Exploring the Asian Side of Istanbul

Welcome to another Suntrap Turkey blog post! While Istanbul’s European side often steals the spotlight, the city’s Asian side offers a range of enriching experiences that are too good to miss. From scenic neighborhoods to local eats, there’s a treasure trove of sights and sounds waiting for you. Here’s our comprehensive guide to making the most of your time on the Asian Side.



Highlights: Moda Beach, Kadıköy Market, and Bahariye Street
Kadıköy is the cultural heart of the Asian Side. Famous for its vibrant market and beautiful seaside promenade, it’s a paradise for foodies and shoppers alike. Don’t miss a leisurely stroll down Bahariye Street, lined with cafés and boutiques.


Highlights: Maiden’s Tower, Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, and Çamlıca Hill
Üsküdar offers a more traditional Turkish experience. The district is home to some of Istanbul’s oldest mosques and provides a fabulous view of the Maiden’s Tower, a historical lighthouse situated on a small isle.


Highlights: Colorful houses, Bostan Gardens, and Kuzguncuk Synagogue
Kuzguncuk maintains the air of a small village. Famed for its multi-ethnic history, the area’s colorful wooden houses and narrow streets are irresistibly photogenic.


Ferry Ride from Eminönü or Beşiktaş

A ferry ride across the Bosphorus is the most scenic way to transition from the European to the Asian side. The trip offers fantastic views of both sides of the city.

Tea in Moda

The seafront in Moda is one of the best places to enjoy a cup of Turkish tea while looking out over the water.

Hiking in Polonezköy

Originally founded by Polish immigrants, Polonezköy offers a unique blend of Turkish and Polish culture and is a great spot for hiking and picnics.

Restaurants and Cafés

Çiya Sofrası

Location: Kadıköy
Cuisine: Anatolian
A must-visit for anyone keen on diving deep into Turkish cuisine. The place offers a wide array of dishes from across Anatolia.

Kanaat Lokantası

Location: Üsküdar
Cuisine: Traditional Turkish
In operation since 1933, Kanaat Lokantası is the go-to place for traditional Turkish food in Üsküdar.


Location: Multiple Locations
Cuisine: Desserts
Don’t leave without trying their famous “dondurma” or Turkish ice cream, as well as a variety of Turkish sweets.

We hope this guide inspires you to venture to the Asian Side of Istanbul and experience its unique character. From exploring neighborhoods to sampling authentic Turkish cuisine, this part of the city promises an adventure you won’t forget.

To learn more about what Istanbul has to offer, consider taking one of our guided tours at Suntrap Turkey.

Happy exploring!

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