Turkey

Pierre Loti Hill Visitor Guide

A cable car up the hill leads to panoramic Bosphorus views and gravesites of Sultans. Our interactive map lists the attractions and nearby points of interest.

Who is Pierre

Pierre Loti is the pseudonym of novelist, and French naval officer, Louis Marie-Julien Viaud.

Julien Viaud

When Julien first arrived in Istanbul at the age of 26, he was so taken aback by the Ottoman culture and one particular hill that overlooked the Bosphorus Inlet. He wrote about this hill in his diaries along with a beautiful Ottoman lady named Aziyadė, who he frequently came to visit and fell in love with.

In 1876 he was persuaded by fellow naval officers to document his experiences in Constantinople (now called Istanbul). Three years later, in 1879, he anonymously published Aziyadé, a novel that was part romance, and part autobiography and made mention of his favorite hill.

Namesake

Julien published his Aziyadé novel under the pseudonym of Pierre Loti which soon became noticed and admired by the Ottomans. The author was even welcomed to Constantinople with an official ceremony held by the Sultan. Julien was then further recognized for his sympathy for the Ottoman culture. After the new parliament took over, they extended their gratitude by naming the hill after him.

Attractions

The cable car ride is one of the main attractions at Pierre Loti Hill. It leads you directly to the famous hilltop café and the panorama views that you can spend an afternoon enjoying. A walk through the cemeteries can inform you of Istanbul’s past glory, and an evening meal can make a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Cable Car

The Eyup Teleferik is a two-station aerial passenger system operated by the municipality. The cable car runs between the Eyup cable station at the bottom and the Pierre Loti Café at the top of the hill. The ride itself is worth the trip, but the views from the top are simply divine.

Tickets

The cable car costs 4 TL (0.60 €) each way and you can use a public transport card to pay for it.

Panoramic Views

It won’t take long for you realize why Julien Viaud fell in the love with the view here. The sightlines across the Bosporus Inlet and Haliç Bridge offer an aerial perspective of Istanbul by rooftop. You’ll be amazed at how far you can see and all the architectural details of Istanbul you might have missed at ground level.

Eyup Cemetery

Atop the hill, in the Eyup Cemetery, you’ll find a historical graveyard holding the tombs of many famous people from Istanbul. This graveyard is so exclusive that it has Sultans and treasured authors resting there.

There are two other cemeteries (Mezarlıks) located on the hill, Hüseyin Hilmi and Turgay Hantal, but the treasures are the Eyup graves.

Food and Drink

There several cafés and restaurants that decorate the hilltop of Pierre Loti, most of which have similar panoramic views. The sizes range from quaint to extensive, but in general, you’ll find the prices to have a premium that matches the exquisite location.

The cable car costs 4 TL (0.60 €) each way and you can use a public transport card to pay for it.

Pierre Loti Cafe

The cable car arrives at this modest teahouse that has a terrace to die for. The views over the Golden Horn are what make this place worth the visit. The cafe’s namesake is a dedication to its location and furniture and staff clothing reflect how it must have looked at the end of the 19th century.

TripAdvisor

Teras Cafe

When the Pierre Loti Café starts getting busy, you’ll see a lot of the spillover traffic head to the Teras (Terrace) Café. The name is literal too, as they have a huge three-level terrace with multiple sections. Some table views are obstructed by trees, but they also can provide natural shade on a hot day.

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Aziyade Restaurant

A historical building with good sightlines for both the sunrise and sunset. If you’re looking for some indoor romantic ambiance, it’s worth a look. Whether you come for the Turkish Coffee or an evening meal, you can enjoy the window-view.

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Where to Stay

While most tourists simply come here for a few hours, spending the night can ensure easy access to take in the views whenever you like.

Turquhouse Boutique Hotel

Opened in 1999, this 4-star hotel consists of 67 rooms, 7 mansions and 115 beds in a location that might be considered, absolutely perfect. The mansions were restored to their original 18th century Ottoman architecture and individually named after towns in the Golden Horn.

The higher floors of the hotel also let you enjoy the Bosphorus views that go well beyond the sunset. Watching Istanbul come alive at night from your window sill is a luxury worth paying for. With two on-site restaurants and a lovely terrace bar to choose from, you can also enjoy your stay both in and out of your room.

TripAdvisor | Website

Travel Tips

  • In general, most tourists take the cable car up for the view and then slowly walk down through the picturesque cemetery.
  • You can hike up or down the hill. Fair warning though, it’s a lot of steps.
  • Taking the Golden Horn Ferry to the Eyüp Ferry Port will get you within easy walking distance of the cable car.
  • If you’re wanting to see the Eyup Mosque, know that it’s at the bottom of the hill near the cable.
  • The Pierre Loti cafe has a basic snack menu and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.

Tourist Map

The highlights of Pierre Loti Hill await your discovery! No matter what you’re looking for, from a place to eat or drink, or the nearby attractions and transit options, they’re all clearly marked on our interactive map below.

How to Get There

There are many ways to reach Piere Loti Hill, so it really depends on where you are in Istanbul and the type of transport you prefer.

By Car

Istanbul is so big that is really depends on where you’re starting your drive from, but there’s both a scenic route and highway routes from the European and Asian sides.

Scenic Route

The most scenic route would be to take Kadi Has Cedessi north from the Ataturk Bridge towards Eyup. This street will merge into Ayvansaray Cadessi and then finally become Bahariye Cadessi. You can easily park at Eyup station if you want to take the cable car up or follow the signs from there up the hill.

Highway Drive

If you’re far away from the Bosphorus, such as being in Ortakoy, Besiktas or Sisli, it’s best to follow the D-1/D-100 Highway to Eyup and then exit north on Ayvansaray Caddesi.

From Asian Side

The same goes for is you’re staying on the Asian side, as you would make your way across the 15th of July Martyrs Bridge to Ortakoy and then follow the D-1/D-100 to Eyup.

From Taksim

With Taksim being right in the middle, it’s probably easiest to go via bus, but as long you’re not traveling during traffic hours, driving can be worthwhile.

By Car

Take Tarlabasi Boulevard west towards Karakoy and the Bosphorus Inlet. Then make your across the Ataturk Bridge, exiting right (north) on Abdulezelpasa Caddesi and then follow the scenic route to Eyup.

By Ferry

This is a little more tricky now that the Kabatas Ferry Terminal is under construction, but you if you take the funicular from Taksim to Kabatas and the tram from Kabatas to Eminonu you can catch Halic Hatti line to Eyup via the smaller Eminonu Haliç Pier.

By Bus

The easiest way from Taksim is to take the 55T Bus from Taksim Station all the way to Eyup and then ride the cable car to the top. The bus trip is around 40-45 minutes and takes the scenic route mentioned above.

From Besiktas

Going by ferry is the best option, as you’ll get to see the scenery along the Bosphorus Strait and the Bosphorus Inlet.

By Car

The highway drive mentioned above along the D-1/D-100 is probably the best for those with a vehicle, as you’ll have to cross a lot of city traffic to get to the scenic route.

By Ferry

Taking the ferry to Eyup is the most scenic route, eve more so than via car. The first step it to take the Besiktas-Eminonu line and then disembark in Eminonu and walk north to the Eminonu Haliç Pier to catch the Halic Hatti line to Eyup. Alternative you can go cross over to Uskudar Ferry Terminal on the Asian side and then catch the Halic Hatti line from there.

By Bus

If you wanted to stay on the land then make your way over to Taksim and catch the 55T Bus to Eyup.

From Beyoglu

Again you have a lot of options here, all of which follow the same scenic route.

By Car

If wanting to drive, then make your way over the Ataturk Bridge and follow the scenic route.

By Ferry

If you can easily make your way to the Kasimpasa or Emininou Halic Ferry Terminal, then you can take the scenic route via the Halic Hatti line to Eyup.

By Bus

The 55T Bus runs along Refik Sadam Cadessi and the Tepebasi Stop at Kasimpaaa Stadium is very close to Istiklal Avenue. In Begoylu, the 55T Bus passes the Sishane 1 Stop, which is close to the Sishane Metro.

From Galata or Karakoy you also easily grab the 55T Bus to Eyup via the Sishane Metro & Sishane 1 Stop or the Sishane 3 Stop which is close to Sishane Park.

From Sultanahmet

The scenic route is available here no matter which type of transport you want to take.

By Car

Follow Kennedy Cadessi towards the Galata Bridge/Bosphorus Inlet which then merges into Ragip Gumuspala Caddesi. At the Ataturk Bridge, this road merges into Abdulezelpasa Caddesi. This road again merges into Ayvansaray Cadessi at Sair Nedim Park, which finally becomes Bahariye Cadessi as you enter Eyup.

By Ferry

Make your way over to the Emininou Halic Ferry Terminal, then take the scenic route via the Halic Hatti line to Eyup.

By Bus

Make your way over to the main Eminönü Ferry Terminal and catch the 99A Bus, exiting at the Tahta Minare Stop in Eyup. From there it’s a quick walk to the cable car the bottom of the hill.

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