Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Young, Funky & Alternative Karaköy (Galata) Neighbourhood in Istanbul

The Galata neighbourhood in Beyoglu should not be confused with a different Karaköy area because it’s one and the same neighbourhood! Galata is the ancient name which many still use today.

I had a somewhat interesting introduction to this neighbourhood. In fact this was the neighbourhood that I first set foot on when my taxi driver left me at the bottom of the hilly vicinity near the Galata Bridge. I arrived on the 1st of May early this year, which was a Labour Day holiday and the police cordoned the whole Istiklal Street and Taksim Square as per government orders. Unfortunately, my hotel is located on one of the side streets of Istiklal so I got stuck in Karakoy/Galata. Great way to get my introduction to the neighbourhood, if you will!

Read here the rest of my story: First Few Hours in Istanbul - Police Barricade, the Frenzy, Turkish Mezze and Meeting a Couple from New Zealand

The Galata neighbourhood has a unique, kind of rough charm to it. The area is networked with narrow pedestrian cobbled stone streets set on a hilly terrain. You need really good shoes to walk on here, so ladies, please be aware that wedges would be pushing it.

I found many funky, alternative and creative shops and cafes here. Many electronic gadget shops if I may add. The Galata Tower area seems to be the centre of the neighbourhood where many young people hang out at night. You can see them sitting on the stairs munching their street food and sipping their non-alcoholic drink. Besides that there are quite a number of cafes and restaurants with outdoor terraces.

There is a somewhat come-what-may and all-things-go kind of atmosphere breeding in the air here. It’s definitely a cool and fun piece of Istanbul. A great place to drop by after having done your tick-off-the-list traditional sightseeing in Fatih and modern shopping fix in Istiklal.

Karakoy/Galata on the map:

Galata/Karakoy is part of the district of Beyoglu located in the European side of Istanbul facing the district of Fatih.

Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

A cobblestone pedestrian intersection in Galata.

You can find many of these fruit and food stands here. Pomegranate juice is very popular in Turkey. If fresh orange juice is to Morocco, fresh pomegranate juice is to Turkey.

Many of the buildings here have street art/graffiti on them. 

The Galata Tower is the central area of the neighbourhood where many people gather during the day and at night. There are quite a number of cafes and restaurants around here.

These cats were guarding the gate of the Galata Mevlevi Order Museum.

The street leading to Galata from Istiklal Street/Tunel.

An example of a funky cafe with old upholstered sofa chairs that reminds me of the 1980's and early 1990's.

The view from Karakoy/Galata to the Galata Bridge and Fatih district. You can see 2 mosques with the Yeni Cami mosque in the foreground.

Yup, the Karakoy/Galata neighbourhood is quite hilly. I dragged my suitcase here because the roads were closed due to a police barricade. Not a very nice experience at all.

Going out in Galata. It is very busy here in the evening!

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

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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