Is the Asian Side of Istanbul Worth Visiting – Part 2

The Kalamiş Marina south of Kadıköy in Istanbul, Turkey.

by Erlend Geerts

in Sightseeing

Previously I already explained when and why it is worth to visit the Asian side of Istanbul. If you missed that part, I strongly suggest you to read it first. In this second leg of this series on Istanbul’s Asian shore, I’ll focus on famous places such as Fenerbahçe, Bağdat Caddesi, Haydarpaşa, Üsküdar, and how to reach the Maiden Tower.

Fenerbahçe and Kalamış Marinas

Behind Moda, and still in the south west of Kadıköy, you’ll find the adjacent Fenerbahçe and Kalamış Marinas. With a combined capacity of 1120 boats, it is the biggest marina of Turkey. To pay them a visit you can walk parallel with the sea from Moda all the way until you reach the Fenerbahçe S.K. football stadium. Alternatively you can take a taxi or dolmuş that leave from Kadıköy to Bostancı. In that case, get off 250 meters past Fenerbahçe football stadium. Either way, on the right hand side take Kökdere Street which connects to Minur Nurettin Selçuk Street approximately 100 meters further. After you pass Kalamış Park on your right, you will reach the marinas.

When you keep on walking in the same direction you will not be able to see the sea for a while, but there is no need to worry. After you pass the historical Kalamış Kiosk on your right, you will connect to Fener Kalamış Street. Stay on that street and keep on walking until you arrive in Fenerbahçe Parkı. This park has plenty of nice cafes in a green environment overlooking the Sea of Marmara.

Bağdat Caddesi

Bagdat Avenue on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey.

Bagdat Avenue on the Asian side.

If you take a yellow minibus from Kadıköy to Bostancı (alt Bostancı for the seaside route) you can observe the most noteworthy part of the southeast coastal districts of Kadıköy. The road you take runs parallel with the sea. When you reach Bostancı, look for the famous Bağdat Caddesi and start your walk back to Kadıköy.

Today the area surrounding Bağdat Avanue is an upper-class residential area. The avenue itself is well-known for its posh shops with world famous and local brands, shopping malls, department stores, both local and international cuisine restaurants, cafes and pubs. The atmosphere is great and almost all the stores are open every day of the week — including Sunday afternoon. This one-way avenue runs 6 km from Bostancı to Kızıltoprak, almost parallel with the coastline of the Sea of Marmara. In case you get tired (of shopping), just hop on a dolmuş passing by back to Kadıköy.


If you take the ferry to Kadıköy, then it’s hard not to notice the Port of Haydarpaşa and the Haydarpaşa Railway Station. The first is one of the main container terminals of Turkey, while the second is a Neo-Renaissance style building built in 1908 as the Istanbul-Baghdad and Istanbul-Damascus-Medina railway terminal.

The Ostrorog House in Üsküdar, Istanbul.

The Ostrorog House in Üsküdar.

North of Kadıköy

When you get off the ferry in Kadıköy, the first main street you will come across is Haydarpaşa Rıhtım Caddesi. While facing the land, turn left. At a certain point the two way street becomes a one way street and starts listening to the name of Tıbbıye Caddesi — you will walk in the opposite direction. This is a wide and nice road to walk and see both Kadıköy and the waterfront from a higher viewpoint.

When you reach the point where the Dr. Siyami Ersek Hospital is on your right and the Haydarpaşa Campus of the Marmara University is on your left, take a taxi down to the left on Burhan Felek Street. That road will take you to Harem where the Anatolian Bus terminal is located. You are now again on the sea side road which takes you to Üsküdar and even further to Beykoz.



Aerial view of the Üsküdar-Salacak seaside road, Istanbul.

Aerial view of the Üsküdar-Salacak seaside road.

Üsküdar was a Greek colony in the 7th century B.C., known for its pier and Byzantine Chalcedon shipyards. Today it consists of no less than 52 districts. During the Ottoman Empire Üsküdar was a very popular Turkish settlement area. Proof of which the huge amount of mosques, fountains, waterside mansions and palaces in the area. Among the most famous ones are Beylerbeyi Palace, Beylerbeyi Mosque, Yeni Valide Mosque, Ostrorog House, Edib Efendi Mansion, Hidiv Kiosk and the Ahmet III Fountain on Üsküdar Square. You can take a taxi to Üsküdar from Kadıköy or you can hop on a ferry from Eminönü or Beşiktaş and reach Üsküdar Square in 20 minutes.

The Maiden Tower

The first notes about the tower go way back to 410 B.C. Constructed and rennovated several times, the Maiden Tower (Kız Kulesi) opened its doors to the public for the first time in 2000. Today it is a bar, cafe and restaurant combination with undoubtedly one of the greatest Istanbul views. The restaurant is not worth the money, so I suggest just going for a drink or a snack.

You can reach the Maiden Tower by boat from Üsküdar-Salacak. Starting from 12:30, there is a shuttles every 15 minutes. There are also boats departing from Ortaköy and Kabataş on the European side. For the latest information, check out the Maiden Tower’s official site.

Photo Sources (1)

What's Next

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Hasancan Özçelik July 4, 2013 at 12:13 am

I am living in İstanbul, in asian side. Tourists coming to İstanbul usually visit the european side of İstanbul and do barely come to see the “Anadolu yakası”, whereas there are really some good places to see. So I wondered if there was any comment about this side and see your website. You mentioned some places, but maybe the most significant ones are missing; “Küçük Çamlıca(Small Çamlıca)” and “Büyük Çamlıca(Great Çamlıca)”. They are very good to see. You can see the İstanbul landscape lying under your feet. Even I discovered the “small”one this year and was amazed at what I saw. “woow” I said, “Why did not I come here before?”. To me every tourist who comes to İstanbul should visit there, if possible two of them, and should have meal at “Küçük Çamlıca”, traditional foods and very delicious.
There are, of course, other places to see but the most significant ones are these two. I highly recommend anyone who comes to İstanbul to somewhat enjoy the peace of the asian side.


Erlend Geerts July 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Hi Hasancan,

Thanks a lot for sharing this and adding two more valuable spots for tourists to visit on the Asian side.

Kind regards,


vilson June 21, 2014 at 3:41 am

I m going to stanbul this 31 of /12/2014, I would like to know whats the atractions in stanbull for a family with 2 kids,,,samira 09–Uriel–07,,,me 56–my wife 37,,,,we are from brasil ,but we live in London-uk,this is my first time in turkey.also, please inform me if there is a train services from stanbul to Cappadocia. fast traim, sleeping train will be very apropriete for us, I cant get information acureted because I don’t speack Turkish,,please help us…thank you


Erlend Geerts June 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Hi Vilson,

Did you check out these posts about Istanbul attractions and activities for kids?

For your trip to Cappadocia, use a good travel agent in the UK to make reservations by bus.

Kind regards,


Diane November 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm


i’ll be in istanbul this 27th of Nov 2014, and thanks to your site as i found a lot of helpful tips especially the transfer from SAW to Taksim! :)

My question is, can we tour the whole Asian side for just half day? i’m planning to have a tour is the Asian side after we check out from our hotel as our flight back home is still at midnight. My plan B is to take a Bosphorus cruise before heading to SAW airport for our flight back home.

Thank you in advance!



Erlend Geerts November 18, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Hi Diane,

You can of course tour the Asian side for just half a day, but you won’t be able to see a lot. As you will discover, Istanbul is a big city with plenty to see. Your Bosphorus trip may be a good idea, if your flight back is late in the evening.

Kind regards,


Najwa December 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

HI! I am very glad to found such a good information from your site. Im going to Istanbul soon around 16 Dec and is it ok to just spend 3 days at european side and another 3 days at asian side.Other than that,is it a bad thing if we couldn’t spend our trip by visiting cappadocia.Last but not least,is it worth it to spent yoyr holiday by keep visitng musuems?

Thank you in advance


Erlend Geerts December 12, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Hi Najwa,

Your questions are all a matter of preferences. Sure, you can divide your holiday equally between the European and the Asian side, but don’t carve your intentions in stone. You may find yourself splitting it 4/2. Most of the sightseeing spots are called museums, but don’t expect dull places with just pictures/paintings to look at. Don’t focus on the naming too much.

Kind regards,


Barry September 3, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Hi guys,

My wife and I are coming to Istanbul for 2-3 months. What area should we rent an apartment? Party nights don’t appeal, somewhere thats easily accessible to the main areas.



Erlend Geerts September 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Hi Barry,

I would go for the Cihangir or Galata area.

Kind regards,


Marwa October 4, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Hi everyone,
My family and I planning a trip to Istanbul ..and I am crazy with the hand crafts like lanterns , ceramics ,carpets and Klim …so I need advice from which place I will found them with a reasonable price …and should I negotiate with the seller about the price …and can any one tell me about the suitable price for each?..this in case any one of you buy this things …I know that grand bazaar and Egyptian bazar have high prices ..
..thanks in advance


Erlend Geerts October 4, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Hi Marwa,

Well, I would suggest to go to Eminönü. Facing the Spice Bazaar, left of its back exit, there is a pedestrian road going right, parallel with the main road. That road is filled with handcraft. The same of course for the Grand Bazaar, and its surroundings. As for bargaining, you will have to do that everywhere. You could find good bargaining shops in Kadıköy too, but you need to find them. They’re not lined up next to each other.

Good luck,


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: