There’s no better way to see and get to know a city than on foot. This applies especially to Istanbul, with its half-land, half-water topography and its crazy traffic patterns.
If you’d rather walk on your own, here are some suggestions:
You can walk from the Milion, the Byzantine mile-marker for the center of Constantinople, past mosques, the tombs of the sultans, Ottoman theological schools, Turkish baths, the Column of Constantine, and other sights to Beyazıt Square and the Grand Bazaar in less than an hour. More…
From the mammoth Grand Bazaar along narrow, untouristy Uzunçarşı Caddesi through the heart of the Tahtakale market district to the Golden Horn and Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, (map), all in less than an hour, including a stop at the exquisite Rüstem Pasha Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most beautiful, but rarely visited by tourists.
For a premium exploration of Istanbul’s bazaars with a knowledgeable guide, consider Istanbul Tour Studio’s Bazaaring in Istanbul.
Formerly the Grande Rue de Péra, İstiklal Caddesi(Independence Avenue) is the heart of Beyoğlu, the more European part of Istanbul. Today it’s a pedestrian zonerunning from Taksim Square to Galatasaray Squareand Tünel Square, served by a century-old Nostaljik Tramvay (map) and lined with boutiques, cafes, restaurants, fine old buildings, and the grand 19th-century imperial embassies built for European diplomatic missions to the Ottoman sultan’s Sublime Porte. More…
—by Tom Brosnahan