Sunday, February 07, 2010

PopUp Maçka I Row Houses

The Istanbul sky was fighting for sun yesterday. Opened my eyes for a white gray this new morning, and it feels so substantially London but breathing as if I were in Paris!

Today I am grateful for: silence, ultra hip, cappucchino washed buildings, new destination, a walk thru time, Akaretler, Akaretler, Akaretler, and when Sunday is a Sunday:)

While walking with me, pls move your mouse on my photos, as they are easily clickable in larger size.

Fancy boutiques, chic international shops, luxury residences, upscale apartments, art galleries, museums, elegant cafés, designer stores,
and the luxury hotel W Istanbul over looking to the Bosphorus.

Very nicely restored and restaurated with style and charm, looks like a Parisian, the historic Akaretler Row Houses in Maçka on the European side is now of the most stylish and trendiest areas in the city.

Akaretler Row Houses include a row of up class boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, Alberta Ferretti, Storks, Marni, 1930 Antika, Sergio Rossi, many more. That most of them occupy the ground floors of the row houses as do several cafés.

No more influence of earlier Baroque and Rococo styles seen here, but with their neoclassical front design, one of the best examples of the civil architecture built in the second half of 19th century. I love sophisticated development on the cobbled quiet streets! Located in the center of the business and the hotel district of the city, a few kilometers distant to major places such as Çırağan Kempinski, Dolmabahçe Palace, Swissotel, Conrad Hilton in Beşiktaş.

This corner is the address for the 134-room W Istanbul. Housed inside a stunning set of row houses which was built by the Ottoman-Armenian architect Sarkis Balyan by the order of Sultan Abdulaziz in the 1870's. Not just offers the latest modern design and gourmet cuisine but also a superb example of urban renewal.

This set of residences are mostly three floors high, and stepped parallel to the slope of the terrain. Once here within a few seconds' walk uphill (above), I arrive to the University I graduated from. Since my university years, this area holds a special place in my memories. Another reason why I love here:) Did not count how many times I have walked up-and-down this houses lined street. Following up there, another ~10 min' walk brings me to other popular venue for upscale fashionable district that I adore, in case you haven't read Nişantaşı: A Niche in Istanbul. What's especially cool is that I feel myself 'Lost' when I am in this triangle: Akaretler-university-Nişantaşı, oh my!

Walking from the Akaretler Row Houses, I still enjoy my stroll after having a meal at W Kitchen (above right). The Der Die Das, Pastarito, Kalamata, Vogue, Al Jamal are a few totally stylish dining out options in this re-vamped area to match. I think I can't forget 1897Konyali, serving artfully presentation of classic Turkish dishes. Here's an advice, try the quail salad with raspberry sauce and lamb simmered with dried and fresh fruits, deli delicious something:)

For future Istanbul visitors, for turkish cuisine lovers, th
e address is:

~1897 Konyali Restaurant

Süleyman Seba Cad. No: 4
Akaretler, Istanbul

For a detailed information about Akaretler, from W Ista
nbul, Residences and offices to the Shops and Restaurants list, all you have to do is click on the night view of Akaretler in the following:

( I )

Did you know, with an investment of 70 million$ for 70 historical houses, this new district Akaretler Row Houses in the heart of Istanbul was selected as one of the five winning developments in the Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2009 Awards for Excellence: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) competition.

( II )

And in a historical footnote, one of these houses was home to the mother of our Father figure, the founder of Modern Turquie and the first President, Atatürk: at five past nine, read if you haven't.

Let's travel the world together
with one easytouch over here:

... but let's


  1. Wow. They are very pretty. I love the architecture. Would love to see inside! : ) Great pictures!

  2. Thankyou for taking me for a Sunday afternoon stroll in Istanbul.

  3. Gorgeous on my list of must visit! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  4. Wow, I love the photos. Almost made feel like I was walking through the town.I've never been there. It's on my list of places I'd love to visit.

  5. Those are gorgeous pics and those building are magnificent! I want to visit there too!

  6. The pictures look amazing, Nihal. I bet you an I could have a wonderful afternoon shopping in Istanbul!

  7. I saw No Reservations episode and have been thinking Istanbul ever since, looks like a lovely place to visit and eat! thanks for sharing this!

  8. wow! just amazing!!!thansk for sharing!!

  9. Hi Nihal! Thanks for sharing this nice stroll in Istanbul! I really enjoy your very informative and fine article with so many wonderful images.
    About your question on music, in these days I'm listening again to "The Well-Tempered Clavier" by Johann Sebastian Bach (Book I and II): an amazing work which I always like very much!

  10. What a fantastic tour! I am not familiar with Istanbul at all so this was really a treat.

  11. Thanks for the tour. That looks like a part of your city I would love to walk around in. It is so wonderful that they restored all the buildings.


  12. Thank you. This is truly a treat of the wonderful kind. And the buildings are just so pretty. And the lights on the water peeking over was a beautiful picture.

  13. thanks for the tour! i would have guessed this was london:) hugs!

  14. Dear Nihal,

    I can't believe that Akaretler has changed so dramatically! It's an another Nisantasi now!
    Taking a stroll there is what I'm planning to do as I'm in Istanbul for a while!

    Your blog is a kind of Istanbul Guide and I feel blessed to discover that!

    Keep up the good work, Dear Nihal!

  15. @ LWK, Frau, Audrey, PF, Jen, Olga and UM: Thanks for all your nice comments and hope to see you again here, with ♥

    @ Inci: Exactly, you are right. Not comes as surprise, think streets of Akaretler are in the immediate vicinity of Nisantasi. Make-up made here, and now Akaretler is new shopping buzz after Nisantasi.