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Exploring Istanbul's Asian Side

Exploring Istanbul's Asian Side

Situated on the border of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a city of two halves. While the European side is home to attractions such as the Blue Mosque and Dolmabahce Palace, the Asian side offers lively neighborhoods, a scenic waterfront, shopping, and more. Here are our top picks. 

Kadikoy

Ferries run directly to Kadikoy, and the lively neighborhood makes a good starting point for exploring Istanbul’s Asian side. Browse the stalls at the famous fish market or weekly Kadikoy market; take a ride on the nostalgic tram, which runs between Kadikoy and Moda; or eat at one of the many traditional cafes, bakeries, and Turkish restaurants. Guided tours explore various aspects of the area, including a food walking tour and a small-group highlights tour. 

Haydarpasa Railway Station

If your ferry docks at Kadikoy, you can’t miss the gigantic Haydarpasa railway station, which towers over the pier. Built between 1906 and 1908, the striking neoclassical building was a gift to the Ottoman Sultan from Kaiser Wilhelm II and was the starting point of the Istanbul-Baghdad and Istanbul-Damascus-Medina railway during the 20th century. Although it’s currently not used as a train terminal, it remains one of Istanbul’s most photographed landmarks. 

Bağdat Caddesi

Bağdat Caddesi (Bagdat Avenue) is the most famous street on the Asian side of Istanbul, running for almost four miles (6.4 kilometers) between the Bostanci and Kiziltoprak neighborhoods. The busiest section lies between the Suadiye and Erenkoy districts, and it’s renowned for its designer shops, department stores, and chic restaurants. 

Uskudar

The historic heart of Asian Istanbul, Uskudar began as a Greek colony in the 7th century BC. Heavily populated by Turks during the Ottoman Empire, it was one of the most prominent communities outside the city walls of Byzantine Constantinople. Traces of its past can be seen in its many beautiful mosques, fountains, waterside mansions and palaces, among them Beylerbeyi Palace, Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, and Beylerbeyi Mosque. 

The Maiden Tower

Taking a Bosphorus cruise along Istanbul’s scenic waterfront offers the best views of the picturesque Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi), which guards the southern end of the Bosphorus strait. The tower dates back to Istanbul’s medieval Byzantine period and sits on a tiny islet just off the coast of Uskudar. Boats run to the Maiden Tower from Uskudar-Salacak, or from Ortakoy and Kabatas on the European side.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Istanbul Tours

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Istanbul Asian Side: Uskudar and Kadikoy Small-Group Tour with Lunch

Istanbul Asian Side: Uskudar and Kadikoy Small-Group Tour with Lunch

star-4.5
Discover the cosmopolitan neighborhoods of Istanbul’s Asian side on this full-day tour, including a 3-course lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine. Experience local life as you explore the lively fish market and admire the Ottoman-era architecture of Üsküdar, renowned for its marvellous mosques. After lunch, browse the markets of Kadıköy and wander through the stylish Moda district, before hopping on a ferry for a 20-minute cruise back across the Bosphorus. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people, ensuring a personal experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$110.62
From
$110.62
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

Istanbul Two Continents Half-Day Tour

star-3.5
See two continents in one incredible afternoon during this half-day guided tour from Istanbul. Visit the elegant Beylerbeyi Palace on the European side and capture stunning panoramic views from the Asian side while receiving informative commentary from your expert guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures

Dolmabahce Palace Tour in Istanbul

Dolmabahce Palace Tour in Istanbul

star-3.5
Delve into Ottoman luxury on this 3-hour guided Dolmabahçe Palace tour in Istanbul, plus head over the Bosphorus Bridge to see the Asian side of the city. Prepare yourself for pure extravagance as you visit the home of former sultans and nobility. See its elegant rooms such as the Crystal Staircase and Medhal Hall. Then, climb to Yeditepe or Çamlıca Hill and snap postcard-worthy photos from one of the best view points of the city.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.16
From
$49.16
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul’s Egyptian Bazaar

Small-Group Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul’s Egyptian Bazaar

star-3.5
Cruise along the landmark lined waters of the Bosphorus Strait and stroll through the entrancing Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar during this 3.5-hour guided tour in Istanbul. On this tour, you will discover the bazaar’s abundant spices such as cardamom, mint, cinnamon, and have free time to explore on your own. Then, learn about Istanbul’s history from your expert guide as you set course for a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait. Aboard the ship, enjoy glimpses of famous Istanbul monuments like the impressive Rumeli Hisari Fortress and Dolmabahçe Palace.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

Private Tour - Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Kadikoy with Breakfast

Private Tour - Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Kadikoy with Breakfast

star-4.5
Sample some of Istanbul’s tastiest and most traditional foods on this 5.5-hour culinary walking tour around Kadıköy, with a food-expert guide. After a hearty Turkish breakfast, ride a ferry across the Bosphorus to Kadıköy on Istanbul’s Asian side, known for its buzzing food scene. Learn about the culinary repertoire as you visit atmospheric food haunts, try fresh fish at the fish market, sample treats such as ‘baklava,’ (syrup-drenched pastries), and savor some regional Turkish specialities at a traditional restaurant. Finish with a classic Turkish coffee before your return ferry trip.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$122.91
Price varies by group size
From
$122.91
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Tour: Istanbul's Two Continents

Private Half-Day Tour: Istanbul's Two Continents

star-3.5
Experience Istanbul’s top European and Asian attractions on this privately guided half-day tour. Spend an afternoon exploring luxurious palaces along the coast of the Golden Horn, and discover the Asian side’s best vantage points.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$122.67
Price varies by group size
From
$122.67
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Shore Excursion: Small-Group Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul Egyptian Bazaar

Istanbul Shore Excursion: Small-Group Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul Egyptian Bazaar

star-4
Discover Istanbul's best highlights in one day on this 3.5-hour guided shore excursion. After docking, you’ll promptly meet your friendly expert guide and set off to explore this historic city by coach. Tour the world-famous Spice Bazaar, then sail the calm waters of the Bosphorus River where you will have great photo opportunities with the Rumeli Hisarı Fortress, Dolmabahçe Palace and grand mosques as your backdrop. Along the way, your guide will illuminate the sites with information about the history and significance of each. Choose from a morning or afternoon tour. When the tour is over, head back to your ship for a worry-free, on-time departure.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures