The Unforgettable Beauty of Istanbul’s Asian Side

Diamond Painting Artist, Bocconi graduate, cat lover, passionate about learning. Travelled a lot, but found my forever home - Antalya.

Istanbul is a busy city on both sides of the Bosphorus Strait. It is famous for its lively culture, long past, and beautiful architecture. Most tourists are interested in the European side of the city, but the Asian side is just as interesting. What makes the Asian side of Istanbul so special? This guide will go into that, as well as some of the must-see sights. The Asian side of Istanbul is less crowded and more authentic than the European side.

People from the area adore Kadikoy because it has lots of restaurants, shops, and bars that serve traditional Turkish food. You can also go to Moda, a cool area known for its cool vibe and small shops. Enjoy the lush greenery of Fenerbahce Park or take a walk along the waterfront walkway at Bagdat Avenue for beautiful views.

Whether you’re looking for authentic cultural experiences or breathtaking views, exploring Istanbul’s Asian side is definitely worth your time!

1. Asian and European side

Bosphorus Strait, European and Asian Side of Istanbul

Istanbul is a city that bridges two continents, Asia and Europe, making it a unique destination for travellers seeking a mix of cultures and experiences. The Asian and European sides of Istanbul are extremely distinct areas of the same city, yet there are certain similarities that form a cultural link between the two. The Asian side of Istanbul is commonly referred to as the “sultan’s side” since it was previously home to Ottoman palaces as well as the sultans’ religious treasures.

What is the difference between European side and Asian side Istanbul?

Istanbul, a city spanning two continents- Europe and Asia, is divided by the Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul’s notable architectural icons may be found on the European side, including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, Beyoglu- Istiklal street, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, the Grand Bazaar, and the Archaeological Museum while the Asian side is more residential and relaxed with green spaces. The European side attractions however can be reached from the Asian side.

2. Visit Historic Sites: Istanbul Asian Side Guide

main photo Asian side


Üsküdar, situated on the Asian side of Istanbul, has been a significant settlement since the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. It is home to a plethora of historic landmarks such as mosques, synagogues, and the Yeni Valide Mosque Complex which visitors can explore today. The district’s rich history and architectural marvels make it an ideal destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant past. Some of the other top attractions in Üsküdar include the Beylerbeyi Palace, Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, and the historic Maiden’s Tower.


Kadıköy Istanbul

Kadikoy, which is on the Asian side of Istanbul, is a culture center with a busy coastal walkway, a lively street market, and small shops. The area is famous for its lively nightlife, with lots of bars and places to see live music. In addition to a colorful nightlife, Kadıkoy has a lot of culture attractions, such as art museums, theaters, and art galleries.

At this lively district, people can look at the old buildings and learn about the area’s long past. Kadıkoy is a must-see for anyone coming to Istanbul because it has a unique mix of modernity and tradition. Another great place to find a Turkish breakfast is in this area. We really think you should go to Küff Cafe. If you want to learn more about things to do in Kadikoy, make sure to read our Kadikoy blog!

Bağdat Avenue

Bagdat caddesi Istanbul

In Istanbul, Bağdat Avenue, also known as “Bağdat Caddesi,” is a lovely and beautiful street where you can shop and eat. This street, which goes back to the Ottoman era, has a beautiful mix of modern and old buildings, which makes it a popular spot for tourists. Although the avenue is lined with pretty trees, it has a lot of different shops, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. There is something for everyone on Bağdat Avenue, whether you want to shop or eat some wonderful Turkish food.

If you’re coffee-lover like us, make sure to try Klar’s coffee while you’re there!

Moda Neighbourhood

Popular in the Kadıkoy area, Moda is known for its stunning views of the water, lively cafes and bars, and interesting street art. There are both locals and tourists in the area, and sunset is the best time to go. Some historical sites can be found in this area, like the Moda Pier, which was constructed in 1911 and is a great place to enjoy the view of Istanbul’s city. Moda is also known for having a laid-back vibe and being a place to get away from the busy city life.

If you want to eat somewhere where you can enjoy both burgers and coffee, Namu Burger is a great choice. People with different tastes can go to this restaurant together, which makes it great for groups of friends. It serves both people who are starving and people who just want a coffee.

Nostalgic Tram

The Nostalgic Tram is a charming and historic tramway that goes through some of Istanbul’s most famous areas, like Moda and Kadıköy’s center. It’s a one-of-a-kind way to learn about the city’s rich culture history and admire its beautiful buildings. People from all over the world come to Istanbul to ride the tram and enjoy the nostalgic feel of riding an old-fashioned tram while taking in the sights and sounds of this exciting city.

3. How to Get to Istanbul’s Asian Side?

to the Asian side

Get to the Asian side of Istanbul without any problems by using any of the many transportation choices available. On the European side of Istanbul, you can take a ferry trip that gives you stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait. You can also take the Marmaray metro line, which crosses both sides of Istanbul. Besides that, there is Metrobus options and cabs that can get you to the Asian side quickly and easily. For more detail about Istanbul’s Transportation system, make sure to read our blog!

Public Transportation

There are many types of public transportation in Istanbul, including buses, trains, and ferries. The system works well and covers a lot of ground. The Marmaray train line goes under the Bosphorus Strait and connects the European and Asian parts of Istanbul. This makes it a great way to get from one side of the city to the other. The Metrobus is another popular way to get around. It has dedicated lanes and is a quick and safe way to get around. It links important spots in the city and is a quick way of getting close to Istanbul’s busy streets. When it comes to getting around the city, both locals and tourists can count on Istanbul’s reliable public transit system.

Ferry Terminal

From morning until night, ferries come and go from the ferry port, which is quite busy location. It is on the European side of Istanbul, close to the Eminonu area, and makes getting to the Asian side easy. You’ll be able to see the beautiful Bosphorus Strait as soon as you get on the ferry.

Apart from these, there are also other ferries that connect the Asian and European sides originating from the Black Sea. With so many options available for convenient transportation, exploring both sides of Istanbul has never been easier.


Taxis are an easily accessible mode of transportation in Istanbul and offer a convenient way to navigate the city. However, it is important to negotiate the fare before getting into a taxi to avoid overpaying. For those looking to visit the Asian side of Istanbul, crossing the Bosphorus Bridge by taxi is a great option. The bridge provides stunning views of the city and is one of the most iconic landmarks that Istanbul’s Asian side and European sides have to show.

Bonus: Good walking tours of the Asian side?

Fenerbahce and Bostanci are two neighborhoods on Istanbul’s Asian side. Fenerbahce is known for its parks and beaches, while Bostanci boasts cafes, restaurants, shops, and parks. Visit Fenerbahce Park for stunning views, or explore Bostanci on foot to discover local eateries and shops.


What are the top things to do in Istanbul's Asian side?

Istanbul's Asian side offers a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some top things to do in this vibrant part of the city: 1. Explore the historic district of Kadikoy, where you can visit traditional markets and mosques and sample local cuisine. 2. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade in Uskudar, which offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait and iconic landmarks such as the Maiden's Tower. 3. Visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, a beautiful 19th-century Ottoman palace that served as a summer residence for the sultans. 4. Discover the lush green spaces of Camlica Hill, which is one of Istanbul's highest points and offers panoramic views of both the Asian and European sides of the city. 5. Experience Turkish bath culture at one of the many hamams located throughout the Asian side. 6. Take a ferry ride across the Bosphorus to explore other parts of Istanbul or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery from the water. These are just a few suggestions – there is plenty more to see and do on Istanbul's Asian side!

What is the Asian side of Istanbul called?

The Asian side of Istanbul is called Anatolian Side or simply Asian Side. It includes neighborhoods such as Kadıköy, Üsküdar, and Kartal. The Bosphorus Strait divides Istanbul into two sides: the European side to the west and the Asian side to the east. While the European side may be more well-known to tourists, the Asian side offers its own unique attractions and experiences, including bustling markets, historic mosques, and scenic waterfront promenades.

What are the benefits of visiting Istanbul Asian side?

  • Cultural Variety: Istanbul's Asian region presents a distinct ambiance and cultural identity that sets it apart from the European side of Istanbul. It boasts a diverse array of communities and allows tourists to immerse themselves in the distinctive fusion of cultures that constitute Istanbul.
  • Authentic Local Experience: For a genuine local encounter, exploring the Asian side of Istanbul can prove to be fruitful. As compared to the European side of Istanbul, this area is devoid of excessive tourist rush and offers a chance to witness locals in their natural element, thus providing an enriching experience.
  • Scenic Views: The Asian sector of Istanbul is famous for its picturesque vistas of the Bosphorus and the European region of Istanbul. Strolling along the shoreline or exploring any of the numerous parks on the Asian side can offer awe-inspiring panoramas of the metropolis.
  • Culinary Delights: Istanbul's Asian district boasts a remarkable culinary landscape, presenting an array of local and foreign delicacies. You have the option to indulge in authentic Turkish fare or venture into the numerous international eateries scattered throughout the vicinity.
  • Shopping and Markets: On Istanbul's Asian side, there are numerous local markets and shopping areas, such as Kadikoy and Uskudar, where a diverse range of products are available. These include locally made crafts, fresh produce, and souvenirs.

What is the best thing about living in Turkey?

Turkey is a country that boasts a rich history and culture, which makes it an alluring destination for many people. From mouth-watering cuisine to warm hospitality, and stunning architecture to beautiful landscapes, there is something for everyone in Turkey. The beauty of the country lies in its diversity, allowing visitors to choose their preferred experiences based on individual preferences. Whether you're looking to explore ancient ruins or relax on golden beaches, Turkey has it all.

Is it better to stay on the Asian side of Istanbul?

Istanbul is a vibrant and exciting city, with many different neighborhoods and areas to explore. Whether it is better to stay on the Asian side of Istanbul depends largely on your preferences and travel plans. The Asian side of Istanbul is generally considered to be more residential and less touristy than the European side, which may appeal to travelers looking for a more authentic experience. However, if you are interested in visiting major attractions like the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia, you may find that staying on the European side is more convenient. Ultimately, the best choice for your stay in Istanbul will depend on your individual priorities and interests.
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