The Sariyer Area of Istanbul: A Bosphorus Gem
Foreign travel journals that cover northern Europe seldom ever mention Istanbul's Sariyer neighborhood, yet for Turks, this Bosphorus treasure is their favorite summer and weekend retreat. During these seasons, more people move into the area to take advantage of Sariyer's delights, including residents of nearby Istanbul and visitors from farther afield.
Although there aren't as many tourist attractions as in well-known districts like Sultanahmet or Beyoglu, the atmosphere and age-old customs of the nearby little villages keep visitors coming back.
Sariyer’s Low Key Historical Timeline
For a large portion of its history, it was just one of several fishing communities along the ancient Bosphorus. When Ottoman royalty began utilizing it for hunting and picnics, it reached its zenith. As it developed into an elite location, high-ranking members of Turkish society also constructed vacation homes there.
Some of these were later inhabited by foreign embassies, solidifying Sariyer's illustrious reputation. Additionally, populations of various faiths and cultures have coexisted for generations; evidence of this can be found in the mosques, synagogues, and churches located throughout the neighborhoods of Buyukdere, Yenimahelle, and Tarabya.
Getting There and Getting Around
Local bus services make it simple to go throughout the district and to other nearby places because they are connected to the M2 metro line. Additionally, Sariyer is close to the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge on the E80 motorway, making it easy for people to travel from Europe to Asia.
Sea ferries are by far the most often used mode of transportation, and they are available to numerous locations, including Asian Kadikoy, Rumeli Kavagi, Anadolu Kavagi, Cengelkoy, Istinye, and the busy Eminonu neighborhood. The new, cutting-edge airport, which will be finished in 2023 and connect locals to hundreds of international locations year-round, is only 40 minutes' drive away.
An Educational Hub of Istanbul
Its reputation extends beyond tourism alone. With 115 schools covering basic through secondary education and Istanbul Technical and Beykent University educating outstanding people preparing for the workforce, Istanbul has earned recognition as a center for education.
The British schools in Zekeriyakoy, Tarabya, and Yenikoy, the Istanbul International Community School on the Hisar campus, and the renowned Lycee Francais Pierre Loti campus are just a few of the international institutions that draw foreigners seeking to live and work in Istanbul to Sariyer.
Outstanding Places in the Sariyer Area of Istanbul
The current location of the German consulate was a favorite of the second Ottoman sultan, Selim. His adoration has endured to the day, luring retirees from all around Turkey to the area. It is a terrific area to eat fish and have a good time in neighborhood bars that play traditional Turkish music and serve meals.
2- Belgrade Forest:
Belgrade Forest, named after the same Ottoman conquest, served as exclusive hunting grounds for sultan royalty and their entourage for centuries. Today, it is a popular green space in Istanbul where locals go to relax in the fresh air. Every day, joggers use it, and on the weekends, families and couples have walks and picnics by the lake. Smaller nature parks like Irmak, Komurcubent, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, and Neset Suyu may be found inside Belgrad Forest. The renowned Ataturk Arboretum is located in Bahcekoy, on the outskirts of Belgrad Forest.
3- Kilyos Beach and Town:
Turkey is a popular location for beachgoers, and Sariyer provides Kilyos beach in elegant fashion. The beach and little village on the Black Sea are currently very popular despite the fact that the currents might be severe during some months. Small pubs and cafes make this a great place to unwind away from the beach, while leisurely strolls through the nearby forest offer alternatives to the beach.
While Sariyer as a whole moves slowly, the Maslak business district is a hub that moves quickly and is always changing. It contrasts in that large skyscrapers predominate its real estate market rather than being a residential hub.
Istinye, which is situated between Emirgan and Yenikoy, is a well-liked neighborhood. Aside from Istinye Park, a high-profile, ultra-modern retail center featuring Turkish and international brand names, food courts, and entertainment options all under one roof, the little bay draws weekend day trippers eager to experience the seaside environment of cafes and restaurants.
Emirgan, which received its historical name from the Ottoman lords who enjoyed hunting there, is now well-known for its lovely green park and tea gardens lining the Bosphorus, which transform into a popular gathering spot on weekends. The Sakip Sabanci Museum and the Emirgan Mosque, built in the eighteenth century, are further noteworthy sites.
Because it is home to the same-named castle from the fifteenth century, this is one region that most outsiders have heard about. Today, the open-air museum also stages incredible performances. It was formerly used when the Ottomans took Constantinople.
8- Rumeli Kavagi:
This location is well-known for the fish eateries that along the shore. It becomes a Turkish event when fresh fish and seafood are served together with the customary mezes and raki. The rule when partaking in this type of meal is to consume slowly while socializing with pleasant people.
Buyukdere was off-the-grid for many years, but in recent years, its real estate market has boomed, with luxury flats dominating the demand. Along with a few churches, it is home to the Sadberk Hanim Museum, a well-known private collection assembled by the powerful and wealthy Koc Family. They used to spend their summers in the Azaryan Yali mansion, built in the nineteenth century, until it was transformed into the current museum in 1978.
Churches and synagogues provide information about the Greek, Armenian, and Jewish heritage of Yenikoy. There is nothing frantic about this little neighborhood, which has gained fame for the mouthwatering baked delights that come from its bakeries. The housing market in this affluent neighborhood is dominated by enormous Yali houses, such as Afif Pasha Yali, where Agatha Christie formerly resided.
Zekeriyakoy's middle-class vibe has flourished in recent years as new residential neighborhoods gain popularity on Istanbul's housing market. Due to its proximity to business areas, many inhabitants travel daily while living in the village when not at work.
Anyone visiting Istanbul should be sure to stop by the Sariyer neighborhood. This area offers a distinctive and memorable experience because to its spectacular natural beauty, rich cultural legacy, and multitude of activities and attractions. Sariyer has a lot to offer, whether you want to go hiking in the verdant forests, see historical monuments, or eat fresh seafood along the Bosphorus. Its quaint towns, active harbors, and traditional marketplaces offer a window into the way of life there and make for a wonderful journey. So visit Sariyer to explore one of Istanbul's most attractive and alluring neighborhoods.