Assorted paper goods adorned with clever, playful designs of seagulls, tea glasses, prayer beads, street signs and the like fill this small shop. They’re oh-so-Istanbul without looking like they came straight off a souvenir stand.
Kagithane, Fransiz Gecidi 10, Karakoy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34425
Istanbul Research Institute
Free rotating exhibitions drawn from the institute’s rich archival holdings illuminate aspects of the city’s history: the development of its architecture, its prestigious schools, or its relationship with street animals.
Istanbul Research Institute, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 47, Asmalimescit, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34430
Chic without being pretentious, this intimate restaurant is a place to linger over a fresh, seasonal array of creative dishes, mostly meze (small plates) with Turkish and Middle Eastern influences. The ample set menu is good value for the cost.
Aheste, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 107F, Asmalimescit, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34430
Gloriously overgrown and unrestored, this 16th-century caravansary once gave traveling merchants a place to stay and sell their wares. Today it’s full of small-scale metalworkers making springs and screws — and a few galleries and artist workspaces starting to pop up among them. Buy a tea and soak in the atmosphere.
Kursunlu Han, Kardesim Sokak at Kurekciler Kapisi Sokak, Karakoy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34421
Juma Art Karakoy
A one-stop shop for taking the pulse of Istanbul’s contemporary art scene. This corner building houses four well-regarded galleries: Mixer, ArtSumer, Pi Artworks and X-ist. Check out Sanatorium gallery across the street while you’re here, too.
Juma Art Karakoy, Mumhane Caddesi 50, Karakoy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34425
Rifle through the dusty racks of the secondhand booksellers lining this aging shopping arcade, and you’ll surely find some ephemera gems: vintage magazines, black-and-white photos or a poster from Turkish cinema’s “Yesilcam” golden age.
Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Aslihan Pasaji, Aslıhan Sk., Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey