On the Asian side of Istanbul
It was so tempting to just stay in the European side of Istanbul. The markets and mosques there were enough to keep me occupied for weeks, but I headed across the waters to the other side. I went to Kadıköy to discover another side I haven't tried and I am so glad I did. The ferry trip was really cheap. I used the Istanbul transports card because it is much cheaper than getting one ticket at a time. It was only a 20mins ferry journey. I sat on the upper deck of the ferry to enjoy the views. It was October so the breeze was slightly cold, but very refreshing. Kadıköy was filled with locals. I felt like I was the only tourist and I liked that. My only three Turkish words I knew -which are used in Arabic too- took me a long way there: Marhaba (hi), Tamam (ok) and Tashkur la (thank you).
Everyone was very sweet and super helpful. Their market was small. It smelled of fresh vegetables, fish and kebabs. It was so alive with footsteps and conversations. There were lots of little nice spots especially in Moda. They had many quirky fashion boutiques. It's surly worth a visit for a day. The hotels there were relatively cheaper than the touristy spots of Istanbul.