10 Things To Do in October
So you’re travelling to Istanbul and you have no idea where to begin. That’s understandable, the city is massive (it spans two continents!) and it has so much to offer in terms of mosques, markets, museums and foreign culinary delights!
Just for the record; October is the best idea to have an amazing trip which is full of festivals, artworks and many historical and cultural discoveries..
1. Go Hiking at Gulhane Park After Rain
Gulhane Park is always good idea in autumn.It was originally part of the grounds of fabulous Topkapı Palace and is now an oasis of calm in the busy city. You should take a walk after rain with yellow leafs ans smell the rainy weather. Autumn always brings the peace with its golden trees and the sparkling views from Gulhane to Galata.
2. Have a Great Sunday Breakfast at Emirgan
Emirgan is one of the most favorite place of Istanbul, especially on Sunday!
Have the most delicious traditional Turkish breakfast soak in the Bosphorus views.Specialties include the su böreği (a noodle-kugel-like dish made from sheets of pastry and white cheese) and menemen(like scrambled eggs on crack, with tomatoes and peppers, cheese or meat optional). Walk off your breakfast after with a stroll through Emirgan Park (the center of the tulip festival in April) or the Sabancı Museum, a small but well curated house museum with rotating exhibits
3. Don’t miss the Puppet Festival at Topkapi Palace!
The 20th International Istanbul Puppet Festival will be relased on October 13th in various locations around the city. Visit Topkapı Palace Museum for a glimpse into the history of Turkish Karagöz shadow puppet theatre, with a huge selection of handmade leather puppets and regular performances.
4. Drink Boza After a Historical Sultanahmnet Tour
You may have heard the call of your mahalle (neighborhood) bozacı walking down your streets during winter nights letting his presence be known by yelling, “Bozaaaa! Bozacı!”
Bozais a nourishing drink and at once sweet and tangy, served with a dusting of cinnamon on top. For the full Vefa Bozacısı experience, before heading over for some boza, stop by the Vefa Leblebici across the street to pick up some leblebi (roasted chickpeas). When you get your drink, pour in a couple of chickpeas and enjoy.
Whether you like the idea of ‘drinking’ fermented millet with a spoon or not, it’s worth seeking out this gem. Sit and watch the come and go of regulars come and go. This historic shop sells only boza between October and April.
But first, you should visit the hearth of Istanbul : Sultanahmet!
5. Watch Fishermen Who Are at Galata Bridge and Sip The Tea That They Offer You
You can see the famous bridge in many photographs of travel magazines, hundreds of fishermen casting their rods over the side. One of numerous bridges over the Golden Horn, it has a colorful history, rebuilt five times in five different locations. Go see it, especially in October!..
Because when the weather gets cold, you will probably have more delicious complimentary tea of the fishermen!
6. Attend to FilmEkimi Film Fest Which Shown Only in October!
This year, 46 new film will be shown at Rexx Cinema, Atlas Cinema , Beyoglu Cinema and Feriye Cinema. Don't miss to have a chance to watch this incredible films which only showns once in a year.
7. Head to the top of Galata Tower
October is a wonderful time to do this. The queue to buy your ticket won’t be so very long and the weather, while you wait, should be enjoyable. Once you’re at the top – there’s a modern lift to help – the views across to Sultanahmet and Topkapı Palace are absolutely stunning. If your preference is for a more private, less precarious, very similar view, then stay in one of our Two Bedrooom Apartment with Galata Tower View and you can take your drinks, meals or simply thoughts up with you any time you like: no need to queue at all. Or you can have a faboulous dinner at Scalatta restaurant which has a great Galata Tower view..
8.Have a Great Bosphorus Tour or a Romatic Dinnet at Golden Horn
Istanbul is the world’s only city situated on two continents and it is only right and proper that this be fully appreciated. Taking a boat up the Bosphorus is an inexpensive way of seeing some of the main sights of both sides of the city and enjoying the beautiful views across the water.
For a more luxurious option, rent one of Nar Boats’ yachts for a private lunch or dinner cruise. For a truly unique experience, cruise and dine on the elegantly-decorated, Azimut motor yachts.
9.Discover The Magical Atmosphere of Galata
Our neighbourhood of Galata is full of interesting surprises. Discoveries of cool cafés, boutiques and artisan shops are your reward for slow exploration around yet another corner, which is a simple joy in the mild October air. It won’t be long before you’re recognised by local shopkeepers, which is a lovely feeling in a new culture.
For many, the best shopping street is Serdar-ı Ekrem, right on your doorstep if you stay with us at Meroddi Galata Mansion.
10.Take a walk at Karaköy and eat the most delicious fish at Eminonu
Located to the right of the Spice Bazaar, the Eminonu Pazarı is a colorful and crowded outdoor market where everything from Turkish coffee to cheese is sold in great abundance. It is also here that you’ll find some great fish varieties from the many stalls – and, if you’re in the mood for balık ekmek, just take a stroll to the waterfront, where vendors are grilling away fish fillets for their delicious sandwiches.
Şahkulu Mh., Şahkulu Sok, No.20, Beyoğlu, (0850) 360 1627.
Bosphorus Cruising with Nar Boats
A cruise on the Bosphorus is probably the most overlooked Istanbul tourist attraction in the abundance of historical sightseeing spots. However, this is the only city in the world that stands astride two continents; Europe and Asia. The private yachts of Nar Boats take you from Bebek for a couple of hours and cruises along the Bosphorus passing two bridges and discovering the beautiful waterfront mansions (yalis), Ottoman palaces and castles with the ageless beauty of Istanbul at the background. www.narboats.com
Şahkulu Mh., Şahkulu Sok, No.13, Beyoğlu, (0850) 360 16 27
Although Genoese were forbidden, under the Byzantine rule, to fortify the colony, they enclosed portions of the neighbourhoods behind thick crenelated walls. Galata Tower is the landmark in these walls. Originally known as the Tower of Christ, it was built in 1348 with walls almost 4 m. thick as the apex of the fortifications of Genoese Galata. Thoroughly rebuilt several times in the history, the tower was opened to the public in 1967. Today it has a café/restaurant on its upper floor with panoramic view of Istanbul.
Bereketzade Mh., Galata Kulesi, Beyoğlu, Open daily 8am-9pm. (0212) 244 7736.
The “Arap Camii,” which is situated on Nafe Sokak, was originally a Roman Catholic Church erected in the 13th century by the friars of the Dominican Order dedicated to Saint Paul in 1233. Although the structure was altered and converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period, it is the only example of medieval religious Gothic architecture remaining in Istanbul. Recently, it was uncovered that the building was originally decorated with frescoes illustrating Biblical depictions. Now they were plastered over.
Arap Cami Mh., Galata Mahkemesi Sok., Beyoğlu
A short way down the Galip Dede Street, it is Mevlevi Lodge (Galata Mevlevihanesi). Built in 1492 by a direct descendant of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi -also known as Mevlana- the place was called historically as a tekke, a lodge of the mystical brotherhood. Banned and abandoned early in secular Turkish republic, Galata Mevlevihanesi re opened its doors in 1975 this time as a museum and a library, devoted to the mystical writings of the Sufi poets and dervishes. Performances are given by whirling Mevlevi dervishes in three Sunday a month.
Şahkulu Mh. Galip Dede Caddesi, No: 15, Tünel. Open 9am-7pm (at summer time) and 9am-4:30pm (at winter time). Closed on Mondays. (0212) 245 4141
One of the oldest buildings along the Golden Horn from the Ottoman era. This 17th century han - once adjacent to the medieval walls- was the centre of sailcloth manufacturing in the Ottoman times. Though discontinued the marine supplies production long ago, it still is working.
Arap Camii Mahallesi, Yemeniciler Cad., Kurtçu Hamam Sok., Beyoğlu.
Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai
Built by Sinan for the grand vizier Rüstem Pasha in the mid-16th century as an eight-domed caravanserai, Rüstem Pasha Han (or Kurşunlu Han) is still a working han. Don’t miss the Corinthian cap on the left at the entrance. It was probably taken from a church that was turned down when the han was built, and pressed into service as part of a water pump.
Arap Camii Mahallesi. Tersane Caddesi, Kürekçiler Kapısı Sokak. No: 47, Beyoğlu.
Perşembe Pazarı Caddesi
If you are looking for a vivid portrait of a way of work that is unlikely to last very long, go to the Perşembe Pazarı Caddesi. It is a narrow street -between Tersane Caddesi and Bankalar Caddesi- lined with very picturesque 18th century houses and hans (Serpuş Han etc.) whose upper stories zigzag decoratively and look very medieval. Don’t miss the painting of Galileo, on the ceiling of a room in Serpuş Han, which was built upon the foundations of a Genoese structure. The three-story han full of craftsmen working on various hardware essentials, housed booksellers in the 18th-century.
The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, which the New York Times called “the changing face of Turkey,” is the most prominent of Istanbul’s contemporary galleries. Founded in 2004 in the huge former warehouse on the shores of the Bosphorus, the museum displays everything from the masters of modern Turkish art to international shows. Although its restaurant is not the main attraction, for many visitors
Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque
One of Architect Sinan’s most important 16th century works, with a plan similar to Ayasofya. Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque was commissioned by the Italian-born Giovanni Dionigi Galeni, who was captured and made slave by Mediterranean pirates on his way to Naples to study for the priesthood. Giovanni ended up in the service of the sultan, finally being made an Ottoman grand admiral. That’s how he took the name “Kılıç Ali Pasha.
Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mh., Tophane İskele Cad., Beyoğlu
Built in 1732-1733 for the Valide Sultan Saliha, mother of Sultan Mahmud I, Azapkapı Fountain is perhaps the most attractive 18th century baroque fountain in Istanbul. The facades are covered with floral motifs and fruit trees in low relief.
Tersane Caddesi, Azapkapı, Beyoğlu.
Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque
Beyond the fountain, one may see interesting seaside mosque of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, known as Azapkapı Mosque as well. Built by Chief Architect Sinan in 1577-8 for the Grand Vizier, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, the mosque has gone under several restorations till today.
Cevahir Çıkmazı, Azapkapı, Beyoğlu
Located between Nusretiye Mosque and Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque in the square of Tophane neighbourhood, Tophane Fountain (Çeşmesi) is an 18th-century public water fountain commissioned by Ottoman Sultan Mahmud I. It was built in the Ottoman rococo architecture in an era that great importance was attached to the construction of many reservoirs and public fountains in İstanbul. Its marble walls with floral design are beautiful. The name of the neighbourhood was derived from the imperial cannon foundry, known as Tophane-i Amire.
Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mh., Tophane İskele Cad., Beyoğlu.
This is the only mosque in the world where you step down the stairs to enter into a series of low-vaulted corridors. This 8th century structure was once the dungeons of the Galata Castle, where Byzantines stretched a chain across the Golden Horn to deter possible invaders. The place was converted into a mosque after the Conquest of 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II.
Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mh., Kemankeş Cad., Beyoğlu
Located in the historic Anglo-French Ottoman Bank on Bankalar Caddesi (formerly known as Voyvoda Street), this cutting-edge institution houses an exhibition space, arts research library, an auditorium and an Open Archive of books, magazines, articles, CD/DVDs and theses. It is worthwhile just to see the building that is designed in 1892 by the Levantine architect Alexandre Vallaury. There is a cafe in the first floor and a restaurant on the roof.
Bankalar Caddesi 11, Karaköy. Tue-Sat 12-8pm; Sun 12-6pm. (0212) 334 2200.
Located not far from the Karaköy entrance of the Tünel (one stop underground line), the Jewish Museum displays the rich legacy of Turkish Jewry in a building, which functioned as a synagogue from 1671 to late 20th century. However the actual building was re-erected over its original foundations in the early 19th century. Because 1992 marked the five hundredth anniversary of this most gracious welcome of the Sephardim to Turkish lands, the synagogue was assigned that particular year by its owner to The Quincentennial Foundation to convert the building into a museum. Inaugurated in 2001, the Jewish Museum has a permanent exhibition that tells the unfolding story of Jewish culture and identity through hundred of works of art, archaeology, ceremonial objects, documents and photographs etc.
Arap Cami Mh., Perçemli Sokak No. 1, Karaköy, (0212) 292 6333