Five Free Views in Istanbul

Being a city of seven hills, you’d be hard pressed not to find some sort of view within the city of Istanbul. Unfortunately, many of these views are only accessible from restaurants, hotels, and other such buildings. If you’re not interested in pay-per-view (or you tried but your dinner table was in the middle of the restaurant rather than at the windows), don’t worry – there are some places where you can admire a view without taking a hit to your wallet. In no particular order, here are five places where you can survey the incredible spread that is Istanbul.

Süleymaniye Mosque

This mosque is built on a hill near the Bosphorus. If you venture to the back of the compound, you will see the Strait and the city laid out as far as the eye can see. You will also witness the hustle and bustle of ferries and ships to-ing and fro-ing as they go about their business.

Galata Bridge

This bridge connects two sides of Istanbul and is considered a major artery of the city. It is always teeming with life along it, on either sides of it, and under it. The people watching is fantastic and the views are phenomenal, especially in the dying light of the sun.

Pierre Loti

This café is accessible either via an uphill walk through a cemetery or by taking a funicular ride. At the top of the hill, there is a viewing platform as well as the café itself. It is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, sipping cay and admiring the views of Istanbul spread out at your feet.

City Walls

Climbing these walls are not for the faint of heart or the unsteady of feet. But if you make it up in one piece, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of Istanbul, giving you a chance to admire the old and the new that make up this great city.

walls and city

Kadikoy Boardwalk

Not all the great views are restricted to the European side of Istanbul. If you venture over to the Asian side, there is plenty to discover, including a quiet boardwalk along the Bosphorus. It is an excellent opportunity to admire the European side with all its famous landmarks, including the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.

Asian side boardwalk (3)

14 responses to “Five Free Views in Istanbul

  1. Love love love! Can’t wait to go back…seriously. What I would do now for a cold Coke at Pierre Loti. Nice pics!! Although I have to add that I got the same ones. ha 🙂

      • I really need to!! Istanbul always keeps calling, I’ve never been mesmerized so much by any city. And the view points are what make it even more special, I’m really glad you came up with this post.

      • I’m glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I 100% agree – I’ve been lucky enough to have gone twice now and I am hoping to go again soon! It is one of my favorite cities so far in my travels,

  2. Pingback: A Walk from Ayvansaray (Istanbul) | Rusty Travel Trunk·

  3. Great views, this gives me a good sense of the city! It’s neat to see the slope of it!

    There’s so many mosques to pick out on the European side!

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