Kadırga (KAH-duhr-gah) is a district in Old Istanbuldown a relatively steep hill from the southwestern corner of the Hippodrome (map). There are hotels all the way down the hill to and on the flat land by the Sea of Marmara shore.
The hotels start just off the Hippodrome. Some are not far down the hill, others are all the way at the bottom.
Some streets up and down the hill are of granite paving blocks, others of smooth macadam (asphalt).
This is a real Turkish neighborhood, with non-tourist shops, coffee houses, families, clothes hung out to dry in front of houses, children playing games in the street, old men sitting in the sun smoking and sipping çay.
One excellent feature is the large, shady park at the bottom of the hill, always busy with little kids playing, parents chatting, old men sunning.
Unfortunately, you’re a bit far from all means of transport except taxis, and if your trip is not very far, they may refuse to take you (although this is against the law). So you’ll have to walk.
Kadırga is by no means fancy, but it is authentically Turkish, friendly, and less expensive than some areas that are more touristy. Just get used to that hill….
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Piyer Loti Hotels|