Who? Anyone who wants experience a slice of Turkish culture on foot and see Istanbul outside the lens of commercial tourism.
What? Galata Bridge covers the Golden Horn (the part of the Bosphorus that essentially divides Istanbul and creates the historic harbor that throughout history has housed Ottoman, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ships for thousands of years).
How? If you’re staying in the heart of Istanbul, you are generally walking distance from Galata. If you’re further away, take the Istanbul Metro which has the majority of its lines traveling to or near the Galata Bridge area.
Why? This seems to be a consensus among many travelers who have visited Istanbul in the last five years or so: it seems as if the city, including Old Istanbul which is supposed to be the hotbed of raw Turkish life and culture, has compromised itself for the explosion of the tourism industry. The industrialization of the historically significant city is lamentable, but it’s still possible to see how the people of Turkey live by taking off on foot and allowing yourself to get lost. Walking across Galata Bridge gave us true snapshots of day-to-day Istanbul life. Fishermen lining the sides of the bridge in a uniform and almost poetic motion, people from all walks of life commuting back and forth on a single road, and stunning views of the entire city and its landmarks that put Istanbul as a larger entity into perspective. Walking Galata makes you forget you’re a tourist and puts you in the shoes of the people of Turkey. And that is truly a rewarding and memorable experience.