Once a Village, Today the Picturesque Quarter of IstanbulThe Ortaköy quarter, which means "Middle Village" ("orta" is the middle, and "koy" is a village), was once a village on the banks of the Bosphorus. Today the neighborhood is connected to the city, within a quarter rich in picturesque alleyways, which sits mostly on the water.
On the waterfront in the neighborhood, you should reach the wide promenade, with wide-open trees. The area also houses art galleries and handicrafts. On the waterfront there are cafes and restaurants, with fish, seafood and traditional Turkish food. In the evenings there are night clubs here, some offering an oriental atmosphere, including belly dancing.
It's best to visit here on Sundays, when the artist flea market is open throughout the day, with paintings, souvenirs, and art pieces. Some criticize the market for being too commercialized recently - up to your decision.
TipsIn summer evenings and weekends, the quarter can get pretty crowded.
For the artist flea market, come on Sundays.