Explore Ortakoy (Guide with Top Things to Do & See + Insider Advice)

Ortakoy is one of the most popular, lively and attractive neighborhood of Besiktas, located just by the Bosphorus and under the Bosphorus Bridge. Ortakoy is also another popular nightlife and entertainment centers of Istanbul with its variety of great cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants, shops, boutiques, baked potato & souvenir shops.

And Ortakoy Mosque is without a doubt, one of the popular photo taking spots and symbols of Istanbul.

Things to Do & See

Strolling around the Ortakoy Sqaure, watching the crowd, having a rest and drinking tea or coffee at the various cafes and restaurants nearby the sea in the company of Bosphorus is one of the best things to do in Ortakoy. You can also take the boats for a Bosphorus cruise, from the Ortakoy coast, near the Ortakoy Mosque.

Ortakoy Square and Ortakoy Mosque is the heart of Ortakoy. The street markets are also vert popular in Ortakoy. They are held in every weekend. Visitors may enjoy and buy variety of handicrafts, souvenirs, second hand books, various great items and more.

Summer nights are very lively here as Ortakoy is a popular entertainment and nightlife spot of Istanbul with its variety of night clubs, pubs and bars.

Ortakoy Square & the Coast

Ortakoy Sqaure is popular with the young people and Istanbul sightseeing takers. There are variety of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops at the square. The lively nights at the weekends are also fantastic. The Damat Ibrahim Pasha fountain and historic Esma Sultan Mansion, dating back to 18th century, are worth a see.

Ortakoy Mosque (Buyuk Mecidiye)

Ortaköy Buyuk Mecidiye Mosque, with an elegant architecture, is one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. It was built by Sultan Abdülmecit in the 19th century and gives an impression of standing on the water. It is also one of the most important symbols of Istanbul.

Esma Sultan Mansion

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The Esma Sultan Mansion, which dazzles with its magnificence right next to Ortakoy Mosque, is a vert attractive building that was built for Esma Sultan, the daughter of Sultan Abdulaziz, as a wedding gift after her marriage to Cerkez Mehmet Pasha. After the death of Esma Sultan in 1848, the mansion was given to the daughters of Sultan Abdulhamid II in various periods. Finally the mansion was purchased by The Marmara Collection in the 90s, and has been restored and is now used as a wedding, meeting and event venue.

Churches and Synagogues in Ortakoy

A Byzantine Greek Orthodox Church named Ayios Fokas dating back to 1856, the Surp Krikor Lusavoric Armenian Catholic Church (located in Dereboyu street and was built in 1839) and Etz Ahayim (Tree of Life) dating back to the 14th century are the best known churches and synagogues in Ortakoy.

Historic Ortakoy Hammam

It is the first artifact that was built after the settlement of the Turks in Ortakoy. It was built as hammam (Turkish Bath) by famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in 1570s with the request of Hüsrev Kethüda, the housekeeper of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha. After the restoration of the Turkish bath, it now serves as an authentic restaurant.

Eating Out

Ortakoy offers a wide variety of dine and wine opportunities from luxury restaurants to very famous quality restaurants and cafes where both tourists and locals go. You are able to find every kind of food & beverage, Turkish & world cuisine for your taste in Ortakoy.

Ortakoy is also famous for its coastal tea gardens, cafes and bakers overlooking Bosphorus. Many locals prefer to buy baked potatoes from numerous cafes and eat it by the beautiful views of the Bosphorus. The House Cafe is a popular place to enjoy its summer garden and brunch on Sundays.

Nightlife in Ortakoy

Ortakoy nights are quite colorful. There are quality and popular nightclubs on the coast of Ortakoy and neighboring Kurucesme coasts. Entertainment continues throughout the night at the luxury nightclubs, where celebrities and foreign tourists frequently visit.

The Sortie club, located right next to the Bosphorus in Kurucesme and consisting of 6 restaurants and 3 bars, the Ruby and the House Cafe are the most popular places for lively nights in Ortakoy.

Where to Stay?

As for accommodation; Ortakoy hosts good range of accommodation opportunities in from budget apartments, apart hotels to residents and from two to five star hotels.

You may check and find your ideal Ortakoy hotel via Booking.com Ortakoy Hotels or Trivago Ortakoy Hotels with the hotels info, photos, comments and price comparison and book your Ortakoy hotel online.

How to Get There?

Getting to Ortakoy is very easy. For intercity transportation to Ortakoy, you may find many transportation options. It is possible to access Ortakoy;

  • From Kadikoy and Uskudar; by public ferries or boats (only from Uskudar) to Besiktas,
  • From Taksim, via yellow shared taxis (dolmus) or public bus to Besiktas,
  • From Besiktas; within 20 mins. walking or public buses following the coastal line, (Note: Besiktas is also on the route of Big Bus Istanbul Hop on Hop Off Tourist Bus)
  • From Sultanahmet and Eminonu, by Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line) to Kabatas (last stop) and than from Kabatas by public buses following the coastal line.

You may see the public bus routes and timetables as well as make a route/station search from the Istanbul Municipality Public Busses website. Also check the Istanbul Railway Network Map for the Tram stops and Istanbul Ferry Lines Map for ferries.

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