Finding Cool Street Art in Istanbul

Istanbul Street Art

Street art may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of art in Istanbul. But on my recent visit, I discovered some great examples in the area of Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city. Searching out the street art was also a great way to explore this less touristy part of Istanbul.

Most visitors to the city come to see the delicate Byzantine mosaics at the Hagia Sofia and Chora Church or the beautiful traditional Iznik tiles in the Blue Mosque or Topkapi Palace. But modern Istanbul has a few neighborhoods where large blank walls have become a canvas for colorful artistic expression. To find the best places and the locations for street art in Istanbul, I downloaded the Street Art Istanbul app . Another great resource for the street art in Kadikoy on the Asian side is the post by The Occasional Traveler . The Murals Istanbul Facebook page is also a good resource.

My traveling friend and I decided to explore the Kadikoy neighborhood because we also wanted to get a taste of the Asian side of Istanbul. Getting to Kadikoy was an easy and quick ferry ride from the Galata Bridge ferry terminals. Taking the ferry across the Bosphorus also gave us a completely different perspective on the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia as we sailed across the strait.

Crossing the Bosphorus Strait with views of the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque

Once we landed in Kadikoy, we just started walking and exploring the neighborhood, using the maps in the websites as a guide of where to look for the art. It did not take us long to figure out that if a building had a large exposed wall, it probably had a mural painted on it. The works we found were impressively large, covering the sides of buildings that were four to five stories high. The pieces were colorful (mostly) and definitely had an edginess to them. We had a lot of fun as the search became a treasure hunt to see how many we could find. At the same time, we got a perspective on a non-touristy neighborhood which was a fun mix of residential, cafes and markets.


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