Called Cadde-i Kebir by Ottomans, Grande Rue de Péra by Europeans, and later, İstiklâl Caddesi by Turks—Istanbul’s most popular street.
Sultans may have once ruled Istanbul, but nowadays, the cats are clearly the ones in charge. It’s not just that there are a lot of cats in Istanbul – it’s that they are literally everywhere throughout the city, and they are allowed nearly free reign to do as they please.
With its unique location on the border of Asia and Europe, Istanbul is a city full of contrasts and there are plenty of surprises to be found outside of the main tourist drags. Whether you prefer exploring the sights of Sultanahmet or puffing on a nargile in a Galata café, here’s a rundown of Istanbul’s coolest neighborhoods.
Istanbul is truly one the richest destinations in the world for antique collectors. From the hidden gems of the Grand Bazaar to smoky bookshops in the back streets of Beyoğlu, the choice is almost limitless.
Though the nargile was around long before tobacco, they became popular in the Ottoman Empire with tobacco’s introduction from America in 1601, at which time nargile salons began springing up around Istanbul. If you’re in the mood to do the same, here’s a guide to Istanbul’s nargile cafes.
True to its reputation as Turkey’s most cosmopolitan and eclectic city, Istanbul certainly knows how to party, effortlessly blending the traditional with the modern, for one enormous New Year’s Eve street bash.
Though the cold rains and perpetually cloudy sky may be off-putting, you’ll find that even the most famous of the city’s attractions are uncrowded during the winter, making it a more relaxing time to visit. You’ll also be able to request significant discounts on rooms in hotels and guesthouses at this time, and you may even be around to experience year-end festivities such as Istanbul’s New Year’s Eve and Christmas celebrations.
Karaköy, the modern name for ancient Galata, is a historic neighborhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, located at the mouth of the Golden Horn on the European side of Bosphorus.Karaköy is one of the oldest and most important neighborhoods in Istanbul, having been one of the city’s major ports since Byzantine times, when the north shore of the Golden Horn was a separate settlement.
The 19th-century Dolmabahçe Palace, which lords over the Bosphorus on Istanbul’s European shore, is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world and a fitting symbol of the magnificence and decadence of the late Ottoman Empire.