Things to Do In Istanbul: Parks & Recreation Part 2
In our second article about the things to do in Istanbul, we will continue with the secrets of the Taksim Square, Salacak in which you can observe the true beauty of the Maiden’s Tower, the famous Ortaköy and a Bosphorus Tour. You can check Part 1 from here.
Even though most of the people have a little bit of bias against the Taksim, it has everything to offer for all kinds of nationalities and humans. In Taksim, you can meet any person from any cultural background and it is the true beauty of this area. Gezi Park is the place for those who want to relax and just sit on the grass, the Istiklal Avenue is the place for those who want to linger inside all that crowdedness, Nevizade is the place for the fun addicts, Asmalimescit and the French Street is the place for other fun addicts. In Taksim, you can find everything you want or wish according to your taste.
When you arrive in Taksim Square, you will see a statue welcoming you. This monument was crafted by the famous Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica and it represents the Turkish War of Independence and features the legendary leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is easy to arrive in Taksim since many of the public transportation lines pass from here. You can take the Metro network or try the heritage tram line and take a tour through the Istiklal.
Apart from the Grand Bazaar or the Arasta Bazaar in Istanbul, Taksim also has many places to do your souvenir shopping. Inside of this magical area, you can find vintage clothes, old books, valuable jewelry and handmade crafts about nearly everything. But be careful, trying to explore all the Taksim and shopping can require more than one day and you may want to part it to two sections.
Moreover, you can also try the traditional foods that are special to Taksim. In here, you can try the ”islak hamburger” which is a burger prepared with a special tomato sauce and herbs and the famous Döner. If you are on a diet or just not in the mood, you can just try street food such as the corn or fried chestnut.
After getting your belly full, you can pay attention to the street artists from every division. In Taksim, especially in underground passages, you will see street musicians from guitarists to the violoncello players. If you are lucky enough, you can even run across a few graffiti too in the Tarlabaşı area. But be careful, Tarlabaşı area might be a little dangerous.
Salacak – Üsküdar Coast
Nothing beats being in the Üsküdar or Salacak Coast during the sunset. We or you can not describe these feelings with just the words, you have to feel and live it. After that magnificent and unprecedented European Side view, you can have difficulty in finding beauty in other parts of the city even though it is Istanbul. Since it has one of the best sunset views, you had better visit this coast during the sunset. But the best part of this coast, since you can understand from the photo below, is the Salacak part in which you can capture this view.
For transportation, you can reach the Üsküdar by many buses or minibusses from the European Side. Moreover, you can take the ferries that take off from Eminönü, Kabataş, and Beşiktaş too. If you prefer the metro or tram network, there are alternatives such as the M5 Üsküdar – Ümraniye – Çekmeköy line or just take the Üsküdar station of the Marmaray.
When we talk about the Ortaköy, the first thing that comes into the mind is the Ortaköy Mosque or the Grand Mecidiye Mosque of course. But there are more about the Ortaköy apart from its beautifully designed mosque. Ortaköy is famous with their baked potatoes, and waffles. Especially their baked potatoes are a thing for like 10 years in Turkey and if you would like to try this, you should definitely pay a visit to Ortaköy. You cannot miss the view too. But the only problem the Ortaköy is posing to the visitors is its traffic jam because of the jammed roads that lead to the Beşiktaş. Because of that, we prefer going there by tram line and you can just take the tram from the outside of our Sultanahmet Hotel, Sura Hotels.
If you have time and love walking next to the sea, we offer walking to the Beşiktaş from Ortaköy and witness the epic walking route in which you pass the historic Dolmabahçe Palace. Don’t forget to take your photo posing in front of the palace door too!