Uskudar - From the coast to the hills

Created : 15 Feb 2022
Neighborhoods in Uskudar

By Justin Mays:

Uskudar offers natural beauty, historical sites, green parks, and seaside villages for its residents. Located on the Asian side across from Besiktas, a ferry will transport you between the two neighborhoods in 20 minutes. Uskudar’s splendid coastline is made for meandering while admiring the historical peninsula from afar. A visit to its hills offers historical sites, panoramic views, and green spaces like Camlica Hill and Fethi Pasha Grove.

The district of Uskudar is one of Istanbul's oldest-established residential areas. Today new developments are popping up. Apartment buildings are layered up in the hills with sweeping Bosphorus views, while older wooden structures dot the coast and can be found throughout other neighborhoods. Luxurious old yalis, wooden waterside mansions, are some of the most expensive properties in Istanbul, and Uskudar is home to many. Beautiful marble fountains, historical monuments like 16th-century mosques, and hamams can be found throughout the area with one of Istanbul’s most iconic sites, the Maiden’s Tower located offshore and accessible via boat. Once there, you can enjoy the views and the restaurant. Meander the coastal pathways while stopping to have some tea and listen to the gulls and foghorns.

More affordable than other central neighborhoods, many students and retirees live here but you can also find all types of people at the bustling waterfront ferry, minibus, and bus terminal. The Marmaray, the underground train also connects many neighborhoods in Asia and Europe. The area behind the ferry dock is a busy shopping district and densely populated center. Here you will find delicious local restaurants serving food, from mixed grills to fish to olive-oil-based cuisines.

There is a high concentration of historical sites like the famous local Hamam or one of the several historical mosques like the 1548 Mihrimah Sultan Mosque or the 1580 Semsi Pasha Mosque. Uskudar is also home to many excellent schools like the Uskudar American Academy and well-respected hospitals.

Despite the crowds in the center of Uskudar, there are large parks like the 16 hectares Fethi Pasa Grove in an area called Pasalimani. Go for a stroll, visit the café and watch families enjoy the waterfall and open-air music by amateur musicians on Friday nights in the summertime. Another hillside park, Camlica Hill, at 265 meters is the highest point in the entire city with panoramic views and multiple cafes and restaurants in its park.

Uskudar encompasses all the city senses in one neighborhood. From the tastes of street food, people watching, sounds of children playing in parks to the salty smell of the Bosphorus, Uskudar remains one of Istanbul’s classic neighborhoods that we hope will never change.