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  • View north from the Edirinekapý
    View north from the Edirinekapý
    by mtncorg
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    The Golden Horn from the Pierre Loti...
    by mtncorg
  • Halic Cultural Center, Istanbul, TR
    Halic Cultural Center, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME

Most Viewed Favorites in Istanbul

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    Construction

    by solopes Updated Nov 20, 2014

    Favorite thing: Istanbul is a very big city, that keeps growing all the time.

    Though the central area seems somewhat controlled (thanks God, thus preserving some authenticity), there are a few "islands" where skyscrapers grow side by side, and construction continues, larger and higher.

    Istanbul - Turkey
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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    Midye Tava - Fried Mussels

    by IreneMcKay Updated Oct 2, 2014

    Favorite thing: Turkey is full of delicious street food. One of my favourites was midye tava - fried mussels cooked on a skewer. This was normally served with tartar sauce and was very delicious.

    The photo with this tip is taken in Rumeli Kavağı. Rumeli Kavağı is the final stop on the European side on the Bosphorus cruise. When the ferry leaves here, it crosses to its final stop - Anadoglu Kavağı on the Asian side.

    Rumeli Kavağı is famous for its fish stalls and restaurants.

    Cooking midye tava in Rumeli Kavağı.
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Photography

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    The Best Ferry Journey in the World

    by IreneMcKay Updated Oct 2, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: We now live in Hong Kong and while I'm sure it's not a good idea to denigrate one place at the expense of another, in Hong Kong the tourist board bills the Star Ferry as the best ferry journey ever. We both laughed at this idea as in our minds the best ferry journey ever is taking the public ferry from Beşiktaş to Kadıköy.

    First you pass Ortaköy Mosque and the fantastic Dolmabahçe Palace, then you pass Leander's Tower. At certain times of the day you can hear the call to prayer drifting across the water. If you are fortunate enough to be travelling at sunset, you will see Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque silhoueted against the night sky.This has to be one of the world's most stunning views.

    Add to all this the vitality of the ferry. First the tea man wanders round calling out, "Çay, Çay, Taze Çay." Then some random beggars start to sing a song and ask for a donation, or some random salesman starts to demonstrate his wares in a highly exaggerated and entertaining fashion. Then comes the sahlep man selling his thick milk-coloured drink made from the roots of orchids.

    No matter where you are going, you are in no hurry to arrive. You are simply enjoying the best ferry trip in the world with its scenery and constant entertainment..

    Ferry with Topkapi Palace in the background. Ferry passing between Sultanahmet and Emin��n��.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Cruise

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    Overflowing Metropolis

    by traveloturc Written Aug 6, 2014

    Favorite thing: As İstanbul became the industrial capital of Turkey which fueled an influx of labour into the city, heavy migration from the provinces transformed the city limits overnight. Bands of shantytowns sprouted on the periphery of the city. This process continued until the early 2000s. The city experienced two major waves of development: during the administration of PM Adnan Menderes in the 1950s and that of İstanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan in the mid 80s. Dalan flattened old neighbourhoods in Beyoğlu to make room for Tarlabaşı Boulevard, also demolishing derelict houses around the Golden Horn to bring historical houses into view while converting the remaining areas into parks. The city walls were restored and a coastal highway was built on the Asian coast of the Sea of Marmara, with sea front summer houses no longer boasting sea front properties.

    This was met with loud criticism and endless debate. The city took more or less its present shape following these waves of development. However, in recent years, major services were provided to shanty areas with a view to increasing the standard of living of the inhabitants. Proper roads and crossroads were built enabling the integration of these areas with the rest of the city.

    The rapidly dev

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    Republican İstanbul

    by traveloturc Written Aug 6, 2014

    Favorite thing: Relations between İstanbul, the former imperial capital, and the new capital of the Turkish Republic, Ankara, got off to a shaky start. İstanbul was no longer the seat of government and the Republicans strove to gain national recognition for Ankara, then a relatively provincial town. İstanbul remained the economic capital of Turkey, however, and played a pivotal role in the development and growth of the young Republic. Supporters of the two cities were reconciled when Atatürk returned to İstanbul in 1927, his first visit since the National War of Independence. Atatürk was met by enthusiastic crowds in İstanbul. The importance of İstanbul's status as the commercial and cultural centre of the country only increased further. Even the hardships imposed by WWII could not dampen its vitality. The city continued its gradual expansion northwards and the Republican monument in Taksim Square became the symbol of the new nation. Affluent neighbourhoods sprouted up in Harbiye, Şişli, Nişantaşı, Teşvikiye and Taşlık and parliamentarians began to spend their summer holidays at the Anadolu Club on Büyükada. Meanwhile, industrialisation was also gaining speed and pushing the city borders ever outwards.

    Atat��rk

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    Westerning İstanbul

    by traveloturc Written Aug 6, 2014

    Favorite thing: When confronted with the fact that it was lagging behind Europe, the first response of the Ottoman State was to adopt a European lifestyle rather than the western social or economic system. With the Imperial Rescript (Hatt-i Humayun) of 1839, the reforms known as the Tanzimat began in earnest, opening the way for the recognition of the individual rights of the Empire's subjects. These rights were further expanded with subsequent decrees. In 1877 the first Ottoman Constitution was declared and the first parliament was established, although both were short lived. Sultan II Abdülhamit's reign started and continued for 33 years. The influx of Westerners, enjoying the commercial benefits granted by the Capitulations, began to construct buildings in the Baroque, Empire and Rococo styles. In the meantime, the Sultans left the traditional centre of the city, moving the palace to Beşiktaş on the European side of the Bosphorus. Impressive buildings such as the Palaces of Dolmabahçe, Çırağan, Yıldız and Beylerbeyi were constructed along the shores and hills of the Bosphorus.

    new entries

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    Ottoman İstanbul

    by traveloturc Written Aug 6, 2014

    Favorite thing: The spoils and tribute from conquered lands began to flow into İstanbul as the Ottoman state continued spreading westwards, and the city had an influx of skilled craftsmen and artists from the new territories of the Empire. Thus, the city, which had begun to fall into disrepair and ruin as the Byzantine Empire suffered its slow decline, began returning to its former splendour. Monumental buildings which are still present in İstanbul were built by such great masters as the architect Sinan and those who followed in his footsteps. Vacant lots within the city walls were filled and new neighbour hoods were established and the city started to sprawl outside the walls. Seaside palaces and mansions were built. İstanbul began to adorn the pages of travellers' diaries and fuel the imagination of foreigners as the capital city of an empire straddling three continents. However, towards the end of the 17th century, as the Ottomans began to lose their technological advantage over Europe, progress came to a halt. A series of defeats and losses of territory led to internal strife. İstanbul became the stage for great uprisings which were often only suppressed at the city's expense.

    Ottoman empire

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    The Conquest Of Istanbul

    by traveloturc Written Aug 2, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: As part of his strategy to conquer Istanbul, a city that had been besieged many times previously, Mehmet II first constructed the Rumeli Hisarý on the Bosphorus based on lessons learned from previous sieges. He first secured his eastern and western borders. Then he brought master cannon makers from Europe and concentrated his forces around Ýstanbul in early March 1453. As he destroyed the walls with heavy cannon fire, at an advanced stage of the siege, he transported his ships overland in the darkness of the night, from the northern shore of the Golden Horn from behind Galata, by-passing the chain set across the mouth of the Golden Horn by Byzantine defenders. This gave him the opportunity to pound the walls of the Golden Horn as well. On 29 May 1453 the jewel of the Byzantine Empire fell to Ottoman forces. Emperor Constantine was killed near presentday Edirnekapı. Declared, 'fatih', the Conqueror, Mehmet II entered the city and went to pray at Haghia Sophia. The city was renamed Istanbul. As the Greeks who had left before the siege began to return, the city's population, which had fallen to 50-60,000 just before its conquest, increased to 300,000 at the beginning of the 16th century through the resettlement of various people from around the empire.

    The Conquest Of Istanbul

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    Byzantium's Constantinople

    by traveloturc Written Aug 2, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Constantinopolis, the capital of Byzantium which had become the strongest centre of the world following the collapse of Western Roman Empire, witnessed a path of brilliant development, bloody power struggles and violent revolts for 1000 years. Initially bounded in by the walls constructed by Septimus Severus, other sets of walls were added to accommodate the city's outward expansion, first expanding to the walls of Constantine and later to the walls of Theodosius. Just like Rome, it sprawled on seven hills with the Topkapı Palace, The Column of Constantine (Çemberlitaş), Süleymaniye Mosque, Fatih Mosque, Sultan Selim Mosque, Edirnekapı (Mihrimah) Mosque, Altı Mermer (Çukurbostan) atop these hills. Immigrants were brought in from the newly occupied areas and settled in the empty spaces within the city walls so that by the 5th century the city's population had swollen to more than 100,000. It was in this period that the suburb of Galata, then known as Sycae, was first formed. But as the empire began to shrink in the 11th century, the capital too began to decline. Byzantium began to lose territory to the Turkish and Muslim forces pressuring the empire's eastern marches. At the beginning of the 13th century, all that was left of the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople, a few cities around the Marmara basin and the coastline at Trebizond (Trabzon). The Latins sacked İstanbul and dealt a blow to Byzantium during the 4th Crusade. The Byzantians chased the Latins away 56 years later but they could not stop the Ottomans who came a century later.
    Byzantine Empire of 1000 AD was one of the most powerful states of its time.
    Constantine the Great who proclaimed Constantinople as the joint capital of the Roman Empire and named it Nova Roma
    Launched by Theodosius II in 412, the building of the final row of defensive walls lasted until 422. Approximately unchanged in their location, and extending from Yedikule, on the Marmara shore, to Ayvansaray, near the Golden Horn, these walls served to protect the city from hostile outsiders for hundreds of years. The main road called Mese running down the middle of the city, and splitting into two at Aksaray, was the life artery of the city
    Walls of TheodosiusMese (Grand Route / King's Road)Sycae (Galata)

    Byzantium's Constantinople

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    Legends Surrounding The Founding Of Istanbul

    by traveloturc Written Aug 2, 2014

    Favorite thing: There are many legends about the founding of Istanbul. According to Greek mythology, Zeus, trying to conceal his affair with Io (Europa), from his jealous wife, Hera, disguised her as a cow. Io leaped over the strait while trying to escape from Hera, disguised as a wasp, giving the Bosphorus its name, which, in ancient Greek literally means "Cow Passage". After crossing to the other side, Io gave birth on the shores of the Golden Horn to a daughter called Khereossa (the Golden Horn takes its name in antiquity from this). Nurtured by the water fairy Semestra, Khereossa was wed to Poseidon, the Lord of the Seas. Byzas, the founder of the city, was born from this union.
    According to another legend, the Thracian King Byzas, the son of the water fairy Semestra, married Phidaleia, the daughter of the ruler Barbyzos, and established a city on the land of his father-in-law. According to the most widely accepted version however, following the Megarian flight from the Dorians and their settlement near Kadıköy, Byzas, under the guidance of the Oracle at Delphi, went in search of the "land across from the land of the blind". Reaching the settlement of the Megarians near According to another legend, the Thracian King Byzas, the son of the water fairy Semestra, married Phidaleia, the daughter of the ruler Barbyzos, and established a city on the land of his father-in-law. According to the most widely accepted version however, following the Megarian flight from the Dorians and their settlement near Kadıköy, Byzas, under the guidance of the Oracle at Delphi, went in search of the "land across from the land of the blind". Reaching the settlement of the Megarians near and observing the beauty of the European coastline opposite, Byzas and his followers decided one could only be blind not to have preferred to have settled in the more beautiful land across the strait. Hence, they christened the Megarians' settlement Chalcedon (the land of the blind) and settled on the Sarayburnu area on the opposite shore

    old ships

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    HOW OLD IS ISTANBUL

    by traveloturc Written Aug 2, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The first signs of settlement around İstanbul, dating back to the Palaeolithic era, can be seen in the caves north of Yarimburgaz. During the Marmaray railway excavations, neolithic grave ruins were found. Other signs of settlement dating from the Calcolithic era (5000-3500 BC) can be found surrounding Fikirtepe and Pendik, on the Asian side of İstanbul.

    Certain sections of the walls from Lygos, founded by Thraceans in İstanbul, believed to be the first city established here, are evident in Sarayburnu, as well as remnants of some Phoenician structures in Kadıköy. Still, the beginning of the city as we know it, dates back to the 7th century BC. Around this time, a steady flow of Megarians, trying to evade the Dorian assaults staged upon the Greek peninsula, immigrated to the area. While the firstcomers settled in nearby Kadıköy and established Chalcedon, legend has it that a few years later, Byzas settled in the area known as Sarayburnu today, which is just opposite Chalcedon, naming their city Byzantium. Soon surrounded by the walls, the city, lying at a major crossroad, changed hands among the Persians, Athenians, Spartans, Macedonians and Romans as they swept through the region in successive waves. Despite the frequent invasions, it still continued to develop as a major trading centre. It is widely believed that while Byzantium was the commercial centre of the area, Chalcedon was predominantly agricultural. After a period of peace and stability under Roman control, the growth of the commercial centre gained greater momentum. Rising to the status of the joint capital of the whole Roman Empire in 330 AD, Byzantium became the capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire 65 years later.

    Fondest memory: I was born and raised here ...)))

    Fırst Settlement

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    DISTRICTS OF ISTANBUL-EYUP

    by traveloturc Written Feb 23, 2014

    Favorite thing: It will not be wrong to say that Eyüp is the most important and special place among the districts of Istanbul. The history of Eyüp based on very ancient time and has vital importance. If we consider the name of county, we can see it came from ancient time too so we should talk about history.
    Eyüp was located outside the walls of the province covering the area in the Byzantine Era, but there was a village. The reason of that, there were two rivers and large amounts of clean water was supplied from these rivers. During this period, there was a church located in the village. This church was used as a cemetery for a while. A person whose name was Zaid bin Khalid from the Prophet had been attended the conquest of Istanbul and killed during the conquest. The person was known as Eyüp Sultan and the grave of Eyüp Sultan was buried in here and gave the name to the region. The grave is located in Eyüp Sultan Mosque. From this time, the region has been called as Eyüp. Tourists visit the county certain times of the every year.
    Istanbul had been growing unplanned in 17th and 18th centuries. In these centuries, Turkish communities and Caucasians began to come in the city Istanbul from the Balkans so Eyüp began to lose its former importance because factories had been established along the banks of Golden Horn with the effect of the industrial revolution. The first established factory was Feshane which was established to produce fez for the Ottoman Army.

    Fondest memory: When we look at the present day, we can say the all factories which were established during the industrial revolution were shut down but the factories have been established in other places. It was known by everyone that the estuary (Haliç) was smelling too bad and after closure of factories, the odor was eliminated so Eyüp has been started to gain the importance back. Pierre Loti who was a poet was recognized with admiration of Istanbul and in Eyüp there are a café which name is Pierre Loti and it is one of the most beautiful places which have a glamorous view of Istanbul.

    EYUP

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    DISTRICTS OF ISTANBUL-NISANTASI

    by traveloturc Written Feb 23, 2014

    Favorite thing: Nisantasi is a quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, comprising neighbourhoods like Tesvikiye, Osmanbey, Macka and Pangalty. It includes the stores of world famous brands and has many popular cafés, pubs, restaurants and night clubs. It is a part of the Sisli district. Abdi Ipekci Street, Turkeys most expensive shopping street in terms of lease prices, stretches from the neighbourhoods of Maçka and Tesvikiye to the center of Nisantasi.
    Nisantasi was settled by Sultan Abdülmecid in the middle of the 19th century. He erected two obelisks to define the beginning point and the ending point of the quarter. He ordered the construction of the Neo-Classical style Tesvikiye Police Station and the Neo-Baroque style Tesvikiye Mosque for a proper district, encouraging the citizens of Istanbul to settle here (hence the name Tesvikiye which means Encouragement in Ottoman Turkish).
    The word Nisantasi literally means Aiming Stone (target stone) in Turkish. Before the land had been granted for public use, it was an area where Ottoman soldiers used to shoot at target stones for improving their aiming skills. Some of these target stones, which are shaped like small obelisks and have Ottoman Turkish inscriptions on them, are still found on the pavements of Nisantasi as monuments from the past.

    Fondest memory: Following the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, many Turks from Thessaloniki (Selânik, which was an Ottoman metropolis until 1912) settled in the Nisantasi district of Istanbul; including the family of the famous Turkish poet Nazym Hikmet. Apart from the Turks, the district also had sizeable Greek, Jewish, Armenian and Levantine communities.

    NISANTASI

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    DISTRICTS OF ISTANBUL-ORTAKOY

    by traveloturc Updated Feb 23, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Ortakoy has had an important place in the daily life of the city during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Turks, Jews, Greeks and Armenians still live there peacefully, side by side. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged the Turks to move to Ortaköy and live there, which marked the beginning of the Turkish presence in the neighbourhood. One of the oldest buildings in Ortaköy is the Turkish Bath built by the famous Ottoman architect Sinan in 1556.
    The famous Ortaköy Mosque, located on the coastal pier square, was originally built in the 18th century. Later, in the 19th century, the current mosque, ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and designed by architects (father and son) Garabet Amira Balyan and Nigogayos Balyan in Neo-Baroque style, was edificed between 1854 and 1856.
    In 1871, Sultan Abdülaziz built the Çyra?an Palace in Ortaköy, where he lived for some time. Çyragan Palace was also used as the Ottoman Parliament building until it was severely damaged by a fire in 1910. The palace was repaired and restored in the 1980s and is known today as the Cyragan Palace Kempinski Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Istanbul.
    Ortakoy is one of the nicest neighborhoods of Besiktas districts in the European side of Istanbul on the Bosphorus Strait, right under the first Bosphorus bridge. In Turkish it means “middle village” because it was in the middle of the strait, and during the Ottoman period it was just a small fishing village and a resort for the Ottoman dignitaries because of its attractive location. After many years, the district is still a popular spot for local people and foreign visitors.
    Ortakoy has many cafeterias and tea houses around a square near the water or in the alleys, moderate or expensive restaurants, bars, small shops and a market which gets very lively during the weekends. In the summer time there are even small size concerts or street shows etc. Many world class night clubs are also in this area, on the Bosphorus.

    Fondest memory: Ortakoy center lies within a triangle of a Muslim mosque, a Christian church, and a Jewish synagogue, witnessing the religious freedom and mosaic in Turkey as a secular state. Other interesting sites within Ortakoy district are: Ciragan Palace hotel which used to be a palace, Kabatas High School from late Ottoman period, Feriye restaurant which used be the hunting mansion of the sultans, Princess Hotel, Sortie night club and Reina night club. A small pier is connecting Ortakoy to other neighborhoods on the Asian side by passenger ferries.

    ORTAKOY

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    DISTRICTS OF ISTANBUL-ŞİŞLİ

    by traveloturc Written Feb 23, 2014

    Favorite thing: Sisli
    Şişli is the very old county of Istanbul and based on a fundamental property. Şişli, has been a residential area since ancient times, contains many historical monuments.

    It is suggested that the oldest district, Tatavla, was established in the first quarter of the 16th century. The settlement in Şişli was too little until the beginning of the 19th century. Population was very rare in here and most places were isolated. The most important reason of the situation is that there were full of fields. After the 19th century, Maçka and Pangaltı had started to be residential areas. In 1870, a major fire emerged and it took place in history as the largest fire, Beyoğlu, so buildings and residential areas were damaged very much, therefore, large part of people were homeless. After the negative situation, the buildings were constructed around Harbiye and given to these homeless people. Osman Bey , the founder of Matbaa-I Osmaniye( printing), had bought a wide soil between Harbiye and Şişli and made a mansion built. After the first step, mansions began to be built especially in Harbiye, Teşvikiye and Nişantaşı in the last quarter of the 19th century and population began to increase.

    The Pediatric Hospital is one of the major medical centers of Istanbul not only the county and was established in 1890s. The boundaries of the county are quite extensive as the boundaries of many counties. There are many positive results of the wide boundaries, one of which is opportunity of culture and art activities. There can be found the ruins of Ottoman. In addition, there are some old type buildings and they have already been beautiful.

    Fondest memory: The region is a point of the conjunction the old and new life styles. It won’t be wrong to say that Şişli is the most developed county of Istanbul because Şişli has been improving in all aspects and keeping pace for changing years.

    ŞİŞLİ

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