Top things to do

Top Choice Palace in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Dolmabahçe Palace

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 Dolmabahçe. However, the crowds that throng to this imperial pleasure …
Modern Turkish in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Alancha

Alancha's designer decor is as striking as its colourful and artfully arranged dinner dishes, which range from servings of wild sea bass to filet mignon. Go for the Anatolian tasting menu, which features a dozen cou…
Museum in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

İstanbul Naval Museum

Established over a century ago to celebrate and commemorate Turkish naval history, this museum has been undergoing a prolonged and major renovation. Its architecturally noteworthy copper-clad exhibition hall opened …
Mosque in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Ortaköy Mosque

This elegant baroque-style structure was designed by Nikoğos Balyan, one of the architects of Dolmabahçe Palace, and built for Sultan Abdül Mecit I between 1853 and 1855. The modern Bosphorus Bridge (aka Bridge of t…
Museum in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Palace Collections Museum

Occupying the warehouse-like Dolmabahçe Palace kitchens, this museum exhibits items used in the royal palaces and pavilions during the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish Republic. It is a fascinating hotchpotch o…
Museum in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Yıldız Şale

Originally an imperial hunting lodge, this oft-extended Ottoman guesthouse has hosted royalty galore. Built for Sultan Abdül Hamit II in 1880, the şale (chalet) was closed to the public at the time of research, but …
Clothing in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Gönül Paksoy

Paksoy creates and sells pieces that transcend fashion and step into art. In fact, her work was once the subject of an exhibition at İstanbul's Rezan Haş Gallery. Her distinctive clothing is handmade using naturally…
Food in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Lokum Istanbul

Lokum (Turkish Delight) is elevated to the status of artwork at this boutique. Owner and creator Zeynep Keyman brings back the delights, flavours, knowledge and beauty of Ottoman-Turkish products, including colourfu…
Art in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Fotoİstanbul

This excellent (and free) annual photography festival held in October displays diverse work by Turkish and international artists all around the Beşiktaş and Ortaköy neighbourhoods, including outdoor installations in…
Anatolian in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Kantın

An early and much-loved adopter of the Slow Food philosophy, 'Canteen' remains one of İstanbul’s best bistros (and high-end takeaways). Chef-owner Semsa Denizsel, a pioneer of the farm-to-table approach in Turkey, s…