Once a small village, Ortakoy is now a neighborhood in the Besiktas district on the European side of Istanbul. With a plethora of bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs, Ortakoy buzzes with locals and tourists alike and is a great place to spend a day – especially a Sunday, when the street market comes to life.

During the Ottoman area and in the early years of the Turkish Republic, the area was home to a mix of Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews.  Though the population today is primarily Muslim, remnants of the neighborhood’s historic diversity are still visible in the form of Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox and other Christian structures.

On the waterfront, you’ll find the Ortakoy Mosque, built in the mid-19th century and featuring a blend of baroque and neoclassical influences. Behind the mosque looms the Bosphorus Bridge, which makes for a classic photo opportunity exemplifying the old-meets-new character of Istanbul. You might also check out the Ciragan Palace. Built in 1871 by Sultan Abdulaziz, it was also used as the Ottoman Parliament building until a fire damaged the building in 1910. Today, it has been completely restored and is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city.

Practical Information

If you are staying in Sultanahmet, you can reach Ortakoy by taking the tram to Kabatas and then bus 22, 25E or 30D. From Taksim Square, take any of buses DT2, 40, 40T or 42T and get off at either the Ortakoy or Kabatas Lisesi bus stop.

Tours & Tickets

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Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Day Cruise from Istanbul

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Explore Istanbul on a full-day cruise along the Bosphorus Strait and the waters of the Black Sea! With an onboard guide, learn about Istanbul and enjoy three ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $107.75

Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

4 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

Discover Istanbul's Jewish culture on this private half-day tour. Visit the Galata Tower, one of the most prominent landmarks in the city on the European ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.00

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