Explore Istanbul: Unspoiled Districts

Explore Istanbul: Unspoiled Districts
  • Son Güncellenme: 07/09/2021

Istanbul is full of places that worth visiting but unfortunately, there are always the same pieces of advices for foreigners on the internet like The Blue Mosque or Istiklal Street. As a result, these places became so crowded. In this blog, we will introduce you to two unspoiled districts of Istanbul: Kuzguncuk and Ağva. Kuzguncuk is in the city center, Ağva on the other hand is a small town outside of Istanbul.

Colorful Kuzguncuk

One of the most colorful places to be visited in Istanbul is the Kuzguncuk district. It is known as the first Jewish residential on the Anatolian side of the city. The belief is that their last stopping point before heading to the holy lands was Kuzguncuk. Rumor has it that Jewish who could not arrive at the holy land moved and started to live here. From past to the present time, the architectural structure of the district was reshaped with Islamic touches. Having stated that it is one most the most colorful places in Istanbul, Kuzguncuk deserves to be called so thanks to multicolored houses and mansions.

Speaking of houses and mansions, they are the symbols that still keep the district as if it was in past time. The general view of the region enables Kuzguncuk to differ itself from any other areas in Istanbul.

Kuzguncuk is also famous for its religious structures. Üryanizade Mosque constructed in the late 1800s locates at the cost of Kuzguncuk with its mansion-like appearance. What remained from non-Muslim times of the district, such as Ayios Pantilimon Greek Church, Beth Ya’akov Synagogue and Yeorgios Greek Orthodox Church were some of the historical structures worth visiting. The Great Armenian Church and Kuzguncuk Mosque standing side by side by the Bosphorus are the peaceful representatives of different cultures.

Kuzguncuk was home to the TV series “Perihan Abla” in the late 80s and “Ekmek Teknesi” in the early 21st century. The bakery that was one of the main places in letter one still operates under the same name, “Ekmek Teknesi”.

Very unusual in Istanbul, you may find a truck garden in Kuzguncuk. The garden is full of organic tomatoes, peppers and spinaches have grown by locals and nest for cats and dogs. The land also has an activity area for kids and a walking path through the forest.

To arrive at Kuzguncuk from the European side, The boats departing from Beşiktaş pier can be taken to arrive at Üsküdar, across Beşiktaş on the other side of the water. The transcontinental journey would take 10-15 minutes. Having arrived Üsküdar, you may either walk for 15-25 minutes depending on your tempo or take a bus departing from the bus stops across the Üsküdar pier, where you get off the boat.

Heaven on Earth: AĞVA

Ağva is heaven for those who want to leave behind the city for a while. Ağva, located between two rivers, is a town of Şile district on the Black Sea coast of Istanbul. Ağva is approximately 100 kilometers from Istanbul. Being so, people it is worth to see especially in spring and summer. Even in September, you can enjoy a green environment in Ağva.

Apart from the private car, the bus departing from Üsküdar can be taken as well to arrive at Ağva.

Lots of boutique hotels and pensions by the river are available to stay. Almost all the residential places are surrounded by green trees and have terraces with lake views. Those terraces could not be more available for breakfast in the mornings and dinner in the evenings.

Both the public beach in the center of Ağva and the one at Kilimli Bay 15-20 minutes away from Ağva by car are good choices to enjoy the sea. The lighthouse at the rocks in the edge of the beach in the city center is a great location the see the dusk. Also, pedalo, fishing or boat tour on the Göksu River might be experienced as well.

A very well organized park in the city center offers a fresh environment. With phaeton-like bicycles, of course without horses, you can enjoy a park tour with your beloved ones. Moreover, tastes like ice-cream and waffles await you in the facilities within the park. Wi-Fi is free within the sphere of the park as well.

As you can see, the rural sides of Istanbul are also as enjoyable as the urban sides. People who live in Istanbul may get tired of the crowd of the city and seek some peace. In these cases, people search for unspoiled places and both Kuzguncuk and Ağva are examples of it. Townees, domestic tourists and foreigners should see these places.

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