The main reason of Istanbuls being a
very popular city for which wars are made, lives are lost is its geographical
A famous myth explains very precisely
the unmatched location of Istanbul :
Although thousands of years have passed, Istanbul still maintains its geographical importance. Today Istanbul is a huge metropolis connecting continents, cultures, religions and being home to eleven million people; and one of the greatest business and cultural center of the region
is not possible to put into one type the climate of region where Istanbul is
completely located. The city has different climate conditions from many areas
of inhabitance because of its geographical location and physical geography.
The climate in Istanbul is predominately mild with temperatures, even in winter, never sinking below freezing. Lightweight clothes are definitely advisable in summer, as it can become quite hot. During the summer, people will not expect you to wear a jacket to formal meetings.
Archeology Museum, one of the
greatest museums of the world, is located between Gülhane Park and Topkapı
Palace. Archeology Museum, which was opened to service with the name of Mecma-i
Esliha-i Atika and Mecma-i Asar-i Atika within St. İrini Church in 1846, got
the name Müze-i Hümayun (Empire Museum) in 1869.
Osman Hamdi Bey Slope, 34400 Gülhane Istanbul
The house in which the famous poet Tevfik Fikret built in 1906 and spent the last nine years of his life was made a museum in 1945. In the museum, there are personal belongings, works and archives of the Poet Nigar Hanım, and the poet and writers of Edebiyat-i Cedide (a literary period), as well as those of Tevfik Fikret.
Aşiyan Slope, 80810 Bebek / Istanbul
Caricature and Humor Arts Museum
was originally opened for service in 1975 by the initiatives of Caricature
Artists Association in Tepebaşı. Caricature and Humor Arts Museum which was
closed in 1980 was reopened to service in 1989 again with the efforts of the in
Atatürk Boulevard, Kovacılar Street, No:12 Fatih Istanbul
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
Presenting and fostering the artistic accumulation, creativity, and dynamism in Turkey has been the foremost mission of Istanbul Modern. Istanbul Modern is dedicated to protect and showcase the artistic production within the modern and contemporary art scene. With this purpose in mind, it is Istanbul Moderns desire to become an institution that determines the artistic agenda, provides education, imparts love for the arts, and reaches the masses with its dynamic and polyphonic environment.
Istanbul Modern gives new ground to the desire to provide an environment where the masses, especially children and young people, can interact with the arts. It is the sincere wish of Istanbul Modern to become a venue where the artistic production of Turkish contemporary art and international artistic production are both introduced and shared simultaneously. Sharing the artistic production in the international art scene, and introducing İstanbul and its cultural synthesis to the whole world .
Turkish arts can only develop by becoming part of the international art scene. In a global world, where communication and joint projects between museums are becoming ever more important, Istanbul Modern attempts to lay down the foundations of active cooperation with prominent museums and art institutions. It wishes to serve as a bridge that unites international cultures, and believe that we can provide Turkish artists especially with the opportunity to be recognized and accepted internationally.
Istanbul Modern will be a dynamic cultural and artistic center, in the heart
of a city that is constantly transforming. It hopes that through a modern
understanding of art education and communication, it can bring art and their
manifestations, art works closer to the masses, who will realize the crucial
role of art in their daily lives.
Address: İstanbul Modern, Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi, Liman
İşletmeleri Sahası, Antrepo No: 4, Karaköy, İstanbul
Kariye Museum which is located in
Edirnekapı in Istanbul was originally built as a church of Khora Monastery.
While it is known to exist in the 8th century, the monastery is claimed to have
been built in the 4th century.
Kariye Museum, Edirnekapı / Istanbul
Mosaics Museum was built on he ruins of Grand Palace from the Byzantine period and a section of Sultan Ahmed Mosque Complex. As well as the mosaics surviving from Grand Palace to date, some mosaics found in Istanbul and nearby are displayed in this museum.
Arasta Bazaar, Sultanahmet Istanbul
Sadberk Hanım Museum, which is
the first private museum to be built in Turkey, is serving public in a
historical seaside residence in the Büyükdere point of the Bosphorus.
Piyasa Road, No:27-29, Büyükdere Istanbul
St. İrini Museum is located in the first courtyard of Topkapı Palace as one of the most magnificent and greatest Byzantine churches along with St. Sophia. St. İrini was built during the period of Emperor Justinianus in VI. Since the church was not turned into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, there were no remarkable changes in the building. It was used as a loot from war and a storage of arms for a long time. The first works of Damat Ahmet Fethi Pasha, one of Tophane field marshals, were displayed here in 1846 as the first examples displayed in a Turkish museum. In 1869 St. İrini received the name Müze-i Hümayun (Empire Museum). In time the works displayed here were moved to the Tiled Kiosk in 1875 due to the shortage in places of exhibition. From year 1908 Aya İrini was used as Military Museum. Then the structure which was vacant for a time was repaired and became a unit governed by St. Sophia Museum Management.
Turkish Islamic Arts Museum which
was originally built in 1914 in Süleymaniye Complex was moved to İbrahim Pasha
Palace in 1938. The museum which is one of the rare examples of Turkish-Islamic
Art in the world was designed by collecting precious art pieces from many
mosques, tombs and libraries.
İbrahim Pasha Palace, At Square, Sultanahmet Istanbul
When the construction for Topkapı
Palace started is still unknown. According to some resources, the foundation
dates back to 1460.
Address: Saray içi,
Dolmabahçe Palace, whose construction
began in 1846 in the province of Beşiktaş was completed in 1856. The palace
which was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid was built on an area of 250.000 m²,
and the palace itself and main outhouses were built on sea-filled surface.
Address: Dolmabahçe Road.
Yerebatan Cistern was built in the
left side of Sultanahmet Square towards St. Sophia-Gülhane Park direction.
Yerebatan Cistern which is also called Yerebatan Palace was commissioned in
about 540 by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus the 1st. The area which was gained by
the underground carving of a rocky surface, the cistern which is supported by
more than 300 columns, have become the most important water resource supplying
water to Istanbul.
Address: Yerebatan Road No:13
34410 Sultanahmet Istanbul
St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia)
St. Sophia Museum, which is among the
most significant monuments of worlds architectural history, is considered as
the only application in terms of its architectural property, its magnificence,
greatness and functionality. St. Sophia has been an inspiration for Ottoman
mosques thought in idea, and is reviewed as a product of east-west synthesis. St.
Sophia served for 916 years as church and 481 years as mosque since its year of
construction. Recently, St. Sophia was turned into a museum in 1935.
Address: Sultanahmet Square
Kapalıçarşı is a great bazaar in Nuri Osmaniye and Beyazid Mosques and Mahmutpaşa Bazaar, made up of streets of various shops sheltered by roofs and domes. Though not very regularly shaped, it holds and area of about 31 thousand square meters. It has hundreds of domes which are covered with lead and windows. The nucleus of Kapalıçarşı is a Byzantine building which is today called Old Bedesten. The section of the bazaar where valuables and jewellery are bought and sold was commissioned by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and the main great bazaar itself was commissioned during Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, on a wooden basis. Kapalıçarşı, today has a surface of 30.7 hectares, 61 streets, 10 wells, 4 fountains, 2 mosques and over 3 thousand shops, managed to claim its present look within 250 years.
Kapalıçarşı, which burned in years of 1546, 1618, 1652, 1660, 1695, 1701, 1750 has always been repaired after each disaster. After all this, it had undergone great damage in the earthquake of 1766. It is partially burned in fires of 1791 and 1826. The bazaar which had just regain is composure was again shaken by an earthquake in 1894 this time. It catches fire again in 1954 at the latest and could only be repaired in five years. The major sections of Kapalıçarşı are :
Inner Bedesten : It was the first building to rise in Kapalıçarşı, actually it is Old Bedesten which forms the backbone of the bazaar. The gates names are as follows : Bouquinistes, Hat Shops, Jewellery Shops and Costume Shops.
Sandal Bedesten : It is the one with most number of domes in Kapalıçarşı. At present it can be accessed through two gates, one is through Kapalıçarşı and the other is through Nuruosmaniye district.
Other Sections : The architectural design of roads making up other sections apart from two bedestens is not symmetrical and geometrical, it has a scattered nature due to reflect its formation and the catastrophes it has gone through. In this way, it stays away from the closed bazaar style of the West and has a character of an Eastern bazaar. This laid back settlement; this scattered nature prevents the bazaar from being dull and at the same time gives it a romantic flavor. Such a complicated structure and settlement not only maintains the monumental state of the bazaar, but also makes it a palace for shopping.
Hans : Four adjacent sides of Kapalıçarşı is surrounded by hans which are separate units by themselves. Today the hans which are directly connected to the bazaar, that is, which can be accessed through the bazaar and not through an outside entrance are : Astarcı Han, Büyük and Küçük Safran Hans, Evliya Han, Sarraf Han, Mercan Ağa Han, Zincirli Han, Varakçı Han, Rabia Han, Jewellers Hani Yarım Taş Han.
Islands of varius proportions in the southeast of Istanbul adorn Istanbul like a necklace. These islands have become very popular recreational places for Istanbul residents for centuries. The islands have been used by the residents as holiday resorts in recent past thanks to the richness of its nature. Adalar have been the one of the most well-known and utilized recreational spots with their beaches, green fabric, walkway, valleys of pine forests, their hills and coasts. Well-arranged gardens of the island mansions, flowers of acacia, judas tree blossoms, oleander, tulip, daisy, honeysuckle and clove colour the surroundings throughout the year.
Residential areas are mostly located in the south and east coasts of the islands. The islands hold a significant place in Istanbul history with its past. It has become a scene to many historical events since the eastern monks founding their monasteries in Byzantine period.
The islands, which are also named as Prince Islands or Scarlet Islands, can be classified into three groups. Islands open to tourism and having residence, private-property islands and islands which have no residence. Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada, Büyükada and Sedef Adası are islands which are open to tourism and have residence. Kaşık Island and Pide Island are private properties. Therefore it is not possible to visit them. Yassıada, Sivriada and Balıkçı Islands have no residence on them.
Büyükada is the biggest of the islands, which is the first address of those who want to have a short break from the crowd and urban life of Istanbul. Büyükada is also the furthest island from Istanbul. (14 sea miles from the Port of Istanbul). The island which stretches in north-south direction is geographically comprised of two hills. (On the north Isa Hill 164 m., on the south Yücetepe Hill 202 m.)
The most important element giving the island its peculiar quality is its famous phaetons. Touring the island with these cars which are pulled by two horses are one of the most popular activities preferred by tourists.
The most enjoyable spot of the island without doubt is Aya Yorgi Hill. Even one has to go uphill for about 20 minutes to reach this highest spot of the island, it is worth it... When looked from the hill, Istanbul coasts and Marmara make up a very beautiful view. Aya Yorgi Monastery locatd on this hill is deemed sacred by Christians. According to the religious belief, those who visit this monastery have the honor of being half-pilgrim. For this reason, Aya Yorgi hill is visited especially in summer months by thousands of Turkish and foreign tourists...
The smallest one of the islands in Kınalıada... Let alone motor vehicles, there is no phaetons in Kınalıada. Because 20 minutes is enough to walk from the one side to another side of the island.
Compared to other islands, Kınalıada does not have an attractive view with transmitters on it; it actually is a technology victim without much guilt. The slopes in Kınalıada are steeper, the coasts for sea-bathing are smaller. Ayazma Beach which is the most convenient spot for a beach, is the only crowded beach of the island.
Burgazada is famous for being home to famous Turkish poet Sait Faik Abasıyanık. For Istanbul residents, Burgaz is a more tranquilizing, and enjoyable break compared to Büyükada.
The most beautiful spot of Büyükada, as in others, is the highest point of the island. It takes you a 40 minute walk to get to the Hıristo Hill, famous for its view, and its monastery ruins, which is the highest spot of Burgaz.
In Burgazada, phaetons cheer up the roads as well. When you hear the sound of the bells while walking on the asphalt road, move aside without fear and make way for the phaeton pulled by weary horses...
Heybeliada is the second biggest island of the group of islands. The most remarkable difference of Heybeliada from other islands is most probably the military command located here and the atmosphere created by the military school.
You can have a phaeton tour in Heybeliada, as in Büyükada and Burgazada. When you are in Heybeliada, remember to stop by Değirmenburnu recreational area...
Turkish Tavern (Meyhane):
An evening with rakı and meze is a must on a visit to Istanbul
The age-old meyhane culture of Turkey has lived
through periods of alcohol prohibition and seen the rise of more modern restaurants
and bars but still survives in selected spots around the city. Time Out Istanbul
takes you to have a look at one of them, Nevizade Sokak, in the centre of Beyoğlu.
The Magnificent Sultan Suleyman had this Hamam built by the famous Architect Sinan in 1550.
Our services include: Washing, peeling, soap massage, locked clothes changing cabin, loincloth, pattern. We also have two ways free shuttle service for the hotel guests if the booking comes through their reception.
All the guests are also insured from the beginning of their transfer till their return to the hotels.
Suleymaniye Hammam is a mixed (male/female) hammam. There are no different section for each sex thus the families may comfortably enjoy our hammam together.
Our masseurs are trained and professional people.
You can catch your own inner peace with history and water in our hamam.
Mimar Sinan Street No: 20, Süleymaniye - Istanbul / Turkey
Hours & Shopping: Banks are open weekdays
from 09:00 to noon and from 13:30 to 16:30. USD and major credit cards are widely
accepted. Shops are generally open from 09:00 to 19:00, Monday through Saturday.
Shops are closed on Sundays. However, in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and resort
areas, the shops and shopping malls are open daily from 10:00 to 21:00/22:00.
Tipping: Though service charges may be included in general, it is customary to show your appreciation
to hotel staff, to the waiters, if you feel satisfied. We suggest
the following tipping scale: Hotels staff 5YTL, usually 10% of the bills at restaurants
(you are not expected to tip more than 30-40YTL in any case) and a round up at taxis.
Post offices carry the sign PTT in black on a yellow background. At a PTT you
can telephone, send mail, telegrams and faxes. For local calls buy telephone
cards, Istanbul area codes are 0-212 on the European Side and 0-216 on the Asian
Side. When calling abroad from Turkey, you must first dial the International
code 00 and then country code (90) and the number. GSM system is also used in
Turkey on 900-1800 band frequency. Your GSM operator will almost surely have a
partner in Turkey, so you can use your mobile phones.
Istanbul, as a city attracting each year millions of tourists from all over the world, has many accommodation choices for its visitors. Being a city of approximately 13 million people, it does not have a single downtown, instead there are a number of centers as listed below. Please check the map to see their relative locations and the campus location:
Taksim/Beyoglu: This is probably the main center which is alive 24 hours a day with the highest concentration of bars, restaurants, galleries, theatres. Historically, this part of Istanbul was the center for the foreigners living in Istanbul, esp. until 1950s. Today, it still carries this legacy to some extent. Recently, some projects has been launched to preserve its heritage.
Sultanahmet/Sarayburnu: This is the center of old town, where the main palace of the Ottomans (Topkapi), the blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Yerebatan Cistern, Grand Bazaar are all concentrated.
Nisantasi/Tesvikiye: This is the posh part of Istanbul. You can find luxurious European stores for shopping and some nice, rather contemporary, restaurants.
Besiktas: This is a very lively, modern part of the city, serving mainly to the middle-class. To get a real feeling of the 'chaos', you should spend some time in Besiktas.
Bosphorus: This is the whole coast of the waterway between Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. The European coast is accessible, there is a road running all the way from south to north along bosphorus. The Asian coast is occupied by 'Yali's (Yali means villa immediately by the sea). Ferries run all day between ports along the bosphorus. You can also take sight-seeing tours along bosphorus. Bogazici University campus is at Bebek on the European side of Bosphorus.
Kadikoy: Kadikoy is Besiktas's counterpart on the Asian side of Bosphorus.
The possibilities are bus, boat, taxi and subway. The systems are relatively simple once you get to use it. The major destinations are Eminonu, Besiktas and Taksim. Yet, 2-3 days may be a bit short to decipher the system (unfortunately, it is not user friendly). We suggest you to take a taxi which are abundant and relatively cheap compared to Europe. The subway in Istanbul is very young and extends to a very limited area.
Buses: The ticket is for getting on the bus, and it is not linket to your destination so there is no need to explain to someone where you are going. The ticket ("otobus bileti" or simply "bilet") cannot be purchased on the bus. At sizeable bus stops, such as the ones in Bebek or Rumeli Hisarustu, there is a booth that sells bus tickets so. Often other booths which sell soft drinks and newspapers also sell bus tickets. It is convenient to buy a group of tickets so that, if you need a bus at a small bus stop, you avoid the problem of trying to find a ticket. The colors of buses are irrelevant. What is relevant is the destination sign on the front of the bus, and sign on the right side (next to the entrance door) which describes its route. These signs also have route numbers. The bus-stops usually have the location displayed on the sign. With a city map, you can follow where the bus is going by noting these signs.
From campus: Upper Road: From Rumeli Hisarustu virtually all buses go to Taksim, Besiktas or Eminonu. All of them go through Etiler and Levent. Lower, Coastal Road: This line is for either Taksim or Eminonu via Besiktas.
To campus: Upper Road: You want a bus that says Rumeli Hisarustu on the font. With a bit of experience, you will also be able to make use of buses that say Etiler or Levent. For the upper road, your destination is one stop before the end of the line. Lower, Coastal Road: Bebek is usually not the final destination of these buses. Instead, you look for Sariyer and then look to be sure that one of the stops listed on the side of the bus is Bebek. General Comments: Buses are frequently crowded. Younger males yield seats to older people as a kind of reflex. No smoking is allowed. People exit from the rear. The button to get the driver to stop at the next exit is over the door; an illuminated sign before the driver means that someone has already pushed the button.
Taxis: Taxis are plentiful in Istanbul and are
inexpensive by US standards. In this regard, Istanbul is easy for newcomers. No
matter where you happen to get lost or run out of steam, you are likely to find
an empty taxi to take you back to familiar surroundings.
Boats: The boat dock is at Bebek. This is a very
pleasant way to travel, less crowded during rush hour than one would expect, and
also a rapid way to get downtown on a weekday morning.
Istanbul Rail Transit
The following map is provided to give you an overview of the city and relative locations. Bogazici University is marked on the map. You can also see Taksim, Dolmabahce, Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, St. Sophia and the airport on the map. The hotels that we have made pre-arrangements are at Taksim. More detailed maps will be provided later.