With a population of over 15 million, Istanbul spans two continents and is split by the Bosphorus Strait. The Asian side of Istanbul is very quiet and peaceful, featuring natural green spaces, and it has become one of the best destinations for tourists worldwide. Kadıköy district, specifically, is the cultural heart of this region, which is filled with coffee shops, bars and cinemas.
While most visitors flock to the historical places on the European side of the city, the Asian side of Istanbul also has much to offer. Moreover, the Asian side of Istanbul is also much smaller when compared to the European side, which extends much further.
If you are also planning to travel to Istanbul, here are the 15 best things to do in Istanbul Asia on your first trip. First, you need to know how to reach the Asian side of Istanbul.
What is the best way to reach the Asian side of Istanbul?
Transportation in Istanbul is quite easy by ferry and taxi. The best way to arrive in the Asian side of Istanbul is by boat. You can take a ferry from Eminönü Ferry Terminal on the west side of the Bosphorus to Kadıköy or take a taxi from the Sultanahmet area and they’ll drop you in Kadıköy, which lasts about 20 minutes.
You can also go to the Anatolian Asian side of Istanbul in a few minutes with the metro that goes under the Bosphorus.
Top spots to visit when you travel to Istanbul Asia
The Asian side of Istanbul is famous for its attractive and hidden beauties. Although most tourists stay only in the European side and may never travel to the Asian side of Istanbul, none of this detracts from the beauty of the Asian side of Istanbul. Nonetheless, it’s jam-packed with great restaurants, a seaside promenade, and sprawling neighborhood markets in the Kadıköy district.
If you want to taste real life in Turkey, you should visit the Asian side of Istanbul. This side is away from the tourist crowd and has the historical centers of Istanbul such as KADIKÖY and Üsküdar, which is the best place to buy properties for sale in Istanbul. Read on to the end to find out where are the top spots to visit when you travel to Istanbul Asia.
Spend a relaxing day in Moda on the Asian side of Istanbul
Since many Ottoman minorities had previously settled in the Moda region, the region has old mansions with magnificent and original Ottoman architecture. One of the wonders of the Moda region is the original Sarıca Paşa Köşkü, a stone mansion from the 1990s that is still inhabited by the owner’s main descendants. This region has a wonderful mix of old architecture and religious sites, as many Ottoman minorities settled in the area.
Do not forget to grab a delicious Turkish breakfast at one of the many great breakfast spots such as Naan Bakeshop and Moda Van Kahvaltı. You can also enjoy sipping Turkish coffee and reading books in the Moda Tea Garden. That is the best way to spend a lazy day! This garden has a great and unique view that both locals and tourists enjoy.
Enjoy visiting Khedive (Cubuklu) Palace in Asian Istanbul
If you want to see a wonderful and unique atmosphere among the rose gardens and pine-lined trails, do not forget Khedive Palace. Khedive Palace is one of the top spots to visit when you travel to Istanbul Asia.
The palace is built in the center of a park surrounded by beautiful restaurants and coffee shops with amazing views. Along the way to the main building of the palace, you can see strange and large sculptures of squirrels and kangaroos and enjoy the spectacular view.
The palace’s glass stained and ceramic tiles are decorated with Art Nouveau, and there is a fountain in the main hall of the palace, which is surrounded by marble pillars. Do not miss this unique and spectacular palace.
Ride the Nostalgic Tram on the Asian side of Istanbul
One of the nostalgic trams of Istanbul is located in the Asian part, in the Kadıköy district, which takes you to the multicultural neighborhood of Istanbul, Moda. You can go up to the famous Bull statue from here. The route of this tramway is different from the Istiklal-Taksim tramway and it takes you to one of the busiest intersections in the city.
There are many local boutiques and coffee shops along the way and seeing The Sureyya Opera House on the way is a unique experience. Along the route, you’ll see some great architecture and buildings. Roam the small streets here and enjoy. This is one of the best things to do in Istanbul Asia.
One of the best places to visit in Istanbul Asia: Terrace of Tapasuma
One of the best places to enjoy a meal is the Terrace of Tapasuma, a restaurant on the grounds of the Sumahan. From this place, you will have a direct view of the Bosphorus Bridge. You can enjoy eating your meal along with watching the celebration of colors on the Bosphorus Bridge. Watching this scene is stunning and the taste of food will always remain in your mind.
Check out the Architecture in Yeldeğirmeni Neighborhood in Istanbul Asia
A now gentrified bohemian neighborhood with hip cafés, bakeries and old historical buildings, the Yeldeğirmeni area is different from other neighborhoods. The neighborhood was where Sultan Abdulhamid I built windmills. However, Since the 1800s the area has become more residential.
In this neighborhood, you will see some wooden architecture of old Istanbul, many religious sites and colorful historical buildings. Today, these buildings have been converted into hotels and hole-in-the-wall cafés. This is where you can buy apartments for sale on Istanbul Asian side.
Visit Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul Asia
One of the top spots to visit when you travel to Istanbul Asia is Beylerbeyi Palace. Beylerbeyi Palace is one of Istanbul’s finest landmarks built on approximately 2,500 square meters. It consists of two main floors and is divided into two parts: the first is called: Selamlik (men’s section), and the second is called: Haremlik (women’s section).
It’s a truly stunning palace with crystal chandeliers and an indoor marble fountain. This place once played host to many visiting English Royalty. You will definitely be amazed to see the beautiful and magnificent Ottoman architecture in this palace.
Do not neglect shopping in Kadıköy market
Kadıköy Market is one of the most popular markets in the Asian side of Istanbul, with shops full of fish, fresh vegetables and even different varieties of delicious olives. If you want to watch the daily life of the locals and enjoy the amazing food of Istanbul, visiting this market is the best choice for you.
The winding streets of this market are full of people who are busy with their daily shopping. Sometimes the market is so crowded that it seems difficult to navigate. Therefore, if you do not like the crowds, happy this market is not a good place for you.
One of the top spots to visit in Istanbul Asia: The Maiden’s Tower
One of the most beautiful and attractive sights of Istanbul on the Asian side is the Maiden’s Tower. The Maiden’s Tower, known in Turkish as “Kız Kulesi”, is approximately 23 metres high; it consists of six floors separated by narrow circular staircases.
This tower in Istanbul has a long history dating back to the Greek era, and many interesting stories and legends are told about it. Kız Kulesi is located on an artificial island, about 200 meters off the coast of the Üsküdar region and you can get to the tower by sea boats.
In Kuzguncuk you can feel the old Istanbul!
You can easily feel the old Istanbul among the oldest residential areas in the Üsküdar district on the Asian side of Istanbul. This neighborhood plays home to many Orthodox and Armenian churches and once was a melting pot of different cultures and beliefs.
The rows of colorful townhouses are perfect if you want to take fantastic pictures and it’s also an ideal spot to pick up cute souvenirs like painted bookmarks. One of the best things to do in Istanbul Asia is to discover Kuzguncuk.
The Brides’ Hill (Camlica Hills) in the Asian side of Istanbul
The Brides’ Hill is located on the Bosphorus coast in Üsküdar in the Asian side of Istanbul. Why Brides’ Hill? This hill got its name due to the large number of brides who visit this place to take photos. Camlica Hills consists of two Hills: Big Camlica and Small Camlica, the Big Camlica is 267 meters above sea level, and the Small Camlica is 229 meters above sea level.
Big Camlica overlooks stunning views of the Bosphorus Bridge, the Black Sea, the Princes Islands, and Uludag Mount and the Small Camlica is full of gardens, forests, and walking tracks. This hill has several parks and lush forests that have given a magnificent view to this hill and some festivals are held in this place at certain times of the year.
You can also enjoy fast food, Turkish food, western food, as well as all kinds of drinks in the magnificent restaurants, hotels and cafés on the Camlica Hills in asian side of Istanbul.
Shopping on Bağdat Avenue in Istanbul Asia
A long street with many options stretching from the Söğütlü Çeşme area all the way to Maltepe, Bağdat Avenue is the main one-way shopping area on the Asian side of Istanbul. This street is about 15 km long and its tree-lined part is great for shopping at international and local brands. Shopping is one of the best things you don’t wanna miss doing in Istanbul Asia.
There is a huge park inGöztepe area and during the spring/summer months, this park has beautiful flowers, especially tulips in full bloom for the Istanbul Tulip Festival. Alternatively, you can head to the seaside area, which is great for jogging.
Soreyya Opera House in Istanbul
One of the best things to do in Istanbul Asia is to visit the Soreyya Opera House. All Ballet and Istanbul State Opera performances are held in this hall, and you can watch Turkish performances on Saturday afternoons. In addition, the Soreyya Opera House is known to hold concerts like the annual Istanbul Music Festivals.
House tickets for this small opera house cost only 50.00 TRY, but you can watch the best performances in this hall. Watching an Opera performance in Soreyya Opera House is one of the 15 things you don’t wanna miss doing in Istanbul Asia.
Visit the Beykoz Area in Istanbul Asia
Körfez Street is the roadside entrance to many waterfront mansions. Therefore, don’t forget to walk on Körfez street when you visit Beykoz. The survival of the many architectural gems such as the waterfront wooden mansions (called yalı) from Ottoman times exist in this area.
Anadolu fortress (Anadolu Hisar) is inaccessible to the public today, but it is located above the Göksu Creek and is even older than the conquest of Constantinople. The area and its port offer a few architectural delights for tourists.
Take a picture at the Kadıköy Bull Statue in Istanbul Asia
Kadıköy Boğa Heykeli (The Kadıköy Bull Statue) is one of the most iconic locations on the Asian side of Istanbul, which is a popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike.
This statue was originally created by the French sculptor Isidore Bonheur in 1864 and it wasn’t until 1990, that the statue arrived at its current location. The Kadıköy Bull Statue is a popular attraction in the Asian side of Istanbul and there is usually a long line of people waiting to pose with it.
Stroll to the Kadıköy Lighthouse on the Asian side of Istanbul
Located near Kadikoy’s ferry terminal at the southern entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, the Kadıköy İnciburnu Feneri (Kadıköy Lighthouse) is a quiet place to escape Istanbul’s crowds.
The lighthouse can be reached by walking along Kadikoy’s coastal area. This lighthouse is a great place to watch the sunset and offers a great view of the Sultanahmet district in the European side of Istanbul.
These are all the 15 best things to do in Istanbul Asia with only 48 hours to explore the city. Istanbul is a truly historic city to explore with much more than just these few things to do.
How to settle in the Asian part of Istanbul
In this topic, I told you the best things to do in Istanbul Asia. Now that you know what the top spots to visit when you travel to Istanbul Asia are, you can plan a memorable vacation in this beautiful Mediterranean city. You can also rent or buy luxury villas in Istanbul for sale and start a new life there. Depending on your financial status, you can buy a house or an apartment in Istanbul and then apply for permanent residence in Turkey via an investment scheme.
Nothing elevates your living standards better than a perfect house that suits your outlook. Now is the best time to find that quality property you’ve always dreamed of and start a new life in Istanbul.
For more information about living and investing in Turkey’s real estate, please contact us by email or drop us a message and we will get to you as soon as possible. We will be happy to hear from you. Do not forget with 24/7 customer service, you will get the support you need whenever you want.