Çukurcuma, my favorite neighborhood is located in the heart of Istanbul. As you walk from Galatasaray to Karaköy, prepare for a nostalgic journey with a contemporary vibe. Its cobblestone streets and art nouveau-style buildings – like Zenovitch Apartments steal my heart on every visit.
The neighborhood is home to treasured art galleries – like C.A.M Gallery and antique shops. It’s a delight to wander through the galleries, discovering pieces and engaging with the artists themselves. Each shop is like a museum, filled with beautifully selected items from different eras. Whether you’re searching for vintage glass, antique jewelry, or unique curiosities, you’ll find something truly special here.
But Cukurcuma is not just about art; it’s a place where the senses come alive. Charming cafes are hidden in every corner, like – Nørre. Dining options are equally diverse, with restaurants serving up Turkish and international flavors. I always end up at Çukurcuma 49 Pizzeria.
Çukurcuma has a rich history dating back five centuries, making it one of the oldest districts in Istanbul. One notable figure from the area’s history is Faik Pasha, originally named Francesco Della Suda. Born into a poor Italian family in Greece, Francesco came to Istanbul and opened the Grand Pharmacie Della Suda, one of the city’s first pharmacies, on Istiklal Street in 1844. One of my favorite streets is named after him – Faik Paşa Caddesi.
I can’t recommend Çukurcuma enough if you are an art enthusiast, antique lover, and/or looking for an authentic cultural experience.