Istanbul: The Asian Side

Istanbul is an enormous city of 14 million people and is separated into three sections by water.  The Golden Horn divides the European side into two while the Bosphorus Strait intersects the European and Asian side.  Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents.

In previous posts I wrote about the Sultanahmet (the Old City) and Beyoĝlu (the European Quarter).  This post will focus on things to do on the Asian Side of the city.

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dolmabahce palace in istanbul

Istanbul: Beyoĝlu Region

As I mentioned in my previous post about Istanbul, the city of 14 million people is split into three by the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait.  The old city or the Sultanahmet district is to the south, the Asian side is to the east and the New Town called Beyoĝlu or the European Quarter is to the north.

The old city definitely features the most the sites, but Beyoĝlu also has many.  Below is a list of sites to see in Beyoĝlu.  Begin just north of the Beyoĝlu region on the Bosphorus Coast at the Dolmabahçe Palace.

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hagia sophia in istanbul

Istanbul Itinerary: Sultanahmet District

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, is the only city in the world that straddles two continents, Europe and Asia.  The city of 14 million people is the largest city in Europe and one of the most visited in the world. 

Istanbul is split into three areas by bodies of water.  The Bosphorus Strait separates the European side and the Asian side.  The European side is further split into two by the Golden Horn.  North of the inlet is Beyoĝlu (New Town) while south is the historic area, Sultanahmet.

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Touring Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is completely different from most of the other cities that tourists visit in Israel.  While it does feature the city of Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv is very new, vibrant and cosmopolitan relative to many others in Israel.  Though a big city, it doesn’t take more than a day to explore the sites.

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Shrine of the Bab

The Mediterranean Coast of Israel

Continuing our tour with G Adventures, the budget minded National Geographic company, we left the Sea of Galilee for the Mediterranean Coast where we visited two different places:  The Baha’i Gardens and Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel and Caesarea, Roman ruins which date back to 29 BC.  Both were wonderful places.

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Bethlehem and the West Bank

In order to get to Bethlehem, visitors must travel through the West Bank. For tourists, passing through the Israeli check point is generally problem free, but it is best to carry identification in case of a search.

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Top Places to Visit in Jerusalem

I wish there were a way to sum up the history of Jerusalem in a paragraph or two, but its 3,000 years of complicated history requires a detailed write up that I will leave to historians.  Just the list of top places to visit in Jerusalem is extensive enough!

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Around Misfat Al Abriyyin

Misfat Al Abriyyin is a mountain village located just up the road from Al Hamra.  It is one of the few old villages that actively welcomes tourists, though the signs posted at the parking area of the village entrance remind visitors to act respectfully.  We stayed here after hiking the Balcony Walk in the Grand Canyon of Oman and really loved our authentic experience.

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