Garipçe is a small, isolated fishing village on the shores of the Bosporus. It’s located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul and has about 600 residents. Famous for its Turkish breakfasts and fish restaurants, Garipçe makes a great day trip from the city center for those who want to get away from the chaos of Istanbul.
I made the trip to Garipçe with Isaac on our day off of work. We took the Istanbul M2 metro line to the Hacıosman stop. Once there, we waited for the #150 bus towards Rumeli Feneri. We took it to Garipçe Merkez, the center of the village.
The first thing we did was have a quick lunch at Aydın Balık. Like the other restaurants, their specialty is Turkish breakfast and fish. Being the afternoon, we decided to have fish and some meze dishes. The food was excellent. My students had actually recommended AsmaAltı Restaurant for breakfast. We didn’t get a chance to try it but I will on a return trip.
Next, we had a quick walk around the tiny village. We sat for a while and watched the fishermen preparing their nets before heading out to sea.
We then walked up the hill above town to the 15th century Genoese fortress. I wouldn’t recommend going inside the fortress alone. There were a few interesting characters hanging out around it. It also smelled like urine and there was lots of garbage and broken glass strewn about.
If you do get to the castle, you can admire the great views of the Bosporus without entering.
You can also get a decent view of the village and harbor below.
For another great view of Garipçe, head up the road on the side of the small inlet opposite the castle.
There was a lot of controversy over the building of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the third bridge to cross the Bosporus. Its pylons are located just south of Garipçe. The public thought it would destroy the harmony and authenticity of the village as well as having a negative impact on the environment after thousands of trees would have to be cut down for its construction. The villagers initially had overwhelmingly positive reactions to it because it meant the possibility of more tourism and much-needed improvements to structures and the fortress. So far it’s been proven that life continues much the same as it has before the bridge project began, which is both positive and negative. The village seems to be untouched by the bridge, with the harmony remaining as well as the lack of improvements, but opinions aren’t so positive anymore.