Kadıköy is a large, densely populated and international district on the Asian side of Istanbul on the northern shore of Marmara Sea. It´s located on the opposite side of the historical center which sits on the European side of the Bosphorus. Kadıköy is also the name of the area’s most important neighborhood: a residential and commercial area which – with its numerous bars, movie theatres and bookstores – is a cultural center of the Anatolia side of Istanbul. Istanbul’s nightlife is nowadays largely focused on Kadıköy as well. Kadıköy truly is full of life, interesting, loud and crazy.
Welcome to Kadıköy!
When we arrive by ferry from Eminönü on the European side to the port of Kadıköy, we first climb along the wider Söğütlü Çeşme Street (Söğütlü Çeşme Caddesi) to the well-known meeting place, the Bull Statue (Kadıköy Boğa Heykeli). Along our way we already see many interesting and inviting shops as well as cafes, but please try to resist them for a little while longer.
From the square of the Bull Statue, we turn right to the General Asım Gündüz Street (General Asım Gündüz Caddesi). On this street you will find, among other things, the restaurant called ´Kadıköy Saray Muhallebicisi´, which is the best ´Sütlaç´ restaurant in Kadıköy. ´Sütlaç´ is a traditional Turkish dessert made from milk and rice. You can choose from the many different versions on the menu. I recommend!
On the left we will pass an area of antique shops – or would you perhaps be interested in old treasures?
Maybe, however, we’ll turn right because that way is the large, lively area full of small shops, cafes and restaurants. Down these atmospheric and spice-fragranced little alleys, we wander crisscross, while slowly decending down the hill back towards the harbor. This is it: my beloved Kadıköy!
Here you will find everything different, colorful, lovely and inspiring – but you will not find any of the usual luxury brands.
During our stroll, we will naturally enjoy authentic Turkish coffee – traditionally brewed in hot sand.
Our journey will continue to the bazaar area, which is an open outdoor bazaar in Kadıköy. Fish and other seafood is also widely represented here.
In the bazaar area we will find a wide range of healthy and colorful food. And just about anything you can ever imagine.
Or would we fancy traditional street food more, though?
Next up will be dessert time – and of course we will taste the mouth-watering, colorful delicacies, right?
Or would your like to taste a funny, hot ice cream?
Or maybe our dessert will be a sophisticated wine at the traditional Viktor Levi wine restaurant, which dates back to 1914?
After dessert, we will wander through atmospheric alleys amidst beautiful temptations.
And we will admire the bustling street life.
Inspired by music, we will pop into the bar ´Rock’n Rolla´ for the Turkish ´Efes´ beer.
In keeping with the theme, we will continue to the dark and dingy rock club ´Karga Bar´ to enjoy live music.
After the rock gig, we will return to tradition and enjoy a Rakı evening. The evening includes, as an integral part, the informal national drink in Turkey, anise-flavored Rakı and small, varied food portions, mezes (meze).
Our evening will continue as we enjoy Kadıköy’s colorful and vibrant nightlife.
We will have a great time until the morning, finally admiring the turquoise beauty of the Bosphorus in the morning sun and the sweet salty winds of the Marmara Sea – as we are at the crossroads of these two waters.
As we leave the port of Kadıköy by ferry to return to the European side, longing already fills our hearts. Do you miss being back already? Although we haven’t even had time to get to Kadıköy’s immediate neighborhood, Moda, which complements the experience of Kadıköy with its charming and artistic atmosphere. But I’ll tell you more about that next time… Now a warm thank you for this sweet day trip together!