The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Beşiktaş

Photo of Maria Menegaki
9 February 2017

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.

Fish Market, Besiktas, Istanbul | © mattspinner/Flickr

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.

Sinanpaşa, Mumcu Bakka Sk, Beşiktaş, Istanbul

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.

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

Walk Around Yıldız Park

Map View
Located between the palaces of Çırağan and Yıldız, this is one of the largest green spaces in the city, once part of the imperial garden. A huge park featuring flowers, plants, and trees gathered from every part of the world, it is the ideal retreat for picnic and relaxation and offers views of the Bosphorus. If you happen to be in town during April, make sure to stop by to see the spring flowers.

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.

Mecidiye, Istanbul

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

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