?

Walk around Balat’s colorful houses and look at the colorful houses and stop at cafes and shops along the way.

The brightly colored houses in Balat are great places to take pictures. Photograph the bright colors of the houses against the backdrop of the narrow streets and cobbled paths.

Visit local cafes and shops. There are a lot of local cafes and shops in Balat that give you a look into the everyday life of the area.

I especially like this dark green house with orange windows; you don’t see that every day.

It is also possible to visit Balat in Istanbul during a festival, like the Istanbul Tulip Festival or the Istanbul Biennial.

These events bring the neighborhood to life. During these events, the bright houses of Balat are even more brightly decorated, and the streets are full of music.

Local Cuisine

Balat wouldn’t be worth going to if you didn’t try some of the delicious local food. The colorful houses in Istanbul are known for the traditional Turkish breakfast, which has fresh bread, olives, cheese, and tomatoes.

There are also several seafood restaurants in the area.

how to get to the Colorful Houses In Balat?

The best way, if you are staying in the city center, is to go to Balat by ferry. Take the ferry from the boulevard at Karaköy to Fener.

For public transportation you will need the Istanbul Transport Card.

It’s also possible to take the metro to Ulubatlı and walk for about 15 minutes to the colorful houses in Istanbul.

Another way is to take a taxi to balat. Uber is the best option in my opinion. You will get a fixed price which is very convenient and you’ll not be confronted with any unexpected surprises. 

When is the best time to visit the colorful houses in Istanbul?

Although March can be chilly in Istanbul, the city generally has a warm Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters.

The month of Ramadan is a great time to visit Istanbul, which is when I was there. The prices of hotels dropped by half during Ramadan!

Istanbul, unlike many Middle Eastern cities, does not close its restaurants during Ramadan. Due to the city’s incredibly diverse population, businesses can afford to remain open during the day.

Final Thoughts on Visiting the Colorful Houses In Istanbul

Personally, I found Balat to be one of my favorite areas to visit in Istanbul. I had some struggle with the ferry and metro to arrive at the area but it was well worth the trip. 

It’s a super nice area to walk around and take beautiful pictures. 

The diverse mixture of various religions is also nice to see in the area. If you’re in Istanbul, it should definitely be on your list of places to visit!

F.A.Q. Colorful Houses in Istanbul

Balat is one of Istanbul’s oldest and most colorful neighborhoods on the European side of the city. It is known for its beautiful and vibrant houses.

To visit Balat, you can take a walking tour or explore the streets of Balat on your own. It is also easily accessible by public transportation to Fener or a taxi.

In Balat, you can visit the Phanar Greek Orthodox College, explore the colorful houses on Kiremit Street, and admire the vibrant rainbow stairs.

Yes, Balat is one of Istanbul’s must-see tourist attractions. Its colorful houses and charming streets attract many visitors. During peak hours it can get busy.

Yes, there are accommodations available in Balat. You can find hotels, guesthouses, and Airbnb options in the neighborhood.

The Phanar Greek Orthodox College is a historic school located in Balat. It is known for its beautiful architecture and rich history.

Yes, Balat has a variety of cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee while immersing yourself in the neighborhood’s lively atmosphere.

Balat is located close to other tourist attractions in Istanbul, such as Eminonu. You can easily explore these nearby attractions during your visit to Balat.

Take a taxi down south where you can find the Blue Mosque.

A man standing on top of a sand dune with his arms outstretched.

About the author

Chris Oberman is the founder and author of Moving Jack and has been traveling the world for over 20 years to 40+ countries.

He lives in a different country every two years which allows him to gain unique in-depth insights and experiences in new places abroad.

Quoted on, NRC Newspaper, Vice,and Feedspot.

Read more about the author.

This post was about:
And things like: ,
Share This Story:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *