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One of the world's most exhilarating urban landscapes greets you as you approach the gritty historic district of Eminönü, at the entrance to the Golden Horn.
BOATS Eminönü is at the hub of the Istanbul ferry network. Stations (iskele) along its quay serve Üsküdar and Kadıköy on the Asian shore. For destinations up the Golden Horn, cross the Galata Bridge to Karaköy.
TRAM The best way to get to and from Eminönü from the European quarter. It used to be mayhem in Eminönü Square, but since they made the tram station part of the square, with a proper generously proportioned pedestrian crossing, it is all much more manageable.
With your back to the sea, facing the Yeni Cami, there are three ways to go. To the left, in the direction of the Topkapı is Sirkeci Station, terminus of the Orient Express, with the little sub-districts of Bahçekapı and Sultanhamam, the late Ottoman/early Republic Golden Mile, with a splendid, rather austere post office. Straight ahead, behind the rather theatrical Yeni Cami, is the Mısır Çarşısı (the Egyptian, or Corn, Bazaar – take your pick), better know to foreigners as the Spice Bazaar – if you go through it, and head up the hill, you will eventually reach the Grand Bazaar proper (though it is easier to take the tram to Çemberlitaş and walk down). To the right is Tahtakale, the old hardware district, with its famous 16th-century Rüstem Pasha Mosque. This runs out into village streets of Küçükpazar. From Tahtakale you can climb straight up the hill to the magnificent Süleymaniye, or walk round the long way, via Küçükpazar and approach Sinan’s most ambitious mosque complex from the back.
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