I had known for a while that Istanbul straddles two continents- Europe and Asia and that it is in fact the only City in the world that does this, so of course when planning my 3 days in Istanbul i knew i had to venture to the Asian Side.
After doing some googling (how else would i find my way around the world!) i found that the neighbourhood Kadikoy on the Asian side would be the best place to get the boat to (although prior to arriving in Istanbul i didn’t realise they were separated by the ocean). I was staying in the Karakoy neighbourhood of Istanbul so i went down to the pier nearby and there was a ticket booth which had KADIKOY written on it with a boat waiting so i used my ‘Istanbulkart’ to get through the barriers where it deducted a mear 2.15TL/£0.50 off the card and i got onto the boat… nice and easy!
The journey took about 20 minutes and there were great views all around.
On arriving at Kadikoy port i realised i didn’t quite know where to go from here, i read there were some cool streets but i wasn’t sure if i needed to get a bus from here or how far to walk and i had another ‘Ellie, once again you have arrived somewhere and have no idea what to do or where to go’ moments.
However i checked my phone and headed straight on from the port, across the road and from here i could see plenty of shops and restaurants and once walked up the road i saw the infamous Bull statue that i had read about in some blog posts and then saw lots of coloured boulders and it seemed like a good idea to follow them (simple minds hey) and they did in fact lead me to a good part of the neighbourhood. It’s a shopping street and mainly a walking street with the exception of the tram and a few cars and it felt like Istiklal Street which is on the European side of Istanbul but not on as many steroids!
It was quite cute really especially with all the coloured posts and between the main street where the tram went there were plenty of places to eat and shops to look at and i didn’t feel like i was being hassled as much as i have been on the other side.
After walking around this area i headed to Moda, another neighbourhood which i had read about and i was able to walk right along the ocean and enjoy the many parks they had. At some points i had to go back to street level but even then there were loads of nice apartments and it made me think that it would be lovely here in the summer and full of life, luckily for me it was a warm, quiet, Wednesday morning in October and i got some well needed peace from the hustle and bustle of the other side of the city.
One thing that I’ve noticed a lot in Istanbul but especially noticed in Kadikoy was how many stray dogs and cats there were, but as i saw while i was in Santiago in Chile, the majority did not look like strays and they seem to be the pets of the city being fed, watered and loved by many.
While in Kadikoy i saw a water container left outside a shop with a cat having a drink and i spotted a guy feeding the dogs in the park and then gave the cats some milk. It’s so nice to see this and ultimately cats and dogs are wild animals so they probably enjoy living outside and being free as long as they have access to water and food.
Overall i’m so pleased that i ventured over to the Asian side of Istanbul, its something that i had always wanted to do and Kadikoy was a great place to visit; and with the total boat journey costing less than £1.00 you really can’t go wrong.
To get around on the public transport in Istanbul you do need an ‘Istanbulkart’- like an oyster card. These can be brought from shops around the city and at most tram stops etc. The card cost me 7TL and then each bus, boat, tram ride you take costs 2-3 TL so it’s really cheap to use!