Meaning “cradle stone” in Turkish, Beşiktaş is located on the European shore of Bosporus. Undoubtedly one of the oldest and most historic districts of Istanbul, it is beloved by the locals and well known as a cultural and artistic center. Take a break from the ordinary sightseeing route in the city, check out our guide and discover this diverse, unique area with a distinctive village-like atmosphere.
Wander Through The Market District
If you like cheerful street markets, this is a must-visit. Near the Naval Museum you will find the main attraction of the district; the open bazaar. Buy some cheap clothes and fresh fruit, have a meal at one of the small and affordable nearby restaurants to taste the local cuisine before moving to the popular fish market where you can view the contemporary architecture.
Visit The Turkish Naval Museum
Established over a century ago, Deniz Müzesi hosts the largest collection of naval artifacts in Turkey. Recently renovated, it gives you the opportunity to view the impressive imperial caiques of sultans, exhibits about naval battles, historic cannons, navigational instruments, ship models and related documents.
Sinanpaşa, Istanbul, +90 212 261 0004
Take A Cruise
Taking any of the available tour boats is always a great way to see the important sights of the city. Starting from Beşiktaş, you can enjoy a Bosporus cruise or even cross the strait to reach Asian shores.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Watch A Football Match
One of the oldest sports clubs in Turkey, Besiktas Jimnastik Kulubu is the local football team nicknamed The Black Eagles. Notice the flags, logos and statues all around the neighborhood and book your ticket for a match at the legendary BJK İnönü Stadium, one of the most scenic in the world.
Visit Dolmabahçe Palace
Consisting of almost three hundred rooms, Dolmabahçe is the largest palace in the whole country. It served as the main administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire and is widely known for the neoclassical exterior and impressive interior, extensively decorated with gold and crystal. You can recognize the will to construct an Ottoman-European palace combining Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical elements, with traditional Ottoman architecture. Book a guided tour to spend some time in this unique synthesis and pay special attention to the unique collection of oil paintings.
Vişnezade Mh., Beşiktaş, Istanbul, +90 212 2369000
Visit The Museum Of Painting & Sculpture
After a walk through the Dolmabahçe Palace, find your way into the nearby painting museum; the entry is included in your ticket price for the palace. View the amazing collection of paintings and sculptures and relax at the quiet café with views over the water for a drink or snack.
Dolmabahçe Cad. Akatlar Durağı, Beşiktaş , Istanbul, +90 212 261 4298
Stay At An Imperial Suite
Known as the last example of the Empire’s glory, Çırağan Palace was constructed between the years of 1861 and 1872. After the last renovation, it resembles the authentic magnificent palace with the baroque style and soft colors. Today it serves as part of the five-star Cırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel. If you want to enjoy a luxurious stay, be sure to book one of the available suites.
Çırağan Cd., Beşiktaş, Istanbul, +90 212 326 4646
Visit Ortaköy Mosque
An elegant neo-baroque structure that decorates many postcards, Ortaköy or the Grand Imperial Mosque hosts some excellent examples of Islamic calligraphy. Don’t forget to get a picture of the gorgeous Bosporus Bridge that looms behind it, illustrating the remarkable old-meets-new character of the city.
Visit The Tomb Of Barbarossa
The legendary sailor Hayreddin Barbarossa made his home in the area, not only during life but also after death. Visit his tomb with the four sarcophagi and take a look at the historical monument beside it.
Address: Sinanpaşa, Istanbul
By Maria Menegaki
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.