One of the greatest city in the world. Almost 20 million people are living in this city. Istanbul is historical, amusing, crowded and admirable. Even if you came to this city and lived only for a few days, you are probably going to be in love with this city.
There are a lot of historical and amusing neighbourhood in this city. But one of them is very special and lovely. It is Beşiktaş of course.
Beşiktaş district is synthesising European and Anatolian culture with its cultural heritage. Like the early era of Ottoman Empire, it has the Islamic culture. Sinan Pasha Mosque is a very good example of this influence.
But it also represents late era of Ottoman Empire which was influenced by European culture. Like Dolmabahçe Palace.
Beşiktaş has two palaces in itself which you can visit. Dolmabahçe and some parts of Yıldız. These palaces must be your first destination in this area.
Dolmabahçe Palace was the greatest palace in Ottoman Empire. It took almost 13 years to build and was finished in 1856. Its glory is still solid in today. Intricate ornamentation of Dolmabahçe Palace is amazing and in inside you can easily see luxury. The biggest Bohemian crystal chandelier is inside this building and it was a present from Queen Victoria.
If you want to visit it is open every day except Monday and Thursday. Visiting hours are 9 am to 4 pm.
On the other side, Beşiktaş also has the Yıldız area which includes Yıldız Palace, Şale Pavilion, Malta Pavilion, a theatre and an opera. Right now the palace is closed due to reparation but you can visit the pavilions.
Şale pavilion is important because it symbolizes the alliance between Ottoman Empire and Germany. Because it was made for German Emperor Wilheim II and he stayed in this pavilion during three visits of him. It also has the biggest handmade, single carpet in the reception chamber.
Funny fact is because the carpet was made after the building it could not fit through the door so they broke the window and roll out the carpet. But besides, it's historical importance Beşiktaş also has many things to offer in entertainment. When you get out from the historical places and take a walk into Beşiktaş district you can feel the ambience right away.
On the game days the atmosphere of Beşiktaş Gymnastics Club fans, which is founded in 1903 and take its name from the area, will probably make you love the district. Their anthems, their friendliness, their style of support is a thing to see in your life at least once.
When you walk into the district first thing you are going to feel is probably the crowd. There are cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, shops, markets.You can find almost anything you want in this district. I strongly recommend you to eat a few stuffed mussels and bread and fish. Sit in a pub or cafe and feel the atmosphere of Beşiktaş.
Feel the Anatolian and European ambience.
Feel the people's rush and calmness.
Drink tea against sea at Beşiktaş coast and watch the boats.
This is Istanbul and this is Istanbul's air.
Feel it in your veins.