You should visit Topkapi...
You should visit Topkapi palace, St Sophia church, Blue mosque, Suleyman mosque, Underground cistern, Bosphorus, Grand Bazaar, Spice market, Ortakoy.
You should eat at Borsa, Haci Baba, Sarnic, Pudding Shop, Ulus 29, Mavi Yesil, Tugra restaurants. It's the only city in the world founded on two continents; Asia and Europe. Great city.
Pasha Kapisi.. Bab-i Ali
Probably one of the most interesting and Historical gates in Istanbul.. The gate of Pasha or as locals Call "Pasha Kapisi" dating back to 1843, The gate which was built in Rokoko style, is one of the numerous landmarks of the city..
Inside the gate lies the building for Istanbul Mayor... And some governmental buildings..
Studying Turkish in Istanbul
There are two schools for foreigners to learn Turkish in Istanbul. The one I studied at was called Dilmer, which takes you right from beginners' level to advanced where you sit for the Turkish Universities' Language Certificate. Each course lasts one month, with four hours of lessons five days a week (20 hours a week). You can choose to study mornings or afternoons, or spread one course over two months by only studying three days a week. They also have weekend and evening classes. A one month intensive course costs 280 Euro.
Some of the teachers are excellent, others less so. I was just lucky. Most of them know at least one other language (usually English German or Greek) This is obviously useful in the beginning, but foreign languages are discouraged in class, everything explained in Turkish. Classes are never huge, but are rarely as small as they are advertised, usually around 10-12. The best thing about Dilmer is its localtion, just off Inonu Caddesi, the road which runs from Taksim Square through Gumussuyu to the Besiktas Stadium and Dolmabahce Palace. Taksim Square is just 5 minutes walk away, making Dilmer easily accessible from all parts of the city.
An alternative school is Tomer, which is run by Ankara University. There are branches all over the country (Trabzon, Kayseri, Bursa, etc.) but don't get too excited, as the Turkish courses are really only available in Ankara, Istanbul and possibly Izmir. The school in Istanbul is in an area called Sisli (s is like sh both times...shishli), not the most attractive part of istanbul, but fairly central (half hour walk from Taksim Square, 2 stops by metro). The courses there are similar in price, but students who had 'defected' to Dilmer complained about the very strict exam system.
While searching for the websites above, i came across this school, which I haven't heard of before; Concept Languages in Etiler Maybe worth investigating...
Kadikoy-The Town of my childhood time
I was born in Eminonu District but when I was 10 years old we moved to Kadikoy District.Fenerbahce was the first place we lived in Kadikoy.Untill '70s Kadikoy was a small quite and rich place to live with nice Old villas and new villas and cinemas and lovely market place.Market (Kadikoy Carsi) with narrow lanes and fish sellers and cheese shops smells nice.
You can take a boat from KARAKOY and arrive to Kadikoy.You will see and ugly port at the first side but cross the RIHTIM caddesi (main street) and behind the ugly conquered tall building you will catch small shops and carsi.Ask ( Çarþý içi)inside the market to the local and you will arrive it.Find Osmanga mosque adn turn rigth,front of the mosque.
You will find best patissiere of Kadikoy(BEYAZ FIRIN) eat nice cheese sandwich and at the left side you can see that HAGIA EUPHIMIA CHURCH and MERCAN BEERHOUSE. after these small square if you turn rigth you can see best Local meat balls cooker (ADAPAZARI ISLAMA KOFTECISI) You can have meat balls with grilled breads marinated with tomatoes sauce.
So you can see nice Surp TAKOVOR armenian church and end of the street you can find
best LAHMACUN (turkish pizza)shop KADIKOY BORSAM TAS FIRIN.
So also you can see fish shops and cheese shops and butchers and bakery shops with shouting like (freeeeesh fish ) shop owners.
better to find good guide
everyone knows Grand Bazaar is so huge..you could spend few days to discover it and get lost many times...i was lucky enough to visit it 2 times and i had the best guide ever (thanks again Mike to being so nice to me and to other people)..Mike knows all the best shops, owners of these shops, and he can get good discount for you:) but the most important thing, Mike knows everthing about art (if it's possible...), he distinguish at the moment if such thing is a real piece of art and worth requested price or just some fake or cheap thing.. anyway you could never find anyone who knows more about carpets you can find at Grand Bazaar anything you want, but for me you could never find better place to buy presents, you have so wide choice from traditional, artisanal things, antique things, jewellery.. depends on your need, but being a woman ,i couldnt stop being mesmerized by beautiful jewellery:) i could spend a fortune on these ethnical handmade earrings, necklaces..