Istanbul areas made easy!

Istanbul areas might seem to be hard at first, but it is easy once you get the idea of the city layout.

City Layout

Istanbul is divided into two parts by the Bosphorus Strait.

The East of the waterway is the Asian Side, the West of it is the European Side.

The Asian Side is mostly a residential part while the European Side is full of more chaotic and more traffic-loaded business districts.

The two sides are connected with two suspension bridges and sea-transportation...

The two suspension bridges on Bosphorus Strait are;

  • Bosphorus Bridge; Located between Ortaköy and Beylerbeyi.
  • Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge; Located between Rumelihisarüstü and Kavacık.



Istanbul, is a modern city in an ancient setting. There are many attractions along both shores of Bosphorus Strait, including ancient ruins, picturesque fishing villages, and vibrant green forest areas.

Most Popular Places

You will spend the most of your time on the European (Western) Side of the city. European Istanbul is separated in two by the Golden Horn (Turkish: "Haliç", Read as: "hull-each").


Map of Istanbul
Showing the bridges on Bosphorus Strait

"Golden Horn" is one of the most commodious natural harbors in the world. It was the main port of the city for centuries.

The major sights and monuments are in and around the Old City and Beyoglu.

Modern heart of the city is the New City; Beyoglu neighborhood, across the Golden Horn. It is the center of art, entertainment, music and education and one of the commercial centres of town.

But the city is big and there are lots of places waiting to be seen...

So don't forget to include a Bosphorus Cruise along the shores and the Asian Side to your plan...

Map of Istanbul
Showing the main Istanbul Areas; Golden Horn, Old City and Beyoglu

Old City and Beyoğlu:

  • Old City: The Southern part of the Golden Horn is the "Old City". Also known as The "Historic Peninsula" or "Sultanahmet" or "Sarayburnu".
  • Beyoğlu:The Northern part of the Golden Horn is "Beyoğlu". Also known as "Pera".

Here are the most popular neighborhoods and all necessary city maps of Istanbul:

Maps of Istanbul

Europe Travel Directory

Europe directory


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