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.|