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

Welcome to Uskudar, a hidden gem nestled on the Asian side of Istanbul. Known for its rich history, breathtaking views, and vibrant local culture, Uskudar offers a unique and authentic experience for visitors. Whether you’re seeking historical landmarks, delicious cuisine, shopping delights, or a glimpse into local life, Uskudar has something for everyone. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the top things to do and see in this captivating district.

Exploring Uskudar – What to Do & See?

Uncover the Historical Treasures

Uskudar is steeped in history, with several remarkable landmarks that reflect its past. Immerse yourself in the fascinating stories and architectural marvels of the district:

Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.

Maiden’s Tower (Kiz Kulesi)

Set on a tiny islet near the Uskudar shore, the Maiden’s Tower is an iconic symbol of Istanbul. The Maiden’s Tower is probably one of the most world-renowned and historical sights of Istanbul. A must-see place for travelers coming to Istanbul.

The Maiden’s Tower in the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey

Enjoy a boat ride to the tower and explore its intriguing history. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the Bosphorus and indulge in a delightful dining experience at the tower’s restaurant.

Visit Maiden’s Tower

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque

Designed by the renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is a true architectural masterpiece. Admire its elegant domes, intricate tile work, and serene ambiance as you explore its interior. Take a moment to appreciate the mosque’s historical and cultural significance.

Beylerbeyi Palace

Transport yourself to the lavish world of the Ottoman sultans by visiting the majestic Beylerbeyi Palace. Marvel at its opulent halls, stunning gardens, and exquisite details. Learn about the palace’s role in history and imagine the grandeur of the past as you wander through its rooms.

Visit Beylerbeyi Palace

Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III

The Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III, also known as the Uskudar Fountain, is a magnificent Baroque-style fountain that dates back to the 18th century. Admire its intricate design and decorative elements as you learn about its historical significance.

Explore Uskudar’s Historic Mosques

Uskudar is home to several historic mosques that showcase the city’s Islamic heritage. Visit notable mosques such as Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Semsi Pasa Mosque, and Yeni Valide Mosque to admire their stunning architecture and experience the tranquility of these sacred places.

Don’t Miss: Camlica Tower

Camlica Tower is one of the best places to experience Istanbul like never before from its very famous and spectacular vantage point. This new iconic tower will provide you a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the city that will definitely surprise you.

Situated on one of the picturesque hilltops of the Istanbul, the Camlica Tower stands as a true architectural masterpiece, exciting culture, history, and contemporary design. Soaring to a remarkable height of 369 meters, it is considered to be the tallest structure in Turkey, and it provides an unrivaled vantage point from which to admire the breathtaking panoramic views of Istanbul and Bosphorus.

Tour Booking Advice

You are able to have a wonderful dining experience here with a range of optional delights – choose from breakfast, lunch, or dinner to complement your experience.

While the tower is situated along Uskudar, on the Asian side of the city, uphill along Uskudar, you are able to find excursions with private hotel transfers in air-conditioned luxury.

Book Your View, Seat & Meal + Transfer

Other Top Sights

Camlica Hill

Camlica Hill is one of the most famous hills of the city, as well as one of the most places for the one who want to enjoy the magnificent view of the Bosphorus and take great Instagram photos. The hill is also famous for its nearby Camlica Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the history of Turkish republic.

The hill is covered with a lush green area. You are able to see the unique views of the Bosphorus, the Princes’ Islands, the Golden Horn and the European side of the city. You are also able to have a great day out at the several facilities of the hill such as restaurants and cafes, children playgrounds, walking paths, cycling and jogging tracks, and observation terraces.

Fethi Pasha Park

Fethi Pasha Park (Grove) is one of the most popular parks stretching from the ridges along Uskudar, on the Bosphorus Asian shores to the Kuzguncuk Hill and Pasalimani. You’ll enjoy the lush grove housing hundreds of plant and tree species, as well as dine and wine at its restaurant with spectacular Bosphorus view.

Camlica Mosque

Camlica Mosque was built in 2019 and it is also the largest mosque complex in the history of the Republic. The number of minarets and length of Camlica Mosque is among the largest mosques in Turkey.

Camlica Mosque was built on a large area of 15 thousand square meters, with a capacity of 37 thousand 500 people, 10 thousand of which are in the closed and 5 thousand in the open courtyard. It has neoclassical architectural shape style.

Take a Bosphorus Cruise

Embark on a Bosphorus cruise from Uskudar and enjoy breathtaking views of Istanbul’s iconic skyline, historic landmarks, and majestic bridges. Witness the beauty of the Bosphorus Strait as you cruise along its shimmering waters.

Discover the Neighborhoods of Kuzguncuk and Cengelkoy

Take a stroll through the charming neighborhoods of Kuzguncuk and Cengelkoy, located along the Bosphorus shore in Uskudar. These neighborhoods offer a glimpse into Istanbul’s rich cultural and architectural heritage with their historic houses, cozy cafes, and local markets.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

Uskudar is a gastronomic paradise, offering a diverse range of culinary delights that will tantalize your taste buds. Sample the authentic flavors and immerse yourself in the local food scene:

Turkish Breakfast Delights

Start your day with a traditional Turkish breakfast, known as “kahvalti,” at one of the charming local cafes. Indulge in a feast of freshly baked bread, various cheeses, olives, jams, honey, and more. Pair it with a cup of Turkish tea and savor the flavors of a true Turkish breakfast experience.

Street Food Exploration

Venture into the bustling streets of Uskudar and discover the vibrant world of Turkish street food. Try the iconic “simit,” a circular sesame bread, freshly baked and sold by street vendors. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor other street food delicacies such as “midye dolma” (stuffed mussels) and “balik ekmek” (grilled fish sandwich).

Local Restaurants and Cafes

Explore the local dining scene and savor the authentic tastes of Uskudar. From traditional kebabs and mezes to Ottoman-inspired dishes, there are plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. Don’t forget to sample the famous Turkish desserts like baklava and Turkish delight for a sweet ending to your culinary adventure.

Traditional Tea Houses (Çay Bahçesi)

Embrace the Turkish tea culture by visiting one of the traditional tea houses in Uskudar. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of Turkish tea while soaking in the laid-back ambiance. Engage in friendly conversations with locals and fellow travelers, and immerse yourself in the social fabric of the community.

Shopping Delights

Uskudar offers a delightful shopping experience with its variety of markets, boutiques, and artisan shops. Stroll through the bustling Uskudar Market and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Browse the stalls filled with fresh produce, spices, local products, textiles, and handicrafts. Engage in friendly haggling and take home authentic souvenirs.

Lodging Options

If you’re considering staying in Uskudar during your visit to Istanbul, you’ll find a range of accommodation options to suit your preferences. Whether you prefer luxury hotels or cozy boutique guesthouses, Uskudar has something to offer:

– Boutique Hotels

Experience personalized hospitality and charming accommodations by staying in one of Uskudar’s boutique hotels. These intimate establishments offer unique design elements, attentive service, and a cozy ambiance. Enjoy the comfort of a home away from home while being immersed in the local culture.

– Waterfront Hotels

For breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, consider staying at one of the waterfront hotels in Uskudar. Wake up to panoramic vistas, watch the boats sail by, and witness the stunning sunsets over the water. These hotels offer a tranquil retreat from the bustling city while keeping you connected to Istanbul’s vibrant energy.

Experience the Allure of Uskudar

Uskudar is a captivating district that offers a blend of history, culture, culinary delights, and breathtaking views. Explore its hidden gems, immerse yourself in the local lifestyle, and create unforgettable memories during your visit to this enchanting part of Istanbul. From historical landmarks to culinary delights and unique shopping experiences, Uskudar has something for every traveler. So pack your bags, prepare to be amazed, and get ready to uncover the charm of Uskudar, Istanbul’s captivating Asian side.

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