Historically, Ortaköy was home to a mix of Turkish, Greek, Armenian, and Jewish residents. Now the area is primarily Muslim, but churches and synagogues still dot the neighborhood. The mark of the Ottoman Empire remains in Ortaköy at the Ciragan Palace (Çırağan Sarayı), an exquisite building on the Bosphorus that currently houses a luxurious hotel.
Many small-group and private tours that include Bosphorus cruises call at Ortaköy. Tours to Ortaköy usually also visit Dolmabahce Palace, the Spice Bazaar, Anadolu Kavagi, Rumeli Fortress (Rumeli Hisarı), and more.
Things to Know Before You Go
Ortaköy is a must-visit for architecture and history buffs.
Wear comfortable shoes to stroll around the neighborhood.
If you want to visit the synagogue in Ortaköy, you must obtain permission in advance from the head rabbi.
How to Get There
Ortaköy is on the European side of Istanbul, a short distance from the Besiktas ferry pier. You can walk or take a bus from there to Ortaköy. You can also take the tram to Kabatas and get a bus from there, or take a bus from/to Taksim Square. The neighborhood is located along the major shore road, and taxis are easy to find.
When to Get There
Ortaköy is calm and quiet in the morning. By the afternoon and evening, Ortaköy becomes much more active. To beat the crowds, arrive earlier in the day. Traffic to Ortaköy can get congested around rush hour from 5pm to 8pm, so if you are arriving in a vehicle, it’s best to set out before or after that time.
Kumpir in Ortaköy
Istanbul’s Ortaköy neighborhood is famous for its watersidekumpir stands.Kumpir is a baked potato stuffed with cheese, vegetables, meze, meat, and whatever else you choose. As you select your fillings, thekumpir maker will construct your potato in front of you. Then head to a bench by the water and enjoy your tasty snack with a view.
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- Yildiz Palace Museum (Yildiz Sarayi Müzesi)
- Bosphorus Bridge (Bogazici Koprusu)
- Beylerbeyi Palace (Beylerbeyi Sarayi)
- Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi)
- Military Museum and Cultural Center Command (Askeri Müze)
- Taksim Square (Taksim Meydani)
- Aga Turkish Bath (Aga Hamami)
- Madame Tussauds Istanbul
- Galatasaray High School (Galatasaray Lisesi)
- Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage)
- Museum of Innocence (Masumiyet Müzesi)
- Istanbul Sapphire
- St. Anthony of Padua Church (Sent Antuan Bazilikasi)
- Istiklal Street (Istiklal Caddesi)
- Pera Museum (Pera Müzesi)