The Spectacular Bosphorus
The Bosphorus, separating Asia and Europe, is the ultimate treasure and beauty of İstanbul, where the city breathes. Both banks of the Bosphorus are decorated by characteristic, wooden waterside mansions, symbols of the old tradition of large, wealthy families residing on the
Bosphorus’ shores. Fishing dominates life on the Bosphorus thanks to the fertile sea that brings shoals of fresh fish daily and on every shore of the Bosphorus are restaurants serving delicious seafood. North of Beşiktaş you arrive at Ortaköy, whose cafés, restaurants and bars are enjoyable day or night. The districts beyond Ortaköy on the European side of the Bosphorus all have great natural beauty and places of entertainment: Kuruçeşme, Arnavutköy, Bebek,
Rumelihisarı, Baltalimanı, Emirgan, İstinye, Yeniköy, Tarabya, Kireçburnu, Büyükdere, Sarıyer and Rumelifeneri are all charming districts.
The Heart of the City: Beyoğlu
Beyoğlu, İstanbul’s culture and entertainment center, has always been a meeting point for cultures and peoples. The multiculturalism of this vibrant district is abundantly refl ected in architecture, daily life and culinary culture. İstiklal Street is the heart of this large district full of cinemas, theaters, restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs and almost every visitor to İstanbul is attracted by the bright lights of the Street. North of the Taksim Square is the newer part of the city. High skyscrapers rise from Levent and Maslak, the main business districts, reflecting a different skyline from the old city. Moving forward to Kurtuluş, Osmanbey and Nişantaşı with neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings, time starts to fl ow backwards. However modern cafes and shops are just around the corner to surprise you.
Stepping to Asia
Across the Bosphorus to east is the Asian side centered on the historical districts of Üsküdar and Kadıköy. Üsküdar is symbolized by the Maiden Tower located on an islet just off the shore. The coasts of the Asian side are characterized by picturesque neighborhoods of Beykoz,Paşabahçe, Çubuklu, Kanlıca, Anadolu Hisarı, Kandilli, Çengelköy, Beylerbeyi, Kuzguncuk and Paşalimanı. These districts once hosted the grand summer houses of the Ottoman elite. Growing steadily, today this beautiful land is a vital part of the cultural life of İstanbul. Üsküdar and Kadıköy are quite popular with sea-side cafes, parks and traditional restaurants serving popular Turkish dishes.