Istanbul is the only city (or country in the world) that spans two continents – Europe and Asia, divided by the Bosphorus Strait.
Of Istanbul’s 15 million residents, a third of them live on the Anatolian (Asian) side. We live here, in Kadıköy on the peninsula of the Marmara Sea.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the European side, you can find quiet, safe residential areas. We’re within a 15 minute walk away from every form of transportation: metro, metrobüs, ferry, dolmuş, bus, and taksi. Every half hour, there’s a 20 minute ferry ride that can take you to the European side to Beşiktaş, Eminönü or Karaköy. There’s even a nostalgic tram that circles around the ‘downtown’ area of Kadıköy.
For me it’s like living in Brooklyn vs Manhattan.
The rainbow balls line Bahariye Street, a street filled with stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Stray off one of the side streets toward the water and you’ll discover every type of shop, restaurant, bar and market. There’s a street full of markets, a street full of bars and a street full of meyhanes. However, you won’t find many tourists in this area since it’s far away (across the Bosphorus) from the Old Town.
I highly recommend reading and watching The New York Times feature: 36 Hours in Istanbul, Asian Side