Balat was once a refuge for Sephardi Jews fleeing the Inquisition in Europe. In time, the population has changed, and today so many visitors come to Balat for its vibrant life and original texture. The colorful houses, narrow stone-paved streets, cafes, modern galleries, the Ecumenical Greek Patriarchate Basilica, synagogues, Byzantine churches, the Chora Museum, Agora Meyhanesi (a traditional restaurant), Phanar Greek Orthodox College, vintage shops, Balat Toy Museum, Monologlar Museum, and iconic stairs can be seen in the region.