Initially, until the 19th century, the Shishli district was a rural area used for hunting, agriculture and recreation. In the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the first years of the Turkish Republic (late 19th - early 20th centuries), the area developed as a middle-class residential area and was built up with French-style houses. Thus, wide avenues began to appear in Shishli, surrounded by large stone buildings with high ceilings and balconies made of wrought iron in the Art Nouveau style.
The area has always attracted migrants, it was also one of the first areas in which tram lines, electricity and natural gas were carried out; French schools were built.
Over time, the Shishli district was built up with more and more modern and large buildings, and the wealthier residents of the district began to move further away from the city. After that, the vacated large buildings in the area were converted into offices, banks and shops.
Today, the Shishli district is more of a business and commercial district, with wide streets and tall buildings, offices, shops, boutiques and shopping centers, including one of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in Europe - "Cevahir" (Istanbul Cevahir Alışveriş Merkezi).
The main shopping street of Shishli is considered to be Abdi Ipekci Street (Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi).
Cafes, restaurants and accommodation facilities (hotels, apartments) are also located in the area
In addition, there are some significant sights and museums of Istanbul in the Shishli district.
Sights and museums of the Shishli district, Istanbul
Ylamur Palace Complex
Ihlamur (Ihlamur Kasrı) is a former summer residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, used for recreation, and built in 1849-1855 by order of Sultan Abdul-Majid I.
It was a small palace complex consisting of two buildings: a ceremonial or ceremonial (Merasim Köşkü, Merasim) and private chambers or harem (Maiyet Köşkü, Mayet).
Bright features and spectacular neo-Baroque decorations are visible in the architecture, which makes the complex one of the most elegant examples of Ottoman buildings of the 19th century.
Today it is a museum with a magnificent interior palace decoration with halls and rooms and the surrounding garden and forest area with a lake.
Entrance to the park and museum is paid.
Palace address: Teşvikiye, Nişantaşı Ihlamur Yolu Sk., 34357 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
Macca Park (Maçka Park, which means Democracy Park) is a small park on a hill, the central part of which is occupied by a wide staircase, a walk along which is accompanied by a tour of local attractions.
The park also has running tracks, places for walking and walking dogs, children's areas, recreation areas, decorative pools and cafes.
Entrance to the park is free (free of charge).
A gondola cable car passes over the park. Learn more about Istanbul parks and gardens...
Cemil Topuzlu Outdoor Theater
The Cemil Topuzlu Outdoor Theater (Cemil Topuzlu Harbiye Açık Hava Tiyatrosu) is a modern amphitheater opened in 1947.
The theater received its name "Cemil Topuzlu" in 1958 in honor of Cemil Topuzlu (1866-1958), the mayor of Istanbul during the era of the Second Ottoman Constitutional Monarchy.
Today, the theater is a popular summer venue in the city, where musical concerts of various genres by local and foreign performers, cultural events for several festivals held in Istanbul in the summer are held in the open air.
The theater has the appearance of antique amphitheaters with tiered seating for the audience of a semicircular shape around a flat stage. The facade and seats are made of stone. The capacity of the theater is 3,972 seats and 30 seats in the loggia for VIPs. The orchestra section is designed for 80 musicians. The stage accommodates 200-300 background actors.
Theater address: Harbiye, Taşkışla Cd. No:8, 34367 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
Djemal - Ray Concert Hall
The Cemal Reşit Rey Konser Salonu Concert Hall is one of the largest concert halls in Turkey, designed for classical music, concerts, ballet and dance performances.
The concert hall was opened in March 1989. The hall is named after the Turkish composer Cemal Reshit Ray (1904-1985) and accommodates 860 people.
Address of the concert hall: Harbiye, Dar'ül Bedayi Cad No:6, 34371 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
Concert hall website: crrkonsersalonu.ibb.istanbul/?CRRLang=tr-TR.
Istanbul Military Museum
The Istanbul Military Museum (Harbiye Askeri Muze ve Kültür Sitesi Komutanlığı) tells about the Turkic military history from the first ancestors of the Turks up to modern Turkey.
This museum is one of the leading museums of its kind in the world. The museum is located in a monumental historical building.
The museum consists of more than 20 halls in which exhibits of historical weapons, uniforms, tools of various periods of the army, camping tents, standards, etc. are exhibited.
In addition to the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions and seminars are held in the museum.
In the square in front of the museum there are tanks, artillery pieces, planes dedicated to the Turkish military history.
Museum address: Halaskargazi, Vali Konağı Cd. No:2, 34367 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
The museum's website: askerimuze.msb.gov.tr.
Ataturk House Museum
The Ataturk House Museum (Atatürk Müzesi) is a museum dedicated to the life of the first president of Turkey - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
The museum is located in a historic three-storey house built in 1908, which Mustafa Kemal rented after returning from the Syrian Front and lived there with his mother, sister and adopted son until May 16, 1919, the day when he sailed on the ship "Bandyrma" to Samsun, on his way to the headquarters of the Inspection of troops of the 9th Army in Erzurum.
The house where some of Ataturk's personal belongings were kept was bought by Istanbul Municipality in 1928 and transformed into a museum, opened to visitors on June 15, 1942 as the Ataturk Revolution Museum.
The museum presents Ataturk's personal belongings, such as clothes; there are collections with paintings, medals and other exhibits.
Address of the Ataturk House-Museum: Meşrutiyet, Halaskargazi Cd. No:140, 34363 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
The Monument of Freedom or the Monument of Eternal Freedom (Hürriyet Anıtı, Abide-i Hürriyet) is a monumental memorial in honor of the soldiers who died defending the Ottoman Parliament from rebel forces during the incident on March 31, 1909.
The monument on the hill was opened in 1911, on the second anniversary of the events of March 31.
In addition to the monument itself, the complex also contains the graves of soldiers who died as a result of the incident on March 31, and four high-ranking Ottoman officials who were moved to this place at a later time (Madhat Pasha, Mahmud Shevket Pasha, Talaat Pasha and Enver Pasha).
The Shishli Mosque (Şişli camii) was one of the first mosques in Istanbul built after the proclamation of the republic.
The construction of the mosque in the neoclassical Ottoman architectural style was carried out from 1945 to 1949 (1950).
The mosque surrounds the courtyard.
The mosque has a large dome and one minaret. An eight-step staircase leads to the main gate of the mosque. Mihrab and minbar are made of marble in the style of classical Ottoman architecture.
Address of the Shishli Mosque: Ergenekon, Halaskargazi Cd. No:7, 34373 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
The Teşvikiye Mosque (Teşvikiye camii) is made in neo-Baroque style and was originally commissioned in 1794 by Sultan Selim III. However , most of the current mosque was completed in 1854 during the reign of Sultan Abdulmejit I.
It is the facade of the mosque, built during the reconstruction at the end of the 19th century, that gives it a unique look with large white columns.
This mosque is often used as a starting point for the funerals of famous and public figures.
Mosque address: Teşvikiye, Teşvikiye Mah, 34365 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
Cathedral of the Holy Spirit
The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit (Saint Esprit Katedrali) is one of the main Catholic churches in Istanbul and is the second largest Roman Catholic church in the city, after the Church of St. Anthony of Padua (St. Anthony of Padua Church), located on Istiklal Avenue
The church was built in the Baroque style in 1846 under the direction of the Swiss-Italian architect Giuseppe Fossati and his colleague Julien Illero.
The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit has been the destination of several papal visits to Turkey, including Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
A statue of Pope Benedict XV stands in the courtyard of the cathedral.
Giuseppe Donizetti, a musician at the court of the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II, is buried in the church.
Cathedral Address: Ergenekon, Cumhuriyet Cd. 127/A D:127/A, 34373 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey. Learn more about mosques, cathedrals and churches in Istanbul...
Museum of Military History
The Museum of Military History (Hisart Canlı Tarih ve Diorama Müzesi) is a museum of military history and cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire of 1453-1923.
The museum exhibits military and ethnographic historical artifacts of the Ottoman period of 1453-1923, as well as dioramas and mannequins depicting the corresponding periods of history.
Museum address: Hürriyet Mah. Cemil Bengü Cad. No: 21 34403 Çağlayan / İstanbul / Türkiye.
The museum's website: hisartmuseum.com/tr .
Bozlu Art Gallery
The Bozlu Art Project is located in the historic Mongeri Building, built in the mid-1920s by Italian-born architect Giulio Mongeri.
The gallery exhibits paintings by prominent figures of contemporary art in Turkey and works by young promising artists. It also hosts events such as exhibitions and talks about art.
Gallery address: 19 Mayıs, Mongeri Binası, Dr. Şevket Bey Sk. No:5, 34360 Şişli/Istanbul, Turkey.
Gallery website: bozluartproject.com .
Ara Guler Museum
Ara Güler Museum (Ara Güler Müzesi) is an archive of photographs of Turkish-Armenian journalist, photojournalist and writer Ara Güler (Ara Güler, 1928-2018), whose career spans 70 years.
The museum is located in a building that was created by the renovation and transformation of four vaulted buildings in the historic campus of the Bomonti Brewery.
Museum address: Yapı Kredi Bomontiada, Ara Güler Müzesi Tarihi Bomontiada Bira Fabrikası, Birahane Sk. No:1, 34381 Şişli, Turkey.
The museum's website: aragulermuzesi.com .
!!! Near the north-eastern border of the Shishli district, there is the famous Istanbul Sapphire AVM skyscraper, which houses: a shopping center, an observation deck with a panoramic restaurant and a helicopter flight simulator.
The Sapphire observation deck is a high and impressive observation deck of Istanbul, which is located on the top - 54th floor of a skyscraper, at an altitude of 236 meters.
This 360-degree observation deck (Sapphire Observation Terrace 360°) gives stunning panoramic views of Istanbul.
Entrance to the shopping center is free (free of charge). The ascent to the observation deck is paid, through the shopping center.
Sapphire's address: Emniyetevleri Mh. Eski Büyükdere Cd. No:1 Kağıthane-Istanbul. Learn more about the Sapphire and the viewing room with photos...
Transport of the Shishli district
Buses, trams and metro run from public transport to and around the district.
Transport cards are valid in all public transport in Istanbul.
Museum and tourist maps of Istanbul
Some museums and sites in Istanbul, including those located in the Shishli district, have museum and tourist cards.
There are different types of maps in Istanbul. Some of which give the right to visit certain museums, while others, in addition to the main museums, include excursions, as well as some shows and entertainment, public transport rides and discounts on airport transfers.
The classic and most common is the museum card "Museum Pass Istanbul" (Museum Pass Istanbul), which gives the right to enter some museums of the city. There are also more advanced maps "Istanbul E-Pass" and Istanbul Tourist Pass (Istanbul Tourist Pass), giving the right to visit museums, attractions, guided tours, aquariums, shows, cruises on the Bosphorus, trips outside the city, etc. Learn more about museum and tourist maps of Istanbul...
Hotels in the Shishli area
There is a large selection of accommodation facilities in the Shishli area, ranging from 5-star hotels with panoramic views of the city and apartments (full-fledged apartments with all amenities), ending with budget guest houses and hostels.
From good accommodation facilities in Shishli
5-star hotel DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Esentepe with a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, wellness center with sauna and traditional Turkish bath, free parking and Wi-Fi.
The rooms are equipped with high-quality furniture, air conditioning, iPod docking station, LCD TV with satellite channels, safe, hairdryer, refrigerator, mini-bar, free tea/coffee making facilities, desk.
The room rate can include: breakfast or breakfast + dinner. Link to the hotel
The 4-star Arcade Hotel Istanbul is located in the famous shopping and entertainment district of Nisantasi
The hotel has a spa center, sauna, Turkish bath, bar, restaurant, private parking, 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi.
The rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, air conditioning, an electric kettle, a safe, a hairdryer, slippers and free toiletries. Some rooms have a living room.
Breakfast may be included in the room rate. Link to the hotel
Modus Hotel Istanbul is a 4-star hotel with a terrace, concierge service, bar, restaurant, 24-hour front desk, free parking and Wi-Fi.
The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, mini-bar with bottled water, coffee/tea maker, safe, hairdryer, seating area, work desk, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, free toiletries.
A buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. Link to the hotel
Business Life Boutique Hotel & Spa is a 4-star boutique hotel with a lounge area, fitness center, wellness and spa center, sauna, 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi.
The hotel offers views of the city.
The rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels, air conditioning, an electric kettle, a laptop safe, a minibar, a desk, slippers, a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Breakfast is included in the room rate. Link to the hotel
The White Orient Hotel is a 4-star hotel with a restaurant, concierge service, 24-hour front desk, free Wi-Fi and family rooms.
Some rooms at the hotel have a kitchenette with a minibar.
A buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. Link to the hotel
The 4-star Adelmar Hotel Istanbul Sisli features a bar, restaurant, room service, free Wi-Fi and family rooms.
The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a kettle, a safe, a desk, a wardrobe, a hairdryer and free toiletries. Some rooms have a seating area and/or balcony.
Breakfast is included in the room rate. Link to the hotel
All accommodation facilities in Istanbul, including in the Shishli district, can be viewed and booked here
You can get to hotels in Istanbul, including in the Shishli district, by public transport, taxi, rented car or using a transfer with an excursion.
Shishli district on the map