Top Places to Visit for the Best Views of Istanbul

Top Places to Visit for the Best Views of Istanbul

Istanbul is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Since the Byzantine Empire settled in between Asia and Europe and called it Constantinople, the sights in this legendary city have been mentioned in music, literature, film, and art.

Known as the city of 7 hills, Istanbul boasts incredible views from landmarks like mosques and palaces located on these hills. Unsurprisingly, the best views of İstanbul can also be seen over rooftops or by the Bosphorus.

Best Bosphorus View In Istanbul

Ortaköy by Ahmet Kemal


Ortaköy (meaning Middle Village) is loved by tourists and locals alike. In the Ottoman period, it was amongst the most cosmopolitan neighbourhoods in Istanbul. The community in Ortaköy was made up of Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews. Today, several businesses who belong to people from diverse backgrounds still operate here and there are few churches like St. Mary’s Cathedral in the area.

You can have a simple Turkish tea or coffee by the Bosphorus in Ortaköy while you watch the ferries pass by. Several reputable schools, such as Kabataş Erkek Lisesi and Galatasaray University, are located here as well.

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A Local's Travel Guide to Istanbul

Ulus Park

The most panoramic views of the city can be captured at Ulus Park, as it gazes over the Bosphorus from high above. This is one of the most iconic parks in Istanbul, not only because it has the best views over the Bosphorus but also because it’s really well-kept. The drive from Ortaköy to Ulus Park via Portakal Yokuşu street is lovely.
After your visit to Ulus Park, we would recommend you to get to Kuruçeşme or Arnavutköy to stroll Bebek Sahili. This seaside walk has the best views of Istanbul, where you’ll see colourful, historic mansions and Byzantine city walls.

Otağtepe Hill

Located in Kavacık, a bit further away from the city centre, this hidden gem is located right next to the bridge and provides for the perfect spot for a scenic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. This is also one of the greenest neighbourhoods in Istanbul, you can visit the Mihrabat Grove nearby or descend to the seaside to visit Küçüksu Palace and Anadolu Hisarı.

Pierre Loti Hill

After a short cable car ride, you can get to Pierre Loti Hill to see the best view of old Istanbul. Pierre Loti takes its name from a famous French writer, who used to live in the area. It’s a historical scenic location that looks over the Golden Horn. Since it’s not too far from Fatih, you can ascend to the hill after a day of discovering the old town in Fatih and Sultanahmet.

Before you get to the hill, you can visit the Eyüp Graveyard (one of the oldest and biggest Muslim cemeteries in Istanbul) where you can see the shrines of Ottoman sultans, grand viziers, military commanders as well as intellectuals, scientists, artists and poets.

Best Restaurants With A View In Istanbul

For a Totally Local Experience with the Perfect View: Eleos Restaurant

Small but mighty, Eleos is a classic fish restaurant bringing Greek, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine to your table while you enjoy a mesmerising view of Istanbul on their terrace.

For the Gorgeous View and the Gourmet Food: Mavi Balık

A fish restaurant in the fancy neighbourhood of Kuruçeşme, Mavi Balık is right next to the sea and it promises beautiful views of Istanbul as well as great quality food.

For Lovers of Fine Dining: Mikla

If rooftop terraces, unique cocktails and fine dining is your thing - you should visit Mikla. Located on top of The Marmara Pera Hotel, you can watch the sunset over the Bosphorus while eating delicious contemporary Anatolian and Mediterranean food at Mikla. Mikla has been on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list since 2015.


For When You Visit the Old Town: Fındık Kabuğunda Köfte

You can eat a hearty meal at Fındık Kabuğunda Köfte when you plan to go to the old town. It’s a great choice for those on a budget; not only does it have a lovely view of the Sveti Stefan Church in Istanbul’s most colourful neighbourhood Balat, it also makes delicious traditional Turkish köfte (meatballs). It’s definitely a hidden gem in Istanbul, and perfect for those who want to avoid the tourist traps.

Best Breakfast In Istanbul With A View

For a Filling Breakfast with a View: Mihrabat Korusu

Perfect on a sunny day, Mihrabat Korusu is a green sanctuary serving filling Turkish breakfast next to a beautiful view of Istanbul.

For a Simple Breakfast Next to the Sea: Tarihi Çınaraltı Aile Çay Bahçesi

It’s nothing fancy, but very local and very friendly Tarihi Çınaraltı Aile Çay Bahçesi is great for a relaxed morning listening to the waves and seagulls.

For a Great Atmosphere and Classic Turkish Breakfast: Ortaköy House Café

You can’t go wrong with House Café. Since 2005, Istanbul’s famous House Café has been serving Istanbulites great quality food and service. Their Ortaköy branch is amongst the best establishments in this part of town.

Best Bars With A View in Istanbul

Small and Popular: Monkey Bar

Looking over the Golden Horn, Monkey Bar is the perfect small cocktail bar to watch the sunset.

Arnavutköy by Despina Galani

A Hidden Gem in Istanbul with Delicious Drinks: Alexandra Bar

Located in the fancy neighbourhood of Arnavutköy, Alexandra Bar of course serves the most impressive cocktails in town. And, of course, it’s buzzing.

Come for the View, Stay for the Drinks: Firuzende Galata

Ever thought what it would be like to climb on Galata Tower? Well, you’d feel like you can almost do it at Firuzende Galata. Located right next to the tower, you can spend a lovely night watching Istanbul’s city lights at Firuzende’s terrace and enjoy a few drinks.

Best Hotels With A View In Istanbul

Georges Hotel Galata
Ajia Hotel
The Marmara Pera Hotel


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