İstanbul, the city that bridges two continents, is a unique blend of European and Asian cultures. The Anatolian side of the city, located on the Asian continent, offers a peaceful yet “cool” experience. With its natural beauty, historic landmarks, exciting nightlife, delicious cuisine, and plenty of shopping options, there’s something for everyone.
The Prince Islands, located off the coast of the Anatolian side, are known for their beautiful nature and historical mansions. These islands offer a perfect escape for those who want to experience both the tranquillity of island life and the sparkle of İstanbul. Take a ferry from the European side and enjoy the vast blues of the Sea of Marmara, the weight of dizzying mimosas, and the historical mansions that once hosted Türkiye’s most famous writers.
Historical Neighborhoods Run Beside the Bosphorus
Once you get off the ferry in Üsküdar and head straight to Anadolu Hisarı, you will find yourself in beautiful neighborhoods and elegant buildings that are hundreds of years old. Kuzguncuk, your first stop, will amaze you with its colorful buildings lined up among the Bosphorus Strait, giant plane trees, inviting cafés, and historical orchards still used today. Beylerbeyi, one of İstanbul’s oldest stops in Bosphorus, captivates visitors with its coastline and historical Beylerbeyi Palace. This palace impresses visitors with its beautiful location overlooking the Bosphorus, its architectural style combining East and West, and atmosphere that shifts with the seasons.
Most people know Çengelköy, another historical district in this region, for its coastline and ancient tea garden overlooking the Bosphorus. This garden is a beautiful spot to stop for a Turkish tea with a simit and enjoy the stunning view. Çengelköy is also famous for its centuries-old mansions, picturesque neighborhoods and fish restaurants where you can enjoy mezes with tasty seafood.
Kadıköy: One of the Coolest Neighborhoods in the World
Kadıköy is widely regarded as the most popular neighborhood on the Anatolian side. With its cafes, pubs, restaurants, wine houses, and taverns, Kadıköy has become one of İstanbul’s most vibrant social hubs in recent years. It also welcomes you to check out its antique shops, record stores, second-hand bookshops, a century-old pharmacy, and even an opera house. The Süreyya Opera House opens its doors to guests on performance evenings, and draws in audiences like a decorative ornament in the heart of Bahariye Street.
Whether on foot or by the nostalgic tram, continuing down the street will lead you to the beautiful neighborhood of Moda by the sea. You can enjoy a glass of tea or coffee at Moda Pier’s café while admiring the breathtaking view. Or, if you would rather experience Moda as a local, you can picnic on the seafront during a warm summer evening while watching the sunset.
Bağdat Street: It’s More Than A Street
The most luxurious street on this side of İstanbul, the 14-kilometre-long Bağdat Street, is renowned as one of the finest shopping boulevards in the world. The street, which runs between the districts of Kadıköy and Bostancı, is home to many local and international fashion and design brands. Your long stroll down the street can be complemented with cuisine from gourmet to local and international.