Büyük Valide Han
Functioning as a somewhat tawdry shopping centre since 1990, this Ottoman hamam has retained its form and many of its original features....
The 85m-tall Beyazıt Tower sits on top of one of the seven hills on which Constantine the Great built the city, following the model of...
The colourful and chaotic Grand Bazaar is the heart of İstanbul's Old City and has been so for centuries. Starting as a small vaulted...
Ethem Tezçakar Kahveci
Bekir Tezçakar's family has been at the helm of this tiny coffee shop for four generations. Smack bang in the middle of the bazaar's...
Pak Pide & Pizza Salonu
Finding this worker's pideçisi (Turkish pizza parlour) is an adventure in itself, as it's hidden in the steep narrow lanes behind the...
Büyük Valide Han information
Commissioned by Murad VI's mother, Kösem Valide Sultan, this massive han (caravanserai) was built in 1651 and originally housed up to 3000 travellers and their animals every night. It's now dreadfully dilapidated and has an ugly Shiite mosque in its main courtyard. Views from the han's roof are spectacular, encompassing the Golden Horn, Bosphorus, Old City and Galata.
Access to the roof is normally off limits, but if you head to the upstairs floor the caretaker may offer to take you up. He will expect a tip for his effort.