The other big district at the Asian side is Üsküdar. I used the boat from Besiktas and I strolled around looking at the mosques (the district is full of them) like the big Mihrimad Sultan Camii (1547, pic 1), the Yeni Valide Camii(1710), and the Semsi Pasa Camii(1580).
There were many women having their heads covered, it seemed to me an area full of religious people, it was lovely to stroll around for a while, I had my tea there and it was peaceful to check some peaceful side streets (pic 2). There was no sign of tourists around of course, only locals, most of them kids or old people(pic 3). I also checked the local fish market (pic 4) but I got bored after an hour of walking in the area so I took the bus to Kadikoy, all the buses are located near the port(pic 5), just ask a local
With bus N.15 you can visit some other sights, a few kilometers away from Uskudar like the Beylerbeyi palace (stop at Cayirbasi) and the Kucuksu Kasri.
Ûskûdar is the only place I visited on the Asian side of Istanbul. The first noticeable difference for me was the much more relaxed atmosphere. There are beautiful old mosques worth visiting and also a very nice market area.
At the time of our visit, there major construction is being done at the waterfront. Because of this, we were not able to visit some of the historical mosques.
It is easy to get there with the sea boat/ ferry.
Uskudar is the old Anatolian (i.e., Asian)-side of Istanbul, the former suburb of Scutari. While most of the Anatolian side is largely newer and, aside from a few buildings here and there, dates from the late-19th century and up, with the largest part by far being later 20th century, Uskudar has a lot of old buildings and is similar to the old city.
The ferry landing is at the core of the old commercial area along thw waterfront, with a number of old mosques, as well as some other very old buildings, fountains, etc., scattered about, and other places nearby throughout Uskudar, along the Bosphorus and inland. There are many resaurants and shops here as well.
In the central market area of Uskudar (the old part of the Asian side of Istanbul) near the waterfront and the Uskudar ferryboat terminal is the Mihrimah Sultan Camii complex. It was designed by Mimar Sinan and built in the 1540s. Like some mosques, it is raised up, requiring one to walk up steps to its courtyard, since it is in the centre of what has for centuries been a densely packed, busy area.
We didn't have the time (or the energy) to take a full-blown trip up the Bosphorus, but we did want to see Asia, so we took a quick ferry trip from Eminonou (terminal 1) to Uskudar, directly across the way. Refreshments (Turkish tea and water) are served on the ferry, and from there you get some great views of Sultanahmet, the new city, and the bridge that spans the Bosphorus (connecting Europe and Asia.) There are some beautiful mosques right near the ferry port, but we explored a bit further by taking a Dolmus (shared taxi/bus) to Camlica park, or to the base of the hill on which the park sits. A 15 minute walk up the hill (following signs) takes you to the park, where you can catch great views of the city, grab a bite to eat, or just sit and relax.
When you come back, you can get a great economical bite to eat at the pier from the men in the fishing boats - they fry up freshly caught fish and serve it on a roll for 1 million lira (about $.66)
This is a tiny mosque, built in 1506, that's located near the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Uskudar. So small, in fact, that men were praying outside on the street at prayer time.