Cihangir (JEE-hahn-geer) is a neighborhood in Beyoğlu about 500 meters (570 yards) southwest of Taksim Square down Sıraselviler Caddesi (map).
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 Square past 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.
If you're interested in antiques, this is the place to be. The adjoining Çukurcuma neighborhood is the epicenter of antiques shopping in Istanbul. More...
Cihangir doesn't have many hotels, but it does have lots of apartments for rent/flats to let, even for short-term travelers who may only stay a few days or a few weeks. More...
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