Üsküdar: Places to Visit, Things To Eat & More

Üsküdar is a district that is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and the shore of the Bosphorus. Üsküdar is bordered by a few known districts and places which are Kadıköy, Ümraniye, Beykoz, and Ataşehir. In addition to that Beşiktaş, Beyoglu, and Eminönü districts are directly located across the Bosphorus shore. The historical heritage of Üsküdar impresses everyone who visited it.

Üsküdar also provides the opportunity to discover the local life of residents of İstanbul for those who would like to spend their time in this outstanding district. Besides, lots of well-known special and historical places are also located in Üsküdar. While you will be able to discover the local life and culture, you can also visit the historical sites and mosques at the same time. You will be able to find transportation details and the places that you will be able to visit in Üsküdar. You can see the more detailed information in the article that I prepared for you.

Getting to Üsküdar

The transportation options are available in various districts and airports that are located in the both European and Asian sides of Istanbul. While you will be able to prefer ferry services, taxis, metro, and busses from the well-known districts of Istanbul, there will be a few transportation options from the airports to Üsküdar that you will be able to prefer. You can see more details about the transportation options to Üsküdar below.

From the New Istanbul Airport

New Istanbul International Airport is located on the European side of the city. There is no direct transportation option that Istanbul Airport provides for the passengers from the airport to Üsküdar but there are some transportation options that you will be able to prefer.

The best option to get to Üsküdar from the İstanbul Airport is getting to Beşiktaş or Kadıköy by Havaist. If you prefer Kadıköy option then, you need to take Marmaray to reach Üsküdar. Since Üsküdar and Kadıköy are close to each other, you may also prefer to take a taxi. On the other hand, if you choose Beşiktaş option, you have to take a ferry to get to Üsküdar from the Beşiktaş Pier.

You can also prefer taking a taxi, private shuttle options from the airport to Üsküdar. In addition to that, you can look at the transportation services of the airport and get to the district which is located near to Üsküdar at the same time. However, they will cost a lot since the airport is quite distant from Üsküdar.

From the Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport is also an international airport which is located on the Asian side of the city. There are a few options that you will be able to prefer to get to Üsküdar. There is no direct transportation service to Üsküdar that the airport provides.

The best option is going to Kadıköy HAVABÜS and then taking the Marmaray to Üsküdar or taking a taxi from Kadıköy to Üsküdar.

You can also prefer taxis or public transportation. Private transfer services are also preferable and you can check the private airport services online before your flight as well.

From Kadıköy

The best option is taking the Marmaray in order to get to Üsküdar from Kadıköy. Marmaray station is in Ayrılık Çeşmesi station in Kadıköy. If you are in a distant neighborhood of Kadıköy, you can get to Ayrılık Çeşmesi station by following the metro line M4. In addition to that, you can also prefer to walk from Kadıköy to Üsküdar. There is a 4.2 km difference between the districts and the duration of the walk could take between 40 and 50 minutes.

From Beşiktaş

You can directly prefer ferry services which take about 10 minutes to get to the Üsküdar from Beşiktaş. Besides the ferry services, you can also prefer taxis at the same time.

Eminönü and Sultanahmet

The ferry services are also available from Eminönü which is located on the European side of the city. SultanThe duration of the trip might take between 15 and 20 minutes. There is also a car ferry option that you can prefer if you have a personal vehicle.

Taksim Square

Taksim is a popular district which is located on the European side of Istanbul and the transportation options to the Asian side are available from many different areas of the district. To get to Üsküdar, you can prefer the metro, busses, yellow dolmuş, and taxis. The best option is yellow dolmuş.

History of Üsküdar

In the 7th century BC, Üsküdar was founded by ancient Greek colonists. The Üsküdar district is known as Chrysopolis in history as well. Üsküdar is one of the oldest districts in Istanbul. The name of the district was changed to Scutari (Skoutarion) in the 12th century. In 1352, Turks started to live in the neighborhood before the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. In time, the population of Turks was increased in Üsküdar. The numerous historical places are still located in the district and the shore of Bosphorus at the same time. Besides the historical sites, the neighborhoods of Üsküdar also offer many different places to visit for those who would like to learn more about the history of the old district of Istanbul. You can learn more about the highlight of the district below and have more ideas about where you can visit in Üsküdar.

Highlights of Üsküdar – Where to Go in Üsküdar?

The various special and historical places make Üsküdar more unique and significant. Every year thousands of tourists travel to Istanbul to see the magnificent places of history. You will be able to find the highlight of Üsküdar below and will be able to decide where to go in the district.

Maiden’s Tower

The Maiden’s Tower is located in the Bosphorus. The first construction of the building, which is known also as Leander’s Tower, was carried out by the Greeks. It is possible to say that the extensive restoration that took place in the Ottoman period in 1725 gave the building its final form. You will be able to have dinner in the tower and enjoy the view of the Bosphorus at the same time. 

See also: Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower

Fethi Pasa Grove

Fethi Pasa Grove is one of the largest parks on the Asian side of the city. You can directly see the view of the Bosphorus at the Fethi Pasa Grove. The name of the park comes from the governor of the Ottoman Empire, Fethi Ahmet Pasha. If you would like to enjoy nature and the view of the Bosphorus, you can prefer to visit the Fethi Pasa Grove in Üsküdar.

Çamlıca Hill

The Çamlıca Hill is also located in Üsküdar. You will be able to see the view of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn at the same time. There are various cafes and restaurants that you can spend time in the park. Also, the environment is created by the flower gardens and trees in Çamlıca Hill.

Çamlıca Hill

Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III

The Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III was built in 1729, 292 years ago in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul. When you visit the fountain, you will be able to see the Ottoman rococo architecture style and it’s designed by Kayserili Mehmed Aga. The Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III is located in the pier square of Üsküdar.

Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III

Kuzguncuk

Kuzguncuk is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar district. The Kuzguncuk neighborhood was also known as “Hrisokeramos” in history. There are two different churches which are Armenian and Greek in the neighborhood. You can directly watch the view of the Bosphorus at the same time. The colorful houses make the neighborhood more special and Kuzguncuk is a more peaceful place compared to the dynamic life of Istanbul.

Kuzguncuk

Beylerbeyi

Beylerbeyi is a neighborhood which is located between Kuzguncuk and Çengelköy. It was known as Stavros in the Byzantine period. There are various mansions, fountains, pavilions, and cisterns in Beylerbeyi that you will be able to visit. You can visit the Beylerbeyi Palace which was built in the years between 1861 and 1865 as a summer residence. You will be able to see the Ottoman architecture style on the palace. Besides the Beylerbeyi Palace, you can also visit the historical Beylerbeyi Hamam and Beylerbeyi Mosque.

Beylerbeyi

Çengelköy

Çengelköy is located near the Kuzguncuk and Beylerbeyi neighborhoods in Üsküdar. You will be able to visit the streets which are surrounded by the old trees, Çengelköy Fountain, Çengelköy Çınaraltı Tea Garden, and the historical Çınaraltı Mosque at the same time. There are also various cafes, patisseries, restaurants, and places that you will be able to taste the traditional Turkish tastes in the Cengelkoy neighborhood.

Çengelköy

Mosques

Üsküdar is also known for the mosques that attract the attention of those who visited it. There are 143 mosques in the neighborhood and I listed the most visited and the historical ones for you. If you would like to visit mosques in Üsküdar, you will be able to learn more about them in the list that I prepared for you. You can see detailed information about the best-known mosques in the neighborhood below.

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque

There are two different Mihrimah Sultan Mosques in Istanbul. One of them is located in the Fatih district of the European side of the city and another one is located in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul. Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is one of the most known mosques in Istanbul. It was built in 1548 by the important architecture of the Ottoman Empire Mimar Sinan.

Şemsi Paşa Mosque

Semsi Pasha Mosque was built in the years between 1580 and 1581 by Semsi Ahmed Pasa and designed by the famous Ottoman architecture Mimar Sinan. Granit, tiles, and marble were used for the construction of the mosque. If you would like to visit historical and known mosques in Üsküdar, you can prefer to visit the Semsi Pasha Mosque.

Şemsi Paşa Mosque

Big Selimiye Mosque

The Big Selimiye Mosque which is located in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul was built in 1801, 220 years ago. When you visit the Big Selimiye Mosque, you will be able to see Ottoman architecture. Marble and cut stone were used in the construction of the mosque.

Yeni Valide Mosque

Yeni Valide Mosque was built in the year between 1708 and 1710 in the 18th century for Sultan Ahmed III. It is located in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul and you will be able to see the Ottoman architecture on the Yeni Valide Mosque as well. It should be noted that New Mosque and Yeni Valide Mosque are not the same mosques. New Mosque is located on the European side of the city.

Yeni Valide Mosque

Atik Valide Mosque

Atik Valide Mosque was built in the years between 1571 and 1586. The mosque was designed by the Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan. It is also located in the Üsküdar district of the city and you will be able to see the Ottoman architecture style. Granite, tile, and marble were used for the construction of the mosque. There are various madrasas, guest rooms, and double caravanserai in the Atik Valide Mosque.

Atik Valide Mosque

Cinili Mosque

The Cinili Mosque was built in the yeats between 1640 and 1648 by the Mahpeyker Valide Kosem Sultan. The mosque is also located in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul. The construction of the mosque took 8 years to be completed. It is one of the oldest mosques on the Asian side of the city.

Experience in Üsküdar – Things to Eat & Moments to Live

Üsküdar offers a lot of restaurants that you will be able to discover Turkish cuisine, food, and drinks that are traditional and known at the same time. While there are unique, special, and historical places to visit, there are also various options that you will be able to spend time in the district. You can see the restaurants options that you can prefer and the activities that you will be able to do in Üsküdar below.

What to Eat in Üsküdar?

The significant restaurants that you can try to the different tastes are located in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul. You will be able to find the details about the most known places that you will be able to visit in Üsküdar on the list that I prepared for you. You can look at the detailed information and the address of the famous places in the Üsküdar district below.  

Çömlek Restaurant

Çömlek Restaurant or Çömlek Kurufasulye is located in Çamlıca, Üsküdar. The restaurant is famous for “Kuru Fasulye” which is a traditional food of Turkish cuisine. The restaurant has also a great view that you will be able to enjoy. Çömlek Restaurant has a rich menu that you will be able to prefer breakfast options, dessert, and a variety of traditional Turkish meatballs at the same time.

Address: Kısıklı, Turistik Camlica Street. No:50, 34692 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Kanaat Restaurant

Kanaat Restaurant offers a rich menu which is created by traditional Turkish food. If you would like to visit the Kanaat Restaurant, you can taste the Sahlep which is a hot drink made with milk, sugar, and orchid bulb powder because the Kanaat Restaurant is also famous for the traditional drink of Turkey: Sahlep.

Address: Sultantepe, Selmani Pak Street, No:9, 34674 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Zekibey Iskender

Iskender has a valuable place in the Turkish culture and Zekibey is especially famous for Iskender. While you will be able to prefer a lot of traditional Turkish food, you can also have breakfast in Zekibey Iskender at the same time. In addition to that, you can look at the menu of the restaurant online on the official website and have more ideas about the traditional Turkish food that you will be able to try.

Zekibey Iskender

Address: Mimar Sinan, Tavukcu Bakkal Street, No:1, 34200 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Bridge Restaurant

Bridge Restaurant is a good option for those who would like to enjoy the view of the Bosphorus. You can directly see the Bosphorus Bridge at the Bridge Restaurant. You will be able to prefer both Turkish and world cuisine at the Bridge Restaurant as well. You can see the full address of the restaurant below.

Address: Kuzguncuk, Nakkastepe Road, No:56, 34632 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Maiden’s Tower

The restaurant in Maiden’s Tower is one of the most preferred places for a romantic dinner in Istanbul because it is located in the middle of the Bosphorus and it has a stunning and unique view. The symbol of Istanbul offers a rich menu for those who visit it. You can easily reach the Maiden’s Tower by boat services from Kabatas pier and Üsküdar Salacak Pier at the same time.

maidens tower cafeteria

The Historical Çınaraltı Tea Garden

The historical Çınaraltı Tea Garden is located in the Çengelköy neighborhood of the Üsküdar district. If you would like to spend your time in a historic place and the view of the Bosphorus, you can prefer the Historical Cinaralti Tea Garden. You can see the full address below.

Address: Cengelkoy, Cinarli Cami Street, No: 4 A, 34680 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Moments to Live in Üsküdar

The activities that you will be able to do in the Üsküdar district are diverse if you are planning to discover the district. While you will be able to spend time in nature, you can also prefer the shopping options and the more educational and traditional places in the Üsküdar district at the same time. You will find the details of some of the well-known places which are located in Üsküdar below. You can look at them and decide how you can spend your time in the district as well.

Nevmekan Sahil

Nevmekan Sahil is a social facility where you will be able to spend your time in the library, arts and cultural events, exhibition hall, cafes, and restaurants. While the cafes and restaurants are working from 10:00 to 24:00, the library is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Address: Aziz Mahmut Hudayi, Semsi Pasa Street. No:2, 34672 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Sunset Walk along the Bosphorus

In the Üsküdar district, you will be able to enjoy the sunset of the Bosphorus while you are walking along the shore. If you are looking for a peaceful activity, you can prefer to spend your time at the shore and enjoy the view at the same time. 

Sunset Walk along the Bosphorus

Üsküdar Fish Market

Üsküdar Fish Market is a traditional and historical place that you will be able to visit in Üsküdar. While you will be able to find a lot of different fish, you can also find a variety of pickles and seafood in the Üsküdar Fish Market. You can find the full address of the fish market below.

Üsküdar Fish Market

Address: Mimar Sinan, Selam-ı Ali Efendi Street, 34672 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Capitol Shopping Mall

Capitol Shopping Mall is opened in 1993 and it is located in the Altunizade neighborhood of the Üsküdar district. Capitol Shopping Mall is the first modern shopping mall on the Asian side of the city. There are 157 different stores and one known market in the shopping mall. If you would like to have a shopping experience in the Üsküdar district, you can prefer the Capitol Shopping Mall. You can see the address below. 

Address: Altunizade, Mahir İz Street, 34662 Üsküdar / Istanbul, Turkey

Where to Stay in Üsküdar?

Accommodation options that you will be able to prefer are categorized according to the budget below. While there are various hotels to stay in, you can also choose them according to your demands and the budget at the same time. You can learn more about the accommodation options in Üsküdar and have more information about the places where you will be able to stay in the district.

  • For those looking for mid-range hotels; the Bosphorus House and Mercure Istanbul Altunizade would be a perfect choice.
  • For those looking for luxury accommodation options in Üsküdar; Volley Hotel Istanbul, Holiday Inn Express Istanbul, and Ottoman Suites by Sera House can be great options.
  • For those looking for budget accommodation options in Üsküdar; Kevins Hotel and New Beylerbeyi Hotel would be a good choice.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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