Eminonu and neighboring Sirkeci are also one of the most popular tourists areas in Istanbul, as well as one of the most dynamic, bustling and tourist neighborhood of the historical peninsula. We can also call the area as oriental district. The area is also one of the main transportation hubs in Istanbul. Here you’ll find a quick guide to explore Eminonu & Sirkeci with top things to do and see plus insider advice.
Eminonu means “in front of justice” that its name came from the courts/customs associated with the docks. And Sirkeci means “vinegar-seller” while there is no records with this.
Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.
Things to Do & See
Strolling around the Eminonu Sqaure, enjoying the market area and lively city atmosphere in the company of historic buildings, having a walking by sea, watching the ferries and rest at the variety of restaurants and cafes around, is one of the best things to do in Eminonu. The historical Egyptian Spice Bazaar, the Sirkeci Train Station and the Yeni Mosque are the main sights of Eminonu and Sirkeci. The back streets of Eminonu and Sirkeci are home to cheap electronic goods and also low-budget restaurants.
Eminonu Square, is the main attraction area of Eminonu where you can see loads of locals and tourists for all day long. The tram stop, ferry docks are situated by the square, as well as the Yeni Mosque and the Egyptian Spice Bazaar. Continue reading…
Egyptian Spice Bazaar
The historical Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) or so-called Spice Market, is a colorful and mystical covered spice market lined with spice stalls, situated just by the Eminonu sqaure. It is also one of the most popular covered markets in the world, together with famous Grand Bazaar. Also called as Egyptian Spice Market, it is a popular points of interest and a perfect place with the tourists to end their Istanbul visit by shopping for some souvenirs for their beloved ones before leaving Istanbul. Continue reading…
No Regrets Booking Advice
Yeni (New) Mosque
The Yeni Mosque, which means “new”, is one of the popular landmarks on the Eminonu coast. The mosque is worth a see with its big courtyard and the turquoise, blue and white Iznik tiles.
The Galata bridge is situated at the mouth of the Golden Horn and connects Galata and Eminonu neighborhoods. There are several cafes and restaurants under the bridge. Continue reading…
Located in between the Sultanahmet and Eminonu, Gulhane Park (Rose Garden) is one of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul for both tourists and locals. The park covers a huge area. There are variety of very beautiful gardens, trees, pools and outdoor cafes with the impressive views of the Bosphorus. There is also a Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam in the park, a unique one in the world that worth a see. Continue reading…
Museum of Islamic Science and History of Technology
Located located in the Imperial Stables building in Gulhane Park, he Museum of Islamic Science and History of Technology displays samples of tools and devices, some of which are surviving original pieces and some prepared by the University of Frankfurt’s Institute of Arabic and Islamic Sciences according to drawings and descriptions in reference books. Continue reading…
We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities
Sirkeci Railway Station
The Oriental-Gothic style Sirkeci Railway Station, was built in 1887-1889 by the German architect.
Mystical night out at the Whirling Dervishes Show
Whirling Dervishes Show or Ceremony (“Sema” in Turkish) is one of the most visited attractions in Istanbul with the tourists. The best performances take place at the Hodjapasha Cultural Center in Sirkeci, within a 550 years old historical building that was once an Ottoman bath. Note that as this show is very popular among the majority of the tourists, you should buy your tickets at least 2 or 3 days before the show. Continue reading…
Fun night out at the Rhythm of the Dance Show (Turkish Dance)
The Rhythm of the Dance Show, also called as Turkish Dance, is one of the one time experiences in Istanbul for the tourists in an exclusive and cozy show atmosphere. The show takes place at the famous Hodjapasha Cultural Center. Continue reading…
Eminonu and Sirkeci offers wide range of dining opportunities from luxury restaurants to very famous quality restaurants and cafes where both tourists and locals go. The artisan restaurants are also very popular and offer budget dining. You are able to find every kind of food & beverage, Turkish & world cuisine for your taste in Eminonu and Sirkeci region.
Eat famous Fish Sandwich via the Boats along Eminonu coast
Fish sandwich, called as “Balik Ekmek” in Turkish, is a very famous and delicious street food served from the fishing boats, made of grilled white fish, raw onions, and salad stuffed in a half loaf of white bread. It is a classic for both locals and tourists when they have a break in Eminonu shore, on the Golden Horn side.
Where to Stay?
As for accommodation; Eminonu and Sirkeci offer wide range of accommodation opportunities from budget apartments, apart hotels to residents and from two to five star hotels. You may check and find your ideal hotel via Booking.com Eminonu & Sirkeci Hotels, Agoda Istanbul or Trivago Eminonu & Sirkeci Hotels with the hotels info, photos, comments and price comparison and book your Eminonu or Sirkeci hotel online.
How to Get to There?
Getting to Eminonu and Sirkeci is very easy as they are one of the most popular hubs for both tourists and locals in Istanbul. For intercity transportation, you may find many transportation options. It is possible to access Eminonu and Sirkeci;
- From Kadikoy and Uskudar; by public ferries to Eminonu.
- From Taksim, you may take the Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) from the Kabatas stop or the other stops along the Galata Bridge. To get to tram stops; from the Taksim Square, you may take the Taksim-Kabatas funicular (F1 line), get to Kabatas tram stop and take the tram for Eminonu. And from the end of the Istiklal Avenue, on the Tunel Square, you may walk downwards or take the Tunel-Karakoy funicular (F2 line) to get to Karakoy tram stop and take the tram for Eminonu or walk the Galata Bridge.
You may see the public bus routes and timetables as well as make a route/station search from the Istanbul Municipality Public Busses website. Also check the Istanbul Railway Network Map for the Tram stops and Istanbul Ferry Lines Map for ferries.
From Istanbul Airports
For getting to Eminonu;
- from New Istanbul Airport (IST) (44 km. to Sultanahmet and takes about 90 mins.) – you may take Havaist Airport Shuttle to Taksim and than to Eminonu, or take a taxi or take a Private Shuttle which is the best of all and we recommend.
- from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) (44 km. to Sultanahmet and takes about 90 mins.) – you may take Havabus Airport Shuttle to Taksim and than to Eminonu, or take a taxi or take a Private Shuttle again which is the best of all and we recommend.
By Private Shuttle
We highly recommend Tranigo (a Turkish company operating since 1996, and partnered with renowned names like Hertz, Thrifty, Budget, and many reliable and efficient local suppliers) as we recently booked with them had a great trip to our hotel.
They offer fast, comfortable, safe and FIXED price service and have variety of different models of cars ranging from Micro for 3 passengers to Minibuses for 19 passengers and also offer child seats. They met us inside the airport, helped with our luggage, brought us in front of the hotel and there also helped us with our luggage. You may check and decide from below.
- Private Shuttle from Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Eminonu & Sirkeci
- Private Shuttle from New Istanbul Airport to Eminonu & Sirkeci