Right beside the river, near the first Bosphorus Bridge, is a vibrant neighborhood filled with lovely cafes and tea terraces.
It’s a good place to stop for a while after days of frantic sightseeing. Narrow cobbled streets and atmospheric squares right by the water’s edge are lined with restaurants, handicraft stalls, and other artsy establishments. Life is vibrant but laidback. Street markets could spring up and artists would suddenly set up shop to entertain you and make a sale. The Ortakoy Mosque makes a dignified backdrop to all this; if you’re luck enough to chance upon it while it’s open, do pay a visit. Inside are masterful examples of Arabic calligraphy. An Orthodox church and the Etz Ahayim Synagogue nearby create an interesting religious mosaic in a secular part of town.
How to get there
By ferry to Ortaköy or Beşiktaş. By bus: 22, 22R, 25E, 30D from Eminonu to Ortakoy