Things to Do with Kids in Istanbul: Haydarpaşa Station.

I love that Ville has a strong memory of watching trains from the pedestrian bridge of his Finnish home town with his Dad. He recounts his memories of these excursions (and digger rides) when Anton has trouble sleeping. I really like (honestly!) building similar memories with Anton and am thankful to Istanbul that its transport systems, while not completely easy to access or perfectly connected, have a certain romance. It makes the hours I spend on, and watching, transport something of a pleasure. One of our favourite things to do is to take a train from Bostancı to Haydarpaşa Garı (station). Arriving on this line means that you come in next to the water and see an exciting clutter of train ferries, machinery and dock buildings. Then we walk right to the end of platform 7 and 8 and sit and wait. This might be a terminus but it is hardly Waterloo, here at least you can see everything that comes and goes. We usually bring a bag of trains or cars to play with, and with no train-spotters to block the view, just relax. The reward for me comes when Anton gets restless (this can take some time though!) and we can go and buy simit or drink tea at the atmospheric little restaurant with a view over the water to Kadiköy. Then I get to be Audrey Tatou and walk through the (usually) sun streamed, painted entrance and down the steps towards the beautiful little ferry station, just as she does in the Chanel advert. Well, apart from the two children and a certain lack of  lithe spring to my step (and a hairdresser might help). There is a cafe outside, by the water, from which you can soak up some great views (with enough going on for children to sit still) before taking a vapur across to Karaköy. The romance of this train station by the Bosphorus cannot fail to grab you and start daydreams of long journeys.

Here are some pictures of Anton at Haydarpaşa Garı last winter and today (you will probably be able to work out which is which!):

Haydarpaşa Garı November 2011

Haydarpaşa Garı November 2011

Haydarpaşa Garı November 2011

Haydarpaşa Garı November 2011

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

Haydarpaşa Garı September 2012

3 thoughts on “Things to Do with Kids in Istanbul: Haydarpaşa Station.

  1. Wow I love these photos, I love how your little one is playing with his trains amongst the train environment. I especially love the angle of the one where he is leaning over one of the old tracks and playing with his trains. Gorgeous photos.

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  2. ohhhh so beautiful, love the little and big trains! what a fun place to visit and explore, so many great and simple adventures to be had there!

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  3. I think he takes after his Great Uncle Peter when it comes to trains. All his life he had an affinity with the railway and even now in his 70.is that love has never left him. And it all started with the trainline going past our backgarden, hated by some and loved and waived to by us.Who knows, these little railway adventures in Istanbul might be a source of joy for Anton all his life. And who knows, Neve might be just as enthralled in months to come! enjoy! And I am pleased there is a lovely teashop near....

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