macka1Maçka is the wealthy suburb that rubs up against Nişantaşı and Teşvikiye. Unlike most of central İstanbul it's fortunate in having acess to a large park that sits in a dip separating it from the Taksim area. You can can speed between the two places in the less well-known of İstanbul's two cable cars.

Maçka's wealth is obvious from the many magnificent buildings lining Maçka Caddesi but this is mainly a neighbourhood to which people flock in search of good food or a bed in a good hotel.

Around Maçka

If you arrive on the cable-car from Taksim you will be dropped off close to a magnificent fountain designed in 1901 by Raimondo d'Aronco for Sultan Abdülhamid II. It has come a long way from its original home which was in front of the Nusretiye Cami in Tophane whence it was displaced by road-widening work in the 1950s. Oddly, that was also when the sebil now in front of the Nusretiye was moved there from across the road. 

Facing it across the road is the imposing 19th-century building with an entrance portico that was designed by Simon and Sarkis Balyan as the Maçka Kışlası (Maçka Barracks). It now houses part of the İstanbul Technical University. 

Maçka lies uphill from the Barracks but you might want to duck round the corner towards Akaretler first to see a small enclosure containing a namazgah (outdoor prayer area) as well as the beautifully restored and regilded Valide Çeşme, a fountain designed for Sultan Abdülmecid's mother Bezmialem Valide Sultan.

Walking up Maçka Caddesi you will come eventually, on the left, to the İzmir Palas apartment block designed in 1925 by an architect called J d'Armi and said to be the latest real example of First National architecture in the city. 

Further uphill is a huge and somewhat forbidding building designed in 1922 by Guilio Mongeri, the Maçka Palas. A plaque on the wall lists some of its famous residents including Celal Bayer who was the third president of Turkey from 1950 to 1960. It has since been converted into the Park Hyatt Hotel. macka2

On the other side of the road Mongeri also designed what was originally meant to be a home for the Italian Embassy but which was never actually used for that purpose, instead being ignominiously used as a tobacco warehouse until finally in 1970 it was converted into an Anadolu Teknik Lisesi (Anatolian Technical High School), a function it still serves today.

At the top of the street just as it bears left to split into Abdi İpekçi Caddesi and Teşvikiye Caddesi is a business centre that houses the beleaguered Syrian Consulate. 

Eating and drinking

There are several pleasant teahouses lined up along the ridge looking down into Maçka Park.

mackaCafe Küçükçiftlik 

In early summer when the roses tumble around the entrance, this café hidden deep inside Maçka Park is one of the city’s best-kept secrets, a true oasis in the busy city.

Tel: 0212-232 1668, Maçka Demokrasi Parkı İçi


James Bond, AKA Daniel Craig, dined here in 2012 while filming Skyfall – and you can hardly get much more of an endorsement than that for a menu which features extremely popular servings of çöp şiş (small chunks of grilled lamb) and excellent künefe (warm, cheese-filled dessert).

Tel: 0212-230 3868, Bronz Sokak No. 5


Hilton Park SA. Tel: 0212-310 1200

Park Hyatt Hotel

Swissotel The Bosphorus İstanbul. Tel: 0212-326 1100

Transport info

The nicest way to reach Maçka is to swing over the park from Taksim in the cable car that leaves from the park just beyond the Taşkışla (Stone Barracks).

Failing that you can walk down from the Osmanbey Metro station via Teşvikiye. 

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