The Asian side has the benefit of catching the sunset in the evening. This is also where some of the finest Yalıs are to be found.
The attractions of the Old City and the distractions of the New mean that too few visitors venture across the Bosphorus to Asia, and many of those that do will head to Kadıköy. But the Asian shore really is another world and deserves at least an afternoon. The Ottomans used to retreat here and fine classical mosques abound in Uskudar. Interstingly, many were built under the patronage of the powerful Ottoman women. The Beylerbeyi Palace is often overlooked but completes any tour of the 19th Century royal residences. As you continue along the coast the urban atmosphere gives way to village life more quickly than on the European side. Watching the sun go down behind the new sky scrapers from the iskele tea garden in Cengelköy, you’ll be grateful you escaped the rush.
Kanaat in Uskudar is a local classic. Go for a quick and delicious lunch of light cold zeytinyağlı meze or richer meaty hot dishes. Leave room for dessert. Kuzkuncuk İsmet Baba is one of the last of the old school of Bosphorus fish restaurants. Ditto Suna’nın Yeri in Kandilli. For a feast and a hilltop view down the Bopshorus to the Old City, head for Borsa on the hill above Kandilli.