Istanbul is an alluring city. It’s metropolis limit straddles both Europe and Asia, making it the meeting point of the East and West. If you haven’t visited, picture this: modern, architecturally impressive high rise meets tiny apartment with clothes hung across the terrace to dry. Starbucks caramel macchiato meets traditional turkish tea. A crop top wearing teenager meets woman who wears a niqab only revealing her eyes. This is the modern day Constantinople.
Traveling abroad is vastly different than living abroad (a post I’ll write another time). If you’re blessed to travel abroad you’ll most certainly see remarkable history, astonishing art, natural wonders and contemporary icons. But if you live abroad you’ll benefit from all those former things and also get the chance to immerse yourself in the foreign culture and go deeper into the less touristic, heart of city.
When I’m not teaching you can find me exploring, snapping away on my DSLR camera or iPhone. Here are some of the photos I’ve taken of both touristic and the lesser known Istanbul.
This is Ortaköy Mosque, sitting on the European bank of the Bosphorus. Ortaköy is a small neighborhood with cute cafes, restaurants and handmade items.
From Ortaköy, we took a scenic ferry ride along the Bosphorus between two continents. Europe on one side and Asia on the other. How cool is that?!
Sabancı Museum is a private fine arts museum that is rich in ancient calligraphy. This is an architectural exhibition situated just opposite the museum entrance.
İstiklal Caddesi or better known to tourists as, Taksim Square. No cars allowed and a nostalgic tram runs down the center of one of the busiest streets in the city.
Bebek is another neighborhood sitting on the European side of the Bosphorus. Bebek is home to residences of Istanbul’s celebrities and high society. The neighborhood has a beautiful marina and one of the most beautiful Starbucks in the world!
Karaköy is a cool, hipster neighborhood of Istanbul that is full of street art, vegan cafes and trendy coffee shops. It is a social oasis for the young Turks sitting outside on the weekends and has a thriving night life.
A snapshot of Galata Tower, an ancient medieval stone tower.
The adorable streets surrounding Galata Tower district.
Just outside the gates of Grand Bazaar (arguably the most touristic place of Istanbul) is this enormous mosque which call to prayer echoes throughout the bazaar’s labyrinth.
Have you explored any of these (or other) areas of Istanbul? What’s your favorite neighborhood? When you travel, do you like to see the big sights or explore the lesser known parts? Leave a comment below and let me know!