It’s among Istanbul‘s most interesting neighborhoods for young, creative, upwardly-mobile Istanbullus and foreigners in-the-know to live because many of its fine 19th-century European-style buildings are being restored, and the neighborhood is close to all the day- and nightlife action on and off İstiklal Caddesi.
If you’d like to get off the beaten track, away from the tourist crowds, and see real Istanbul daily life, Cihangir can be the lens through which you see it.
Just walk down Sıraselviler Caddesi from Taksim Squarepast the German Hospital (Alman Hastanesi) on the left to the Firuzağa Mosque, which is at the center of the Cihangir neighborhood.
Numerous café-restaurants are found here, as well as wine and gourmet shops.
Not many short-term visitors or tourists here because it’s some distance from the main tourist sites. But if you want to live like Istanbullus do, in a real neighborhood quite friendly to foreigners, with nice cafés, good restaurants, and most of Istanbul’s antique shops, Cihangir (JEE-hahn-GEER) may be for you.
—by Tom Brosnahan