- What’s On
The city spreads out across the Asian side, which has an independent streak. Just as full of interest as Istanbul's better-known European half, its treasures run from Moda's tea gardens overlooking the mouth of the Bosphorus to Üsküdar's glittering hilltop mosques, including the 21st century Şkirin and Sinan's twin waterside mosques, the gateway to Asia. To the south is Kadoköy, gateway to the Sea of Marmara into which the Bosphrus flows, heading for the Dardanelles and the Aegean. To the south is Karaküoy where histoory runs deep: the Phonecians had a port at Moda, the Greeks created the city of Chalcedon and the crusaders used it as a base for their erciless attack on Christian Constantinople. Hydarpaşa Station, the handsome stop on the Berlin-to-Baghdad railway is now a ruin but in the narrow streets behind are some wonderful time-honoured shops including the Baylan and Hacı Bekir pattisseris and bakers in Muvakkithane. The great food of the district is revealed by Andrew Finkel in his article in a Cornucopia 52, and the bounteous fish to be tried are described by Berrin Torolsan in Cornucopia 32, now a rare collector's item. Apartments built for German and Itlaian workers on the Hydarpaşa station give an historic feel to little-known Yeldeğirmeni, while British visitors might remember Florence Nightingale and the hospital at Scutari (Üsküdar), and head for the English Cemetery where victims of Crimea lie.
Ferries from Karaköy, Eminönü and Beşiktaş – especially beautiful at sunset or dawn. Dolmuşes run to and from Taksim late at night, when racing over the Bosphorus bridge is great fun.