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Places (POIs) visited during this tour

Place #1
Distance: 0.77mi , Attraction : Palace
Map Pin
No:53 Kat:2 Daire:3, Ömer Avni, İnebolu Sk., 34427 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
POI 1 Tour Image
Dolmabahçe Palace
Starting off strong! Just up ahead on our right is Dolmabahçe Palace, one of the major attractions in the area, an absolutely beautiful 19th century Ottoman, Baroque, and Neoclassical structure. It’r original goal was to modernize the Ottoman Empire and to showcase its commitment to adopting European standards. Just from the architecture and design, the intentions are clear with its strong influence of European styles.From the view of the water, you would see a classic European two-wing structure. In the interior lives large chandeliers, intricate woodwork, and its especially impressive crystal staircase. The Ceremonial Hall, where the Baccarat crystal staircase stands, an equally grand Baccarat chandelier hangs above, a gift from Queen Victoria herself.

The name, Dolmabahçe, means “Filled Garden”, and that it is. The palace is surrounded by lovely gardens with several fountains throughout the grounds. Even this aspect could be derived from European ideals as many palaces and important structures live in or around large gardens. Not only creating a serene escape from the city, but also a fortress representing peace and sophistication.

As we talk you might be thinking you would love to see this magnificent fortress up close, lucky for you there is a museum within the palace that showcases various rooms, halls, and exhibits. A highlight of the museum is Ataturk’s Room. This is where the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, stayed in the summertimes during his visits to Istanbul. Right here in this palace he enacted some of his greatest works, and Ataturk’s Room is even where he spent his last days in 1938. The room has been preserved in pristine condition, and you can see the room exactly how it looked when he stayed in it.

A grand palace with a grand history, Dolmabahçe is an important feature of Turkey’s history. The building marks the country’s step towards modernization during its Tanzimat period of transformation, as well as Turkey’s strengthening government.

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Place #2
Distance: 0.53mi , Attraction : Town
Map Pin
Sinanpaşa, Beşiktaş Cd. No:63, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye
POI 2 Tour Image
We started at the Dolmabahçe Palace, but the overall area we have been in and still are is the popular city of Beşiktaş, one of the oldest areas in all of Istanbul. Located along the Bosphorus Strait, where Black Sea rebels used to patrol the coast. But, once the Ottomans took control, the rebels were pushed out, and settlements were officially able to grow outside of the city walls of the Istanbul city center. Most of the Bosphorus is known for its strong currents, reaching up to seven or eight knots. But, at the specific spot along the coast of Beşiktaş the currents are calmer, making it an excellent location to moore ships. It’s said that the Ottomans called the area “Bestas”, meaning “Fine Stones”, most likely deriving from the five columns in the water to moore the ships. Although there are can be different stories as to where the name came from, we do know that the word “Beşiktaş”, means “Cradle Stone”.

Although the Beşiktaş area is that of a smaller one, it is still one the most important in the city. The area is full of historical sites, businesses and shopping centers, and of course the amazing views of the Bosphorus Strait. Not only is it a gorgeous site, but the strait has added to the country’s trade and commerce, and even the fascinating reason behind Turkey being one of the few countries to span over two continents. The current side we are driving through now is the European side, but later on we will make our way to the Asian side! While the Strait lies between the two continents, many myths and legends lie in the waters of the Bosphorus as well. In Greek mythology, the Bosphorus is associate with the story of lo, a mortal priestess of Hera. Zeus fell in love with lo and turned her into a heifer, a young female cow, to protect her from Hera’s jealousy. Hera, however, saw through his tricks and sent a gadfly to torment lo. Fleeing from the gadfly, lo swam across the Bosphorus, which was subsequently named after her as Bosphorus translates to “ox ford”.

Beşiktaş is a lovey area of Istanbul, full of history, stories, and so much beauty. I can’t wait to continue to drive through this area, and show you more of my favorite places along the coast!

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Tour itinerary stops | Additional places you'll see on this self-guided tour

Map Pin Place 1 Dolmabahçe Palace
Map Pin Place 2 Beşiktaş
Map Pin Place 3 Çırağan Palace
Map Pin Place 4 Ortaköy Square
Map Pin Place 5 Ortaköy
Map Pin Place 6 Yildiz Palace
Map Pin Place 7 15 July Martyrs Bridge (Bosphorus Bridge)
Map Pin Place 8 Directions
Map Pin Place 9 Üsküdar
Map Pin Place 10 Maiden’s Tower
Map Pin Place 11 Istanbul Knowledge
Map Pin Place 12 Moda Coast
Map Pin Place 13 Kadife Street and Moda Street
Map Pin Place 14 Directions
Map Pin Place 15 Kadıköy
Map Pin Place 16 Caddebostan Coast
Map Pin Place 17 Bostancı Coast

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What's included?
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