A local’s guide to Istanbul
- By Jennifer Hattam
- Photos by Emanuele Satolli
Istanbul has been on a tumultuous ride over the past decade: touted as the “new party capital of Europe,” reshaped by controversial development, riven by protests and repressive policing, targeted by terrorist attacks, hammered by economic woes and tussled over politically. But 10 years is barely a blip in the long saga of this energetic and complicated city.
In high and low times alike, Istanbul remains rich in both historic sights and contemporary life. Each neighborhood in this sprawling city is nearly a world unto itself. Dive into the crowds at the huge weekly outdoor market in Fatih, preen with the pretty people at gallery openings in Nisantasi or brunch in Bebek, explore the mosques of Uskudar, or sip tea (or beer) in the back streets of Beyoglu, Besiktas or Kadikoy and people-watch your heart out.
Meet Jennifer Hattam
Jennifer is a journalist covering environmental, political, social and urban issues, as well as arts, culture, food and travel. Originally from San Francisco, she loved Istanbul upon her first visit and has lived there since 2008. She still has no plans to swap her coffee addiction for the local tea habit.
Want to get in touch?Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore more of Istanbul
- Public transportation is solid while taxi drivers can be the pits. Buy a refillable IstanbulKart for 6 TL (about $1) and join us on the tram, metro, ferries and buses.
- If you’ve only seen the historic sights of Sultanahmet — as stunning as they are — you haven’t really seen Istanbul. Get out in the neighborhoods and explore.
- Istanbul isn’t the capital of Turkey, the Bosporus is not a river, the “bridge between East and West” metaphor is beyond tired, and we’ve heard all the “not Constantinople” jokes before, thanks.