Kadiköy: Entry into the Asian side of Istanbul
Kadiköy is the gateway to the Asian side of Istanbul.
99% of the time you end up in this area during a city trip.
Here, I’ll present to you the interesting places, sights and other activities there are in Kadiköy.
Kadiköy – from Europe to Asia, please!
1. Ferry from Galata Bridge to Haydarpasa Train Station
I strongly recommend that you take the ferry from Eminönü station on the Galata Bridge to Kadiköy instead of the metro.
Order a glass of chai and a Simit on board the ferry, and enjoy the view during the journey. You will pass the Topkapi Palace, Maiden’s Tower and the entrance to the Bosporus.
Your destination is the Asian side – in Kadiköy – is the ferry terminal at the Haydarpasa train station. The station is interesting for history buffs, as it was the starting point for the Baghdad Railway in Istanbul.
2. The narrow streets in Kadiköy
Kadiköy is the young and hip district on the Asian side of Istanbul. This area is practically the opposite of Beyoglu. Overall, Kadiköy is much less touristy.
The first thing you see in Kadikoy are the narrow streets near the Haydarpasa train station. They lead past the older houses with their many restaurants, bars and boutiques.
So, first of all, Kadikoy is the perfect place to try Turkish food.
I have two recommendations for this:
Ciya Sofrasi: a place with fairly large portions at a low price that is in every Istanbul travel guide. The advantage of the restaurant is that you can eat your way through Turkish cuisine without spending a lot of money.
Halil Lahmacun: home of the best Lahmacun in Istanbul – and probably in all of Turkey!
3. Walk to Moda Park
Tea gardens under trees with a view of the Bosporus and a calm, relaxed atmosphere – this is the easiest way to describe Moda Park.
Visit the park in the morning for breakfast or in the afternoon for a glass of cay. The residents of Istanbul like to do this themselves on the weekends. Therefore, you should stick to the weekdays, otherwise the park will be too crowded.
Don’t miss the market streets with fish, fruit and regional delicacies from Turkey along the way. The market streets are part of most street food tours.
4. A waffle in Kadikoy
On the way between Moda Park and the Haydarpasa train station there are about a dozen restaurants featuring waffles.
If you’re on a diet, these eateries are the wrong place for you. Especially since there are various sauces, chocolate, caramel and fruit toppings that go with the waffles.
Very sweet, very tasty!
I still haven’t been able to decide which one is the best shop. I do like the Munchis Crepe Pancakes.
5. Walk along the banks of the Bosporus
I like the walk from the Haydarpasa train station along the banks of the Bosporus to the Sea of Marmara. This will either take you from Moda Park back to the train station or from the train station to the park.
If you continue towards the Sea of Marmara from Moda, you will reach the Caddebostan district after a good 30 minutes. The name Caddebostan is synonymous with sandy beach in Istanbul. So if it’s summer, take your swimsuit with you to Kadikoy!
6. Shopping in Kadikoy – Bagdat Caddesi
The Kadikoy Pazar is a cosy market with food and spices. Best of all, they are sold at low prices. The locals tend to visit this market in Istanbul. The price is cheaper than in the Grand Bazaar or other markets on the European side.
All over the centre of Kadikoy – between Haydarpasa Train Station and Moda Park – there are boutiques selling clothes, bags and shoes. They are mostly high-quality Turkish brands.
Another interesting place for shopping is the Bagdat Caddesi. This is a more than 14km long shopping street. It is the counterpart to Istiklal Caddesi on the European side.
The street stands for restaurants, boutiques, department stores, national and international brands, cafes and bars. Shops are usually open all week long.
7. Nightlife in Kadikoy
Kadiköy is the Beyoglu of the Asian side. Most of the bars, clubs and cafes are located here. You can find at least one bar in practically every alley in the centre of Kadikoy.
Kadikoy is an intellectual, student and immigrant neighbourhood in Istanbul. Then there are travellers who get lost in the bars and clubs of Kadikoy. So you can expect to meet a pretty diverse mix of people at any of the bars.
Another special issue in Kadikoy is the Fenerbahce Istanbul football club. During and after a home game, almost all the bars on Bagdat Caddesi are filled with enthusiastic soccer fans. If you think Germany is crazy about the sport, then you haven’t seen Istanbul yet …