If you are visiting Istanbul, I am sure you have already heard of one of our popular neighbourhoods, Balat. But what about the best way to reach Balat? It is through the Haliç (Golden Horn) Line, i.e. the local sea transportation from Üsküdar to Eyüp. It stops at 9 piers: Üsküdar, Karaköy (another popular neighborhood), Fener, Balat, Hasköy, Ayvansaray, Sütlüce, Eyüp.
I suggest you get off at Fener pier and get on to the boat at Balat Pier after strolling the old and narrow streets, taking pictures of colourful corners and visiting coffee shops (take a look at Vildan’s post of Velvet Cafe Balat, which is my favourite, too. Now that I mention it, I am craving their homemade halva.) When the boat is getting closer to the pier, be sure on the front side of the boat as it offers a great view of Fener Greek Orthodox High School (Red School). Also, close to the Fener Pier, you can visit Sveti Stefan Church.
Another important stop on this line is Hasköy Pier as Rahmi Koç Museum (check out the article) is located next to this pier. Especially if you are travelling with the kids, I suggest you pay a visit to this museum.
Last but not least, you can go all the way to the Eyüp Pier and climb up the Pierre Loti Hill (you can do it on foot through the cemetery or by cable car.) Don’t forget to stop by Akmanoğlu Bakery for delicious pastries.