Cornucopia’s travel guide

Kadıköy


In Istanbul’s foundational myth Chalcedon – now Kadıköy – is the ‘city of the blind’, built on the wrong side of the Bosphorus. If Üskudar is a ramshackle backwater, this is the real city,  with opera, culture, lots of traffic, busy market.

Fast forward a few thousand years and Kadıköy is still where those who prefer to stop and look twice often find themselves. The ready-made meze, fish, cured meats and fresh produce in the market are better quality than you’ll find anywhere else for the price, and it runs into a clean and lively meyhane district, including tee-total stalwarts of Ottoman cuisine [Çiya](/guide/restaurants/ciya/). With three premises on the same street (two for kebabs, one for everything else) a valuable magazine and an uncompromising interest in doing things the proper, old-fashioned way, Çiya is an Istanbul institution and should be the central object of any foodie’s first forays to the Marmara shore.

This is Fenerbahçe country, so yellow and blue are much in evidence. The stadium is behind the harbour, at the Kadıköy end of the Bağdat Caddesi. There is an attractive market quarter, and Istanbul's opera, after being kicked out of the handsome Modernist Atatürk Cultural Centre in Taksim Square, relocated to the old Sureyya Cinema Kadıköy, where tickets sell out within hours of public release.

What you will see

Fast forward a few thousand years and Kadıköy is still where those who prefer to stop and look twice often find themselves. The ready-made meze, fish, cured meats and fresh produce in the market are better quality than you’ll find anywhere else for the price, and it runs into a clean and lively meyhane district, including tee-total stalwarts of Ottoman cuisine Çiya. With three premises on the same street (two for kebabs, one for everything else) a valuable magazine and an uncompromising interest in doing things the proper, old-fashioned way, Çiya is an Istanbul institution and should be the central object of any foodie’s first forays to the Marmara shore.

This is Fenerbahçe country, so yellow and blue are much in evidence. The stadium is behind the harbour, at the Kadıköy end of the Bağdat Caddesi. There is an attractive market quarter, and Istanbul’s opera, after being kicked out of the handsome Modernist Atatürk Cultural Centre in Taksim Square, relocated to Kadıköy, where tickets sell out within hours of public release.

Getting there

Ferries from Karaköy, Eminönü and Beşiktaş – especially beautiful at sunset or dawn. Dolmuş minibuses run to and from Taksim and Nişantaşı late into night, when racing over the Bosphorus bridge is great fun.

Getting around

Kadıköy is the Anatolian side’s main transport hub. The huge port/bus station/metro station is where you will arrive. The Kadıköy Iskelesi (port) has ferries going to and from Beşiktaş, Kabataş, Adalar (Prince’s Islands), Eminönü and Karaköy. There are also fast seabuses (high-speed catamaran ferries) going to Bostancı, also on the Anatolian side. The bus station on the left of the port stations if facing away from the Bosporus has buses going to and from almost every corner of the city (well, most corners on the Anatolian side (including the numbers 1 and 12 to Üsküdar, as well as Taksim (number 110), Beşiktaş (125) and Rumelihisarı (125) on the European side). There is also a bus that will take you to the Sabiha Gökçen airport for 8TL. On the left of the port stations, there is a dolmuş station with the big yellow ‘taxis’ lining two sides of the road. One side has a dolmuş that will take you to Bostancı and on the other side, the dolmuş will take you over the Bosphorus Bridge, through Beşiktaş and to its final destination, Taksim. The metro station is in front of the Beşiktaş Iskelesi with a line going to Gebze (through Göztepe, Suadiye, Bostancı, Maltepe and Kartal). A metrobus (fast bus) which goes to and from the European side (to Taksim through Şişli/Mecidiyeköy) stops at Taşköprü Caddesi (the big highway at the end of Söğütlüçeşme Caddesi).