Head towards Rustempasha mosque, away from the Egyptian Bazaar or Spice Market. You'll find twisty streets full of tiny shops, including many selling wooden implements such as paddles for pide ovens, huge sieves, forks and spoons. The spice shops here are half the price of the Egyptian market, too, and if you're lucky you'll see the hamals (market porters) at work, or find a cubbyhole selling cay (tea) inside one of the old han courtyards.
Around Rustempasha mosque, Eminonu
There are plenty of grand mosques to visit in Istanbul thanks to master builder Mimar Siman, but this small jewel of his beats them all in terms of intimacy and decoration.
The tiles are simply sensational, full of stylised tulips, carnations and geometrical shapes. It is located not far from the Eminönü end of the Galata Bridge, though it is not easy to spot the entrance , but when you look lost local shopkeepers sympathetically show you how to get in.
The advantage is that few tourists seem to find it, and you may get to look around in glorious silence.
In the alleyways about 100m to the north-west of the Spice Bazaar at the end of Galata Bridge, not to be confused with the much larger Yeni Camii in front of the ferry terminals. There are two entrances, up steps between small shops - neither of them looks like it leads to a mosque, so persist.
A high hill on the Asian side of the city, it's lovely to take a taxi to the park up here at sunset to watch the sun go down over the city, see the Bosphorus bridge and the city light up, and hear the prayer calls from all over the city come up from all around you - your very own surround sound system.
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