The beating heart of Beşiktaş, this bustling backstreet area packed with shops, restaurants, bars, cafes – and the neighbourhood’s youthful crowd – is known simply as ‘çarşı’ (market). Its hubs are the fish market, covered by a distinctive steel canopy and lined at the back by meyhane (tavern) restaurants, and the small square centred around a statue of a black eagle, the symbol of the Beşiktaş football club and a rallying point on match nights.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Tomb of Barbarossa

0.13 MILES

In the square opposite the İstanbul Naval Museum is this Sinan-designed tomb of the admiral of Süleyman the Magnificent's fleet, Barbaros Heyrettin Paşa …

2. İstanbul Naval Museum

0.14 MILES

Established over a century ago to celebrate and commemorate Turkish naval history, this museum's architecturally noteworthy copper-clad exhibition hall…

3. Palace Collections Museum

0.16 MILES

Occupying the warehouse-like Dolmabahçe Palace kitchens, this museum exhibits items used in the royal palaces and pavilions during the late Ottoman Empire…

4. National Palaces Painting Museum

0.29 MILES

The Veliaht Dairesi (Apartments of the Crown Prince) in Dolmabahçe Palace are now home to the palace's collection of paintings. Highlights include the…

5. Dolmabahçe Palace

0.44 MILES

These days it’s fashionable for architects and critics influenced by the less-is-more aesthetic of Bauhaus masters to sneer at buildings such as…

6. Çırağan Palace

0.51 MILES

Not satisfied with the architectural exertions of his predecessor at Dolmabahçe Palace, Sultan Abdül Aziz (r 1861–76) built his own grand residence at…

7. Maçka Park

0.64 MILES

On a sunny weekend afternoon, you’ll find this slender green oasis in central İstanbul full of picnicking families, canoodling couples and slackline…

8. Yıldız Park

0.67 MILES

This large and leafy retreat is alive with birds, picnicking families and young couples strolling hand in hand. The best time to visit is in April, when…