Beautiful Istanbul… A bridge between two continents. A city with over 8000 years long history where the eastern and western cultures join together, creating a melting pot. Throughout the history, Istanbul has witnessed many victories, wars, happiness and even sadness. Therefore, this wise city is full of emotions and memories in every single side of it. Crystal clear that you must have heard/visited many places in Istanbul, but never been aware of the historical places of Istanbul, which offer you minimal, but full of emotional experiences. This post will take you a journey around the hidden beauties that you find nowhere else, but in Istanbul!
1. Going up to Galata with Your Partner
1500 years ago, Galata Tower was built as a lighthouse to lead ships and watch around. This tower has also the honour of hosting the Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi’s first flight, who is a legendary Ottoman aviator. Nowadays, Galata Tower built by Genoese Sailors is used as a cafe and restaurant, where you can grab a drink or some food while enjoying the stunning view of Haliç. An interesting thing (myth) about the Tower you have probably never heard is that you get married to the person whom you go up the Tower with. Thus, bring your lover to the Tower to show him/her your love once again in the accompany with this beautiful view. Do not forget to give him/her a kiss on the top of it!
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2. Eating Fish and Bread-Feeding Pigeons in Eminönü
Eminönü is a central district including Egyptian/Spice Bazaar. After visiting these stores inside the bazaar, you will surely have a great hunger and here is the most authentic options for yourself!
Instead of eating in luxury restaurants, there are many small boats along the Eminönü’s seashore, selling fish and bread at very affordable prices. Depending on, your preference you can either take it away or eat your fish and bread at the tables in front of these small boats.
3. Fishing in Golden Horn
Golden Horn, also known as Haliç in Turkish, is a major waterway in Istanbul. There are many fishers on this primary inlet of Bosphorus and you can be one of them! While fishing there with the joy of the stunning view, you have even a chance to see dolphins swimming in the inlet!
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4. Tasting Boza and Leblebi of Vefa
Vefa basically means “Faithfulness” in Turkish and it is one of the oldest districts of Istanbul. Besides this history, this district is famous for “Boza and Leblebi”.
Boza is a fermented beverage served with cinnamon on top of it and Vefa is surely the best place to taste it the first time, where the prices are quite affordable.
Roasted chickpeas are called “Leblebi” in Turkish. You can take a packet of Leblebi and enjoy it while having a walk on the historical streets in Vefa!
5. Enjoying Turkish Raki in Balat
Balat. The district of colourful wooden houses down the narrow streets… This area hosts one of the oldest houses in Istanbul, where Armenian, Jewish and Greek communities used to live before the deportation. Phanar Greek Orthodox College and Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate is also located in this district. In 2014, Pope Francis visited this Patriarchate and participated in the religious ceremony.
Beside the history of the district, Balat is also famous for its hip cafes and small restaurants overlooking the Haliç. While there are many restaurants depending on your budgets, most of them serve raki (a kind of liquor similar to Greek ouzo but less sugary) and also non-alcoholic beverages at affordable prices. If you intend to taste Turkish Ouzo and spend a good evening with your friends in the accompany of the view of beautiful sea, Balat is the ultimate destination for you!
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