How to Spend a Day in Istanbul's Upscale Bebek Neighborhood

Bebek | © Lindsay N. Kelly/Flickr
Bebek | © Lindsay N. Kelly/Flickr
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
28 February 2018

The Bosphorus coast that stretches from Kuruçeşme all the way to Sarıyer is where some of the wealthiest Istanbulites reside. Bebek is one of these neighborhoods, where you’ll find plenty of excellent restaurants, boutiques, and cafes that all face the Bosphorus and have a thoroughly Western influence.

Eat breakfast at Mangerie

One of the best places to get breakfast (or brunch) is Mangerie, a modern restaurant on the upper floor of a building with Bosphorus views. On the weekends you’ll have to wait for a table (especially on the balcony) but the freshly made pancakes, Eggs Benedict, muffins, and even bacon are very much worth the wait.

Courtesy of Mangerie

See the Egyptian Consulate

Historically known as the Valide Paşa Yalısı (Valide Pasha Mansion), this beautiful waterfront mansion was built in 1902 by Italian architect Raimondo D’Aronco. It currently belongs to the Egyptian Consulate in Istanbul. Only viewable from the outside (unless you happen to have an appointment at the Consulate), the mansion is one of the most beautiful yalı (waterfront mansions) from the Ottoman era, with that distinctly embellished style that defined Istanbul back then.

Egyptian Consulate Istanbul | © michael clarke stuff/WikiCommons

Take a stroll along the Bosphorus

One of the best things to do on the Bosphorus coast on the European side is walk down the promenade as far as you can. Start at Kuruçeşme and walk up the coast until you’re tired. A shorter stroll from Bebek up the coast and then back is also a great way to enjoy beautiful views of the famous strait. You’ll come across many people here on the weekends, so if you don’t like crowds, come on a weekday. You’ll soon notice that the Bosphorus is a different color every day, depending on the weather. Watching the boats glide by is thoroughly relaxing.

Get a snack at Bebek Badem Ezmesi

One of Turkey’s most well-known desserts is badem ezmesi (almond paste-marzipan), and you can find some of the best at Meşhur Bebek Badem Ezmesi in Bebek. Get a box of the addictive, cream-colored treat and make sure to also try the pistachio paste.

Go shopping at Tru

When Tru opened its first store, it instantly became a favorite among Istanbul’s fashionable young people due to its perfect basic t-shirts. The brand has since grown and opened a larger store in Bebek, complete with its own little café and bookstore. You’ll find Tru’s awesome (and amazingly soft) t-shirts for men and women, as well as other excellent basics like cashmere sweaters, hoodies, leggings, and more.

Courtesy of Tru

Eat dinner at Bebek Balıkçı

Right across the street from Bebek Badem Ezmesi you’ll find one of the neighborhood’s oldest restaurants, the seafood expert Bebek Balıkçı. You’ll often see the neighborhood’s well-to-do residents eating here in the evenings in a dining room right on top of the water. In the summer, when the windows are wide open, the beautiful sea breeze travels through the whole space while plates of freshly prepared meze and grilled seasonal fish are carried to diners.

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