The Balik Pazari, is Istanbul’s fish market which claims to sell the finest fish in Turkey. Located in the Beyoglu district, this has become a vibrant area where these days you will see many more tourists than traditional fish merchants.
To attract you, there is an enormous range of meze on offer to sample, and if you like, buy. The Balik Pazari is not just a fish market, there is also fresh fruit plus a vast number of spices for sale. There is also, as you might expect, a vast range of tourist shops selling all the standard souvenirs. These shops seemed to have increased over the past few years, but don’t let this put you off, this colourful area is well worth a visit.
The area has many places to have a drink and eat a meal. If you are not a great lover of fish, then no problem, a trip down the Cicek Pasaji or Flower Street, won’t find you flowers, but a good selection of small restaurants offering reasonably priced food, and to go with it, locally produced alcohol. But if it is fish you like, then take a walk down Nevizade Sokagi or Nevizade Street which is lined with restaurants.
Although the area around Balik Pazari has undergone some restoration recently which has resulted in some loss of authenticity, it is probably all for the better due to its developing role as an up and coming tourist attraction.
Nevizade Street itself is a narrow cobbled lane, full of atmosphere and overflowing with traditional eateries. It can become very popular during warm summer evenings, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to get a table. If you can, try to get a seat on one of the balconies or a roof terrace.