Sunday, November 08, 2015

Tophane & Cihanger: Hip & Local Feel Neighbourhoods in Beyoglu, Istanbul

Beyoglu in the European side of Istanbul is where many local Turks spend their day and evening. Galata, Istiklal Street and Taksim are the main areas that draw a lot of attention throughout  the day and night. Many tourists come here! Unmistakably the place to be.

Whilst walking around Beyoglu on my second day in town, I ventured out on the less touristy streets. I eventually ended up in the Tophane and Cihanger neighbourhoods, which are located beside each other. Perhaps not as busy as alternative and  creative Galata, but quite refreshing actually. Both neighbourhoods are quite hip, has undisputable charm and less loaded with tourists of course. There is also an atmosphere that they are the new ‘up and coming’ places in Beyoglu. There are outdoor terraces and the beautiful buildings here remind me a bit of my walk in the Barri Gotic in Barcelona.

This area however is a hilly part of Beyoglu so it is not always easy to walk on. Some of the roads are not very well maintained and are steep. If you walk all the way down to the water, you will get to the Tophane metro stop.

After discovering this place, I used this neighbourhood as my shortcut to the metro. Most tourists normally walk to Taksim and then take the funicular to Kabatas. From Kabatas they change to the metro that goes to Fatih, the old part of Istanbul where all the historical sights are located. I have done this as well but I prefer to walk down to the metro via Tophane and Cihanger neighbourhoods.

After this trip I realised I walked for about 60 kilometres in total. Thanks to my iPhone for tracking all the steps I made! Although I do not think I lost a single kilo from all the eating I did.

Tophane and Cihanger are located side by side sandwiched by Istiklal Street, Taksim and Kabatas to the north and west, Galata and Karakoy to the south and the Bosphorus River to the east.

The outdoor terrace scene: having breakfast/brunch outside.

Beautiful buildings and those balconies remind me of Barcelona, Toledo and Sevilla. They badly need renovation and proper maintenance.

 See how steep the roads are, San Francisco style.

The Tophane-i Amire Museum is a Culture and Arts Center.

The Yeni Cami Mosque I believe in the distance across Galata.

Kabatas is the last stop of the tram. Bagcilar is going to the old part of the city.

Travel Period: May 2015
Destination: Beyoglu,Istanbul (Marmara), Turkey

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