5. Istanbul: Asian side sightseeing with Lunch and Transfers
Feel like a local on a guided tour in the heart of Istanbul's Asian side. Visit famous sites and districts, including Karakoy, Kadikoy Fruit Market, and Uskudar. Tuck into a local lunch to savor traditional flavors and travel in the comfort of your own group's car in between locations.
Start the day with a pick up from your accommodation in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Then, head over to vibrant Karakoy, before heading to Asia, to tuck into a filling Turkish breakfast (at your own expense).
Next, board a ferry and make your way to Kadikoy, a laid-back residential neighborhood on Istanbul’s Asian shore, famed for its bustling fish and produce market offering Turkish pizza, olives, stuffed mussels, and more. This part of Turkey is considered part of Asia and is home to a number of popular local haunts.
Once you disembark, head to the Kadikoy Fruit Market and wander around its bustling aisles. Feel free to buy some local produce to take home after your trip or to eat during your stay in Istanbul.
Next, move on to Moda Promenade, the cultural center of Kadikoy that is littered with a multitude of cafes, shops, and more. Marvel at the view from the waterfront and see sailing yachts glide across the calm waters of the bay.
Then, head to Uskudar, a sprawling residential area, to have lunch at a famous and traditional Turkish restaurant, Kanaat Lokantasi. Try its yaprak dolma (rice cooked with tomatoes, parsley, onion, garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, black pepper, salt and water, and wrapped in vine leaves), saksuka (cubes of eggplants cooked with zucchinis, garlic, tomatoes and chilli), or kisir (a salad made from fine bulgur wheat, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and mint).
After sampling some delicious Turkish fare, make your way to Camlica Mosque. Completed in 2019 after six years of construction, this is the largest mosque in Turkey. It can fit well over 25,000 people at a time and is a favorite place of worship for the locals. Explore the large building and take in the beautiful design and architecture before heading to Otagtepe Park.
Stroll around the picturesque park, taking photos of its leafy grounds. Your last stop of the day is Kanlica, a neighborhood popular for its yogurt snack, which is sprinkled with caster sugar and sold in many cafes in the area. Sample this renowned snack before making your way back to your starting point.