Whether you hear Sisli in the most-loved Turkish singer Tarkan’s song or someone who visited Istanbul before urged you to explore this place, Sisli has an uptown reputation you surely would want to see. Besides posh areas adorned with luxury hotels and restaurants, there are spectcular luxurious residences and complexes, too. Sisli will surely leave you spellbound!
Besides that, there is more to just the upscale side of this place. Sisli houses some of Istanbul’s significant historical monuments worth the visit. Furthermore, a thing that will surely make you surprised is the tall skyscrapers and shopping malls. It feels as if Sisli is a separate part of Istanbul, where life is fast-paced and busy.
Here are the 7 phenomenal places in Sisli that you should explore if you are in Istanbul for a few days:
#1. Europe’s largest Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Center
Also known as Şişli Culture and Trade Centre, the Cevahir Mall is the largest in Europe and the second-largest in the world.
Located on Büyükdere Avenue in Sisli, Cevahir Mall houses around 343 shops. It has 14 exclusive restaurants and cafes, and 34 fast-food restaurants covering six floors. Get ready to choose among the 12 cinemas it houses if you are in the mood to watch a film. And you thought just picking a movie to watch would be difficult!
The mall also has a home to the second-largest clock in the world on its rooftop, with three-meter high digits. If you are a shopper, you will need a day to spend in the mall. And there are chances that you will still not be able to see it all. The mall also hosts many international brands, with a few that Turkey has welcomed for the first time.
#2. Sisli’s famous flee market: Ferikoy Antika Pazari
Feriköy Antika Pazarı (Antique Market) is a place to be if you like to shop. You will find racks full of items that will catch your eye. If you are a collector of antique items, this place will be heavenly for you. A stop away from Taksim, Feriköy Antique Market opens in an old park. Every morning merchants spread their sheets and place items to sell to their buyers.
The Feriköy antique flea market is nothing like what you might have seen before. It opens every Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm. You never know when you can come across a vintage vinyl record, a photograph, or an antique that can be original and make you a handsome sum of money.
Well, not taking hopes too high, it is definitely a place you will want to wander around. Maybe just for the sake of passing some time. From rugs, carpets, and jewelry items to showpieces, kitchen tools, cameras, and much more, there is no end to what you can find here.
This flea market is your one-stop shop if you are revamping your house to give it a welcoming, vintage, yet modern look. It might not be as cheap as one may anticipate. But if you are good at bargaining, you might bag some really nice deals.
#3. The graceful beauty of Ilhamur Pavilion
Covering an area of about 25,000 square meters, Ilhamur Palace got constructed on the orders of the 31st Olltomon Sultan Sultan Abdülmecid I. Comprising of two kiosks, namely the Maiyet and Merasim Kiosk, the pavilion lies at an intersection of Nüzhetiye Street between Ihlamur and Tesvikiye quarters of the Sisli district.
Ilhamur Palace, inhabited by linden trees, still carries the same grace and beauty as it had in the past. Once used for excursion activities, it is a stunning place to hang around amid the greenery and the ancient architecture. People also love to take photos here as the place is simply spectacular.
The most elaborate of the two kiosks is the Merasim Kiosk, which Sultan reserved for himself. The interiors are a typical example of 19th-century Ottoman-style architecture, with touches of European-style furniture and other fittings. A curving staircase at the entrance and a heavily decorated facade embellish the Ilhamur Palace.
#4. Maçka Park: Place where lovers meet!
Maçka Democracy Park, located in the Maçka Valley in Istanbul’s Sisli district, was once called the Love Park (Aşk) when it opened to the public in the early 1990s for the first time. After the park went restored in 1993, it got its formal name as the Maçka Democracy Park.
The park has become a recreational area today, where parents come with their children to hang out, or families come to relax on weekends.
There are a lot of things that one can do at this park. With linden, plane, poplar, hornbeam, chestnut, acacia, walnut, and many such trees lining the park, a jog or a walk at this park feels heavenly.
Often one can see a photographer clicking photos of the bride and groom at the park. As Maçka park is so beautiful and offers enthralling views, you can enjoy a good time while taking your pictures or a short self-photo session.
To take a better look at the park and explore the surrounding, you can also hop on to one of the cable cars in the park, which will take you to the Beyoğlu district.
#5. Teşvikiye Mosque: Ottoman imperial gem
Constructed in the neo-baroque style, Teşvikiye Mosque has often been called the sultanic gem of Istanbul. Named after the quarter it sits, Teşvikiye Mosque stands on huge white columns today, which were constructed during a renovation project in the 19 century, giving it its current shape.
Adorned with ancient inscriptions, Selim III, honored as ‘the Sultan of two Lands and the Khan of Two Seas,’ first commissioned this mosque in 1794. It was during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecit I that the mosque was ready and surfaced in its glory.
This mosque, built on a rectangular plain, is a fantastic example of Ottoman culture and style. Two important inscriptions lie in the mosque; one reads that Sultan Selim III hit a water jug with a rifle, while the other reads that Sultan Abdülmecit shot a water jug with a pistol.
If you come to Sisli and are near Teşvikiye or strolling at Ilhamur Palace, you must also visit the Teşvikiye Mosque. A trip is not complete without seeing places of cultural heritage, and such sites make the visit worth it.
#6. Modern Turkey Founder Atatürk’s House Museum:
Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is loved to this day by numerous Turks and people who got touched by his incredible life. His fans from worldwide come to see his house, now a museum, where he stayed right after returning from Syria. This three-story building keeps the memories of Atatürk alive. In addition, it also has a wax statue of Atatürk in his room where he appears to be writing on a notepad.
Experts reveal that Atatürk resided on the middle floor while his mother and sister lived on the upper floor. The ground floor was for his servants.
His house was also once a significant meeting point during the last years of World War I. This was during the time when Ataturk reconquered once lost Istanbul. He used to host his comrades at his house to hold confidential meetings.
To peek into the life of the “Savour of Istanbul” and the articles he used around the house, a visit to the Ataturk Museum in Sisli will be worth it.
#7. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, aka St. Esprit Cathedral Church
Famous Swiss architect Guiseppe Fossati built St. Esprit Cathedral Church in the Pangaltı quarter of the Sisli district. It lies between Taksim Square and Nişantaşı neighborhood.
St. Esprit Cathedral Church, one of the crucial Catholic churches in Istanbul, functions to this day. It also holds regular masses throughout the week. Situated behind the famous Notre Dame de Sion High School, the church offers a chance to visitors to see the marvelous architecture. Besides, you also get an opportunity to learn about its historical significance.
Also hosting a statue of Pope Benedict XV in its courtyard, St. Esprit Cathedral Church has been visited by many popes from around the world.
The church is calm and composed, which will help you find that spiritual connection you might be longing for in your life. Being the second-largest church of its kind in Istanbul, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit should definitely be on your bucket list.
Apart from just traveling and exploring Sisli, it is also a nice neighborhood to invest in properties. Besides being a tourist attraction, it is also one of the elite neighborhoods of Istanbul. Therefore, residing in Sisli or investing in business here is quite a lucrative option.
So while you get mesmerized by its skyscrapers and modern buildings, also keep an eye on property listings if you want to invest here.