Street Art

Kadıköy is the centre of the city's street-art scene, and the streets of the Yeldeğirmeni district near the iskele (ferry dock) are where many local and visiting artists hang out; head to Karakolhane Sokak near the railway tracks, Misak-ı Milli Sokak, İzzettin Sokak and Macit Erbudak Sokak to see their work. Other examples are on or near Moda Caddesi: look for murals by Adekan next to the Gerekli Şeyler bookshop and on the side of the tennis courts in Hüseyin Bey Sokak off Osman Yeki Üngör Sokak; for the mural by Canavar in the square next to the Mopaş supermarket on Dr Esat Işık Caddesi; and also for the mural by Yabanci on the side of the Greek school in Neşe Sokağı. When wandering through the streets you'll also see interesting tagging by Yok ('nothing' in Turkish).

Top Sights

Worth a Trip: Üsküdar

A working-class suburb with a conservative population, Üsküdar isn’t blessed with the restaurants, bars and cafes that give Kadıköy such a vibrant and inclusive edge, but it does have one very big asset: an array of magnificent imperial mosques. Foremost among these is the Atik Valide Mosque, designed by Sinan for the Valide Sultan Nurbanu, wife of Selim II (the Sot) and mother of Murat III. Dating from 1583, it has retained most of the buildings in its original külliye (mosque complex) and has a commanding location on Üsküdar’s highest hill. The nearby Çinili Mosque is dwarfed in comparison, but is notable for the multicoloured İznik tiles that adorn its interior. Slightly further up the hill is one of the few architecturally notable modern mosques in the city, the Şakirin Mosque. Designed by Hüsrev Tayla and featuring an interior by Zeynap Fadıllıoğlu, it is located opposite the Zeynep Kamil Hospital on the road to Kadıköy.

Down by the iskele (ferry dock) are the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, a Sinan design from 1547–48 that was commissioned by the daughter of Süleyman the Magnificent; and the Yeni Valide Mosque, commissioned by Ahmet III for his mother. South of the iskele is yet another Sinan design: the diminutive 1580 Şemsi Ahmed Paşa Mosque. Next to this is the popular Mistanbul Hancı Cafe, a waterside çay bahçesi (tea garden) where you can enjoy a tea, coffee or soft drink while admiring the view and watching the ever-present group of anglers trying their luck in the choppy waters below. Before leaving the suburb, consider purchasing some of the unusual and delicious lokum (Turkish delight) sold at Şekerci Aytekin Erol Caferzade in the Balıkçılar Çarşısı (Fish Market) off Hakimiyeti Milliye Caddesi.

To get here from Kadıköy, take bus 12 or 12A from the bus station in front of the Turyol iskele, or one of the many dolmuşes (minibuses that stop anywhere along their prescribed routes) picking up passengers nearby. From Üsküdar, ferries travel back to Eminönü, Karaköy, Kabataş and Beşiktaş.