Guide to Besiktas in Istanbul: things to do, see, places to eat, drink

Waterside Besiktas is one of the oldest districts in Istanbul. Home to some of the city’s finest residential neighborhoods, Besiktas is also an important business, shopping, educational and historic area, and offers scenic views of the Bosphorus strait. Here we explore top things to do, see, places to eat, drink and stay in Besiktas with local expert help.

Exploring Besiktas – What to Do & See?

The biggest attractions in the area are Dolmabahce Palace, the lively Fishermen’s Market, Ihlamur Pavilion, the Maritime Museum, Yildiz and Ciragan palaces and the scenic Yildiz Park.

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Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace is one of the most spectacular palaces in Besiktas, located on the shores of the Bosphorus. The palace’s interior reflects the grandeur of the era and is created in the style of opulent European palaces. The entire palace structure is breathtaking. Over 50,000 artifacts are housed in the palace’s hundreds of chambers. And it was also home to six sultans and their families.

Beautiful Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul city, Turkey

Dolmabahce Palace is the largest palace in Turkey, with 285 rooms, 6 hammams, 46 halls, and 68 restrooms spread across 45.000 m2. The palace’s interior and external design includes elements of the Rococo, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Ottoman architectural styles. It was built by Sultan Abdülmecit and continued until 1856, and since 1984 it serves as a museum.

Find out more on Dolmabahce Palace

Yildiz Park

The historical Yildiz Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the city. The park is located in Besiktas. This is a wonderful park where the natural beauties combine with history and culture. The beautiful gardens are from the Ottoman Period, accompanied by a large park of flowers, plants and trees gathered from all over the world.

Yildiz Park also has excellent panoramic views of the Bosphorus. Malta Mansion and Cadir Mansion are among the places preferred especially for weekend breakfast pleasure.

Naval Museum

Located in the Besiktas district of Istanbul, overlooking the Bosphorus, the Naval Museum is the largest in Turkey in the field of maritime and at the same time one of the few museums in the world in terms of the diversity of its collections.

It consists of the Main Exhibition Building, Historical Boats Gallery, Cultural Site and Open Exhibition Areas. The sections that show the most interest to the visitors coming to the museum are the Sultan Boats section, where the decorated boats are exhibited, and the Atatürk Room.

Among the most popular works in the museum collection are; Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s belongings, historical boats, wooden and metal objects, textile weaving works, stone, paper and works of art come first.

Yildiz Mosque

Yildiz Hamidiye Mosque is also one of the most beautiful mosques in the city located in the Besiktas district. The mosque has orientalist and neo-gothic elements. The clock tower from 1890s in the northwest corner of the Mosque’ courtyard, is also a great sight.

Yıldız Hamidiye Mosque is not only the last example of its kind of architecture, but also the last of the Ottoman selatin mosques. Selatin mosques are the name given to the mosques built by the sultans during the Ottoman Empire.

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Getting to and around

The Besiktas district is also home to an important ferry hub connecting various neighborhoods on the Asian Side. The neighborhood is connected to Karakoy and Sultanahmet through the T1 Tram line.

It is connected to Taksim through the Taksim Funicular line and to the neighborhood of Ortakoy through a variety of bus lines.

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