Bebek is among the most popular districts of Istanbul located on the shores of the Bosphorus. Bebek, which means “Baby” in Turkish, is indeed the most special bay of the Bosphorus and is as beautiful as a baby.
Bebek is also at the center of one of the most beautiful walking routes of the Bosphorus. A walk starting from Ortakoy, passing through Bebek and ending at Rumeli Fortress is among the best things to do in Istanbul.
After a great Turkish breakfast in Ortakoy, walking to Bebek and having a coffee break here is a wonderful experience. Bebek’s cafes offer the best views of the Bosphorus. In addition, the sweet shops of the district are also famous.
Things to Do in Bebek in 2023
Things to do in Bebek include walking along the Bosphorus and Bebek Park. You can also see the historical monuments in the surrounding area. Istanbulites come to Bebek for a pleasant weekend rather than a cultural trip.
Bebek is adjacent to Ortakoy in the south, Etiler in the west and Rumeli Hisari in the north. Some of Istanbul’s most scenic breakfast places and luxury restaurants are located in this area.
1. Walking from Ortakoy to Bebek
Walking from Ortakoy to Bebek is one of the favorite activities of Istanbulites. During this walk, you can take many Instagram photos with the Bosphorus view in the background.
As a local tour guide, I suggest you start your trip from Ortakoy. For example, you can have a great breakfast in Ortakoy, visit Ortakoy Mosque and come to Bebek on foot.
Cafes and sweet shops in Bebek will provide you with a pleasant break after the walk. And if you still feel energetic, you can continue to the next stop, Rumeli Hisari.
2. The Egyptian Consulate
The Egyptian Consulate is one of the most beautiful buildings on the shores of the Bosphorus. This building is the most beautiful representative of the Art Nouveau architectural style in Istanbul.
Egypt was one of the most important parts of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. The Egyptian Governor was called the Khedive and ruled as the Sultan’s shadow in the southern provinces.
This elegant palace-like structure was built in 1902 for the mother of Abbas II, the last Ottoman governor in Egypt. Emina Ilhamy later donated the structure to the Egyptian Embassy.
It is not possible to fully appreciate the beauty of this building while walking along the shores of the Bosphorus. However, if you go on a Bosphorus cruise, you can enjoy the architecture of this building from the boat.
When you see this building while on a Bosphorus tour, you can understand that you are approaching Bebek Bay. The elegance of the building will offer you some of your best photos during your Bosphorus cruise.
Likewise, those who come to Bebek by land notice the roof of this building. However, its walls prevent you from seeing the beauty of the structure. Many tourists pass by without noticing the hidden treasure here.
3. Bebek Park
Bebek Park is a quiet and scenic park stretching between the Egyptian Consulate and Bebek Mosque. You can see Istanbulites having a good time here, especially in the spring.
While passing through Bebek Park, you will see the statue of a famous writer who lived in the 16th century. Fuzuli was the author of the East’s most famous love story, Leyla and Majnun.
4. Bebek Mosque
Bebek Mosque was built by Mimar Kemaleddin, one of the most important architects of the late Ottoman period. Built in the early 1900s, the mosque has a classic look.
Mimar Kemaleddin was the representative of the First National Architecture Movement that started in the 20th century. This elegant architectural style is a mixture of Ottoman and Seljuk architecture.
5. Bebek Bay
Bebek Bay is arguably the most beautiful bay of the Bosphorus. The most popular cafes with Bosphorus view in Istanbul are located here. Even among dozens of Starbucks in Istanbul, the one with the most beautiful view is here.
6. Shopping in Bebek
For shopping near Bebek, you can go to the Etiler district, which is within walking distance. Etiler is an upscale district and offers many opportunities for clothing shopping.
You can find many women’s fashion stores on Nispetiye Street in Etiler. In addition, Akmerkez, one of the best shopping malls in Istanbul, is also located here.
7. Rumeli Fortress
Rumeli Fortress was built just before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. This fortress controlled the maritime traffic between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean for centuries.
Rumeli Fortress is among the best museums in Istanbul today. The castle, which is an early Ottoman structure, also gave its name to the district (Rumeli Hisari) where it is located.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the track starting from Ortakoy, passing through Bebek and extending to Rumeli Fortress is among the best walking routes in Istanbul.
8. Bogazici University
Bogazici University is located very close to Bebek and is considered the most popular education institution in Istanbul. The founding story of this school begins with the arrival of an American in Istanbul.
Cyrus Hamlin, who came to Istanbul as a missionary in the 19th century, founded Robert College in 1863. This school turned into Bogazici University in the 1970s.
Bebek Cafes and Restaurants
The cafes and restaurants in Bebek offer delicious meals, desserts and a magnificent Bosphorus view to those who visit the area. Eating and drinking in Bebek is also a very popular activity among Istanbulites. However, it should be added that the restaurants here are in the luxury category.
1. Bebek Balikcisi
Bebek Balikcisi ranks first among the most popular fish restaurants in Istanbul. Serving in here since 1974, the restaurant constantly renews its menu, on the other hand, it tries to make its guests experience the Old Istanbul with its nostalgic atmosphere.
At Bebek Balikcisi, you can enjoy unique tastes, such as Armenian bean salad, Cretan paste, fish bacon, topik, tabbouleh, octopus, carpaccio, and balik begendi (sauteed fish on a bed of creamy roasted eggplant puree).
Baylan is an old sweet shop run by a Greek family. Founded in Kadikoy, the popular district of the Asian Side, Balyan’s reputation spread throughout the city in a short time.
Thanks to this popularity, a Baylan was opened in Bebek, one of the most beautiful spots in the city. There is also a Balyan at the recently renovated Istanbul Cruise Port (Galataport).
In Balyan, you can find Turkish desserts as well as the best examples of Western flavors. It is very enjoyable to have a Turkish tea and try the special desserts in Baylan.
3. Bebek Kahvesi
Bebek Kahvesi is one of the most popular cafes in the city with its simple style. Although there are many charming boutique coffee shops in the neighborhood, this place has its own charm.
At any time of the day, you can see famous journalists, writers or TV actors living in Istanbul in this cafe. This is a place that represents the traditional coffee culture of Istanbul.
4. Meshur Bebek Badem Ezmesi
Meshur Bebek Badem Ezmesi is one of the most famous dessert places of the district. Known as Marzipan, the mixture is made from a mixture of water, sugar, almond paste and honey.
Although the places selling Turkish delight and baklava are among the most famous dessert shops of Istanbul, this hidden gem also has a unique taste. One of the two sweet shops named after the district sells Marzipan and the second one sells Waffles.
Lucca has a menu consisting of a balanced mix of Mediterranean cuisine and international cuisine. Lucca stands out with its cocktails and colorful plates and has been serving here since 2004.
Lucca has options that can be preferred all day long. So you can go here for a nice breakfast or to watch DJ performances in the late hours. The restaurant’s wine menu can also help you get an idea of Turkish wines.
Bebek is one of the best places to visit on the Bosphorus shores of Istanbul. This district is a great stopping place on the walking route starting from Ortakoy and continuing to Rumeli Hisari.
You can drink coffee (or Turkish tea) and try Turkish desserts in one of Bebek’s wonderful cafes. While enjoying your meal, you can watch the Bosphorus view in its most picturesque form.
If you have been watching popular Turkish series on Netflix in recent years, many places in this neighborhood will look familiar to you. Also, most of the people who play in these tv shows live here.
Written By Serhat Engul
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