A Guide to Kadikoy: Things To Do In Kadıköy Istanbul 

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

I am just back from my trip to Istanbul, this time to the Asian side, which offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city’s more touristy areas on the European side. 

In Kadıköy, you can soak in a more tranquil ambiance away from the crowds. Here is your guide on what to see, do, and where to eat in Kadikoy, Istanbul.

If you’ve never been to Istanbul before, you’re in for a treat. This city is packed with so much to see and do that it’s impossible to see it all on one trip, which is why I have been there so many times.

Most people visit the European side of the city first, taking in sights in Sultanahmet, Taksim, Beyoglu, and Besiktas. However, the Asian side shouldn’t be forgotten.

Kadikoy is a large neighborhood on the Asian banks of the Bosphorus, offering a trendy, action-packed, and street food-filled experience. With a youthful student vibe, Kadikoy is a lot more chilled-out than the European side’s districts, and you’ll find a more authentic way of life as a result.

A man stands behind an ornate, cylindrical coffee stand labeled "Közde Kahve" while an elderly woman sits nearby under an umbrella on a street in Kadikoy, Istanbul.

Kadikoy On The Asian Side Is So Worth Visiting 

This Asian part of Istanbul is pretty artsy, and there is street art everywhere you look. It’s got a trendy vibe that’s really infectious, but you never feel out of place or struggling to fit in.

The people in Kadikoy are very welcoming and helpful, so if you’re stuck or not sure where to go, ask, and they’ll be sure to help you out—even if they do not speak as much English as they do on the Euro side.

While Kadikoy might not be as famous as the neighborhoods on the European side, it shouldn’t be missed. In fact, that’s another reason why you should go.

Why Visit The Asian Side Of Istanbul

Outdoor street cafe at night with murals of three figures on its exterior wall and several tables and chairs in front. A barrel with a beverage logo is in the foreground, and two people stand nearby, capturing a scene straight out of *A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul*.

It’s easy to focus all your attention on the touristic hotspots on the European side, but that would be a big mistake!

The Asian side of Istanbul offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city’s more touristy areas. Here, you can soak in a more tranquil ambiance reminiscent of an oasis away from the crowds.

Stroll along serene waterfront promenades, such as Kadikoy or Uskudar, and indulge in a peaceful retreat where the locals go about their daily lives.

The charming neighborhoods are filled with quaint streets, cozy cafes, and local markets, providing an authentic glimpse into the everyday life of Istanbul’s residents.

Next, let’s discuss the culinary delights awaiting you on the Asian side. The area is a food lover’s paradise, boasting an array of delicious flavors and authentic cuisines that will tickle your taste buds. From traditional Turkish dishes to international fare, the options are endless.

A plate of Middle Eastern food including hummus, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves, seasoned carrots, and a creamy pasta salad.

Don’t miss out on exploring the renowned street food stalls, where you can sample delectable treats like mouth-watering kebabs, freshly baked simit (Turkish sesame bread), and baklava to satisfy your sweet tooth, or if you are game, try the super famous dish – Kokoreç (grilled lamb intestines).

Prepare to embark on an unforgettable culinary journey that will leave you longing for more!

You could also argue that Kadikoy is cheaper than the European side. You’ll find prices a little lower, although, of course, you can find places to splurge if you choose to do so.

The more authentic way of life on this side of the city means that you’ll see less tourist prices and more regular ones instead. 

A pink sky over Istanbul city at sunset from Calmica

Last but not least, the Asian side of Istanbul offers superb views of the city’s European side. From vantage points such as Çamlıca Hill or the Maiden’s Tower, you can marvel at the stunning skyline adorned by iconic structures like the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.

These panoramic views allow you to appreciate Istanbul’s architectural wonders, beautifully contrasted against the backdrop of the vibrant Bosphorus Strait. Capture Insta-worthy pictures and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Best Things To Do In Kadikoy

There is so much to see and do in Kadikoy (I mean even I have to go back again to see what I missed), and it’s really easy to get to other parts of the city thanks to the ferries and Metro. Regular ferries until late in the evening allow you to hop over to the European side within just 20 minutes.

Here are some of the best things to do in Kadikoy to help you decide what to include on your visit list.

1. Explore The Moda Neighborhood

A Guide to Kadikoy Istanbul: Narrow streets at night, decked with colorful hanging umbrellas and dim lighting, invite you to enjoy the outdoor seating while people casually stroll by.

Moda is a vibrant neighborhood in Kadikoy known for its bohemian atmosphere. Take a stroll through its charming streets, lined with eclectic cafes, boutique shops, and art galleries.

Don’t miss Moda Park, a lush green space offering stunning views of the Marmara Sea.

2. Visit Kadikoy Bazaar

A display of dried herbs, spices, and flowers organized in individual bins at a market—much like those you might find when exploring A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul. Some bins contain dried oranges, rose petals, and mixed herbs.

Dive into the heart of local life by visiting the bustling Kadikoy Bazaar. This lively market is a sensory delight, with vendors selling fresh produce, spices, textiles, and more. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy while sampling local treats and engaging in friendly haggling.

3. Take A Ferry To Istanbul’s European Side

Getting around Istanbul - The ferry in the Bosphorus, Istanbul

Kadikoy is a major transportation hub with several ferry ports. Hop on one of the ferries to Kadikoy and enjoy a scenic ride across to the European side of the Bosphorus.

By taking the ferry, you can admire the iconic skyline and significant landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.

4. Explore The Historical Haydarpasa Train Station

Istanbul Nightlife- Kadikoy_Haydarpasa railway station

Located on the shores of the Bosphorus, the Haydarpasa Train Station is an architectural gem. Marvel at its unique blend of European and Ottoman influences while enjoying panoramic views of Istanbul. Although the station is currently closed, it’s worth visiting the exterior and taking pictures.

5. Visit Kadikoy’s Churches

Kadikoy has a rich religious heritage, and you can find various churches within its boundaries. Stop by the grand Saint Andrew’s Church, a prominent Greek Orthodox church, or explore the hidden gem of Ayia Triada Church, known for its stunning Byzantine frescoes.

6. Enjoy The Kadikoy Street Art

A colorful mural depicting a person wearing sunglasses and laughing, with vibrant patterns on the face and suit, set against a yellow and purple background, bringing to mind the vibrant energy of Kadikoy in Istanbul.

Kadikoy boasts a thriving street art scene, with colorful murals adorning many walls and buildings. It seemed to me that it was on every street!

A colorful mural of a bearded man's face painted on an urban wall, with light graffiti and tags surrounding it.

One of the best ways to see it is to take a street art tour, but if you just walk around the neighborhood, you’ll stumble upon impressive artworks by local and international artists in the most random places—and, of course, on all the big walls. It’s a great way to appreciate Istanbul’s contemporary art culture.

7. Indulge In Delicious Turkish Cuisine

A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul: A plate with grilled kebab on flatbread, bulgur, green pepper, sliced onions, and a second plate with a wrap and salads. A bowl of white sauce is beside the wrap.

Kadikoy is a food lover’s paradise. On my last trip, I ate so much that I felt I missed many choices.

Numerous restaurants, cafes, and food stalls offer mouth-watering Turkish cuisine all over. Treat yourself to traditional dishes like lahmacun (Turkish pizza), döner kebab, or meze (appetizers) accompanied by freshly squeezed pomegranate juice or ayran (a cooling yogurt-based drink).

A cup of İçim Ayran on a table, featuring the brand logo and nutritional information, with a pink straw.

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8. Wander Through The Fish Market

A display of fish on display at a market.

Pay a visit to Kadikoy’s lively Balık Market, where you’ll find a wide array of seafood delicacies. Watch the local fishmongers skillfully prepare the catch of the day or savor a tasty fish sandwich at one of the nearby street food stalls.

9. Discover Kadikoy’s Bookstores

Kadikoy has a reputation as Istanbul’s bookworm paradise, with a high concentration of bookstores. Explore the narrow streets and stumble upon charming independent bookshops offering a vast collection of both new and second-hand books, as well as a cozy reading atmosphere.

10. Experience Kadikoy’s Nightlife & Live Music

Two people sit at a wooden table in a dimly lit pub with a large mural of a bearded man holding a beer on the wall behind them, reminiscent of scenes from *A Guide to Kadikoy Istanbul*.

As the sun sets, Kadikoy comes alive with its vibrant nightlife.

Actually, the coffee shops and bars are busy all day, but at night, the buzz is electric. Such a different vibe from the Euro side.

The neighborhood is home to numerous trendy bars, pubs, and live music venues. Unwind with a drink, enjoy live performances, or dance the night away in one of the many lively spots.

Vibrant street scene with people dining at outdoor cafes, colorful signs, and a man walking down the center in an urban setting.

These are just a handful of things to see and do in Kadikoy. Remember, it’s so easy to get around that you should definitely push your exploration a little further. You’ll also find that Kadikoy is a very walkable city too, so you won’t need to take buses or taxis unless you want to go to another part of the city.

Uskudar is a short bus ride from Kadikoy, which is certainly another great place to explore. You’ll find Uskudar is a lot more traditional than Kadikoy, but it’s great to see, and there are some fantastic restaurants and cafes there also.

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Where To Eat A Turkish Dinner In Kadıköy

Six large meat rolls cooking on a vertical rotisserie with bread loaves and some bell peppers placed nearby, all inspired by A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul. An open flame and grill can be seen below the meat.
Kokoreç – grilled lamb intestines.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Turkish cuisine, curious about global flavors, or seeking out unique and innovative dishes, Kadikoy has something to satisfy every palate.

You won’t struggle to find street food vendors everywhere you look. From hot dogs to burgers, pizza to doner kebabs, jacket potatoes to baked goods, you’ll find it all and at reasonable prices.

However, if you’re looking for somewhere to sit and enjoy a delicious meal, here are some of my favorite places for places to eat in Kadikoy:

Ciya Sofrası

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Experience a true culinary adventure at this beloved institution. Ciya Sofrası offers a vast array of traditional Anatolian dishes prepared using ancient recipes and fresh ingredients.

Karadeniz Pidecisi

Rasimpaşa, Recaizade Sk. No:7, 34716 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Indulge in mouth-watering pide (Turkish pizza) at Karadeniz Pidecisi. Their crispy crusts, flavourful toppings, and warm atmosphere make it a must-visit spot.

Kadikoy Fish Market

Osmanağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of the fish market, where you can choose your own fish and have it cooked to perfection at one of the surrounding restaurants. A seafood lover’s dream come true!

Ciya Kebap

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Sample some of the juiciest and most flavorful kebabs in town at Ciya Kebap. Their extensive menu offers a variety of grilled meats, vegetables, and traditional Turkish dishes.

Allpato Kumir

Caferağa, postane Starbucks sokağı Gratis karşı sinda koton Vakıfbank yanı, Muvakkıthane Cd. no:17/A, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

For a unique twist on a baked potato, head to Allpato. Customize your own “kumpir” by selecting toppings from an extensive buffet, resulting in a loaded, flavorful treat.

Baylan Pastanesi

Caferağa, Muvakkıthane Cd. No: 9/A, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Baylan Pastanesi, a century-old patisserie serving up delicious cakes, pastries, and Turkish desserts. Try their famous chocolate pistachio baklava!

Moda Caddesi

Caferağa, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Take a leisurely stroll down Moda Caddesi, a vibrant street lined with numerous cafes, street vendors, and local eateries. Explore the charming side streets and let your senses guide you to hidden culinary gems.


Kadikoy FAQs

Three people stand in front of a mural with the text "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL" painted on it, reminiscent of the vibrant street art you'll find in A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul. The mural features a side profile of a woman with flowers in her hair, capturing the essence of urban creativity.

KADIKOY FAQS

Where is Kadikoy?

Kadikoy is a vibrant district in Istanbul, located on the Asian side of the city. Known for its lively atmosphere and unique blend of history, culture, and modernity, Kadikoy offers a diverse range of experiences for both locals and visitors.

How do I get to Kadikoy?

There are several ways to reach Kadikoy. If you’re on the European side, you can take a direct ferry from Eminonu or Karakoy. Additionally, you can use public transportation options such as buses, the Metro, or the Marmaray train, which connects both sides of Istanbul.

What are the must-see attractions in Kadikoy?

Kadikoy has much to offer in terms of attractions. Please pay a visit to Moda, a charming neighborhood known for its picturesque streets and beautiful seaside park. Explore the vibrant Kadikoy market, where you can find a variety of fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies. Don’t miss the chance to visit Haydarpaşa Train Station, a magnificent historical landmark.

Are there any famous food spots in Kadikoy?

Absolutely! Kadikoy is a food lover’s paradise. You can find a wide array of culinary delights, from traditional Turkish cuisine to international offerings. Head to Ciya Sofrasi for an authentic taste of Anatolian cuisine, or try the famous lahmacun at Borsam Taşfırın. For a unique experience, check out the street food scene at Kadikoy Food Street.

Where can I shop in Kadikoy?

Kadikoy is known for its vibrant shopping streets and diverse boutiques. Bagdat Avenue, one of the city’s most prestigious shopping districts, offers a mix of high-end brands and local shops. Kadikoy Bazaar is also worth a visit for those looking to experience the traditional Turkish market. And don’t forget to browse through the numerous bookstores and vintage shops scattered around the district.

Is Kadikoy nightlife lively?

Yes, Kadikoy is famous for its lively nightlife scene. The streets come alive with a variety of bars, pubs, and live music venues catering to different tastes. Barlar Sokağı (Bars Street) and Kadife Street are excellent choices to explore for a fun night out. From live music performances to cozy cafes, Kadikoy has something for everyone.

Are there any family-friendly activities in Kadikoy?

Certainly! Kadikoy offers several family-friendly activities. Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Moda Park or take a walk along the Kadikoy Promenade, which offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait. Visit the Istanbul Toy Museum, where you and your children can explore an extensive collection of toys from different eras.

Are there any festivals or events held in Kadikoy?

Kadikoy hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. The International Istanbul Theatre Festival, which showcases performances from around the world, and the Kadikoy Maritime Festival are both worth experiencing. Check local event listings for the latest updates on upcoming events.

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