If you’re looking for a unique Istanbul experience, Ortakoy is a must-visit destination. Located on the European side of Istanbul, this charming neighborhood is famous for its picturesque Ortakoy Square, vibrant nightlife, delicious street food, and impressive landmarks. In this article, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Ortakoy, including where to eat, what to see, and how to get there.
History of Ortakoy
Ortakoy has a rich history that dates back to the Byzantine era. In the Ottoman period, it became a popular summer resort for the royal family, who built lavish mansions and mosques in the area. Today, Ortakoy is a vibrant neighborhood that combines tradition and modernity, attracting both locals and tourists.
Where is Ortakoy Located?
Ortakoy is located on the Bosphorus Strait, between the neighborhoods of Beşiktaş and Kuruçeşme, on the European side of Istanbul. It’s easily accessible by public transportation or taxi from the city center. See the location >>
Things to Do & See in Ortakoy
Stroll Ortakoy Square and the Coast
Ortakoy Square is the heart of the neighborhood and offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Bridge and the Ortakoy Mosque. The square is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. You can also take a walk along the coast and enjoy the sea breeze.
Eat A Kumpir and Waffle in Ortakoy
If you’re looking for a delicious and unique food experience in Ortakoy, you must try a kumpir or waffle. Kumpir is a baked potato stuffed with a variety of toppings like cheese, vegetables, and meat, while waffles in Ortakoy are served with a variety of sweet toppings like Nutella, fruit, and whipped cream. There are many kumpir and waffle stands located in Ortakoy Square, where you can try these tasty treats.
Take a Bosphorus Tour From Eminonu and Stop in Ortakoy
One of the best ways to see the beauty of the Bosphorus is by taking a public ferry tour. You can catch a ferry from Eminonu, which will take you along the Bosphorus and stop at Ortakoy. From the boat, you’ll get to see stunning views of the city’s skyline, historical landmarks, and the Bosphorus Bridge. Once you arrive in Ortakoy, you can explore the neighborhood and enjoy a delicious meal or snack.
Take Enchanting Bosphorus Cruise and Watch Ortakoy from Water
Indulge in the captivating beauty of Istanbul with one-of-a-kind Bosphorus experiences, such as a luxurious private yacht tour or a mesmerizing sunset cruise, providing an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the city’s stunning skyline and rich cultural heritage.
Ortakoy Mecidiye Mosque
Ortakoy Mecidiye Mosque is a stunning landmark in the neighborhood and is known for its unique Ottoman Baroque architecture. The mosque was built in the mid-19th century and is located on the waterfront, offering beautiful views of the Bosphorus. The interior of the mosque is also worth seeing, with its intricate details and beautiful design.
Esma Sultan Mansion
Esma Sultan Mansion is a historic mansion located on the Bosphorus and is now used as a cultural center for exhibitions and events. The mansion was built in the mid-19th century and has been restored to its former glory. The mansion offers stunning views of the Bosphorus and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Ottoman architecture and history.
Etz Ahayim Synagogue (Ortaköy Sinagogu)
Etz Ahayim Synagogue is a historic synagogue located in Ortakoy and is the only active synagogue in the neighborhood. The synagogue was built in the mid-19th century and is known for its beautiful architecture and unique design. Visitors are welcome to visit the synagogue and learn about its history and significance.
Hatice Sultan Mansion
Hatice Sultan Mansion is a stunning mansion located on the Bosphorus and is now used as a restaurant and event space. The mansion was built in the mid-19th century and offers stunning views of the Bosphorus. The interior of the mansion is also worth seeing, with its beautiful design and historic artifacts.
Historical Hüsrev Kethüda Bath (Ortaköy Bath)
Hüsrev Kethüda Bath is a historic Turkish bath located in Ortakoy and is one of the oldest baths in Istanbul. The bath was built in the mid-16th century and is known for its beautiful Ottoman architecture and design. Visitors can enjoy a traditional Turkish bath experience and relax in the historic atmosphere.
What & Where to Eat and Drink in Ortakoy: the Best Restaurants
Ortakoy is known for its delicious food and has many restaurants and cafes to choose from.
Some of the best restaurants in Ortakoy include Köşem Restaurant, which serves traditional Turkish cuisine with a modern twist, and the trendy Vogue Restaurant & Bar, which offers international dishes and stunning Bosphorus views.
For a unique experience, try the seafood at the waterfront Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı restaurant, or the famous kumpir (stuffed baked potatoes) at the Ortaköy Kumpircileri, where you can create your own combination of toppings.
When it comes to drinks, Ortakoy has many options to quench your thirst.
The Ortaköy Kahvesi is a popular coffee shop that serves Turkish coffee and tea, and is a great place to relax and people-watch.
For a drink with a view, head to the Ortaköy Lounge & Bar, located on the top floor of the Ortaköy Princess Hotel, where you can enjoy a cocktail while taking in panoramic views of the Bosphorus.
Nightlife in Ortakoy: Bars and Clubs
Ortakoy has a vibrant nightlife scene and offers a variety of bars and clubs to choose from. The Anjelique Club is a popular spot for dancing and live music, and is known for its stunning views of the Bosphorus. The Indigo Club is another popular option, with a lively atmosphere and a mix of Turkish and international music. For a more relaxed night out, head to the Hobo Bistro & Grill, which offers a cozy atmosphere and live jazz music.
Don’t Miss Nightlife of Istanbul: Have a Pub Crawl
Where to Stay in Ortakoy: Discover the Best Hotels
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.
Nestled in the bustling center of Ortaköy, the Ortaköy Hotel offers a prime location for experiencing Istanbul’s vibrant four-season atmosphere. The Ortaköy Hotel features 12 spacious, comfortable rooms designed for your utmost satisfaction, seamlessly blending traditional Turkish hospitality with a 5-star service approach. The hotel’s architecture, which has been respectfully renovated to maintain its historical integrity, perfectly captures the essence of Ortaköy’s lively and insatiable seaside.
Experience the charm of NEVV BOSPHORUS, a boutique hotel created from the fusion of four historic buildings in the heart of Ortaköy. With 12 exquisite suites, this unique property is just steps away from the cobblestone Ortaköy Square, iconic Ortaköy Mosque, and an array of luxury shops, eateries, and clubs.
How to Get to Ortakoy from Popular Istanbul Areas
Ortakoy is easily accessible by public transportation from popular Istanbul areas. You can take the T1 tram from Sultanahmet or Eminönü and get off at Kabatas, then take a bus or a taxi to Ortakoy.
Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Eminönü or Beşiktaş and enjoy a scenic ride along the Bosphorus. If you prefer to drive, there are several parking lots in the area, although parking can be difficult during peak hours.
Besiktas: Ortakoy is located within walking distance from Besiktas. You can walk along the coast or take a short taxi ride to get there.
Kadikoy: Take the ferry from Kadikoy to Besiktas and then walk or take a taxi to Ortakoy. Alternatively, take the ferry from Kadikoy to Ortakoy, which is scheduled several times a day.
Ortakoy is a charming neighborhood in Istanbul that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. Whether you want to admire stunning architecture, enjoy delicious food, or take a scenic Bosphorus tour, Ortakoy has something for everyone. In this article, we’ve covered some of the top things to do and see in Ortakoy, as well as the best places to eat, drink, and stay.