Besiktas and Nisantasi
A short ways up the Bosphorus from Karaköy is one of Istanbul’s most visited attractions outside the Old City: the stunning neoclassical Dolmabahçe Palace, each room more ornate and over-the-top than the last. Nearby Beşiktaş is home to attractions like Yıldız Parkı and the Naval Museum, which showcases an impressive collection of Ottoman artifacts in a specially designed venue overlooking the water. Most of Istanbul’s luxurious Bosphorus-side hotels, including a couple that are housed in former Ottoman palaces, are likewise found in and around this area. A major transit hub, Beşiktaş is also the gateway to the Bosphorus neighborhoods to the north, and a departure point for ferries to Istanbul’s Asian side.
Up the hill from Beşiktaş is Nişantaşı, the city’s high-fashion district, home to the flagship stores of internationally known luxury brands as well as local talent; numerous contemporary-art galleries are also scattered amid the upscale hotels, restaurants, patisseries, and third-wave coffee shops here, which offer plenty of opportunities to take a break and enjoy some good people-watching. The Military Museum is just a short walk away on Cumhuriyet Caddesi, which then leads back to Taksim Square.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Founded in 1897 and located here since 1961, Istanbul's Naval Museum reopened in late 2013 with a huge, state-of-the-art new…Learn More >
This large and fascinating museum boasts an extensive collection of swords, daggers, armor, and other weaponry, but it's not just…Learn More >
The name Dolmabahçe means "filled-in garden," from the fact that Sultan Ahmet I (ruled 1603–17) had an imperial garden planted…Learn More >