What’s Uskudar- the Asian Side of Istanbul Like?

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  1. admin says:

    For those asking me about the non-touristy parts of Istanbul, here are a few suggestions:

    Istanbul is a huge city that is full of surprises, with the interesting bits and pieces even in the residential areas on the Asian side. You may want to start with the modern Kadikoy district in Asia, full of nice cafes and bars and lively kinda Spanish/Euro atmosphere. Then you have Kalamis Marina with a park and cafes, yachts, and Moda neighborhood just near Kadikoy. The sophisticated Bağdat Caddesi (Street) is the Champs-Elysees of Istanbul on the Asian side, with trendy shops, cafes and modern people. It is a very long street that starts from Kadikoy and goes all the way up to Bostanci area.

    You may want to have a look at the conservative and historical Uskudar in Asia as well (we covered above), but I recommend the seaside rather than inland. On the right, you have the Leander’s tower (touristy part- crowd is not the nicest) and to the left of the ferries you have the beautiful views along the seaside parks. Please check out Fethipasha Korusu (big park not known to tourists with much nicer views than Barcelona’s Parc Guell) and Kuzguncuk neighborhood with a synagogue, church, mosque side by side and kind of a Parisian feel.

    All the little villages and a few groves/parks (on both the Euro and Asian sides) along the Bosphorus are quite interesting, which are mostly affluent areas full of old mansions that cost up to 100 million Euros. Princes Islands (Buyukada, Heybeli, Kinali etc.) are touristy but must-see, there is nothing like them. You may want to do a proper boat tour of Bosphorus and take a ferry to the islands on another day to get a proper feel of the city. Arnavutkoy, Bebek, Ortakoy, Emirgan, Tarabya seaside districts on the European side, and the old Fener, Balat, Karakoy in Europe- not far from the old town are all great. Then you have the sophisticated Nishantashi and Tesvikiye shopping areas, not far from Taxim squar. Istanbul has a few different city centers, Taxim is the very center of the City.

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