Asian Side, Istanbul

Asia > Middle East > Turkey > Marmara (region) > Istanbul > Istanbul/Asian Side


The Asian Side (Turkish: Asya Yakası) or the Anatolian Side (Anadolu Yakası, which is the more common designation for the area in Turkish) is the half of Istanbul that is on the Asian mainland, east of the Bosphorus.

Understand[edit]

"Land of the Blind"

Before setting sail to find a suitable place for a colony, Byzas, the legendary founder of Byzantium, was told by soothsayers that he should establish his colony across the water from the "land of the blind". His search led him to a beautiful, forested, and easily defended peninsula, with an excellent natural harbour on its north side, a deep, long, sheltered inlet. Here he encountered fishermen from Chalcedon on the other side of the Bosphorus, which had fewer natural endowments. Byzas reckoned these folk must be "the blind" of the prophecy, who'd failed to see the advantages of the site right in front of them, and who'd built their city in a poorer location. So Byzas laid the first stone of Byzantium on that peninsula: it grew to become Constantinople then Istanbul, flanked to the north by the inlet of the Golden Horn. And Chalcedon (today’s Kadıköy) was mocked as "The Land of the Blind".

Kadıköy (ancient Chalcedon) and Üsküdar (ancient Chrysopolis or Scutari) form the historical cores of this area. Both started as independent ports — indeed Chalkedon was founded 30–40 years before the oldest parts of Istanbul — and were only incorporated into the city of Istanbul in the late 19th century. Regular steamer ferries began to ply the Bosphorus between them; it would be another 150 years before bridges and tunnels created a land connection.

Today Kadıköy and Üsküdar are the main areas of visitor interest on the Asian side. Inland are miles of bland suburbs, with high-rise apartment blocks and shopping malls, which sprang up when the first Bosphorus bridge made inter-continental commuting easier. The Asian Side houses about 5.6 million people (2021), a third of Istanbul's population, and more than 2 million of them commute daily to Europe. However there's a string of interesting places along the Bosphorus coast, with old palaces, mansions, and neighbourhoods with character, and stretches of parkland along the Marmara coast. In 2005 the city boundaries were extended to engulf the former "Istanbul Province" on both the Asian and European sides. So nowadays the city, and the scope of this page, goes all the way east to the boundary with Kocaeli Province, from just north of Gebze on the Marmara coast to Ağva Merkez on the Black Sea coast. These new areas of Istanbul are mostly rural, but suburban developers are eagerly marking out plots and cranking up their cement mixers.

Get in[edit]

Map of the Asian Side

From beyond Istanbul[edit]

And see main Istanbul page for details of these links.

By plane: 1 Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW IATA) (20 km (12 mi) east of Kadıköy). This airport has many domestic and international flights and is much more convenient for this side of the city, and less congested. Metro line M4 runs to Kadıköy on the Asian side, where you can continue to the European side by ferry or transfer to the Marmaray train at Ayrılık Çeşmesi. There are also various direct bus services, but travel times can be erratic. Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (Q723622) on Wikidata Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on Wikipedia

There's a hotel at the airport, some half a dozen (e.g. a Hilton) at Kurtköy 2 km north, then another dozen at Pendik town (on the Marmara coast near the YHT station) 6 km south.

Haydarpaşa Railway Station

By train: Istanbul's terminus for high speed trains from Ankara and other eastern cities is 2 Sogutlucesme, near the disused historic terminus of Haydarpaşa. These trains also stop at 3 Bostanci near the ferry pier, and 4 Pendik, which is convenient for reaching Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Bostanci and Pendik mainline railway stations are about 1 km south of the metro stations of the same name.

By bus, Harem is the main bus station, with buses arriving from all over Asian Turkey. It’s mid-way between Üsküdar and Kadıköy and has frequent ferry links with Eminönü/Sirkeci. There aren't many amenities, so bring a book or commune with your i-phone if you’re going to be there long.

By boat: Fast ferries from towns along the southern coast of the Marmara Sea, such as Yalova or Bandırma, land at the pier at Bostancı. Some are direct, while others transfer to a smaller ferry after arriving at Yenikapı pier on the European side. The fast catamarans offer a smooth and pleasant ride - a great option for reaching İznik or beyond.

From European Istanbul[edit]

Metro: the Marmaray line rushes between continents in a very few minutes.

The ferry pier in Kadıköy at night

By boat across the Bosphorus is the most pleasant method, and always quicker than trying to cross the congested bridges. The main ferry lines are:

Ferries from the western suburbs eg Bakırköy also run to Kadıköy and Bostancı, but they are much more expensive than local ferries.

Buses across the bridges are slow at any time, and tediously slow in rush hour (07:00-10:00 going west into Europe, 18:00-20:00 coming east into Asia). Buses across the bridges require two tickets (or the equivalent cash) rather than one (one exception is #129L Levent-Kozyatağı which visitors are unlikely to use). The most useful inter-continental buses are:

However the metrobüs (#34A) is quicker, as it has a dedicated bus lane, and only needs one ticket. It runs from Beylikdüzü out in the western suburbs via Edirnekapı just outside the old city and Mecidiyeköy in the business district to Söğütlüçeşme just east of downtown Kadıköy. Metrobüs stations are usually a little off the usual tourist trail, but easily reached by a variety of public transportation, including the metro from Taksim Square for Mecidiyeköy station.

Overland to Üsküdar

Kéraban-le-têtu ("Keraban the Inflexible") is the stubborn title character of the 1883 novel by Jules Verne. Keraban Agha is a merchant who lives in Üsküdar, Asia side, but works in Galata, Europe side. He has two business visitors from Rotterdam, and wants to entertain them at home - but the government have imposed a new tax on crossing the Bosphorus. It's ten para - a para is 1/40th of a kuruş, which is 1/100th of a Turkish lira, so it's an amount you could barely see with a microscope. But it's the principle! Damn this government! I'll show them! Kereban is as fixated on getting his guests to Üsküdar as he is on not paying the tax - so he leads them there the wrong way. They go overland round the entire 4000 km coastline of the Black Sea via what is now Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Crimea, Northern Caucasus, Abkhazia, and north coast of Turkey. Apart from the prospect of dinner, there's also a race against time, involving a fair young woman and an inheritance, and dastardly villains out to thwart Kereban's progress. The trio arrive at his residence after a 45-day journey.

In December 2008 a group of Turkish artists repeated the journey, under the name “In the Footsteps of Jules Verne.” They had to arch around Moldova to avoid the conflict zone of Transnistria, were unable to cross the Russia-Georgia border, and encountered many other hassles. They got around in 14 days, but declared that it was even harder to follow the same route after 125 years.

Dolmuş routes run 24 hours a day between Taksim-Kadıköy, and Taksim-Bostancı. They depart from the street next to Atatürk Kültür Merkezi in Taksim Square (opposite edge of the square from Istiklal Street) and cost about 5.50 TL/person.

Or go overland, the wrong way round just to prove you can: see the infobox.

Around the district[edit]

The main transport hubs here are Kadıköy and Üsküdar, with dolmuş, bus and minibus routes across the district. Bostancı on the Marmara coast is a secondary hub. Dolmuşes ply between Kadıköy-Üsküdar, Kadıköy-Bostancı and Bostancı-Kadıköy until late at night, and also run from Kadıköy to Acıbadem, Koşuyolu and various points.

Marmaray, the cross-city train line (B1), picks up at Üsküdar (transfer to M5), Ayrılıkçeşme (transfer to M4; 1.6 km north of the Kadıköy waterfront), and Söğütlüçeşme (transfer to Metrobüs; 1.7 km east of the Kadıköy waterfront) and serves the neighbourhoods and suburbs on the Marmara coast, as far east as Gebze.

Metro line M4 runs from Kadıköy eastwards as far as Kartal, Pendik and Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

Metro line M5 runs from Üsküdar eastwards to Çekmeköy.

By car: the major roads on the Asian side mostly follow a west-east axis. These are the three major roads which connect Kadıköy to locations in the east (from south to north)

  • The causeway (Sahil Yolu), which follows the Marmara coast.
  • Bağdat Avenue (one-way, and that is east to west which means you cannot enter from Kadıköy).
  • the road colloquially known as Minibüs Yolu.

From Üsküdar, the major highway D100 (but colloquially better known by its former European route number E-5) stretches eastwards into Asia, while another road also named Sahil Yolu (Causeway) connects the neighborhoods on the bank of Bosphorus in the north to Üsküdar.

By bicycle: there are some 20 km of marked bicycle lanes along the park which follows the coast, starting from a few km east of Kadıköy, passing by Bostancı and eventually reaching the eastern edge of the city. The bike lane is well-maintained but watch out for pedestrians who haven't quite grasped the concept.

Tram line T3 runs between Kadıköy and Moda, but it's more a nostalgia trip than practical transport.

See[edit]

Around Kadıköy[edit]

Yeni Valide mosque
Anadoluhisarı
  • 1 Haydarpaşa Station (Istanbul M4 Line Symbol.svg Kadıköy 1.1 km, Snelwegveer.png Kadıköy 900 m). Istanbul's former Asia-side railway station nowadays has no trains, but is worth a look. It was built by the Germans in 1908 in a distinctive Teutonic-castle style - to make an impact on travellers from Asia about to step into Europe, and a counterpoint to Sirkeci station (also closed) on the European side which is modelled in Oriental style. It's intended eventually to make this the terminus for the high speed rail network. Haydarpaşa Terminal (Q800973) on Wikidata Haydarpaşa railway station on Wikipedia
  • Just north of Haydarpaşa station and a little difficult to find (it is surrounded on three sides by Turkish military barracks) is the British cemetery with an obelisk commemorating the Crimean war and many Crimean war, Victorian era (and later) graves as well as a modern British and Commonwealth war graves cemetery. This is a beautiful, leafy oasis of calm, with views on the Bosphorus.
  • 2 Yeldeğirmeni (Istanbul M4 Line Symbol.svg Kadıköy 800 m, Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svgIstanbul M4 Line Symbol.svg Ayrılıkçeşme 850 m, Snelwegveer.png Kadıköy 400 m). Before the 1850s, this was a rural area with windmills giving its name. Later a massive Jewish settlement formed the roots of its urban fabric. In the following decades the population was further boosted by the Germans working in the construction of Haydarpaşa and it became one of the first quarters of Istanbul with apartment buildings; several beautiful historic buildings still dot the area. Today it's an artsy, bohemian neighbourhood with much street art and many murals, and cafes lining its streets. Yeldeğirmeni, Kadıköy (Q6092424) on Wikidata
  • 3 Müze Gazhane, Kurbağalıdere Cd 125, Hasanpaşa (Istanbul M4 Line Symbol.svg Acıbadem 850 m, Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svgBSicon BUS3.svg Söğütlüçeşme 900 m, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Hasanpaşa 150 m). Daily 09:00-22:00 (Museums and galleries: Tu-F 09:00-18:00 Sa Su 10:00-18:00). A cultural centre converted from a late 19th century town gas plant. Includes a climate museum, a museum of cartoon and humour, theatre stages, art galleries and exhibition space, and a restaurant / cafe with vegan and gluten-free options on the premises. Museum Gazhane (Q107475211) on Wikidata Hasanpaşa Gasworks on Wikipedia
  • 4 Moda (Istanbul T3 Line Symbol.svg Moda Caddesi 550 m). A neighbourhood on the peninsula just south of Kadıköy, Moda features some neo-classical architecture and seaside parks. It is a favourite place for people of Kadıköy of all ages to take a short stroll on a summer evening, and for the youth to enjoy a few beers against the minaret and dome-filled skyline of the Old City. To get there, you can follow the esplanade from the ferry docks in Kadıköy, or take the vintage tram, although the circular tram line does not make it all the way to tip of the peninsula. Moda (Q2700998) on Wikidata Moda, Kadıköy on Wikipedia
  • 5 Bağdat Caddesi (Baghdad Avenue) (Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svg Feneryolu 180 m, Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svg Suadiye 200 m; parallel to (but a short dinstance away from) the Marmara coast between east of Kadıköy and Bostancı). The avenue has little in common with Baghdad, except it was the beginning of the Ottoman-era route to that city followed by many, including Ottoman sultan Murat IV during his march upon Persia, after which he captured Baghdad. In fact, with its sidewalk cafés and Western restaurants, Bağdat Caddesi is usually considered as one of Istanbul's most western-flavoured streets, ironically located in Asia. This street is not completely pedestrianized unlike Istiklal Street, which serves a similar function on the European Side, but its broad sidewalks with tree shade offer a pleasant walk. The restaurants and cafés on the avenue are mainly upscale, but there are also some quite affordable ones scattered around occasionally. Shopping opportunities also abound. From Kadıköy, take the Bostancı-bound dolmuşes (from just south of the ferries) or the public bus #4 (its stop is near the one for the dolmuş, but separate). Bağdat Avenue (Q2873544) on Wikidata Bağdat Avenue on Wikipedia
  • 6 Toy Museum (Oyuncak Müzesi), Ömerpaşa Cd, Dr. Zeki Zeren Sk 17, Göztepe (Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svg Göztepe 750 m), +90 216 359-45-50, . Tu-Su 09:30-18:00. Dedicated to toys, this is a museum which adults can enjoy as much as kids. Founded by poet Sunay Akın, the museum is housed in a historical mansion in Göztepe neighbourhood east of Kadıköy. Among the 2,000 pieces of toys from around the world that are in exhibition, the oldest ones are a violin made in France in 1817 and a doll made in the United States in 1820. 8 TL (5 TL for children). İstanbul Toy Museum (Q2743371) on Wikidata İstanbul Toy Museum on Wikipedia

Üsküdar to Beylerbeyi[edit]

Maiden's Tower in the evening
Beylerbeyi port
Beylerbeyi Palace
  • 7 Maiden's Tower (Kız Kulesi), Salacak (Istanbul M5 Line Symbol.svg Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svg Üsküdar 1.2 km, Snelwegveer.png Üsküdar 1.2 km, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Kız Kulesi 300 m; south of Üsküdar). Also called the Leander's Tower, this is on a Bosphorus islet off Salacak, and is one of the icons of the city. The local myth ascribes its name to a princess, whose father wanted to protect her in this offshore tower from a prophecy that she would be killed by a snakebite on her birthday, but the snake found its way inside a basket of fruits — ironically a birthday present from her father — and you've probably already guessed the rest of the story. In actual timeline, it served as a defensive structure (there was a wall connecting it to the Asian mainland, and the Byzantines used to stretch a chain from here to the European mainland across the mouth of the Bosphorus to shut it to adversary shipping in times of conflict, but they didn't during the final Ottoman siege in 1453), as a customs and quarantine station, as a lighthouse, as a warehouse of various sorts of goods, and from the 1990s, as a high-end restaurant. As of Oct 2022, it is closed to the public as it undergoes a restoration to bring it closer to its older appearance by undoing the changes implemented in the previous restorations. Viewing it from the mainland is also not possible due to scaffold sheeting. It is expected to be opened as a museum after the restoration is completed. Maiden's Tower (Q848397) on Wikidata Maiden's Tower on Wikipedia
A street in Kuzguncuk
  • 8 Kuzguncuk (Istanbul M5 Line Symbol.svg Fıstıkağacı 1.1 km, Snelwegveer.png Kuzguncuk, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Kuzguncuk; on the Bosphorus between Üsküdar and Beylerbeyi, just south of the foot of the Bosphorus Bridge). This attractive neighbourhood was home to a large Christian and Jewish population until some decades ago and still has a number of sights like two synagogues, some churches among which the Armenian Surp Krikor Lusavoriç, dozens of wooden houses and a Jewish and Christian cemetery. Kuzguncuk (Q2555555) on Wikidata Kuzguncuk on Wikipedia
  • 9 Beylerbeyi (BSicon BUS3.svg 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü 1.3 km, Snelwegveer.png Beylerbeyi, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Beylerbeyi). is a small port with a popular fishing dock. There are many restaurants: those on the port-side serve alcohol and are moderately expensive, those down the side-streets are cheaper. Notable buildings include the 18th-century Hamid-i Evvel mosque, and the 19th-century highway tunnel (which is closed as of Dec 2018). But the standout attraction is the palace. Beylerbeyi (Q853184) on Wikidata Beylerbeyi on Wikipedia

  • 10 Beylerbeyi Palace (Beylerbeyi Sarayı), Beylerbeyi (BSicon BUS3.svg 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü 1.3 km, Snelwegveer.png Beylerbeyi 600 m, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Beylerbeyi Sarayı 280 m; under the legs of the Bosphorus Bridge), +90 216 321-93-20, fax: +90 216 321-93-22. Tu-Su 09:00-16:00. Bling palace-cum-summer house in mid-19th-century Ottoman style. Notable for its reception hall, bathing pavilion, and second floor restroom with spectacular Bosphorus view. Visit by guided tour only, these start every half-hour. 60 TL. Beylerbeyi Palace (Q794349) on Wikidata Beylerbeyi Palace on Wikipedia
  • 11 Çengelköy (Snelwegveer.png Çengelköy, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Çengelköy). About 15 minutes walking north of Beylerbeyi lies the historical fishing village Çengelköy. Its long history is attested by a 800-year-old sycamore tree on one of the two main terraced squares, and the Byzantine Aya Yorgi church. The restaurants and piers of Çengelköy offer some of the best panoramas along the Bosphorus, including a view on the old city under the first bridge. The neighborhood was popular amongst TV directors during the 1970s and it has become a (possibly the most) popular location to have lunch or dinner on the eastern side of Istanbul. Many historic mansions have been restored and multiple boutique chocolatiers were opened. Most restaurants in Çengelköy don't offer alcoholic beverages. Exceptions include the restaurant at the main pier (Iskele), and Tapasuma, the restaurant of hotel 'Sumahan on the Water', located in a former Ottoman Raki distillery. You can get there by taking bus 15 or 15F from Üsküdar, it is just a few stops further than Beylerbeyi. Going to Çengelköy by car is not advised; traffic can be very intense on the narrow road along this side of the Bosphorus. Çengelköy (Q2921300) on Wikidata Çengelköy on Wikipedia
  • 12 Çamlıca Hill (Çamlıca Tepesi) (Istanbul M5 Line Symbol.svg Kısıklı 1 km, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Turistik Çamlıca Tesisleri 900 m). One of the highest hills of Istanbul (268 m asl). Almost all major broadcasting antennas are located on this hill, since it dominates a great part of the city. On the top of the hill, a public park with cafes remind the visitors of an Ottoman atmosphere. Thıs public park is sponsored by the government, so expect lower prices on food and drink than usual. The cafe in a building at the top of the hill is moderately expensive; don't worry about it though because you'll get excellent food and service. Camlica Hill (Q2414579) on Wikidata Çamlıca Hill on Wikipedia
  • 13 Anadolu Citadel (Anadolu Hisarı) (Snelwegveer.png Anadolu Hisarı 130 m, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Anadolu Hisarı 170 m; up on the Bosphorus bank). Interior is closed. A medieval citadel on the Bosphorus at the mouth of the Göksu creek. It was built in the late 14th century to control (polite word for "choke off") shipping along the Bosphorus, which narrows to 660 m at this point. It worked in tandem with Rumeli Citadel, built some 50 years later on the European bank. It fell into disrepair but was restored in the 1990s. You can't go in, but it's a pleasant setting; the entire village is named Anadolu Hisarı after the fort and has many traditional wooden houses (yalı). Ferries along the Bosphorus call here. Anadoluhisarı (Q81650) on Wikidata Anadoluhisarı on Wikipedia
  • 14 Küçüksu Palace (Küçüksu Kasrı) (Snelwegveer.png Küçüksu 100 m, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Küçüksu Kasrı 200 m; just south of the citadel). If you are already in the area, it's worth considering to visit this waterside neo-Baroque manor, built in the 19th century for the countryside and hunting excursions of the Ottoman dynasty. The area, where the Göksu River flows into the Bosphorus, was known as "the Sweet Waters of Asia" by the pioneer European travellers of the epoch (as opposed to "the Sweet Waters of Europe", another contemporary elite recreational area on the other side of the city, where the Kağıthane and Alibeyköy Rivers empty into the Golden Horn). Küçüksu Palace (Q1755906) on Wikidata Küçüksu Pavilion on Wikipedia

Further out[edit]

  • 15 Anadolu Kavağı (Kavak) (Snelwegveer.png Anadolu Kavağı, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Anadolu Kavağı). A village with an impressive citadel overlooking the Bosphorus and its mouth into the Black Sea. By land it's accessible only by a windy and narrow road through the forest, with few buses. It's best reached by ferry from Eminönü (twice daily) or Sariyer (frequent). In the village, the footpath is signposted to the hilltop Yoros citadel (20 min, free admission). There's a pleasant area with cafés by the ferry pier; the place gets crowded at weekends during summer. Nasty big dogs stalk the citadel area at night. Anadolu Kavağı (Q483717) on Wikidata Anadolukavağı on Wikipedia
Polish dancers during the Polonezköy Cherry Festival
  • 16 Aydos Hill (Istanbul M4 Line Symbol.svg Kartal 5.7 km, Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Poligon 1.6 km). This is a forested hill 20 km east of the city, at 537 m the highest point of Istanbul. It's a state park, and there's the scrappy remains of a Roman fort. It's probably easiest accessed by Metro to Kartal then dolmuş to Yakacık. Aydos Hill (Q4817974) on Wikidata Aydos Hill on Wikipedia
  • 17 İçmeler (Istanbul B1 Line Symbol.svg İçmeler 700 m). is a suburb just north of the port and ship-building town of Tuzla. (It's not to be confused with the tourist resort of İçmeler near Marmaris, or with the Bosnian city of Tuzla; tuzla means "salt mine".) It has hot springs, supposedly with medicinal properties, but in Dec 2018 they're closed and inaccessible. İçmeler (Q97387770) on Wikidata
  • 18 Polonezköy (Zusatzzeichen 1048-16 - nur Kraftomnibusse (600x330), StVO 1992.svg Cumhuriyet Köyü 5.8 km; 40 km east of city, from Highway O-7 exit for Beykoz). The "Polish village" was founded in 1842 by Polish settlers in the wake of the failed uprising against Russian Imperial rule, and reinforced by more settlers after every subsequent civil upheaval until Poland's independence in 1918. Most then returned, but several stayed on, adopting Turkish citizenship but maintaining their Polish language and culture. The village has houses in traditional Polish style, a 1914 little Catholic chapel, and the Church of Matka Boska Częstochowska. It's set in woodland (a nature park) and is a popular day-trip from the city. There's four restaurants and half a dozen small hotels, plus more of each in nearby Beykoz. Polonezköy (Q225632) on Wikidata Polonezköy on Wikipedia
  • Black Sea Coast (Asia side): there's a string of small coastal resorts, from Poyrazköy just beyond the north Bosphorus bridge, through Anadolufenerli, Riva, 19 Şile (the largest) to Ağva / Yeşilçay at the eastern edge of the province. Usual beach attractions, but the Black Sea is often rough, and drownings are not uncommon.

Do[edit]

  • Caddebostan Beach (Caddebostan Plajı) (at Caddebostan, west of Bostancı, about half an hour's walk from there). This is a recreation of a beach that had been closed for 40 years. Complete with a (re-created) sandy strand 450 m long, and a kiosk offering snacks and soft drinks, the beach is run by the city council. Becomes very crowded in summer weekends, though. 10 TL, including the deckchair rent, restrooms, and shower.
  • Tarihi Çinili Hamamı, Murat Reis Mahallesi, Çavuşdere Caddesi No. 204, +90 216 553 15 93 (men), +90 216 334 97 10 (women). Cheaper then in European side - about 40 TL for full massage and scrub.
  • Catch a classical musical performance at the Süreyya Opera House. For a time a movie theatre, this turn-of-the-20th-century Beaux Arts building now houses performances of ballet, opera, and classical concerts again, and good tickets are often extremely cheap.
  • 1 Üsküdar Musical Society (Üsküdar Musıkî Cemiyeti), Halk Cd. Emin Ongan Sk. 10, Üsküdar, +90 216 553-66-55, . Founded in 1918, the society is often considered the most respected of the social clubs offering classes in the classical Ottoman music, and catching up with their frequent public concerts is certainly a good way of entering the vast world of this genre. Üsküdar Musical Society (Q6037071) on Wikidata
  • 2 Istanbul Park Circuit is Turkey's main motor-racing circuit, staging Grand Prix or Formula One racing. It did so in Oct 2021 but isn't in the tournament schedule for 2022.

Buy[edit]

  • You can go shopping in Kadıköy, Üsküdar and Bağdat Street. The sale (prices 50% off) season for winter is after New Years Day and for summer after July.
  • Smart locals do a lot of their shopping at the Salı Pazarı or Tuesday Bazaar, located in Hasanpaşa not far from the Fenerbahçe Stadium. You can get good deals here on everything from produce to clothes to housewares. This is a less touristy bazaar experience than what many see at the Grand Bazaar on the European side.
  • The fish bazaar in the Kadıköy market area is where the locals go for fresh fish and seafood. Fish shops are open all week long; most of them will clean the fish for you (though not necessarily the hamsi, or delicious local anchovies). Keep an eye out for stray cats sneaking off with bits of abandoned fish. In the upper streets, you can find anything from herbal stores to secondhand bookshops (which often have English language material in their stock).

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Kanaat Lokantası, Selmanipak Cad. no: 25, Üsküdar (in the street behind the sea dock), +90 216 553 37 91, fax: +90 216 341-68-55. daily 07:00-23:00. Kanaat Lokantası, which dates back to 1933, is famous for its traditional Ottoman cuisine as well as a variety of fascinating desserts. The prices are reasonable but they accept nothing but cash.
  • 1 İmren restaurant, Validei Atik mah, Miroğlu Sk. 10/A, 34664 Üsküdar, +90 216 341 19 79. daily 06:30-20:00. Serves traditional Turkish food. You could try kelle paca soup or doner here.
  • 2 Haçapuri, Hasanpaşa, Fahrettin Kerim Gökay Cd. No:11, 34722 Kadıköy, +90 216 330-44-20. M-Sa 10:30-21:30, Su 09:30-21:30. A place to try Turkish pide, which is flatbread with meat or eggs or other such things (even preserves, etc) in the center. From 10 TL.
  • Balık-ekmek (literally “fish-bread”, a grilled fish sandwiched inside half a bread) is an increasingly popular low-budget meal in buffets in Kadıköy coast, which can be had for 3-3.50 TL. The best balık ekmek can be bought from any of the stands just off the ferry dock. Some of the various fish restaurants in the market area a little inland also sell balık ekmek and mussel sandwiches with garlic sauce onto the street.
  • 3 Beylerbeyi Palace, Beylerbeyi, Abdullahağa Cd., 34676 Üsküdar, +90 216 321 9320. Serving traditional food in a few different locations in the palace, including lahmacun, kebabs and also Turkish home-style items. Average prices for good food.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Drink[edit]

Kadıköy has a nightlife scene of its own, almost as lively as Beyoğlu on the European Side, if a bit smaller. From the quays and seaside square, cross the main street, then turn right, and from the corner of Starbucks turn left. You’ll come across two churches facing each other; turn right there. On that street and the upper one parallel to it, you’ll find lots of bars (some of which offer live music), pubs, and Turkish taverns. A few blocks uphill from there is the street colloquially known as Barlar Sokağı (Turkish for “Bars Street”), where there are more places for a drink. If you somehow get lost, ask young people for directions to Rexx Sineması, a widely known cinema which is very near.

  • Karga, Kadife Sk 16, Kadıköy (on 'Barlar Sokağı'), +90 216 449 1725, . A finely decorated bar situated in a three-storey old building with wooden ceilings and floors. Also has a small yard at the back. 7 TL for a pint (0.50 litre) of beer.
  • Ağaç Ev Kadıköy (Tree House Kadıköy), Caferağa Mh, Osmancık Sk 13, Kadıköy, +90 532 067 28 86. Trendy cocktail bar close to Kadikoy centre with a dark atmosphere. 20 TL for cocktails.
  • Coffee chains around the Anatolian side (Kadıköy and Bağdat Caddesi) are very popular: Starbucks, Gloria Jean's Coffee, and Kahve Dünyası (especially for Turkish coffee). Kahve Dünyası is well worth a visit as a comparatively upscale, indigenously Turkish take on the Starbucks theme.

Sleep[edit]

There's a slew of inexpensive places between Kadıköy ferry pier and the old railway terminus.

  • Hush Hostel, Lounge: İskele Sk No:46, Moda: Caferağa Mah. Güneşli Bahçe Sok. 50/B (500 m north-east of Kadiköy ferry pier), +90 216 450 4363. Rooms are generously spacious, bright, clean & cosy. Bathrooms are typically shared, Wi-Fi is very slow.
    They also run Hush Moda nearby.
    B&B doubles from €20.
  • Hotel Zirve, Rıhtım Caddesi, Reşitefendi Sokak No:36, Kadıköy (200 m inland from Kadıköy ferry pier), +90 216 414 5142. 2-star, all rooms have cable TV, wireless internet and are comfortable lodgings at a good price. B&B doubles from €30.
  • Hotel Suadiye Asia, Bağdat caddesi, Plaj Yolu Sokak No:25, 34740 Kadıköy (Near Bostancı ferry pier and rwy station), +90 216 445 84 24, fax: +90 216 445 20 02, . 4-star hotel, rooms include air-con, TV, safe, Wi-Fi. B&B doubles from €70.
  • Ajia Hotel, Çubuklu Cad. Ahmet Rasim Paşa Yalısı No:27, 34810 Beykoz (200 m N of Kanlica ferry pier), +90 216 413 9300, fax: +90 216 413 9355, . Boutique waterfront hotel. Rooms include air-con, TV, safe, Wi-Fi. B&B double from €200.

Connect[edit]

The area code of this half of the city is (+90) 216, which is different from the European Side.

Internet[edit]

  • Cafeinn Internet Cafe, Caferağa Mah. Sarraf Ali Sokak 35/1, Kadıköy (just off Mühürdar Caddesi, the street one block inland from waterfront, parallel to it). Quite good computers though most software is a little outdated, so may not support latest additions, such as some kinds of alphabets/fonts. 2 TL/hr.
Routes through Asian Side
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This district travel guide to Asian Side is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.