Beylerbeyi is one of the Bosphorus "villages". There are quite a few of them on both sides (the Asian and the European) going up the straits. Beylerbeyi is one of the ones close to the city center. The "villages" become real "fat cat" neighborhoods the further you go up the Bosphorus, really expensive (and obnoxious too, I might add). Being close to the city center Beylerbeyi is more the sort of place where ordinary folk go to eat fish and drink raki. Very pleasant and laid back.

There are a few lovely side streets leading off the main square. The small restaurants on these are significantly cheaper than the ones by the sea. One drawback - most of them do not serve any alcohol. And then there are also a few great little tea gardens along the seafront square which serve snacks and pastries as well.

There are quite a few eating places in Beylerbeyi and all of them are very nice, so a specific recommendation is not really needed. The cost will be from 8 to 20 Euros in the side streets (remember that these are mostly unlicensed and will not serve alcohol) and 35 to 45 Euros on the waterfront. And eating a pastry/snack with tea in one of the tea places will be around 6 to 10 Euros.

Photograph by Ersin Tuban

View Istanbul overview in a larger map

Check out Beylerbeyi's geographic position on the Istanbul overview map above.

Getting to Beylerbeyi is quite easy: Take the commuter boat from Beşiktaş to Üsküdar. Directly in front of the landing area, walking across the seafront square towards the street, you will see a minibus stop, with pale blue minibuses lined up (see image here >>>) - or if this is the rush hour you will probably see a queue of folk waiting for them instead. The minibuses go all the way up to Beykoz and Talimhane, so look for the word Beykoz and/or Talimhane on them. The route will take you along the Bosphorus and underneath the first of the two bridges. Beylerbeyi is the first village after this bridge. So, once you have passed the bridge look out for the first row of shops, and as soon as you see them get off and walk towards the water. And also do not be shy: Ask the driver to let you off in Beylerbeyi. To get back to Üsküdar, from where you will catch the ferry/boat back to the other side, walk back inland to the road where you got off the minibus earlier, and flag down the first one that comes along going back towards Üsküdar.

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