The Pierre Loti Café, named after the French novelist, naval officer and Turkophile, is famous for its spectacular views over the Golden Horn. Located in Eyüp, about 6 kilometers from the Galata Bridge in Eminönü, it is not exactly on the typical tourist path. So, if you’re in Istanbul for only a few days, you may want to think twice about going there for a tea. But if you’re not pressed for time, the commanding views are well worth the small ‘detour’.
Pierre Loti Café (Piyer Loti Kahvesi)
Gümüşsuyu Karyağdı Sokak, Eyüp
on Map with My Favorite Cafés and Pubs in the Historical Part of Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 581 26 96
Daily from 08:00 till midnight.
Credit cards are NOT accepted.
The Pierre Loti Café Itself
The Pierre Loti cafe is a rather modest teahouse that offers a variety of non-alcoholic drinks as well as basic snacks. It’s the location and the spectacular views over the Golden Horn that make this place worthwhile. Since the cafe is dedicated to Pierre Loti (see below), the furniture and the waiter’s clothes refer to the end of the 19th century.
How to Get To the Pierre Loti Café?
Any taxi driver will be glad to drive you all the way to the Pierre Loti cafe, but there really is no need for that. On the contrary actually. Just ask the taxi driver to take you to the Eyüp mosque, or alternatively take bus 39, 55T or 99A and get off close to the mosque.
From there you have two options to make your way to the teahouse on the hilltop. You can either climb your way up through the picturesque cemetery or take the funicular which is signposted from the mosque. I suggest taking the last option to reach the Pierre Loti cafe, and afterwards descend by taking the path between the (mostly Ottoman) tombstones.
Pierre Loti in a Nutshell
You may wonder why there is a teahouse in Istanbul in dedicated to a French naval officer and novelist. Well, the legend has it that during his stay in Istanbul in 1876, Pierre Loti gazed from this exact location over the Golden Horn in search of inspiration for his literary masterpiece Aziyadé.
Aziyadé is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of Loti’s illicit love affair with an 18 year old harem girl named Aziyadé. She was his greatest love, proof of which the golden ring holding her name that he wore for the rest of his life.