The Districts of Istanbul

Istanbul Districts Map
Istanbul Districts Map

Beginning in April 2008, the Istanbul province was divided into thirty-nine districts instead of thirty-two. Each district has a local municipality, which is elected by the people living in the neighborhoods of those districts. Here are eight of the most popular districts:

  • Sultanahmet is in the heart of the old city. 19th century visitors use to call this area Stamboul. Sultanahmet is where you’ll find Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), the Istanbul Archeological Museums, Yerebatan Saray, Binbirdirek Cistern, the Blue Mosque, and the Great Palace Mosaic Museum. It’s the base area for sightseeing in Istanbul.
  • Galata is on the European side of Istanbul both geographically and culturally. It was established as a Western colony right next to ancient Constantinople, which was the capital of the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire. It’s located in one of the oldest neighborhoods at the north of the Golden Horn near Taksim Square.
  • New City contains neighborhoods like, Nişantaşı, Elmadağ, Kurtuluş, and Şişli. They were first settled during the early years of Turkish Republic. Most of Istanbul’s steel-and-glass skyscraper are located in the New City district
  • Bosphorus also known as the Istanbul Strait is the strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. Bosphorus’ limits are the connecting line between the lighthouses Anadolu Feneri and Rumeli Feneri in the North and between Kadıköy İnciburnu Feneri and the Ahırkapı Feneri in the South.
  • Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city and forming a natural harbor that has sheltered ships for thousands of years.
  • Princes’ Islands are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara. They consist of four larger islands, Heybeliada, Büyükada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, which is the closest island to Istanbul, and five much smaller ones, Sedef Adası, Kaşık Island, Sivriada, Yassıada, and Tavşanadası.
  • The Asian Side is the eastern half of the city, which is located east of Bosphorus. It is geographically located on the Asian mainland.
  • Western Suburbs are mostly residential areas with multi-million dollar homes in Florya on the coast to slums of Bağcılar in the North. Bakirköy is the center of Western Suburbs.