Asian Side of Istanbul ( Çamlıca Hill )


The lines to enter major sites on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey’s cultural capital, can stretch for hours. But just across the Bosporus lies the less-harried Asian side, a greener, cleaner and often more conservative swath of the city that offers its own multicultural mix of Ottoman palaces (Beylerbeyi Palace), tasty cuisine and highest hills of Istanbul Çamlıca Hill. Here, at the gateway to Anatolia, hilly pine-forest trails in former fishing villages offer opportunities to burn off the baklava, while shady tea gardens abound for those who prefer relaxing with a water view. Wealthy Turks live in villas to the north, while miles to the south, party-friendly Kadikoy is bursting with vegetable and fish markets and bookstores, and is home to a street devoted to bars.

Çamlıca is the highest point in the city and can be seen from miles away (including from ferries making their way up the Bosphorus). It is home to the newly constructed, flashy and architecturally derivative Çamlıca Camii, the largest mosque in Turkey and a pet project of President Erdoğan. It can accommodate an extraordinary 37,000 worshipers.(Asian Side)

Beylerbeyi Palace Lying under the legs of the Bosphorus Bridge, this beautiful palace located amidst an attractive garden was built between 1861-1865 by Sultan Abdulaziz. Strangely, one of the highligts of the palace is the restroom on its second floor, which has a large window with a full view of Bosphorus.

Bagdat Avenue Along with Nişantaşı, Bağdat Avenue is a great stop for those who are not fond of shopping malls. Lined with trees on both sides, this wide and lively avenue offers everything, from stores offering top fashion labels to well-known restaurant chains, from cafes to luxury automobile galleries, and from haute couture boutiques to interior design stores.

Kadıköy is the new trend in Istanbul for locals and tourists. If you happen to be in town on a Tuesday or Friday, the famous Tuesday market is a remarkable spot for an adventure in the local market. Starting from 1969 the market place in Kadıköy was the sanctuary of the local shoppers. Naturally it grew with the city and the population.


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