Kadikoy, Istanbul: TOP Things to Do and See 2023
Istanbul is famously split into two parts with the iconic city straddling the European and Asian continents. While both sides of the city feature incredible tourist attractions, it is the Asian half of Istanbul that has risen in popularity in recent years. On the Asian side of the Turkish city, you will find Kadikoy, a large cosmopolitan area that borders the Sea of Marmara’s northern shore.
More and more tourists are setting their sights on Kadikoy and the number of tourists visiting the district continues to grow each year. Kadikoy is a bustling hub of excitement with some of Istanbul’s best destinations. You will find produce markets, cafes and restaurants, popular bars, and an atmosphere that is far more progressive than in other parts of the city. The nightlife in Kadikoy is incredibly popular amongst locals and travellers alike. Its Bar Street is legendary and attracts visitors throughout the week. Once the sun sets, Bar Street comes to life.
Kadikoy: Things to do on Istanbul’s Asia side
Kadikoy is an area that attracts young people and students. This has led to its reputation for having a lively atmosphere. It is easy to enjoy the youthful vibe of the district at its many cafes, bars, and restaurants. You shouldn’t miss its many historical landmarks either.
There is a lot more to do in Kadikoy than just visiting bars, restaurants, and cafes, however. The district has many historic buildings and has transport links to other parts of the city. Kadikoy is an experience like no other in Istanbul. There are plenty of things to see and do; and you won’t want to miss a visit or to book a stay in Kadikoy.
Kadikoy Market and Bahariye Street
A visit to the district should begin with Kadikoy Market and Bahariye Street (General Asım Gündüz Cd). These are the most popular destinations to visit. The market is home to a variety of shops and sellers. You will find greengrocers, fishmongers, spice shops, patisseries, cafes, restaurants, and pubs inside.
Tellalzade Street, near the market, is popular with travellers looking for antiques and second-hand books. Sanatcilar (Artists) Street is also nearby. There, you will discover ceramics, paintings, and art shops owned and sold by local Istanbul artists.
Bahariye Street is a pedestrian street with tram-line in the center and is an oasis of shops and cafes in Kadikoy. The street is filled with stores and boutiques, places to eat and drink, small stalls and a lot of people. An old-fashioned tram operates from Kadikoy Harbour and runs through Bahariye Street. It is a unique way to see the district.
Sureyya Opera House
The Sureyya Opera House is located on Bahariye Street and is one of the most spectacular buildings in the area. It was designed as an opera house, theatre, and ball hall by Sureyya Ilmen Pasa in 1927. Instead, Sureyya was used as cinema for years.
In 2007, Sureyya Opera House was restored to its original state. It became the first opera house on the Asian side of Istanbul and is one of just six opera houses in Turkey. The building’s facade features cravings of art’s muses and masks, tragedy and comedy. There is also a marble sculpture known as Vodvil standing next to the building.
Aya Triada Greek Orthodox church
The church was built in 1902 by Yovakim and Kadıköy Metropolitan Yermenos with approve of Patriarch III. Here in the church’s garden Metropol Yermanos was buried. The project of the church was made by achitects G. Zahariadis and Belissarios Makropoulos.
On the right side of the narthex section at the entrance you can find holy spring of Saint Catherine.
Fazil Bey’s Turkish Coffee
Kadikoy has a number of renowned places to eat and drink. One of the most popular is Fazil Bey’s Turkish Coffee. It is an institution in the district. It roasts and grinds its own beans and has been doing so since 1923. Coffee lovers from all over Istanbul and the world to enjoy Fazil Bey’s unique offerings. See the location here.
The Bull Statue (Boğa heykeli)
Bull statue in Kadikoy is one of the busiest and most popular meeting point for locals. It’s located in the middle of six roads — turk. Altıyol. The sculptor of the statue — Isidore Bonheur was one of the best animalier sculptor of 19 century and we still can see his statues all around the world. He made bronze bull statue in 1864 but before it reach Kadikoy, the statue had a long journey through different countries. In 1917 the statue was sent as a gift by German Kaiser Wilhelm II to Ottoman general Enver Paşa. But only in 1990 the statue was bring to Kadikoy and took it place where we can see it today.
The street with antique shops (Antikacılar sokağı)
For those who interested in antiques, old books and other interesting old things from the past decades and centuries, a walk along the street with antique shops will be unforgettable. The narrow sidewalk is framed on all sides by antique stores offering you to buy some exclusive antique items. A small trip along this street will be interesting for everyone who came to Kadikoy for new experience.
Fenerbahçe park is located on the peninsula and famous for it’s beautiful view and green trees. You can take a walk and then sit in the shadow or near the sea to drink some coffee. It’s supposed that in Byzantine times it was an island which was connected by embankment with the main land.
Here in the park you can see huge trees that more than 150 years old. Also, the park is fool of cats, which lives in small houses made for them (with permission of municipality). And you can meet some dogs lying in the park under the sun.
Ayia Efimia Greek Orthodox Church
Located in the Kadikoy Market square is the Ayia Efimia Greek Orthodox Church. The Church was constructed in 1694. It is claimed that Ayia Efemia was killed in the year 305. He was murdered due to resisting the local community’s Pagan belief in favour of Christianity.
Once a popular music store in the area, Akmar Passage is now a must-visit bookstore. It sells new and second-hand books, attracting students from across Istanbul. The book shop has a variety of books new and old; and travellers may find something extraordinary on their visit.
Haydarpasa Railway Station and Pier
As far as famous landmarks in Kadikoy go, Haydarpasa Railway Station and Pier is one of the most popular destination for travellers. The station and pier are incredibly impressive for visitors arriving by ferry. Its glorious building is breath-taking and is Instagram-photo worthy. The Haydarpasa Railway Station was built for the Berlin-Bagdad railway project by German workers in 1908. Travelling by ferry offers visitors the chance to see herons and cormorant birds who make their homes nearby.
Kadiköy-Moda Nostaljik Tramway
Experience the area’s relaxed vibe with a ride on the Kadikoy-Moda Nostaljik Tramway. The red tram looks like something out of a museum, but it still runs and is used every day by locals. You can get on the tram by the ferries and will be transported through the colourful area of Moda. The tramline is short and lasts 10 stops running in a 2.6-kilometre (1.6-mile) loop.
Istanbul Toy Museum
The Istanbul Toy Museum takes visitors on a trip down memory lane. The museum is located in the Goztepe area of Kadikoy. Opened in April 2005 by poet and novelist Sunay Akin, the musem exhibits popular examples of toys throughout history. Toys date back to the 1700s to modern day. Akin collected the toys from antique shops and auctions in more than 40 countries over the course of two decades.
Osman Aga Mosque
Istanbul has more than 3,000 mosques. Some are grand, magnificent structures while others are smaller, more humble buildings. The Osman Aga Mosque is an example of Istanbul’s beautiful, elaborate religious structures. It was constructed during Sultan I. Ahmed’s reign in 1603 to 1617 and built by Osman Aga.
Selimiye Barracks ve Florence Nightingale Museum
Behind the Haydarpasa Railway Station is the Selimiye Barracks, which was built in 1799. It was constructed by Sultan III Selim to establish a new army to replace the troublesome existing army. The barracks also have a museum on site dedicated to Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing. Nightingale cared for wounded people during the Crimea War from 1853 to 1856. Nightingale’s room and items inside are still well-persevered.
Kadıköy: where to stay
Kadıköy is a big district, but the best places to stay are locations near the Kadikoy pier and Moda. There are a lot of walking streets with small markets, shops with hand-made things and souvenirs, music shops and clothes from turkish designers.
If you want to reach the cafes and public transport in short time, it’s better to stay close to Kadikoy marina or Kadikoy metro, or in the Moda area. Also, there are a lot of places near Bahariye street. The Asian side of the city, especially Moda is very calm place compare to Sultanahmet or Istiklal, so if you want to relax without noise — look for a place to stay in Moda.