Once it was the hub of commercial life, its shores lined with bustling quays and the biggest concentration of mosques, churches and synagogues in the city. But the tide turned on this famous Bosphorus inlet and it became a backwater lined with gently crumbling districts of old palaces, city walls and shrines, places to discover as you head for the great monuments on the hills.
At the head of the inlet lies the venerated Muslim site of Eyüp, on the South shore Fener and the Greek Patriachate. Two new museums on the North shore and in Karaköy are surely signs of things to come. All around are the monuments of a frantic Dickensian world of industry, shipbuilding and commerce.
Small ferries navigate the length of the Golden Horn, ziz-zagging from side to side from Eminönü and back down again. Hop on, hop off, or just sit back and enjoy the view!