Ortakoy is a very lively square on the Bosphorus shore, in the direction of Kurucheshme and Bebek, from Çıragan Street in the Besiktas district of Istanbul. The stalls selling handmade souvenirs, supported by the municipality of Istanbul, Waffle, and Kumpir sellers with their edible stalls, welcome the crowds sipping their tea in boutique cafes. Kumpir sellers, who are in a sweet competition with each other, share the crowded streets with souvenir stalls. Located on the shore and attracting attention with its lights, the magnificent Ortakoy Mecidiye Mosque is right next to the Bosphorus Bridge. People flock to luxury restaurants and clubs at sunset.
Ortakoy is one of the most popular meeting points of Istanbulites with its popular night venues, bars, overlooking the Bosphorus with its beautiful cafes and restaurants, shops selling handicrafts souvenirs, and interesting objects.
Bosphorus Tour in Ortakoy
Ortakoy, the symbol of the district under the European leg of the Bosphorus Bridge, the magnificent Ortakoy Mosque, stalls selling handcrafted souvenirs, church, synagogue, mansion, hotel, club, bar, and much more it's small but the favorite district of Istanbul.
We know that this region, where Jewish, Greek, and Muslim communities lived together throughout history, was famous for its taverns in ancient times. Today, the most popular entertainment venues are still on the Ortakoy coast.
One of the best ways to discover Istanbul is to rent a car with a driver or to have İstanbul transfer service. If you want to use your time efficiently and visit more beautiful places in a short time, rent a car with a driver below.
Popular Places, Cafes, and Restaurants in Ortakoy
There is a wide variety of eating and drinking opportunities in Ortakoy. You can find many quality tea gardens, cafes, and restaurants on the Ortakoy coast, in Ortakoy square, and in Dereboyu Street in the interior. Among the popular eating and drinking places in Ortakoy, the first ones that stand out are;
In a fiery and sparkling location overlooking the sea, Ruby, Banyan Restaurant, famous for Asian dishes, The House Cafe Ortakoy, which has two large terraces and a stylish restaurant, is an ideal place to enjoy the garden in summer and brunch on Sundays.
Ortakoy is also famous for its seaside tea gardens, cafes, and bakery shops. You can have a great time here during the daytime.
Ortakoy Mecidiye Mosque
Ortakoy Mosque, one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul, built by Sultan Abdülmecit in the 19th century and giving the impression of standing on water, is one of the most important symbols of both Ortakoy and Istanbul.
Esma Sultan Mansion
Esma Sultan Mansion right next to the Ortakoy Mosque, the three-story brick pavilion was designed by the famous architect Sarkis Balyan and finished in 1875.
The Mansion, which started as a residence given to the sultan as a wedding gift, now serves as an event and exhibition palace. It was gifted to Esma Sultan, the daughter of Sultan Abdulaziz, at the age of 16, in her marriage to Cerkez Mehmet Pasha. After the death of Esma Sultan, it remained the property of the Ottoman Empire until 1915, and it was turned into a Greek school in 1918 and a tobacco warehouse in 1922. It was purchased by the Marmara Group in 1990 and has been restored to its current form since 2001 with a new project.
The Historical Ortakoy Bath, which is the first work built after the Turks settled in Ortakoy and were commissioned by Mimar Sinan in the 1570s by Husrev Kethuda, the butler of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, draws attention to its architecture. The bath now serves as a restaurant after its restoration.
What to do in Ortakoy?
Ortakoy Square and its beachfront, in a location, overlooking the sea and striking with its magnificent architecture, usually known as Ortakoy Mosque, but its real name is Mecidiye Mosque. Especially on weekends, the street market set up in and around the square and the shops where local craftsmen's products such as souvenirs, handcrafted jewelry, hats, bags, second-hand books, and colorful objects are sold are bustling. Nightlife in Ortakoy is very colorful, especially in summer evenings. During the summer evenings, you can have a good night's entertainment with the boats departing from Ortakoy and making a Bosphorus tour.