Cornucopia’s online guide


The districts that form the  entrance to the old European quarters is still a hive of metal workers and light shops, docks and brothels, schools and churches, banks and tax offices, with nightclubs lurking among the anchors and the pots and pans. Between the two bridges (the Galata Bridge and the Atatürk Bridge – now joined by a hdeous new third metro bridge with mercifully-not-golden horns) is Perşembe Pazarı, the wonderful hardware district. Above it old Bankalar Caddesi, full of light shops, and home to SALT Galata, the majestic former Ottoman Bank, now an arts centre, climbs the hill to Beyoğlu. Along the shore of the Bosphorus Karaköy proper is a grid of 19th- and early-20th-century streets and extends all the way to the district of Tophane, where the grandest private art galleries and the modern art museum Istanbul Modern has opened in former warehouses.


The cool end of the docks: from grime and crime to high art, hedonism and café society, the northern end of the Galata docks is enjoyed a magical transformation in the last decade but is still, happily, laced with old-fashioned grit.

2Karaköy Meydanı

This the key starting-point and traffic hub for Karaköy, and the easiest place to orientate yourself when exploring the Galata Docklands. With your back to the Galata Bridge, turn left along Tersane Caddesi for the traditional hardware markets of Perşembe Pazarı; straight ahead up Bankalar Caddesi or the steep Yüksek Kaldırım for SALT Galata and the narrow Genoese lanes that cover the hillside below the Galata Tower, and right (east) for Karaköy proper with its many restaurants, which emerges along the Bosphorus shore in Tophane. At the other end of the Galata Bridge are the domes of Eminönü's Yeni Cami and the bazaars – a 10-minute walk or a miniute's tram ride.

3Perşembe Pazarı

The traditional hardware district