The Golden Horn separates the south of Istanbul often considered the “old Istanbul” from the modern quarters of the city. At the junction of these two parts of the city is the famous Galata Bridge, a place not to be missed and, in many respects, the living touristic heart of Istanbul and a focal point of your stay.
Depending on what you wish to do and your ability to find your way around the area, you will tend to concentrate on the iconic locations rather than the area per se, but the notion of “neighbourhoods” will be, however, particularly useful if you want to move easily in the city, especially by public transport.
Old Istanbul is quite simple to understand, bounded by the Sea of Marmara to the south, the Bosphorus to the east, the district of Beyoğlu in the north and the district of Zeytinburnu in the west.
Istanbul is rich in religious buildings and museums ; among the few absolutely not to be missed are the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet Mosque (The Blue Mosque), the Grand Bazaar, the Spice market, the Galata Bridge or the park Gülhane. The best known “postcard” Istanbul is a melting pot where different cultures and religions meet. This site offers priceless historical riches with its magnificent mosques and their unmistakable architecture of tranquil grandeur.