Welcome to Besiktas, the vibrant Istanbul district that captivates visitors with its charm, history, and stunning views, has so many things to do if you are in Istanbul. If you’re looking for an authentic Istanbul experience, look no further than Besiktas. This area is a treasure trove of landmarks, museums, and bustling markets that offer a glimpse into Istanbul’s past and present.

What’s Special about Besiktas?

Besiktas is an area that effortlessly blends the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. It’s an area that offers something for everyone, from history buffs to foodies to shoppers. Located on the European side of Istanbul, Besiktas is surrounded by the Bosphorus Strait and the hilly terrain of Istanbul. The area is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, trendy cafes, and high-end restaurants, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


How to Get to Besiktas from New Istanbul Airport

If you’re arriving at New Istanbul Airport and need to get to Besiktas, there are several options available to you. Read more…

If you’re not familiar with Istanbul or the Turkish language, it may be helpful to hire a guide to help you navigate your way to Besiktas. You can find recommendations for guides and more information about getting to Besiktas from New Istanbul Airport in this article.

Which Neighborhoods Does Besiktas Contain?

Besiktas is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its unique character and charm.

  • Bebek is a trendy waterfront neighborhood known for its high-end boutiques and seafood restaurants.
  • Ortaköy is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, with its charming streets, waterfront cafes, and ornate mosques.
  • Arnavutköy is another must-see neighborhood, with its colorful wooden houses, narrow streets, and trendy bars and restaurants.
  • Kurucesme is another charming neighborhood in Besiktas, known for its waterfront cafes, trendy restaurants, and stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait.

Things to Do & See in Besiktas

Besiktas is home to an array of historical landmarks, fascinating museums, and bustling markets. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or just soaking up the local atmosphere, there’s something for everyone in Besiktas.

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What Are The Important Historical Attractions In Besiktas?

Besiktas Square

Besiktas Square is a vibrant and lively hub that lies right at the heart of this bustling district. As you walk through the square, you’ll come across various sights and sounds that offer a glimpse into Istanbul’s rich history, as well as its vibrant present.

Besiktas Market Zone (Carsi)

Besiktas Market Zone, also known as Carsi, is a vibrant market that’s been a fixture in Istanbul for centuries. The market is home to an array of shops selling everything from traditional Turkish sweets to handmade ceramics to clothing and jewelry.

besiktas market zone

Historic Besiktas Pier

The Besiktas Pier is a historic landmark that’s been in operation since the early 20th century. Today, the pier is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait and the city skyline.

Historic Besiktas Pier

The Turkish Naval Museum

The Turkish Naval Museum boasts an extensive collection of artifacts that will take you on a journey through Turkey’s naval history, with fascinating insights into the country’s maritime past.

The museum is home to an impressive range of naval relics, including historic ships that have been restored to their former glory and are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the Ottoman Empire’s naval architects. Read more…

Dolmabahce Palace Museum

The Dolmabahce Palace Museum is one of Istanbul’s top attractions, a stunning palace that’s been home to Turkish leaders for centuries. The palace boasts ornate architecture, intricate artwork, and lavish furnishings that offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of Turkish leaders throughout history.

Dolmabahce Palace

Yildiz Palace

The Yildiz Palace is a sprawling complex that was once home to the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II. Today, the palace serves as a museum where visitors can explore its opulent rooms, ornate furnishings, and beautiful gardens. The palace was built in the late 19th century and boasts impressive architecture that reflects the Ottoman Empire’s grandeur.

Yildiz Palace

The Yildiz Park & Grove

The Yildiz Park & Grove is a stunning green space that surrounds the Yildiz Palace. The park features walking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the city. It is the perfect place to escape the noise of the city and relax in a peaceful, natural setting.

Ciragan Palace

If you’re looking for a taste of luxury, the Ciragan Palace is a must-visit destination in Besiktas. The palace is now a five-star hotel and offers guests a chance to experience the lavish lifestyle of the Ottoman sultans. The hotel features luxurious rooms, breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, and a world-class spa.

The Dolmabahce Mosque

The Dolmabahce Mosque is another iconic attraction in Besiktas that is worth visiting. The mosque was built in the mid-19th century and features impressive architecture and stunning interiors. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mosque and learn about its history and significance in Turkish culture.

The Dolmabahce Mosque

Museum of Painting & Sculpture

Art lovers will appreciate the Museum of Painting & Sculpture, which features a vast collection of Turkish and international art. The museum is housed in a beautiful building in Besiktas and showcases works from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Ortaköy Mosque

If you’re looking for a unique place to visit in Besiktas, consider the Ortaköy Mosque. This stunning mosque is located on the Bosphorus and features a blend of Ottoman and Baroque architecture. Visitors can take in the beautiful views of the water while admiring the mosque’s intricate design.

Ortaköy Mosque

Tomb of Barbarossa

Another interesting destination in Besiktas is the Tomb of Barbarossa. This historical site is the final resting place of the famous Ottoman admiral and pirate, Barbarossa. The tomb features impressive Ottoman architecture and is a must-visit destination for history buffs.

Ihlamur Kasrı (Ihlamur Pavilion)

For a taste of Ottoman luxury, consider visiting the Ihlamur Kasrı (Ihlamur Pavilion). This beautiful pavilion was built in the 19th century and served as a summer residence for the Ottoman sultan. Today, the pavilion serves as a museum and features impressive interiors, beautiful gardens, and stunning views of the city.

Ihlamur Kasrı (Ihlamur Pavilion)

Vodafone Park

Sports fans won’t want to miss the chance to catch a football match at Vodafone Park. This state-of-the-art stadium is home to the Besiktas football team and offers an unforgettable game day experience.

besiktas  Vodafone Park

Macka Park

Nature lovers should visit Macka Park, a beautiful green space in Besiktas that features walking trails, gardens, and a small pond. The park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature in the heart of Istanbul.

Macka Park Istanbul

If you’re interested in exploring some of the best parks in Istanbul, check out this article: The Best 5 Parks in Istanbul. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city or just want to enjoy a picnic with friends, these parks are definitely worth a visit!

İtfaiye Museum (Fire Station Museum)

For a unique museum experience, check out the İtfaiye Museum (Fire Station Museum) in Besiktas. This museum is dedicated to the history of firefighting in Istanbul and features exhibits on the city’s fire department and equipment.

Besiktas Shore

Besiktas is also home to a bustling shore area where visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Bosphorus and watch the boats go by. The shore area is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring the city.

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Amazing Nightlife in Besiktas

When it comes to nightlife, Besiktas has plenty of options to choose from. Some popular areas include the lively bar scene in the Besiktas Market Zone (Carsi) and the trendy cafes and clubs in Bebek. Visitors can enjoy live music, delicious cocktails, and a vibrant atmosphere in these popular nightlife areas.

Where to Stay: the Best Hotels in Besiktas

As for accommodation, Besiktas offers a variety of hotels and resorts to suit any budget and preference. Here are some of the best options:

Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul


Immerse yourself in the opulence of the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, the only Ottoman imperial palace and hotel situated on the Bosphorus. With 310 rooms exuding a resort-like ambiance in the heart of the city, this luxurious property offers an array of event spaces, delectable dining options, and a serene spa.

The Pearl Suites Hotel


We have thought of everything for your comfort. Our hotel offers a perfect comfort area where every detail is applied in order to host you, our distinguished guests, perfectly. The Pearl Suites offers a 16-room boutique hotel, providing 5-star hotel comfort with the privilege of 1+1 suites. Spacious rooms with high ceilings and unmatched accommodation service come together under one roof. We are at your service with a professional team.

Swissotel The Bosphorus


Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul, a five-star luxury hotel, is located right in the center of Istanbul on the European banks of the Bosphorus. Nestled within 65 acres of historical gardens, it offers 566 guest rooms and suites, featuring state-of-the-art technology and exclusive amenities.

Check out these hotel options in Istanbul, if you are not sure about staying in Besiktas:

Besiktas Restaurants and Cafes

Besiktas is home to some of Istanbul’s best restaurants and cafes, offering a variety of cuisines to suit any palate. Here are some of the top restaurants and cafes in Besiktas:

Vogue Restaurant & Bar

Vogue Restaurant & Bar is a stylish and elegant restaurant located in the heart of Besiktas. The restaurant offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant also has a rooftop bar with stunning views of the Bosphorus.

Tuğra Restaurant

Located in the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel, Tuğra Restaurant offers a fine dining experience in a historic setting. The restaurant serves traditional Ottoman cuisine, with an emphasis on rich flavors and spices. The restaurant also has a terrace with panoramic views of the Bosphorus.


Chalet is a cozy and intimate restaurant located in the heart of Besiktas. The restaurant serves traditional Turkish cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant also has a charming outdoor seating area, perfect for a romantic dinner.

Ulus 29

Ulus 29 is a stylish and sophisticated restaurant located in the Ulus neighborhood of Besiktas. The restaurant offers a modern take on Turkish cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood and meat dishes. The restaurant also has a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.


IST Too is a trendy and modern cafe located in the heart of Besiktas. The cafe serves a variety of sandwiches, salads, and pastries, as well as a selection of coffee and tea. The cafe also has a cozy outdoor seating area, perfect for people-watching.

Minoa Akaretler

Minoa Akaretler is a trendy and modern restaurant located in the Akaretler neighborhood of Besiktas. The restaurant offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant also has a lively bar, perfect for a night out with friends.

Besiktas Istanbul Shopping

Besiktas is a shopper’s paradise, offering a variety of shops and markets to explore. Here are some of the top shopping destinations in Besiktas:

Besiktas Market Zone (Carsi)

The Besiktas Market Zone (Carsi) is a bustling and lively market located in the heart of Besiktas. The market offers a wide variety of goods, including clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs. The market is also a great place to sample traditional Turkish street food.

As you wander through the market, you’ll be surrounded by the sounds of vendors haggling and locals chatting in Turkish. It’s a truly immersive experience that will leave you feeling like you’ve seen a side of Istanbul that few tourists get to experience.

One of the highlights of the market is the fresh produce section, where you can find everything from vibrant, locally grown fruits and vegetables to fresh bread and sweets. It’s the perfect place to pick up some ingredients for a picnic in one of the nearby parks or to sample some of the local specialties.

Besiktas as a Gem of Istanbul: What to Do There?

In conclusion, Besiktas is a neighborhood in Istanbul that is full of history, culture, and charm. From the impressive landmarks and museums to the lively markets and delicious restaurants, there are a lot o things to do in Besiktas.

Whether you’re interested in shopping for traditional Turkish goods at the Besiktas Market Zone or exploring the beautiful parks and palaces, Besiktas is a must-visit destination. And with a variety of hotels and resorts to choose from, you’ll be able to find accommodation to suit any budget and preference.

Be sure to take some time to explore the nearby neighborhoods, such as the picturesque Bebek or the trendy Arnavutkoy, to get a full sense of the unique character of this area. And with easy access to public transportation and clear directions available, getting around Besiktas and the surrounding areas is a breeze.

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