North of Dolmabahçe Palace on the
shore of the Bosphorus, 2.5 km (1.5 miles) northeast of Taksim Square, is Beşiktaş (map),
one of Metropolitan Istanbul's many
municipalities (sub-cities, boroughs).
Beşiktaş is a major
transportation nexus, where the avenue
along the European
shore meets Barbaros
Bulvarı, the main thoroughfare
inland, westward, to Istanbul's skyscraper
business districts. This important
intersection is right next to the Beşiktaş
Ferry Dock serving ferry boats that
cross the Bosphorus to the Asian
shore at Üsküdar, and some
that travel up and down the strait
on Bosphorus cruises.
The big attraction here is the Turkish Naval Museum (Deniz Müzesi), with its collection of splendid, gilded imperial caiques, the long sleek, very fast boats in which the sultan, rowed by as many as 30 oarsmen, shot up and down the Bosphorus like a waterborne arrow. More...
An imperial caique in the Naval Museum, Beşiktaş.
Very near the Naval Museum is the Palace
Collections Museum,. You should also wander in Beşiktaş's
district (çarşı) complete
with fish market,
and perhaps to dine in one of the
market's many restaurants away
from the tourist throngs.
For a respite from the concrete city,
there's an entire hillside covered
in the greenery of Yıldız Parkı,
with its three Ottoman-era restaurants
and one impressive palace, the Yıldız
Şale Köşkü (Star Chalet Kiosk). More...
Besides its half-dozen luxury
Istanbul Hotel, Four
Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus, Çirağan
Palace Kempinski Hotel,
Radisson Blu Hotel, and Shangri-la
Hotel), Beşiktaş boasts several distinguished academic
campuses of Bahçeşehir University, Galatasaray
Anadolu Lisesi, and a maritime
Perhaps the easiest way to reach Beşiktaş
by public transport is to take the
tram or Kabataş-Taksim
Funicular to the Kabataş stop, then
catch a bus going up the European
shore of the Bosphorus.
A longer but perhaps more satisfying
way is to board a ferryboat at Eminönü,
cruise across the Bosphorus to Üsküdar on
shore, then board a ferry
at an adjoining dock for the cruise
to Beşiktaş back on
shore. Total round-trip intercontintal
voyage time is
45 minutes to an hour, total cost less
than TL5. You can shorten the time by taking the Marmaray train from Sirkeci to Üsküdar, then a ferry to Beşiktaş.
To return to the city center, take
any bus heading south from Beşiktaş to Eminönü, Kabataş, Karaköy, or Taksim
—by Tom Brosnahan