For the sports enthusiast, the choices are plenty and varied. Istanbul offers not just a day at the gym, you can also go sailing, swimming or fishing. You can also hit the soccer stands or spend a day at the golf club.
Because of its position – with the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Bosphorus Strait – you can expect some major action when it comes to water sports. Sailing is a favorite and proof of this is the number of sailing clubs. You will notice that there are clubs for experts, as well as newbies. The sail boats usually ply the Bosphorus Strait.
If you brought your fishing gear along, head for the Galata Bridge and join the locals vie for the biggest catch of the day. Also, you can get certified at the number of diving schools and diving clubs in the city.
For women who want to go to the gym, it’s best that you go to the gym at the hotel, as most of the gyms in the city cater to men.
Here are some sporting venues in Istanbul:
Istanbul Park/Istanbul Racing Circuit (Akfirat County) The home of Formula 1 racers when in Istanbul. With a race track circuit that covers over 5 kilometers, Turkish Grand Prix racers can speed up to the total distance of close to 310 kilometers in 58 laps. The track is 14 meters wide at its narrowest and 21.5 meters wide at its widest. The track is designed by Hermann Tilke, the famed architect of racetracks.
Abdi Ipekci Sports Center (Zeytinburnu District) Here, you can watch a basketball game, or a competition involving wrestling, volleyball or weightlifting.
Ali Sam Yen Stadium (Mecidiyekoy Quarter, Sisli) The national favorite, the Galatasaray SK Football Club calls this stadium their home.
Ataturk Olympic Stadium (Ikitelli District) This stadium now has the distinction of being one of the biggest in the world. This is part of Turkey’s efforts to clinch the deal to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. A massive renovation was made costing over 120 million dollars.
Ayhan Sahenk Sports Hall (Dacka) This indoor arena is also home to the basketball teams of Galatasaray Café Crown and Darussafaca. It can seat some 3,500 people.
Bahcelievler Stadium (Yenibosna district, Bahçelievler) This is where you can usually watch games played by Istanbulspor AS and Yenibosna Spor Kulubu.
Sinan Erdem Dome (Akatoy, Barkikoy) This multi-purpose arena has the distinction of being one of the largest in the country and in Europe.
Inonu Stadium (Besiktas Inonu) The popular Besiktas J.K. Football Club makes their home here.
Sukru Saracoglu Stadium/ Fenerbahce Stadium (Fenerbahce, Kadikoy) Another popular football club, the Fenerbahce SK makes this stadium their headquarters.
You will notice that based on the number of football clubs, the sport is highly popular with the people of Turkey and Istanbul, specifically. Football is said to be the second religion of Turkey. It only goes to show that fans are very passionate about their teams.
Now, if you want to go swimming, try the Olympic standard pools available in the city. Some also have half-Olympic pools.
Here are some of them.
Cemal Kamaci Sports Hall (Sark Kahvesi Bus stop /Okmeydani)
Hamza Yerlikaya Sports Hall (Sultançiftligi- Gaziosmanpasa)
Zeytinburnu Sports Hall (Telsiz Mah. Prof. Muammer Aksoy Cd. No.15 Z.Burnu Stadi Yani)