Asian side, Istanbul
The asian side of Istanbul is a very beautiful place.
Not too many attractions like in the old city or the european side but very beautiful , cheaper prices , modern places and less touristic.
Unseen i should think by any tourists.Best from June.
Dolmus from Taksim (in the road next to the Ataturk Kultur Merkezi)passes the park and only costs 5 Ytl or $4 one way.Ask for Goztepe or Sahil and takes usually 15-20 mins.
Except for the seaside, you could spend some time to walk around in Uskudar. There is an interestic, non-touristic market. But dont expect the Asian side more Asian then the European side of Istanbul.
The European side and the Sultanahmet area is where most tourists go. This place has become very commercial and hence very pricey and cheap goods are sold at exorbitant prices. The Asian side is where the locals buy. You could for instance take a public ferry from Eminonu to Kadikoy and walk around the Kadikoy area. Lots of better shopping opportunities. it is also nice to experience the local life.
From Eminonu you can take a ferry to the Asian side of the Bosporus. Kadikoy is one of the neigborhoods here, a part of the city where lots of students are living . There is a big train station from where trains to other parts of Turkey leave. Furthermore, you can make a nice walk along the seaside boulevard, it was one of the most relaxing places we've been to in Istanbul. For the rest, Kadikoy is mainly dull apartment blocks and nothing really special. However, there seems to be an interesting market which we didn't see before leaving the place.
Don't neglect the Asian parts of Istanbul. Although there aren't so many of the traditional tourist attractions on this side of the Bosphorus, this is where 'real life' goes on (of course it exists on the European side too, but at times in Sultanahmet and Taksim it doesn't seem like it!). The large suburb of Uskudar has many old mosques and some interesting markets, while further south, and even more 'off the beaten path', is Kadikoy, an area I saw a lot of, as it was the ferry stop for Erenkoy where my friend lives. We spent a couple of evenings at the teahouses on the seafront (from where this photo was taken), and these are prime locations for sunset views across to Haydar Pasa (the Asian train terminal...better than it sounds!) and in the far distance, the minarets of Sultanahmet and Aya Sofya. Behind the port area and the wide and busy main road, are several narrow streets which seem to be quite a trendy area for students, with streetside cafes and second-hand bookshops. For more photos of Kadikoy, see my 'Sunsets Travelogue'...
Çamlica means Pine Tree Hill. It is actually two hills: Küçük Çamlica which means Little Pine Tree Hill and Büyük Çamlica which means Big Pine Tree Hill. There is a large TV tower on the top of Büyük Çamlica.
At 267m above sea level Büyük Çamlica is the highest point in Istanbul. We used to walk up here for the views. I remember once climbing up here after a period of heavy rain and having to wade through mud. Some locals were calling out to us in German, "Gute Strasser, wir haben." As many Turks have lived and worked in Germany, they often address foreigners in German as it is a language they can speak fluently.
From the top of Büyük Çamlica you have an excellent view over the Bosphorus and the Bosphorus Bridge, There are cafes and tea shops at the top of Büyük Çamlica, so we could sit and enjoy a refreshing glass of Çay or knock back a nice cold Efes Pilsen after our climb.
Çamlica is on the Asian side of the Bosphorus not too far from Üsküdar. It is a popular place for a picnic.
"Bagdat Avenue" never seems to end. This 6km long tree lined strip on the Asian side of Istanbul is packed with restaurants, cafes, bars, luxury car dealers and, of course, shops. From high end brands to large department stores and smaller boutiques, "Bagdat Street" is one of the most popular shopping districts in Istanbul.
Bagdat Street served as link between Constantinople and Anatolia for centuries. It was given its name in 1638 following the capture of what is now the Iraqi capital by Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Over time it developed into a popular residential area for the city’s elite who built large mansions here.
Although many of these mansions were demolished to make way for newer apartment blocks, the "Street" remains one of the most desirable areas to live in Asian Istanbul due to its central location, close proximity to the Marmara Sea, and plethora of amenities. Most of Bagdat Street’s stores are concentrated around the Suadiye and Caddebostan areas.
These days this elegant promenade serves as an informal fashion parade, with Istanbul’s high-heeled, perfectly coiffed noveau riche coming to strut their stuff along the wide pavements. It’s also a popular showplace for the city’s most expensive cars. Bagdat Street is home to a variety of exclusive high street brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Naked, Louis Vuitton, Mango, Zara, Lacoste, NARS Cosmetics and Vakko. Department stores such as Marks & Spencers are also represented.
Bagdat Street’s cosmopolitan atmosphere is also felt through its many eateries and cafes which offer a welcome break after a hard day’s shopping. Western style cafes such as Starbuck’s and Gloria Jean’s Cafe are interspersed with a variety of restaurants offering Turkish and world cuisine.
Traffic is often congested along Bagdat Street and parking is limited and hard to find; for this reason it’s recommended to use public transportation to get there.
Bagdat Avenue and coastal road run almost parallel to each other for around 9-10 kilometres. Sometimes these two roads get close to each other and sometimes get distant. The best part of Bagdat avenue is the part between "Bostanci and Goztepe". So it might be a good idea to take a dolmus from Taksim to Bostanci. Dolmus stop is right next to Ataturk Kultur Merkezi (Ataturk Culture Center). Then you start your walk at Bostanci along the Bagdat street and end it whenever you are tired. You just wait along the street and one dolmus will stop to pick you up. Some of them go to Kadikoy, so make sure that you get on to Taksim dolmus. Or if you wish you go to Kadikoy and then take the boat to Karakoy or Besiktas.
In summer, don’t forget to bring your swimming suit with you, there are some small beaches along the coast road that you can swim.
In any case, "Bagdat Avenue" is much worth to visit and to enjoy ... :)
The notable high street of the Asian part of Istanbul, the "Baghdad Avenue", runs through Göztepe. The city park of Göztepe is the largest green area along Baghdad Avenue covering 10,000 m2.
It is re-designed and and re-build again in year of 2013 and now covering also childrens play grounds, theme parked kids area, aquarium, rose gardens and many other new benefits ... A great park to be away from city hassle even within the city on "Bagdat Avenure" ... :)
"Caddebostan" is located on the Asian Side of Istanbul and is a perfect area to have a walk at the beach side as being away from the city hassle ...
Day and night, many people go there to jog, have a walk with their kids and dogs, for bicycle or just to have fun on grass and have their coffee ... Especially on weekends its a huge crowd. Special designated and seperated ways for jogging and cyclers makes it easy and fun to fulfill your favorite sports.
Here on my Travelogues you can see more detailed photos of this great area ... :
There are many open air music concerts, street festivals and else are there to be seen ... Starting from Bostanci ending up at Dalyan, its a loooong coastline to enjoy ... :)
You arrived to Beykoz and realized that there is no affordable transportation to Polonezköy...
So don't go there and explore this quarter on the Asian side of Istanbul. It is really worth it!
Following the main road, you will first arrive at a fountain house whith seven water outlets. The water didn't harm me. Then you follow the way to an old ruined Ottoman military building. Walk through it and find the road on the other side. Walk upwards and wait for the bus, because Yusha Tepe is still an hour away by feet. There is a way leaving the main road to the left. On the beginning you may meet Hashim Bey selling wood spoons carved by himself. The way up, you arrive at a popular Muslim worship place.
You'll have a very great sight of the Bosphorus from there.
Uskudar is another neigborhood on the Asian side. It can be reached by ferry from Eminonu. We went here by taxi from Kadikoy. You can walk along the Bosporus shore and watch the Kizkulesi tower.
Most people just explore the European side of Istanbul, so if you want to go stay away from all tourists just go to the Asian side.