Top 10 Most Underrated Places in Istanbul
Sometimes the best places can be found in the shadows. Lets explore Top 10 Most Underrated Places in Istanbul
1. Kadıköy’s Unique Fish Market
Maybe you heard about the delicious fish of Istanbul. Kadıköy’s unique fish market offers you delicious and colorful fish from the sea to your table. These fresh fishes are caught daily from the Marmara and the black sea. You can meet different kinds of fish and try the unique tastes of these fish. The prices are more reasonable than the other fish markets.
2. The Kanlica District
Kanlıca is kind of a little village in a huge city. You can feel the cozy atmosphere and enjoy amazing Istanbul views with traditional Turkish Tea. Kanlıca’s one of the most famous food is its sought-after specialty, yogurt topped with powdered sugar, which is offered in the many local stores. Also, you can find different kinds of Turkish Bagels which are hard to find anywhere else. If you want to explore Turkish Culture and traditions, Kanlıca is the right place. You can arrive there by using a ferry from Eminönü or buses from many points.
3. Fener and Balat Neighborhoods
This area is also known as the Jewish Quarter of the city since they settled in this area after the Jewish people fled the Spanish Inquisition. Balat has a very rich historical background and places. You can see colorful cafes and restaurants, antique and vintage shops, traces of Jewish heritage, and various synagogues and churches. Since only %2 of tourists are visiting the Balat area, It can be said that these places are one of the best-kept secrets in the city. You can visit the following Churches in these areas;
-The Fener Greek Patriarchate.
-St George Church.
-The Neo-baroque style of the Church of Our Lady of the Mongols.
-St Stephen Bulgarian Iron Church (Aya Istefanos) from 1281.
-The Surp Hresdagabet Armenian Church from the 16th century.
4. Otağtepe Park
The Otağtepe park, located in Beykoz, offers stunning and unique views of the city. Otağ name comes from the army of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Emperor wanted to see the view of the Bosphorus after the first siege of Istanbul in 1391. The name of Otağtepe means hill and locals call it Otağtepe after the Ottoman Emperor’s arrival. You can see the two bridges on the Bosphorus and the city’s best scenery
5. Belgrad Forest
The name might look familiar but It is not in Serbia. The forest was called Belgrad since thousands of Serbs were transferred to Istanbul by the Kanuni Sultan Suleiman, after the Siege of Belgrade in 1521. The forest is one of the best relaxing and hidden places in Istanbul. Nature separates you from the crowded city and offers you beautiful views. You can enjoy the 55000-hectare forest by nature walking, mountain biking, or camping.
6. Bebek Waterfront
Bebek is known as one of the most gorgeous neighborhoods in Istanbul. This place is also preferred by many locals. You can grab an ice cream from local shops and enjoy the Bosphorus view. If you love desserts, we recommend you visit a pudding shop in this part of the city. You can also reach Anatolian Side easily by ferry.
7. Theodosius Cistern
This place is near Topkapı Palace and is located close to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art. Most of the tourists just know the Basilica Cistern. While other tourists are too busy to visit and wait in line for Basilica Cistern, you can explore the beautiful Theodosius Cistern. Emperor Theodosius II ordered this cistern to be built in 433 and it was rediscovered in 2010. It has unique Corinthian decor and flooring. You can also enjoy 10-minute shows which include a 3D projection on the walls, columns, and ceilings which show you the waterways in the city.
8. Mihrabat Grove
Mihrabat Grove has a 25 Hectare area with a unique Bosphorus view. This place is located in Kanlica and close to the Black Sea. You can see various gardens like cypresses, umbrella pines, Judas, and bay trees. If you love breakfast, this place offers open buffet breakfast options and makes you happy with delicious food.
This protected area is located in the Natural Park on the Asian side of Istanbul. Polonezköy is formerly known as Adampol since it is a pretty Polish village. The village was established in 1775 after Poland was invaded by its neighbors Russia, Austria, and Prussia. Ottoman Empire helped the Polish immigrants to settle here. The green nature of the Polonezköy offers a good feeling and fresh air for all of its visitors.
Şile (Sile) is a nice town located on the Asian side of Istanbul. You can spend a fun day with Şile’s beautiful nature, restaurants, and beaches. Locals generally prefer here during summer to escape the crowded atmosphere of the city. The town also has a historical lighthouse from Ottoman Empire. You can visit here with approximately 45 min Bus ride but you will not regret it.