STATS – Day: 32 | Distance: 8466.8 miles | Location: Istanbul, Turkey | Money Spent To Date – Transportation: $672.40 (includes airfare) | Food: $122.38| Stay: $118.92 | Play: $84.66
What better way to get an detailed experience of a city than district hopping! Some districts are residential, industrial, cater to a particular population of people, or are known for unique architecture / culture scene.
Istanbul currently has a whopping 39 districts that spans two continents (Europe and Asia) and borders both the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara with the Bosphorus Straight in between.
To visit these districts I’ve been taking all kinds of transportation – City bus, Metrobus, Metro train, Tram, Local train, Ferry and Dolmus (little yellow van/bus that only departs once it is full) – hence it’s name which means “stuffed or filled”.
Here are some of the districts I’ve visited so far:
*Note: District descriptions are from Wikipedia
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It is considered the nightlife centre of Istanbul and is home to Galata Tower a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Beyoğlu and is one of the city’s most striking landmarks.
The main thoroughfare is İstiklâl Caddesi, running into the neighbourhood from Taksim Square (where I’m staying), a pedestrian mile long street of shops, cafés/restaurants, pubs/clubs, theatres/cinemas and art galleries.
Note: this is also where the bombing took place on March 19th. #TheBomb
Beşiktaş district includes a number of important sites on the European side along the Bosphorus, like Dolmabahçe Palace, Bebek, and the wooden Ottoman mansions of Arnavutköy
According to one story, there was a Byzantine church where Beşiktaş now is with the name Kounopetra, Greek for “stone cradle”. The church was built to honor a relic, a stone reportedly taken from the stable in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. This stone was later removed to Hagia Sophia and disappeared during the Fourth Crusade, possibly to be sold in Europe’s relics market.
Sarıyer is the northernmost district the European side of the city. With a long shore along the water, the district boasts both a beautiful coastline and a lush forest. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosporus
The lighthouse the symbol of the village, was built by the Republic of Genoa which fought against Republic of Venice in 1352 and colonized the area before Turkish conquest in the Middle Ages.
Rumelihisarı (also known as Rumeli Castle) is a fortress built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before his army’s conquest of Constantinople.
Adalar is a district also known as Prince Islands, a group of 9 islands in the Sea of Marmara.
The four bigger islands – Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kınalıada have ferry stops.
The islands have very few automobiles and motorcycles. Mostly horse carriages, bicycles and foot traffic. It is peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul.
Büyükada (the big island) has many historic churches, monasteries and mansions.
The world is a beautiful place!
Hugs and Love to you.
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