The Bosphorus strait is one of the many things that makes Istanbul’s beauty, it is a narrow and natural strait that divides Istanbul into two continents, the Asian Side and the European side, the shores of this strait are mostly settled by the population of the city.
European Side of the Strait
The European side of the Bosphorus is very famous for many people, it has plenty of things to do. One of the famous areas on the shore of the European side is the Ortakoy District, this district is the one you see in many post card pictures with its famous mosque, the Ortakoy mosque, when you are there, you can grab a bite from the famous Kumpir stands that lays on the shore of the district, and then take a walk and take some pictures of the Bosphorus bridge. There are many restaurant and cafés in the district that can give you an outstanding view over the strait. One of them is called Ulus Park, which is a park that have a café and restaurant on top of it that views the Bosphorus in a magical way, you may grab a bite or take a drink and enjoy the view this place offers while seeing the ships sailing in front of you. If you go a bit north, you will arrive to Bebek, which is a residential area filled with many fun activities, and has an amazing corniche with boats of many residents laying there. It is a relaxing neighborhood and a fun one to be at.
If you love history very much, you will have a lot of fun while touring the castles on the European side that gives stories about Istanbul and have a magical views from top over the Bosphorus, it is definitely an experience that many tourists enjoy while touring around the old city of Istanbul. Many of these castles are built by the Ottomans while trying to conquer Constantinople for fortifications and to take control over the Bosphorus and its surrounding waterways.
Asian Side of the Strait
The Asian side of the Bosphorus is mostly residential, but it still attracts many people to this wonderful side. The main districts are Kadikoy and Uskudar, which both have different activities that will give a joy and a different experience apart from the crowded and touristic European side, you will feel like a local once you discover these two wonderful neighborhoods.
In Uskudar there is a famous palace that is located right on the shore of the strait, it is called Kucuksu Palace, and it is just like the one in the European side the Topkapi Palace, this palace was for the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, used for vacation purposes and hunting seasons. Of course talking about the Asian side will take us to the famous maiden’s tower, which is located in the middle of the Bosphorus closer to the Asian Side, this tower has many stories and legends, one of them says that this tower was built by an emperor who wanted to save his daughter because his psychic told him that she will die of a snake bite on her 18th birthday, later, he sent her a food basket for her birthday and there was a snake hidden inside the basket and killed the princess.
Kadikoy on the other hand is one of the best places to be at, if you walk there between the local bazaars and have a nicely fresh Turkish coffee at any café, you will definitely feel like a local. One of the famous streets in Kadikoy is the Bagdat Street, which is famous for its shops and luxurious brands, the nightlife in this street is really fascinating.
The Bosphorus strait adds so many activities to this wonderful city, you may also enjoy a wonderful cruise on the Bosphorus, many of the cruises offer a dinner show, and guides that will give many information and a wonderful night for you to enjoy and have a lovely dinner of Turkish meals and enjoying the Turkish Experience. This strait will take your experience to a whole new level.