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Istanbul - The melting pot of old and new

Updated on July 27, 2011

Bosporous - The gateway to Istanbul

Separating Europe from the Asia the Bosporus is the narrowest strait in the world and it’s also one of the busiest. All shipping from the black sea has to pass through here. After centuries most people approach to Istanbul by sea and there is nothing else like it.

The Bosporus is one the most famous stretches of water on the planet and it’s great to get out of the boat and see geography and the landscape and get a sense of how Istanbul is expanding. The only downside is that the wind plays havoc with your hair.

Ortakoy - Party is on.

At the foot of Bosporus Bridge in European Istanbul is one of the city’s coolest, artiest neighborhoods Ortakoy. This is pretty cosmopolitan area for centuries Turks, Jewish, Greek and Armenians have lived here side by side. And then on weekends it's packed with Istanbul party crowd especially on Sundays when they come over to recover from their hang over.

Dine by the strait

Place like house café one of the most popular café chain in Istanbul are fair few puffs away from the smoke filled tea rooms of the old town. The place like this will remind you of Camden town market in London if someone has ever been there. It’s more chilled out and relaxed here it’s just like walk around, sit down, have food and chat to friends or family. Also the sprinkling glitter on top is being down by the water.

Istanbul's Art Scene

Another waterside attraction that used to be dry cargo warehouse but now it’s Istanbul modern turkey’s first museum of the contemporary art. At the heart of the museum is the collection of twentieth century Turkish artists. What’s interesting is that modern Turkish art folk have started with the introduction of European style in the late nineteenth century so there are a lot of wannabe Monets and Picasos.

Istiklal Caddesi - A touch of Old Turkey

Then there is Istiklal Caddesi it’s Istanbul’s main nineteenth century shopping place and the places like this European thought of when they called Istanbul the Paris of the east. It’s more like any high street you have ever seen yes the architecture is all there but you find stores anywhere in the world. The trams are pretty cool though.

Shopping for Brand Names in Istanbul

If you live in this city and you have social aspiration then shopping mall is the place where you come to shop to eat and to socialize. Over the last two decades fifty shopping centers and mall have opened in this city. And there are another 15 in the pipeline. It’s weird to think that the grand bazaar is just down the road because this is another world entirely.

Turkey is looking to the future

But Istanbul has changed a lot in last thirty years. If turkey joined the EU then Istanbul will be Europe youngest city because the average age here is sixteen. It’s a very dynamic city. People in turkey are really trying hard to do things to change turkey. There is lots of innovation in term of art and music. Istanbul is packed with layer of history.

The thrill is to discover Istanbul as modern, vibrant and exciting city which as yet another layer to its fascination.

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    • writeido profile image
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      Write Faisal 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks Jacqui.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Informative and interesting hub. Love the pics too. Thanks for sharing.

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