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Ortaköy -Istanbul

Ortaköy is one of the favourite districts of Istanbul with its magnificent Ortakoy Mosque, it is the symbol of the district, located under the European leg of the Bosphorus Bridge. Its beautiful and colorful bazaar located in the triangle of mosque, church and synagogue. Its lively atmosphere make it a favourite place of visitors.

Ortaköy is one of the most popular meeting points of Istanbulites. Ortaköy has popular night venues, bars, Pier square overlooking the Bosphorus with its beautiful cafes and restaurants, shops selling amazing items including interesting objects, souvenirs, handicrafts and kumpir shops.

When we look at the history of Ortaköy, we come to know that it was called Arkheion in ancient times and was known as Klidon in the Byzantine period. We come to know that the region was famous for its taverns in ancient times. The Greek, Jewish and Muslim communities lived in this region. There are popular entertainment venues along the Ortaköy coastline.

History of Ortakoy (Ortaköy) Mosque

Ortakoy Mosque was designed by an Armenian architect Garabet Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyanl. It was built on a sight of an 18th-century mosque and it’s construction was completed in 1855. After that it was served as the Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Grand Imperial Mosque) to Abdülmecid the Sultan of Ottoman.  They both were also responsible for the nearby Dolmabahce Palace.

Ortakoy Mosque In Istanbul

Ortakoy Mosque In Istanbul

Ortakoy Attractions, Activities

Places to visit and see in Ortaköy :-  Ortaköy square and its coastline, its seafront location and magnificent architecture, especially on weekends, the street market set up in and around the square on Sundays. You can buy the local craftsmen’s products such as souvenirs, handcrafted jewellery, hats, bags, second-hand books and colourful objects.

Nightlife in Ortaköy is very colourful, especially in summer evenings. During the summer evenings, you can have a good night’s entertainment with the boats that depart from Ortaköy and tour the Bosphorus.

Ortakoy Square and Ortakoy Beach

Ortakoy Square is undoubtedly one of the most popular meeting points in Istanbul. It is located on the coast of Ortaköy , the square is lively, especially on weekends, with its many cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, where young people visit for recreation and entertainment.

Among the best activities to do in Ortaköy square are –

Visiting the lively streets, souvenir and antique shops near the beach, taking your kumpir and sitting on the benches in the square and watching the Bosphorus, or having a good time sitting in the restaurants and cafes on the beach.

Places to see in Ortaköy square –

Ortaköy Büyük Mecidiye Mosque and Esma Sultan Mansion come first. They are located in the square and dating back to the 18th century, Sultan III.

Ortakoy Great Mecidiye Mosque

Ortaköy Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, one of the most beautiful and important symbols of both Ortaköy and Istanbul. Sultan Abdülmecit built Ortaköy Büyük Mecidiye Mosque in the 19th century. It gives the impression of standing on water.

Esma Sultan Mansion

The Esma Sultan Mansion, which dazzles with its splendor right next to the Ortaköy Mosque, is also worth seeing. The mansion was built as a wedding gift for Esma Sultan, the daughter of Sultan Abdulaziz, after her marriage to Circassian Mehmet Pasha.

After the death of Esma Sultan in 1848, the mansion was given to the daughters of Sultan Abdulhamit II at various times, was used as a Greek School and a tunnel between 1915-1922. It changed hands frequently in 1950 and suffered a fire in 1975.

The mansion, which was purchased by the Marmara Collection in the 90s, has been restored and is used as a wedding, meeting and event venue today.

Historical Ortakoy Bath

The Historical Ortaköy Bath, which is the first work built after the Turks settled in Ortaköy and was commissioned by Mimar Sinan in the 1570s by Hüsrev Kethüda, the housekeeper of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha. It draws attention with its architecture. After its restoration, the bath now serves as a restaurant.

Churches and Synagogues in Ortaköy

Churches and synagogues in Ortaköy
  • A Greek Orthodox Church named Ayios Fokas , which dates back to the Byzantine period and whose current building dates back to 1856.
  • Surp Krikor Lusavoric Armenian Catholic Church built in 1839 on Dereboyu street
  • A Synagogue named Etz Ahayim (Tree of Life), with construction dates back to the 14th century, are the leading ones.

Food and Drink in Ortaköy

Eating and drinking opportunities in Ortaköy are very diverse. You can find many quality tea gardens, cafes and restaurants on the Ortaköy coast. You can visit Ortaköy square and Dereboyu Street in the interior.

Among the popular eating and drinking places in Ortaköy, the first ones that stand out are:

  • Located in a fiery and sparkling location overlooking the sea
  • Ruby Banyan Restaurant, famous for Asian dishes
  • The House Cafe Ortaköy

The House Cafe Ortaköy is an ideal place to enjoy the garden in summer and brunch on Sundays. It has two large terraces with a stylish restaurant in it.

Ortaköy is also very famous for its seaside tea gardens, bakery shops and cafes. Ortaköy is a great place to enjoy your time during daytime.

Ortakoy Nightlife

Ortakoy nightlife is quite colourful. There are high quality and popular nightclubs on the coast of Kuruçeşme and by the sea in Ortaköy. Entertainment continues throughout the night in nightclubs where celebrities and foreign tourists go frequently in Istanbul.

Some of the popular places of nightlife in Ortaköy

Sortie is a popular places of nightlife in Ortaköy, it is located right next to the Bosphorus in Kuruçeşme and consists of 6 restaurants and 3 bars. Ruby and the House Cafe Ortaköy, which are located on the seaside on the Ortaköy coast. These are the popular places of nightlife in Ortaköy.

There are night Bosphorus tours with dinner and music by boats in Ortaköy, which departs from the coast in summer evenings.

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