Home Turkey İstanbul Instagram stops along the Bosphorus

    Instagram stops along the Bosphorus

    Istanbul is famous for its legendary Bosphorus, but the Bosphorus is not the city’s only geographical landmark. Istanbul is built on a series of hills – hills that offer magnificent views of both the city and the water. These irresistible vistas have been recorded in paintings, in literature and in photographs and, now, on the smartphones of millions of people. Keep reading to discover the most Instagrammable Bosphorus views from the European and Anatolian sides.

    Turkish Airlines Blog
    Yazar ekibimiz tarafından yönetilen bu hesapla, seyahat tutkunları ve keşif meraklılarının keyif alacağı blog içerikleri üretiyoruz. Özenle hazırladığımız içeriklerimiz aracılığıyla ilham vermeyi, bilgilendirmeyi, heyecanlandırmayı, eğlendirmeyi ve küçük ipuçları ile yolculuğunuzu kolaylaştırmayı amaçlıyoruz. Aynı zamanda yola çıkmanın yenileyici ve özgürleştiriciliğini sizlere tekrar hatırlatmak istiyoruz. Çünkü Tolstoy'un dediği gibi: “Tüm muhteşem hikayeler iki şekilde başlar; Ya bir insan bir yolculuğa çıkar ya da şehre bir yabancı gelir...”

    Instagram Stops on the European Side

    The Bosphorus is considered the 30-kilometer line between the Rumeli and İnciburnu Lighthouses, and the European side offers numerous places for viewing. In particular, the Historical Peninsula overlooks both the Golden Horn-Galata line and the Bosphorus. 

    We list the places on the European side with magnificent views of the Bosphorus.

    Gülhane Park – Topkapı Palace Mecidiye Mansion Terrace

    The Fatih district has many magical views of the Bosphorus. Gulhane Park, the largest park on the European side, offers wonderful views amid lush greenery. 

    Located in the Sarıyer district, the 30-decare Rumeli Fortress is one of Istanbul’s most important historical structures. Erected by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1452, one year before the Conquest of Istanbul, the Fortress was built in just 90 days.

    Next to Gülhane Park is the Topkapı Palace Museum. In its fourth courtyard is the terrace of the Mecidiye Mansion, famous for its legendary Bosphorus view. The Mansion was built by renowned architect Sarkis Balyan; it was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid and is known as the last sultan’s mansion in Topkapı Palace.

    If you want to gaze at the Bosphorus from the unique location of Sarayburnu, both Gülhane Park and Mecidiye Mansion terrace feature stunning views.

    Bosphorus view from Gülhane Park

    Galata Tower

    As a symbol of Istanbul and Turkey, the Galata Tower continues to defy time, with its history of 1,500 years. The Tower was built of wood by the Byzantines in 528, and rebuilt with masonry stones by the Genoese in 1348, after a fire. In every century since, the Tower has undergone restorations.  Included in the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO in 2013, the 70-meter-high Galata Tower offers a unique view of the Historical Peninsula and the Bosphorus – undoubtedly one of the best Instagram stops on the European side for a perfect view.

    View of the Historical Peninsula from Galata Tower

    Süleymaniye – Caulking Yard 

    The Süleymaniye Mosque and the Caulking Yard, both built by architect Mimar Sinan, are part of the Süleymaniye Social Complex.

    While the Süleymaniye Social Complex is less elevated than some locations, the upper part of the Süleymaniye Mosque and the terraces around it offer a wonderful view. Especially, the area between the Golden Horn and Galata is picturesque and has beautiful views over the Bosphorus, Üsküdar, Çamlıca Hill and the Maiden’s Tower. The Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene are also visible from the Suleymaniye-Caulking Yard.

    Bosphorus through the domes of the Suleymaniye Social Complex

    Büyük Valide Han

    Büyük Valide Han – also known as Valide Han – is located between Çakmakçılar Slope and Fincancılar Slope in Eminönü Mahmutpaşa. This inn, built by Kösem Sultan in the 17th century, is one of the largest inns in Istanbul.

    Büyük Valide Han, which has three courtyards, offers a wide viewing area, especially from the domes. The Galata, Golden Horn and Bosphorus views of Büyük Valide Han are magnificent. However, part of the roof collapsed in 2016: countless years of visitors hopping on the domes to take photographs took a toll on the structure. If you visit Büyük Valide Han, please act responsibly and help preserve our common heritage and these historical artifacts.

    Night view from Valide Han

    Ortaköy Coast

    If the Bosphorus is one of Turkey’s most iconic geographical treasures, then the  Ortaköy coast is certainly one of Istanbul’s! We encourage all first-time visitors to Turkey to spend some time in  Ortaköy – not only is the view magnificent, but the area has plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants.

    The Great Mecidiye Mosque (better known as Ortaköy Mosque), located just below the 15th of July Martyrs Bridge, completes the view of the Ortaköy coast. This elegant Baroque-style mosque was built for Sultan Abdülmecid by architect Nigoğos Balyan, and is featured in most of the photographs taken in Ortaköy.

    The Ortaköy coast, with views of Üsküdar, Kuzguncuk, Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus, is definitely one of the most beautiful Instagram stops.

    View of the Bosphorus Bridge and Ortaköy Mosque from the coast of Ortaköy

    Ulus Park

    For panoramic Bosphorus views on the European side, head to the hilltop Ulus Park.  

    Çamlıca Hill is also a terrific observation point – especially during the migrating season in September and October.

    Set in Beşiktaş Ulus, Ulus Park features lush trees in addition to wonderful views of the Bosphorus Bridge, Topkapı Palace and Üsküdar. Do keep in mind that the park can get crowded on weekends.

    Bosphorus view from Ulus Park

    Rumeli Fortress

    Located in the Sarıyer district, the 30-decare Rumeli Fortress is one of Istanbul’s most important historical structures. Erected by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1452, one year before the Conquest of Istanbul, the Fortress was built in just 90 days. 

    Rumeli Fortress is located just opposite the Anadolu Fortress on the Anatolian side: this channel is  the narrowest part of the Bosphorus and, thus, Rumeli Fortress is an ideal location for views of the palaces, groves and pavilions of the Anatolian side, as well as the area from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge to Çengelköy. 

    View of the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge from Rumeli Fortress

    Instagram Stops of the Asian Side

    The Anatolian side of the Bosphorus offers a beautiful view of a long coastal road and a vast forest. At almost every point from Üsküdar to the Anadolu Fortress, you’ll want to stop and just observe. To save you some time, we have listed the most beautiful views on the Anatolian side. 

    Çamlıca Hill

    The 265-meter-high Çamlıca Hill, located in Üsküdar, overlooks both the Bosphorus and the Historical Peninsula and is one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul. Featuring picnic areas and a variety of trees, Çamlıca Hill has breath-taking panoramic views.

    Interested in bird watching? Çamlıca Hill is also a terrific observation point – especially during the migrating season in September and October. That is, of course, if you can tear your gaze away from the majestic  beauty of the Bosphorus!

    Bosphorus view from Çamlıca Hill

    Çengelköy Coast

    North of Üsküdar, Beylerbeyi and Kuzguncuk, Çengelköy is a charming village with narrow streets, centuries-old plane trees and picturesque historical mansions. From Çengelköy Beach, lined with fish restaurants, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view reaching from Ortaköy to Sarıyer.

    When in Çengelköy, stop by its famous beachfront tea garden, which was featured in the 90’s TV series, Super Baba.

    Kuleli Military High School view from the sea


    Set within the borders of Üsküdar, Salacak is between Şemsipaşa and Harem and across from the Maiden’s Tower, an icon of Istanbul.

    The Salacak coast offers a view extending from the Historical Peninsula to Beşiktaş. In addition, the small building on the beach – which used to be a ferry pier – is now a cafe with a magnificent view. Gazing at the Bosphorus and the Maiden’s Tower is a fine way to spend an afternoon in Salacak!

    Maiden’s Tower view from Salacak

    Otag Hill – Fatih Grove 

    Otag Hill and Fatih Grove, located at the exit of the Anatolian side of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, are among the most beautiful places in Beykoz. Following a 1997 arrangement made with the partnership of TEMA Foundation and Koç Holding, Fatih Grove became the Fatih Grove Natural Culture Center.

    Fatih Grove and Otag hill offer a fascinating view of the Bosphorus reaching from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge to the 15 July Martyrs Bridge. While Fatih Grove is relatively unknown, it has become more popular as a photography spot. However, the Grove closes early; its proximity to the Bridge is an issue due to the flashes used in nighttime photography. Do check entrance and exit times before visiting Fatih Grove.

    View of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Bosphorus from Otag hill

    Mihrabat Grove

    After passing the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Mihrabat Grove is a little behind Kanlıca in the north. There is Fatih Grove on one side of the bridge and Mihrabat Grove on the other.

    In the last period of the Ottoman Empire, Mihrabat Grove was given to Rukiye Hanım by her mother, the Egyptian Abbas Halim Pasha, as a wedding gift. Today, visitors can stroll under pine trees and luxuriate in gorgeous views of the Bosphorus, as well as the mansions and groves on the European side of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. 

    View of the Bosphorus from Mihrabat Grove in Kanlıca

    Fethipaşa Grove 

    The Fethipaşa Grove, which offers a beautiful view of the Bosphorus and the Historical Peninsula from Sarayburnu to Ortaköy, is located between Sultantepe and Kuzguncuk in Üsküdar. Walking along the coastal road to the Grove, which is about a kilometer from the Üsküdar Ferry Port, is as enjoyable as visiting the Grove itself! 

    Fethipaşa Grove is especially known for its aromatic redbud trees.

    Çamlıca Hill is also a terrific observation point – especially during the migrating season in September and October.

    The Fethipaşa Social Facilities building was once the home of the renowned writer and philosopher Cemil Meriç. History, views and a delightful nature walk – Fethipaşa Grove has it all.

    Drone-view of Fethipaşa Grove


    A district of Üsküdar set between Beylerbeyi and Kuzguncuk, Nakkaştepe is located at the exit of the Anatolian side of the July 15 Martyrs Bridge. 

    Nakkaştepe is one of the most beautiful places to watch the Bosphorus, with a 50,000-square meter park and views of Ortaköy and Beşiktaş.

    For an Instagrammable moment close to the city, Nakkaştepe is a good choice!

    Bosphorus view from Nakkaştepe Park

    Sevda Hill – Anadolu Fortress  

    Sevda Hill, near Anadolu Fortress, features a Bosphorus view that includes two bridges. The hill is famous for its 300-year-old trees  in the grove of the Cypriot Mansion. For more information on the “Pearls of the Bosphorus”, the Bosphorus mansions, please click here. 

    According to rumor, Sevda Hill got its name in the 1920s. A military school student known as Valentino Vahit – due to his resemblance to the famous Rudolph Valentino – and Belkıs, a student at the American Academy for Girls, on the opposite shore of the Bosphorus, fell in love. The family of Belkis was opposed to their marriage so the couple met at the place called Sevda Hill today and committed suicide together. The hill was named Sevda (Love) Hill after this tragedy.

    Sevda Hill offers a unique Instagram subject: magnificent views from the setting of a tragic love story.

    Sevda Hill behind the Küçüksu Palace

    Yoros Castle

    Yoros Castle, dating from the Eastern Roman Period, is located north of Anadolu Kavağı. The Castle is among the important historical works on the Bosphorus, featuring well-preserved towers and inscriptions.

    Because of its elevation and setting, Yoros Castle has expansive views of the Bosphorus reaching from the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge in the north to the Sarıyer ridges in the south. Yoros Castle also offers wonderful views of Rumeli Kavağı, on the opposite side of the Bosphorus.

    We must also inform you that, if you happen to be at Yoros Castle early in the morning, you can enjoy a wonderful breakfast with the wonderful view.

    Yoros Castle

    Stories knock at your door!

    You can easily download images, and share on your social media accounts via your smartphone. Just press and hold the story, and save or share the image you have selected via the menu that appears.

    Featured posts

    Make it more than a holiday: Travel can bring new job opportunities!

    1. Try your hand at pottery in Cappadocia! Cappadocia isn't just hot air balloons, fairy chimneys, underground cities, and...

    A tapestry of stories: 8 famous ancient sites in Turkey!

    1. Ephesus, the grandest ancient city in Turkey Ephesus is not only an urbanized ancient site paved with streets,...

    550 years of Istanbul’s historic bazaars

    Grand Bazaar The Grand Bazaar, located in Beyazıt, is the oldest shopping center in the world, and has retained...

    11 things to do in Cappadocia!

    1. Go on a hot air balloon tour! Take off at dawn and enjoy the sunrise. What better place...

    The capital city of an empire: Berlin

    Touring Berlin, it was almost impossible to ignore the traces of war, the left overs of Nazi Germany, and all the suffering...

    Heaven on earth: Dubrovnik

    When the plane we took from Zagreb began to descend, the fabulous nature took hold of me. After leaving the airport, I...