So many people go to Istanbul and never get to the Asian side. They see all the ‘big’ sites, and head home, but there is nothing like sitting in a tea garden, eating simits and borek (pastries), drinking tea and feeling the breeze of the Bosphorus on your face, especially if there are no other tourist about to ruin by raising the prices!
Now, I am not saying, don’t go to to the big sites, they are breath taking and worth seeing. However, if you have an extra day, take a ferry over to the Asian side, especially to Çengelköy or Beylerbeyi (there is actually a beautiful palace there to see), hangout with the locals, and (in my opinion) enjoy my favorite part of Istanbul.
We had such a lovely morning here with our friends (who are two of the most interesting and kind people I have ever met), it truly is my favorite thing to do in Istanbul, I wait for it every trip we take here.
I’ve always said that I would never want to live in Istanbul, but if every day could be like today was, I might be able to change my mind…