Tea is like a life elixir for Turks. They drink it from morning till evening because it keeps them fresh, awake, socialised and happy. It increases their joy in life, which ultimately is what makes them live longer. They know that you don’t need anti wrinkle cream, juice diets or botox to prevent ageing. You just need to visit one (or more) of Istanbul’s great tea gardens, order a glass of tea, sit back and relax…that’s all!

Mustafa Amca Jean’s, Galatasaray Han, Istiklal Caddesi
Bring your newspaper, or some nice friends to talk and enjoy the friendly service of ‘Uncle Mustafa’ who has been serving fresh tea in this place for hundreds of years. Great place to start the day.

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Firuzağa (right next to the Firuzağa mosque)
Enjoy this tea garden’s central location, colourful visitors and great diversity of passing pedestrians, crazy drivers and dogs. This tea garden is a wonderful place to relax after a stroll in the crowds of Beyoğlu.

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Sanatkarlar Caddesi, Cihangir
It’s a bit hard to find (no name, no indication on the map) and the place looks pretty improvised and random, but it has a beautiful view of the Bosphorus, the Asian side and the historic peninsula. The service may be a bit slow, but with such a wonderful view you won’t want to go anywhere anyway.

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Turkish Tea Gardens in Istanbul

Moda Aile Çay Bahçesi, Moda (Asian Side)
Green trees, a view of the Marmara Sea, a quiet and laid back atmosphere…this tea garden has all ingredients for a relaxing afternoon. The perfect place to rest a bit after a visit to Kadıköy.

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Çınaraltı Aile Çay Bahçesi, Çengelköy (Asian Side)
One of the most beautiful places on the Bosphorus on the Asian coast. Watch boats passing by, birds flying over and sense how time can stand still in the old village of Çengelköy.

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About the Wizard : Simone Pekelsma

Simone Pekelsma is an urban sociologist living in Istanbul. She likes to discover and uncover the city's secrets.


Learn more about Simone Pekelsma