Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Last Updated on May 22, 2019

Tepebaşı (TEH-peh-bah-shuh, “hilltop”) is the district of Istanbul near the southwestern end of İstiklal Caddesioverlooking the Golden Horn.

From here the heights of Beyoğlu (formerly Pera) slope down to the shores of the Golden Horn at Karaköy(Galata), Kasımpaşa and Tophane.

Southwestern İstiklal Caddesi (ie, southwest of Galatasaray Square) and Tepebaşı were the heart of 19th-century “European” Istanbul. (In the 20th century, the modern city center moved northward to Taksim Square, Nişantaşı and beyond.

It’s here that you’ll find many of the grand old 19th-century embassies (including the American, British, Russian and Swedish) left from the time when every European country wanted to influence the Ottoman sultan.

Also here are the city’s oldest “grand hotels.” The Pera Palace Hotel, next to the Palazzo Corpi (formerly the American embassy/consulate), was built for passengers arriving on the fabled Orient Express from Paris, and is still a grand hotel. So is the Grand Hotel de Londres, built for British businessmen, as was the old Hotel Bristol, which has now been converted into the wonderful Pera Museum.

The modern high-rise The Marmara Pera Hotel,opposite the Pera Palace Hotel, is the largest and most comfortable hotel in Tepebaşı.

Tepebaşı is not a bad place to use as your base in IstanbulTransport options are not quite as varied as in Taksim, but quite sufficient, especially if you’re a walker or like taxis.

When I stay here, I walk to the Tünel, ride it to Karaköy(Galata), then take the Kabataş-Bağcılar Tram across the Galata Bridge to Eminönü and its ferry docksSirkeci railway stationSultanahmet and/or the Grand Bazaar.

—by Tom Brosnahan

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