Second Bosphorus Bridge with the tower of Rumeli Fortress to the left
Along the Bosphorus (Turkish: Boğaz, but Boğaziçi –literally “inside the Bosphous”- is preferred when refering to the areas on the bank of Bosphorus, rather than the Bosphorus itself), the strait that lies between Marmara (an arm of Mediterranean) and the Black Sea, and separating Europe and Asia, lies a number of neighborhoods each with a different character, palaces of the late Ottoman period, and parks. This is quite easily one of the most scenic parts of Istanbul.
This article concentrates on European bank of Bosphorus. For the Asian bank, see Istanbul/Asian Side.
- Buses to this district depart from Kabataş tram station, Taksim Square, and Beşiktaş among others. There are many bus lines run on the avenue following the Bosphorus bank up to Sarıyer in the north.
- Dolmuşes to Beşiktaş are available from Taksim, and Nişantaşı in European Side, and Kadıköy, and Bostancı in Asian Side.
- Ferries from Üsküdar and Kadıköy in Asian Side anchor at Beşiktaş quay.
The gate of Dolmabahçe Palace grounds
- Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahçe Sarayı), Dolmabahçe Cad., Beşiktaş, ☎ +90 212 236 90 00 (fax: +90 212 236 35 77), . Tu-We/Fr-Su 9AM-3PM. See the Ottoman Palace centered close to Taksim at the Dolmabahçe shore. Build on 110,000 meter square ground with 285 rooms and 43 halls where the Ottoman empire was administered in the last 150 years. Visits only in guided tours (45 min) in major spoken languages. Extra fee for Harem, the part of the palace the residents lived. 15 TL for 'Selamlık', 10 TL for 'Harem', 20 TL for both. 1 TL for students.
- Ortaköy— A shore line of the Bosphorus beside the Ortaköy mosque -the baroque mosque located under the Bosphorus Bridge, one of the most iconic images of Istanbul. This artsy neighborhood is filled with nice cafes and a perfect view crowded and fun.
- Sakip Sabanci Museum (Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi), Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi 42, Emirgan (Buses: 40, 40T from Taksim; 22, 22RE, 25E from Kabataş. Get off at Çınaraltı stop), ☎ +90 212 277 22 00 ([email protected], fax: +90 212 229 49 14), . Tu, Th, F, Su 10AM-6PM; W, Sa 10AM-10PM. Museum with a rich collection of calligraphy and paintings. It also hosts temporary exhibitions of works by some world-class artists such as Pablo Picasso from time to time. 10 TL (3 TL students).
- Bosphorus Cruise The best way to see the Bosphorus in all its beauty is to take a boat trip. This is the strategic waterway connecting the Black sea to the Mediterranean, and dividing Istanbul into two continents. As the boat zigzags between Asia and Europe, you can admire the old Ottoman wooden houses, 6 Ottoman palaces, 2 suspended bridges, and 2 medieval castles.
It is somewhat of a tourist trap. Oneway is 13 lira, retour 26. The standard price for one hop for locals is 1.5 lira. On sundays there are less boats.
If you are not so lucky/fast to get one of the few deckseats it gets very hot inside, even hotter than in the city.
- Naz Turkish Cuisine, Bayıldım Cad. No:2 Maçka, Beşiktaş, ☎ +90 212 326 11 75, . 11:30AM-1AM. Turkish cuisine.
- Park Fora . Great seafood, located in Kuruçeşme park right on the edge of the sea, it has a very nice view of the Bosphorus and Bosphorus Bridge. The waiters know English. Prices range from 50 - 150 YTL per person.
- Divan Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No: 121, Bebek, +90 212 257 72 70 . At first sight it may seem like a mere patisserie, but walk downstairs and you'll find a lovely restaurant with the waters of the Bosphorus right next to you. The food is simply first-class and the service is very good, too.
- Sheerwood, Kaymakçı Sokak 14, Ortaköy (close to the Ortaköy Mosque), ☎ +90 212 231 00 44. This pub/bar has extremely friendly staff service, and cheap drinks. At nights it becomes a sort of disco.
- Q Jazz Club, Ciragan Caddesi 84, Besiktas, +90 2122362121. 10AM-4AM. Jazz lovers cannot miss this a 17th century brick cellar style bar that caters to the whims of jazz fans.
Two of the hottest clubs of Istanbul are in Ortaköy:
- Crystal, Muallim Naci Caddesi 109, +90 212 2611988. Midnight-5AM. One of Istanbul’s biggest underground clubs: house and techno can be heard on Fridays and Saturdays, garage and jazzy house on Wednesdays.
- Reina, Muallim Naci Caddesi 10 . Actually a vast playground filled with bars, restaurants and dance floors. Voted one of the best outdoors clubs in Europe.
- Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Çiragan Caddesi No:32, Besiktas, +90 212 326 4646 (fax: +90 212 259 6687, [email protected]) . Located on the Bosphorus coast just south of the main square of Ortakoy, this hotel is in a residence of the last Sultan. Rooms come with air-con, TV, minibar and safety deposit box. Hotel has several restaurants and lounges, pools, jacuzzi, Turkish baths, gym and other amenities. Rooms start around $450 (USD) and can get much higher.
- Ritz-Carlton Istanbul, Suzer Plaza, Elmadag, Askerocagi Cad. No: 15, Sisli, Phone: +90 212 334 44 44 (fax: +90 212 334 44 55), . Standing tall near the Bosphorus, the Ritz Carlton is located in the heart of Istanbul overlooking the Bosphorus and Dolmabahce Palace.
- W Hotel Istanbul, Suleyman Seba Cad No: 22, Akaretler, Beşiktaş, Phone: +90 212 381 2121, . Just opened in April 2008, the W Hotel chain continues to impress in Istanbul with rooms and suites adorned with wi fi, flatscreen TVs, and the signature W Hotel luxuries that has made its hotels famous. Fitness center and business center onsite as well as a fine dining restaurant that tempts patrons with its decadent offerings.
- Swissôtel The Bosphorus Istanbul, Bayıldım Caddesi No:2 Maçka, Beşiktaş, +90 212 326 1100 (fax: +90 212 326 1122, [email protected]) . Located on a hill behind the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Swissôtel The Bosphorus Istanbul commands panoramic views of the Bosphorus, the Asian coast and the old city of Istanbul.
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