The Rumelian Fortress. Image: TrekEarth
7 – Kalamış. A bay on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kalamis is well-known for it’s luxury marina, park and tea gardens. Walk along the marina by day, drop into the classy night clubs by night for dancing. Kalamis used to be an elegant walking spot for high-class Ottoman ladies and famous Turkish poet Munir Nurettin Selcuk even wrote a song* dedicated to it; “No place else gives pleasure, whether winter or summer, such as the sweet peace of Kalamis”.
*Listen to it here on Grooveshark. The scratchy gramophone recordings do seem strange nowadays, but it's a nice taste of Ottoman nostalgia, and who knows, one day in Istanbul you just might here those violin strains wafting out from somewhere and then you'll know...
Kalamis at night. Image: TrekEarth
8 - Anadolu Kavağı. A district in Beykoz, in the lush green heights of the Asian side directly upon the point where the Marmara sea joins with the Black Sea. Although known for its Roman castle, the best feature is the quaint little fish restaurants. Reached either by winding hilly roads, or a romantic ferry-ride, enjoy a tranquil meal by the water accompanied by raki. The fishing town looks just like a picturesque Aegean island and during the summer you can also enjoy the Moonlight Ferry Trip, which leaves from Bostanci and slowly travels up to Anadolu Kavagi accompanied by music.
Quaint and tranquil - Anadolukavagi. Image: turkiyetanitim
9 – Maiden Tower. As far as romantic places go, this looks like rather the obvious choice, however there’s no denying the attraction. Built on a tiny islet in the Bosphorus, it’s also known as Kizkulesi. So many legends abound, from Greek gods in rapturous love to a sultan who tried to hide his daughter from a prophesy of death, that it’s impossible to pick one, so I suggest doing your own research. Now restored with a new, cosy café, and often hired for weddings, it can be reached from Uskudar with a little motorboat.
Mythical, Mysterious: The Maiden's Tower. Image: Beautiful Wallpapers
10 – Galata Bridge. Subject of many works of fiction, paintings and poetry, the bridge was a link between two cultures and Leonardo Da Vinci actually designed the original, which was never built. At first glance you’ll only see hundreds of fishing lines thrown over the edge, but underneath is a whole row of fish restaurants and cafes where you can dine and drink until the late hours, lazily watching the ferries swan past, with the aroma of apple tobacco wafting over you from the narghile cafes.
Tucked away under the Galata Bridge. Image: Alfred Molon
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