My next adventure: Valletta (Malta) – May 2024

Day 4 (Istanbul) – Sapphire Tower and The Bosphorus Strait

Today is a national holiday in Turkey meaning that Istanbul has come alive making public transportation a little difficult but we pressed on regardless to the Istanbul Sapphire which is one of the observation decks in the city located in the Levent financial district. Reaching said tower was pretty straightforward from our hotel taking the Marmaray railway and then hopping onto the M2 metro which, again, had lifts and level boarding. Despite its historical significance, Istanbul has to be one of the most accessible cities in Europe that one has visited in terms of public transportation.

If you ever find yourself visiting the Sapphire, it is worth noting that the two lifts to street level are placed either side of a dual carriageway which is impossible to cross for miles. The towers interior is currently undergoing refurbishment hence the accessible entrance is non existent. No fear though as we were led by security through the construction site to reach said lifts…

Towering 261m over Istanbul, the observation desk provides panoramic views over both the Asian and European sides of the city.

Although the deck has a little platform, there are ramps…

The tower also has a ‘SkyRide’ which is a 4D experience emulating a helicopter and walking tour of the city. Although it’s not wheelchair accessible, it’s a great way to experience attractions such as The Blue Mosque.

Seeing as we could see the Bosphorus Strait, it made sense to experience it from ground level, especially on the Asian side which we were yet to explore. The Marmaray railway makes the crossing very easy thanks to the tunnel which opened in 2013. The station on the Asian side is located adjacent to the Strait and ferry terminal. The wide promenade makes it easy to head down to the waterfront although it can be lined with fishermen and crowds…

Tomorrow we head back to the behemoths of IST airport and onto Heathrow. One did see a taxi last night with a wheelchair sticker, however it was a little hard to distinguish if it had a ramp or not.

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Day 5 (Istanbul) – Final Thoughts

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