Can Tourists Be The Answer To A Brighter Istanbul? | #TrainLineTravel
What To Love About Istanbul
Bike Tours in Kadikoy
There may not be many options on the European side to stroll through the city on a calming bike tour, but there are certainly numerous paths on the Asian side which you should be taking advantage of. I decided to take the easy ‘blue’ path along the waters edge a spent about 3 or 4 hours of the day roaming around by bike. PS. If you’re looking for a bike rental, Hush Hostels Lounge has what you need (and is a short walk from the ferry pier). If this is something that may peak your interest, I highly suggest you read Jeff’s blog over at Jeff’s Bike Tour for some more tips on this route through Kadikoy, Istanbul.
Sali Pazari Market (Tuesday and Friday)
To my surprise, this isn’t an extremely touristic place to be. The only reason I decided to visit the market was because there was a cute little picture of a fruit basket on the Hush Hostels map with an arrow to the market – ‘who doesn’t love markets’ I thought. Sali Pazari has a whole lot of everything, open Tuesday’s and Friday’s make sure you check out both days if you have time. Tuesday is more for the sales of fresh fruit and veg with a combination of numerous ‘knock off’ shops for apparel, shoes and accessories. Friday is wonderful, you have the weekly fresh fruit and veg of course and then the remainder of the market is filled with textiles and flea market stands. TIP: There is a food stand at the main entrance where you can get this incredible pastry filled with cheese and spinach. The woman cook it on a large cast iron skillet – like a crepe skillet, only 10 times larger in size.
Picnic by the Water & Watch the Dolphins
Just because you’re overseas adventuring through an entire new country, doesn’t mean you need to be running around every second of the day finding new areas to explore. I was there for 6 days and though I had the intention of running around exploring every site I could, I soon realized that in order to fully enjoy my time in Istanbul I would need to slow down and take it in day by day. Venture over to Kadikoy (Asian side) or better yet, stay there! Along the waters edge there are numerous parks, cheap cafes and lush green patches of grass for a picnic. Take advantage of the street eats in Istanbul, pack a lunch and sit by the river. We were lucky enough to see many dolphins swimming around that week.
Fortune Readings & Turkish Coffee
Though I don’t have many recommendations for where to do if you’d like a Turkish coffee and fortune reading (I also don’t want to be held liable if you get a fake), I had a delicious Turkish coffee and fortune reading right in the comfort of my hostel (Hush Hostel). Whether you believe in fortune readings or not, it’s kind of a cool thing to experience while in Istanbul. Tactics: 1) Enjoy the coffee, 2) Flip the cup upside down on a saucer, 3) Patience, sit and hangout for 15 minutes or so, 4) Pick up the tea cup and have your fortune read (this happens between the lines of coffee grains).
How to Support Sustainable Tourism in Istanbul
- Book into sustainable hotels and/or hostels
- Avoid bus and car tours, take a free walking tour instead
- Pack a picnic and visit some of their local green spaces
- Use public transportation instead of private taxis
- Purchase food and snacks from local vendors, buy fresh and local products before pre-packaged international goods
- Request sustainable options everywhere you go:
- No plastic bags
- No disposable cutlery, dishes, etc.
- No cleaning services during your stay
The list does go on, but I want to see what suggestions you may have for travelling sustainably in Turkey. Have you been before? Have you learned about the impact of tourism on any given destination? Share your thoughts below, I’d love to know!
Wait! Before you go, perhaps you’d like to take a look at all that I experienced while on vacation in Istanbul!