Reading list | Ortaköy

Ortaköy is as close as Istanbul comes to Venice, with its iconic view of mosque and bridge, leafy seaside square and now rather overbearing cafés.

The main sight the 19th-century ballroom-manner mosque, recently unveiled after a decade under wraps.

There is a decent jazz club, some rather smart restaurans, one of Istanbul’s best kilim shops, a fabulous jewellery designer, a semi-functioning ferry station (though half the boats confusingly call pull up at the quay behind the mosque), and, on the main drag north of Ortaköy, the city's most famous (notorious) night clubs.

GETTING THERE Buses from Beşiktaş. If traffic is heavy take a taxi over the back road from the Barbaros Boulevard. The Ortaköy iskele (boat station) is now a stop for the handful of commuting boats heading up the Bosphorus and can be used by sea taxis.