The Pierre Loti Hill & Café, named for the French author, naval commander, and Turkophile, is well-known for its its tables under the trees and breathtaking views of the Golden Horn. This is a touristic yet very peaceful place with its authentic atmosphere. The French novelist, who fell in love with an Ottoman woman at home on his first visit to Turkey and settled in the Eyüp district, came to the cafe during his years in Istanbul, smoked a hookah and sat for hours.
It is not on the typical tourist route and is located near Eyup neighborhood, approximately 6 kilometers from the Galata Bridge in Eminonu. So, if you are just in Istanbul for a few days, you might want to reconsider going there for tea. The commanding vistas are definitely worth the short ‘detour if you are not in a hurry.’ This is a must-see, as well as a popular tourist destination.
You may be wondering why a teahouse in Istanbul is named after a French naval commander and author. According to folklore, Pierre Loti glanced over the Golden Horn from this same point during his time in Istanbul in 1876.
Pierre Loti looked out over the Golden Horn from this exact spot, looking for inspiration for his literary masterpiece Aziyadé. Loti’s clandestine love affair with an 18-year-old harem girl named Aziyadé is told in the semi-autobiographical novel Aziyadé. She was his greatest love, as evidenced by the gold ring bearing her name, which he wore for the remainder of his life.
Pierre Loti is represented by Istanbul’s only French school that adheres to the French educational system (i.e., same calendar and same holidays). It is a top school popular among the Turkish aristocracy and French ex-pats.
In his honor, the Pierre Loti café in Istanbul was opened in the European area of Eyüp, on Istanbul’s heights, where he liked to go to contemplate and write while admiring the spectacular view of the Golden Horn.
What to expect from your visit?
Pierre Loti Hill is one of the most frequently visited places in Istanbul with both locals and tourists. The magnificent hill has also been the scene of many TV series and movies with its popularity.
You’ll find a historical coffee, a restaurant, cafe, hookah house, 67 rooms consisting of 7 separate mansions and a hotel with 115 beds, as well as an open garden area with a capacity of 1400 people with the spectacular views of the Golden Horn. The entire Golden Horn can be seen clearly from the hill.
Getting to Pierre Loti Hill Tips
Pierre Loti Hill is located in Eyup neighborhood through Golden Horn. See on google map.
For those coming from Taksim, Galata or Besiktas areas, can take the Kabatas-Bagcilar T1 tram line passing through Kabatas, Karakoy, and get off at Sirkeci stop. And than take the public bus for Eyup.
For those on the Asian side of Istanbul, can take the ferry to Eminonu or take the Marmaray line from Uskudar and get off at the Sirkeci stop. And than take the public bus for Eyup.
Access to the Pierre Loti hill is provided via the TF2 Eyüp – Pierre Loti cable car line from Eyup.