Below the impressive Bosphorus Bridge, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, lays the lovely neighborhood of Ortaköy. One can easily see why in the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged Turks to move here. Ortaköy is a sun-drenched stretch of sidewalk made for a day of meandering.
A Sunday brunch is a must at the waterside House Cafe. Enjoy a lovely meal with a perfect view of the blue on the blue water of the Bosphorus and the eponymously named Ortaköy, or Mecidiye Mosque. A beautiful ornate building in the neo-baroque style, the mosque was designed and built-in 1854 by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan. This duo was also responsible for the design of the Dolmabahçe Palace. The Ortaköy is one of the most popular landmarks in all of sprawling Istanbul.
Arrive by ferry, the stop is just in front of the mosque. Then after brunch and a few people watching, take a stroll through the weekend flea market in the waterfront plaza and enjoy a hard candy made on the spot. If you happen to stay, at night, besides the medley of cafes and restaurants, Ortaköy hosts the flashiest super clubs along the embankment.