Istanbul is a wonderful and chaotic metropolis, all in one. You either love it or hate it. And sometimes it’s in between. In order for you to get a good first impression of the city and not fall into chaos, we have compiled a few special places to eat, relax and party for you. But the golden rule remains: stay cool when you get lost in the alleyways and go with the flow.
Istanbul is most impressive from above. The hill is located on the Asian side above the first Bosporus bridge, and boasts the highest lookout point in the city. From here, one has a remarkable view of the Bosporus including the Golden Horn.
The long alley lies on the Istiklal Caddesi across from the school Galatasaray Lisesi. Here there are numerous restaurants where one can eat the best fish with mezes and enjoy lots of rakı, because they belong together here. For those who prefer something calmer and with a view, left of the Galata Bridge there are stands which sell tasty fish sandwiches.
This district is the new meeting point for the Turkish “hipster.” Here one can find numerous stylish bars and cafes. The hip district has developed at break-neck speed in the last two years, and is located under Taksim between the Galata Bridge and Istanbul Modern. Graffiti artists contributed to the district as well. If you’re ever there, then you’ve got to have breakfast at Gakkı and drink a “Muhito” at Muhit.
In Cinhangir district, which is always worth a visit, there is a special record shop behind Istiklal. It promises a very good selection of rare Turkish records and international music. One can even bump into top international DJs browsing before or after their gigs.
On hot days, or simply when you want to get away from the hubble and bubble of the city, a day trip to Kilyos and its wonderful sand beach on the Black Sea is well worth a trip. Take the Metro line M2 from Taksim to the final station Hacıosman and then board the bus towards Kilyos. The “Babylon Kilyos” has also turned part of the beach into a festival area, where chill events take place in the summer.
This viewpoint is named after the French writer Pierre Loti. It is located above the old cemetery in Eyüp and can even be reached by cable car. At the very top you’ll find a small café that offers a unique view of the city districts near the Golden Horn.
(Image source: nerdworking.org)
In Istanbul, the best places to party are usually well hidden. Just like Minimüzikhol. The electro club is in Cihangir in a side street in an old building. Most of the time, smokers stand in front of it in small groups.
This club is hidden towards the end of Istiklal on a dead-end street. Here, mostly house and electro are played almost every evening until late at night. Kasette has become a place to go for many Erasmus students, and is therefore quite international.
Text: Burak Fahri Icer/ Gizem Yamaç
Photos: Gizem Yamaç/ Wiebke Finkenwirth