Unveiling Activities in the Modern Part from Galata Bridge

Our next days in the Turkish capital were dedicated to getting to know the modern Istanbul area and other attractions away from the main tourist spots, places that are worth visiting as long as you have time. We dedicated the first 2 days to getting to know Sultanahmet, the old area of ​​Istanbul and about which we have already made the following post Old City of Istanbul

Modern Istanbul: Crossing the Galata Bridge

Separated by the Golden Horn, part of the strait that connects the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Black Sea, modern and ancient Istanbul are born, linked in turn by the famous Galata Bridge.

I would say modern in quotes, because one is used to talking about modern areas imagining illuminated skyscrapers next to each other, and this is not like that in Istanbul or at least we don’t feel it that way. Obviously you see other types of constructions, taller buildings, but in part it doesn’t change much. With this I do not mean that it is not worth knowing, on the contrary we loved it and it is essential to visit this area in Istanbul.

Where do we start our tour of modern Istanbul?

To tour modern Istanbul, our recommendation is to start from Taksim Square. To get there you have 2 ways, the first is by metro and you will arrive at the station that is located in the same square. The second option, and the one we chose, is to take the T1 tram to the last station, which is Kabatas. If you are staying near the Blue Mosque, take this tram at the Sultanahmet station.

Dolmabahce Palace

If you choose this second option and have time before going to Taksim Square, you can walk to Dolmabahce Palace. It is a place that is not usually considered essential to visit, but the truth is that one of the interior rooms and the glass staircase left us speechless. It is also historically important because it was the replacement Palace for Topkapi, although totally different in terms of style and construction. Unfortunately, you couldn’t take photos inside and we respect this issue, so we can’t show you but there will surely be some floating around on the internet.

You can visit it from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the entrance price is 30 liras. You can also visit the harem but in this case we chose to visit only the main building. Audio guides can be rented at the time of paying admission.

In front of the Palace you can see in part why it is the modern part as there is the large stadium of one of the most important teams in Turkey, Besiktas.

From there, if you are physically well and feel like climbing several stairs, you can walk to the square, otherwise you must return to the station where you got off with the tram and look for the signs that indicate the direction to the funicular.

Don’t imagine the typical old funicular that goes outside, it is super modern, tubed and accessed through a metro station.

From Taksim Square to Galata Bridge

If you followed the directions correctly you will arrive at Taksim Square. This square is the heart of the neighborhood that bears the same name and one of the most important squares in modern Istanbul since a lot of people gather there as it is one of the main meeting points.

From this square, the main street, Istiklal Caddessi, begins. It is a pedestrian street, quite lively, with gastronomic and fashion establishments on both sides and that is why it is usually quite busy all the time. That’s why at night it is also the most awake point in modern Istanbul. In the middle there is a classic tram that you can take to avoid walking or as an experience, however the journey is very short.

While walking, I recommend paying attention to the streets that cross this main street since in some cases they are quite photogenic and beautiful to walk.

Arriving almost at the end of Istiklal, on your right hand side you will find the Mevlevi Monastery, it is not essential but it is a pass.

Galata Tower

From there we walked down Galip Dede Street to the Galata Tower, where we arrived just to see the sunset. Do not arrive on time because there will be a line and you will not be able to board on time.

Although they are not going to go up, we recommend visiting it since it is one of the oldest in the world and for us the views are highly recommended. Many have told us that the sunsets are better from Uskudar but obviously they are not going to see it from above as in this case.

The cost is 25 liras and you can go up with an elevator, a plus for those who hate stairs.

Galata Bridge

From the Galata Tower, if they are still powered, we walked to the Galata Bridge to leave modern Istanbul and cross again to the other side. In our opinion, it was the point that we liked the least since the fact that there is one fisherman next to the other for almost the entire bridge does not even allow you to lean on yourself to enjoy the surroundings a little, sometimes difficult even to walk, plus it is the We found the dirtiest part of Turkey despite being a super tourist spot, adding that under this bridge are the most expensive restaurants in this area.

We didn’t think it was a horrible place but we considered that it could be a little better organized since it doesn’t match the rest of the places in the city, which we found very orderly and clean compared to what we expected.

If you want to avoid that “mess” and be calmer, whether to watch the sunset or take photos in the middle of the bridge, there are the stairs to access the restaurants under the bridge and there are about 2 fairly large empty bases where at night At least we were alone.

Crossing the bridge there are 2 attractions that we forgot to mention in our previous post, which are the New Mosque and the Spice Bazaar, places that if you have time you can add to your itineraries since they are also within the tour.

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