The Shoe-shine boys Istanbul – A unique experience

arts&culture
Art & culture
shopping
Shopping

"The Shoe-shine boys" is a very typical Istanbul sight. Having your shoes painted and polished is a nice experience, just be careful who does it for you!

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.

About this spot

Eminonu

Daily

Shining shoes:

TL

10

There’s so much more to discover

Discover more in Istanbul

Moda Sahnesi (Stage) – Art complex

"Moda Sahnesi (Stage)" in Istanbul's Kadıköy is a great option. It's a cinema, theater and concert complex. I love going there to watch independent films.

arts&culture
Art & culture
cinema
Cinema
music
Music

By

Yucel

Babadag

Misk – A lovely taste experience in a flower garden

"Misk" is one of my favorite places in Istanbul -- their beautiful flower arrangements and sense of decoration really pushes their moniker 'floral cafe'.

coffee&tea
Coffee & tea
shopping
Shopping
snacks
Snacks

By

Arzu

Damli

Bohem's Coffee – The heartfelt hospitality

coffee&tea
Coffee & tea

By

Cemre

Sandal

Basta – Istanbul's street food bar

"Basta" Istanbul is the work of love of two old friends of mine who've sweated in Michelin star restaurants. Now, their creative wraps await you...

snacks
Snacks

By

Zekeriya

S. Sen

CRR Concert Hall – Istanbul's Cultural Hub

From internationally acclaimed jazz masters to dynamic dance performances, the CRR Concert Hall consistently offers top-notch entertainment.

arts&culture
Art & culture
music
Music

By

Cemre

Sandal

A Bit of Eggo – Because breakfast matters

"A Bit of Eggo" is my final destination for a high protein, organic egg breakfast on my favorite walking route in Istanbul. I love the cute outdoor area!

coffee&tea
Coffee & tea
snacks
Snacks

By

Arzu

Damli

Kamondo Merdivenleri – Stairs from Constantinople

Despite the passage of time they continue to stand proudly, showing the spirit of Istanbul and its ability to embrace the old while welcoming the new.

arts&culture
Art & culture

By

Zeynep

Ozortac

Tiyop Cafe & Bistro – Favorite reading spot

"Tiyop Cafe & Bistro" in Istanbul is one of the best reading spots around. Plus, they make different kinds of Turkish coffee and the best bread ever...

coffee&tea
Coffee & tea

By

Arzu

Damli

Petra Bebek – Cozy Garden Café

The outdoor area is perfect for warm or hot weather, with a mix of deck chairs, regular tables, and a shared table, all adding to its inviting atmosphere.

coffee&tea
Coffee & tea
relaxing
Relaxing
snacks
Snacks

By

Cemre

Sandal

The Prayer - Sultan Ahmet Mosque – To pray to God

The Prayer at Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul is something to be experienced, even though the mosque itself is a very touristic spot in town...

arts&culture
Art & culture

By

Zekeriya

S. Sen

Simit – The Turkish Bagel

"Simit" is the delicious Turkish and Istanbul version of bagels. You can get them at the red stands all over the city. Try to get them hot!

snacks
Snacks

By

Zekeriya

S. Sen

Fethiye Camii – St. Mary Pammakaristos Church

"Fethiye Camii" in Istanbul is an old Byzantine church that was only converted into a mosque in 1573. Whenever I visit the area, I feel like a foreigner...

arts&culture
Art & culture

By

Zekeriya

S. Sen

Try our app and know your way!

Our Spotters' Local Favorites Only. Skip the Tourist Traps.

Find Nearby Spots and Navigate with Ease

Save Your Favorites and See Them on the Map

Get more with the Spotted by Locals app

Only local favorites. No tourist highlights.

Find spots nearby and use the map to locate them

Save favorites and show them on the map

Our local team in Istanbul

Get to know our Spotters from Istanbul

As featured on:

Subscribe now and get 3 days of free access!

Be ahead of the crowd and join our newsletter.​

first_name *
email *

By subscribing you agree with our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

Unlock local hidden gems

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consect sit dolor sit amet lamet. Lorem ipsum sit.

By creating a new account you agree with our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.