The remarkable district of Arnavutköy.

The remarkable district of Arnavutköy.
23 May 2019

The remarkable district of Arnavutköy. 

Arnavutköy, which means “Albanian village” in Turkish language. This village got this name in the 19th century when Albanians who were brought to help establish the city back in Sultan Abdülmecid’s reign used to live there. Back then, it was a village where Albanians resided.

Arnavutköy is a neighborhood that stretches over the Bosphorus line. It is renowned for the fishing restaurants that surrounds it, its cool side streets and wooden buildings. The Colored buildings that still exist today in the Arnavutkoy area are waterfront wooden houses that have been there since the Ottoman period. 

Every day, you can see many fishing men lined around the coastal line, on the sidewalks, fishing for hours as well as many small fishing boats.

Some of the most famous fishing restaurants are located in that area. 

Besides that, there are many nice restaurants that serve traditional Turkish food mezze and raki. Numerous locals enjoy spending their weekdays after work with their friends over there. Also during the weekend, there is an abandon of cocktail bars and restaurants that open their doors to visitors serving all types of food including, sushi and burgers.

Arnavutköy was famous for its strawberry fields that were there since the Ottoman times. These Ottoman strawberries were less juicy than the typical strawberries. Today some internal fields in the area are still growing strawberries and grocery stores sell them during spring.

In the Arnavutköy area lies an old Greek Church called, Taksiarkis, holding a stunning dome painted in deep blue. Also further inside the area closer to Etiler, lies another Greek Church called, Hagios Elias. Both churches existed since the Ottoman times in the 19th century and up till now both of them are receiving the small Greek community that still lives in that area. Not only that, there is a Mosque that date from the same time when both churches were built named, the Tevfikiye Cami. Hence proving that back in the 19th century people who came from different religions and races lived in a harmonious environment. The community that lived in Arnavutkoy was mainly Turks and Albanians. Some Greeks and Jews also lived there. Today, there are few Greeks still residing in Arnavutköy.

Moreover, Arnavutköy houses one of the most prestigious high schools in Turkey. Robert College is an American school that has been there since 1831, with an astonishing list of Alumini. Some graduates include, prime ministers, novelists and founders of the best Museums in Turkey such as, the Pera Museum.

Arnavutkoy blends culture, traditions and the historical wooden buildings that showcase the Turkish Art Nouveau.

When foreign visitors experience this area, they feel a positive vibe because of its attractive side streets and lively environment. The local shops that still exist today, the grocery stores that sell fruits and vegetables. Arnavutkoy blends culture, traditions and the historical wooden buildings that showcase the Turkish Art Nouveau. 

Arnavutköy is one of the most attractive neighborhoods of Istanbul because it still maintains this charming old village feel but with a modern environemt. Most cocktail bars and restaurants located in this neighborhood have a rooftop that overlooks the stunning Bosphorus strait where visitors can witness the most amazing sunsets while having a nice cocktail in hand or enjoying a glass of Raki with some grilled fish. 

Today Arnavutköy has become a hip destination, for people who appreciate a lively nightlife and gathering with friends for drinks. The district of Arnavutköy is the place to be for having the best cocktails, while listening to the best Djs and live bands. On weekends, the street of Bebek Arnavutköy, becomes overcrowded with people. In the backstreets of Arnavutköy, there are several cute local shops selling clothes and few famous bakeries and cafes. 

It is hard for visitors to visit Arnavutköy only once because they won’t be able to experience it all. Although this lovely district with colored buildings may not seem massive compared to other areas, but the environment and delightful boutiques, shops and cafes, drives visitors to want to return to that area to explore it a little bit more and get a sense of what it feels like to live in a village and interact with the locals that are still maintaining their traditions and values up until today.