The Shoe-shine boys Istanbul

Image by Zekeriya S. Şen

The Shoe-shine boys – A unique experience

Everywhere in İstanbul you will come across Shoe-shine Boys. They are very easy to pick out with their worn out cloths, their stool and obviously their shoeshine box. In the touristic parts of the city you will be approached by them even though you might be wearing sneakers. In recent years their numbers have grown tremendously. They are usually gypsy children but a minority can be normal, regular boys trying to make some extra money to support their family or get enough to be able to study. Some can be very gummy in such cases, so you need to be very stern with your tone and say no.

This is also a very nice experience for everyone. If the shoe-shine boy is stable he will usually provide you with a pair of slippers while he deals with your shoes. They can shine your shoes, paint it or even fix it. Some shoe-shine boys (we can also say men) have lovely colourful stand boxes that attract basically everyone. Recently some hotels have placed shoe shiners in the lobby to provide an oriental touch for the clients.

In the photo you see a normal shoeshine box and his stool. This belongs to a mobile kid who goes around all the attractions points in search of people wearing dirty or dull shoes.

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Details about this spot



Eminonu, Istanbul

Opening Times



Shining shoes: TL 10
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)