This easy walk takes you on a journey through history. You’ll discover the heart of Kadikoy, from the end of the Ottoman period, the beginnings of the Orthodox church, to the tumultuous and positive changes wrought by a passion for all things modern and European in the 20th century. You’ll learn how the district came out of the shadows of the old town in Sultanahmet on the other side of the bay, enter a maze of fascinating small streets where you can visit specialist Turkish sweet shops, discover the history of the saints and enter into a world of would-be revolution and intrigue. On the way, you'll learn about Turkey’s multicultural past and the people’s love of music, literature, cinema and theatre, as you immerse yourself in everyday life in contemporary Istanbul. The tour ends at the famous Bull statue of Kadikoy, the neighbourhood’s much loved mascot.
Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir, Church of St Euphemia, Bahariye Caddesi, Sureyya Opera House, Nazim Hikmet Culture Centre.
We'll start at Kadıköy iskelesi, or Kadikoy Pier. There are several wharves in Kadikoy, but the one you want is the largest, and currently serves Eminonu and Karakoy (on the European side of the city). The main Kadikoy wharf terminal is where you’ll disembark if you travel on one of the large ferries from either of those locations. Once you exit the wharf look for the Ece Bufe (a small fast food outlet) on one side of the terminal, to confirm you’re in the right place.
Places to stop along the way:
I recommend you stop at Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir for a Turkish coffee and a traditional sweet. My favourite is the badem ezmesi, marzipan in wickedly good flavours. If you can fit it in, finish your walk around dinner time and head back to Viktor Levi Wine House for a great meal in a beautiful setting.
Best time of day:
You can do this walk at any time of day but in summer it’s best to go in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. If you plan to enter the sweet shops they usually open around 8am in the morning and close around 8pm, seven days a week. The churches are only open to the public on Sundays. Weekend crowds can be quite intense, especially if there’s a football match on, so check with your hotel first.
Most places in Istanbul are very crowded and Kadikoy is no exception. Luckily Istanbul is relatively free of pickpockets, but you should take care of your belongings nonetheless, especially when on trams, the metro or waiting to board the ferries. Football matches and protests are usually accompanied by a heavy police presence which can seem alarming. However, they’re generally focused on supervising the event at hand.
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