Pastimes at Pierre Loti

Unlike its Bosphorus brother, the Golden Horn did not inherit bold beauty, luxury mansions, suave cafes and swanky restaurants. Having spent the better past of history remaking its image, it now offers clean and quiet tranquility that attracts local crowds to its shores. Watching over the Golden Horn’s fight for survival, a little hilltop cafe stood steadfast and dedicated, Pierre Loti Cafe. This lookout point and café has continued to attract visitors to its humble dwellings for offering the best views of the Golden Horn. As the sunset truly burns the waters golden, the ethereal beauty is not lost as twinkling lights litter the night skies.

The atmospheric beauty of Pierre Loti is emphasized by a hillside cemetery that sprawls beneath it. The hillside is spotted with the white and grey of historical grave stones. A little café that stood here in the 1900s was such a favourite of French naval officer and novelist Julien Viaud, who wrote under the pen name Pierre Loti, that the café was dedicated to him. It was here that he apparently contemplated the semi-autobiographical, romantic tragedy of Aziyadé. Feel the same inspiration from the spectacular views while sipping tea or smoking nargile.

Cram on local buses from Eminönü and Taxsim to get to its Eyüp location.The most pleasant journey is to be carried by the waters themselves, as local boats ferry visitors from Eminönü to Eyüp. On arrival, follow the crowds to Eyüp mosque and then signs to a ‘funicular’ cable car that takes you up over sleeping souls. Alternatively, feel your mortality by taking a 20-minute walk through the cemetery.

Meet the author


After leaving Australia in 2003, Casey's path landed her in Istanbul for a summer stint only. Once addicted to Istanbul's eccentricity and charm, Casey failed to find reason to leave six years later. An avid traveller of sorts, Casey spent most of her time roaming across Europe and the Middle East looking for adventure and cultural experiences. Now a freelance editor and writer working from Madrid, Casey spends her days finding the words to excite the inner traveller in everyone.