Beyond the Bosphorus: A Foray into the Great Heritage of Istanbul's Anatolian Area
Turkey is in the top of preferences for vacations, both globally and nationally, being visited by approximately 51,4 million tourists last year alone. Istanbul attracts a good number of these tourists because it is one of the most vibrant metropolises in the world, it has a unique identity where European and Asian cultures blend harmoniously, and the past and present are woven into a harmonious culture.
Regarding Romanians' preferences, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), in 2022 more than 324.000 Romanians (324.851) traveled to Turkey, the figures referring to tourists who traveled to Turkey only through travel agencies. At the beginning of the year, Mr. Nuri Ersoy, Turkey's Minister of Culture and Tourism stated that the authority's objective is for the country to host 90 million tourists and achieve 100 billion dollars in tourism revenue by the end of 2028.
The metropolis of Istanbul has a range of world-renowned tourist attractions and the Anatolian side of the city or its side on the Asian continent contributes to this fame with quieter, little-known but extraordinary experiences. This area has its own characteristics, including natural beauty, historical landmarks, exciting nightlife, mouth-watering cuisine and many shopping alternatives.
WHAT TO VISIT IN ISTANBUL, THE ANATOLIA SIDE?
Princes Island in Istanbul
The location offers its tourists an ideal environment to experience the tranquility of island life. Princes Island is known for its surrounding nature and historic mansions that have housed several famous writers throughout history.
The historical districts on the shore of the Bosphorus
When you get off the ferry in Uskudar and head straight to Anadolu Hisari, you will see the neighborhoods with their hundreds of years old buildings. Kuzguncuk is the first stop and the location will amaze you with its colorful and centuries-old buildings. The location has years-old orchards that are still cultivated today, it has churches, mosques and synagogues as well as cafes.
Beylerbeyi, one of the oldest stops in Istanbul captivates visitors with its seafront and the historic Beylerbeyi Palace - considered to be one of the oldest buildings on the shores of the Bosphorus, located just under the bridge that connects the two sides (the Asian and the European). The palace impresses with its architecture that combines both eastern and western styles and the atmosphere that changes in 4 seasons.
Most people know Cengelkoy, another historic district in Uskudar, famous for its seafront and small tea garden overlooking the bridge and the Bosphorus. Turkish tea can be consumed in that garden, but at the same time, in this neighborhood you can visit centuries-old churches and picturesque neighborhoods with fish restaurants.
Kadikoy is considered the most popular neighborhood on the Anatolian side. It is not surprising that this neighborhood was considered in 2019 and 2021 as the most beautiful neighborhood in the world. Cafes and pubs, restaurants, wine houses and taverns, Kadikoy has become one of the social centers of Istanbul in recent years.
In Kadikoy, however, there is always more to discover and experience. Kadikoy is a town that welcomes its visitors with antique shops, record shops, second-hand bookstores, century-old pharmacies and even an opera house. The opera is called Sureyya and is located on Behariye Street.
The neighborhood can be traversed either on foot or by tram. Here you can enjoy a glass of tea or coffee from the cafe at Moda Pier while admiring the beautiful architecture of the city. Also here you can have a picnic by the sea on a warm summer evening and privy the sunset.
The street is 14 kilometers long and is the most luxurious street on the Anatolian side, famous for its beautiful shops. Kadikoy and Bostanci districts are home to many local and international fashion and design brands. On the street where you can enjoy a long walk while looking at the shop windows, you can also discover all the tastes you can look for, from gastronomy to local and international cuisine.