Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more Got it

Golden Horn Guide


  • Facebook Share
  • Pin It
My Destination
My Destination

The Golden Horn, or ‘Haliç’ in Turkish, is a narrow freshwater estuary which snakes through the two European sides of the city and comes out at the Marmara Sea.  It effectively splits the two faces of Istanbul - with the historical districts of Eminönü, Eyüp, Fener and Balat on one side and the newer suburbs of Beyoglu and Karaköy on the other.

The Golden Horn is thought to have taken its name from its former popularity as a trading centre. Following the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans it became a popular place of settlement for Greeks, Jews, Italians and Christians as well as Muslims. This is evident in the variety of churches, mosques, synagogues and cemeteries which can be found close to the shoreline today, particularly in the Balat and Fener districts. The best of these include the cast iron Bulgarian Church of St. Stephen, and the Eyup Sultan Mosque and Mausoleum.

Other sites of interest along the shores of the Golden Horn include the miniature theme park, Miniaturk,  the Rahmi Koç Museum of transport, communications and industry, and the former power station Santral Istanbul, which now functions as a spectacular tribute to modern Turkish art.

Although the Golden Horn has traditionally suffered from problems with substandard housing and pollution, big efforts have been made to clean up and restore the waterway and the suburbs lining it. This has certainly paid off and the Golden Horn is an up-and-coming area to visit in Istanbul.

For one of the best views in the city, head to the Pierre Loti Café in Eyup, which is named after a well known French writer who spent some time in Istanbul.

1st photo: St. Stephen Church  © Ali Basarir
2nd photo: Golden Horn © Yildirim Incealemdaroglu

  • Facebook Share
  • Pin It

Istanbul Photos

  • Grand Bazaar

    Grand Bazaar

  • Bosphorus Cruise by Mista Riggs

    Bosphorus Cruise by Mista Rigg...

  • Istanbul at night by Mista Riggs

    Istanbul at night by Mista Rig...

  • Istanbul Market ©Andrew Sawvell

    Istanbul Market ©Andrew Sawvel...

  • Goksu Creek

    Goksu Creek

  • Galata Bridge © Yildirim Incealemdaroglu

    Galata Bridge © Yildirim Incea...

See all Istanbul photos »

Norman

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life" - Jack Kerouac