Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Istanbul, there are many outside spots where you can enjoy sipping your tulip-like glass of hot çay along the Bosphorus.

The breathtaking views along the Bosphorus never gets old to me! I love watching the boats pass by, men fishing along the Galata Bridge and families strolling along the waterfront.

My husband and I recently discovered a new location to drink our çay along the Bosphorus. One Sunday afternoon, we took a 10-minute ferryboat ride from Beşiktaş to Üsküdar – the quickest way to travel from Europe to Asia.
The seagulls soar right along the ferryboats.
Here, the vibe of the city instantly changes. The district of Üsküdar, Istanbul's oldest-established residential suburb, has a more relaxed atmosphere as well as being home to more traditional Turkish families. We saw few women who weren’t wearing headscarves and long trench coats.
Daily life in Üsküdar in Istanbul.
Along Üsküdar’s waterfront, the area is bustling with activity. Boats are arriving and departing about every 10 minutes. We strolled a bit through Üsküdar and then decided to follow the crowd along the waterfront.

Note: there are several mosques and a nice market area in Üsküdar that’s worth exploring if you have time.

After a 15-minute walk along the promenade south of Üsküdar, we discovered a busy çay bahçesi (tea garden) with one of the best views of Sultanahmet and the Kiz Kulesi (Maiden’s Tower). This small tower off the coast has existed since Byzantine times. You also can see the Topkapı Palace, Aya Sofya, the Blue Mosque, the Dolmabahçe Palace along the European shore.
At first, I tried to hold my çay and take a photo at the same time. To the left is the Kiz Kulesi (Maiden's Tower) and Sultanahmet is in the far background.
This çay bahçesi is filled with wooden benches and stretches along the Bosphorus towards the bus station at Harem. We pulled up a front-row seat, ordered our çay and spent an hour both reading our books.
A view of the tea garden and it's bleacher-like seating.
At 2 tl per glass of çay and 1 tl for a simit, this is a very cheap way to spend the afternoon. Plus, the Bosphorus view is priceless!

Where is your favorite location to enjoy the Bosphorus view in Istanbul?
Fisherman along the promenade near Üsküdar in Istanbul.

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Julia said...

Someone here has just recommended what I think must be this place to us for çay because of the views. Looks lovely.

Tina Maxima said...

Beautiful post,pictures,sad story about Kiz kulesi history , and great last post is too from Istanbul:)Regards from Serbia

Erica (Irene) said...

The view and place sounds great....I love drinking cay at any place watching the view of the Bosphorus. Glad you had an enjoyable time and yes the simit and cay is not too expensive.

Deniz Bevan said...

Love the cay and kiz kulesi photo! I wish I could live in that kule :-)

Joy said...

@Julia, thanks again for the RT! One of these days, you guys definitely need to check out this area. =)

@Tina, Thanks for stopping by! Just checked out your blog as well. Looks like you and your friends had fun exploring around Istanbul during your recent visit!

@Erica (Irene) and Deniz Bevan, thank you both! Gotta love the Bosphorus - it's almost mesmerizing! I took the bus along the shore road from Kabatas to Yenikoy and loved watching the water pass me by today.

Unknown said...

Super pics!!

Joy said...

@Claudia, Çok teşekkür ederim! The city is an amazing subject to work with! =)

Becca Ramspott said...

Oh my goodness, I need to get back there again someday! Great post, as usual. And wow, looking that these pics you've posted... the Bosphorus is so amazing!! Thank you again for opening my eyes to how beautiful Istanbul is, Joy. Enchanted forever. ; )

Joy said...

@Becca, thanks my friend! I certainly was happy to share my city with you and Matt. And of course, we'd be happy to host you again.

Mary B said...

On my next trip, hope to make it to Uskudar. I'd like to see several places there, including the Florence Nightingale museum. Silly me, as a child I read stories about "the lady with the lamp" and always assumed the horrible hospital she encountered was in Crimea. She never got past Scutari (Uskudar). An amazing lady for her time, and lucky that she got to live in Turkey for a while (although I am sure that was NOT a pleasure trip). Love the Asian side, especially Kadikoy but I know there is a lot more to discover.

Joy said...

@Mary, Uskudar is definitely worth visiting and exploring! I've never been to the museum, but I'm sure it would be worth it. I love that you can travel from Besiktas to Uskudar in about 10 minutes!