Whether you’re just visiting the city or planning to invest in Istanbul, it may come in handy to understand how the city is divided into 39 provinces, each with its own municipality. These provinces are all part of the Metropolitan Municipality, the top governing body of the city after the Governorship of Istanbul. In order to help you get a better grasp of this exciting and enormous city, we are starting a new series called “Discover Istanbul Province by Province” based on practical information, tips and tricks related to Istanbul’s provinces. Even a majority of the locals in Istanbul live a great part of their lives around and between only a few of these and have never stepped foot on most of them. Some of these provinces are so big and self-sufficient that you can almost spend your entire life in just one of them. With this series, we hope to better assist and guide you while helping you discover Istanbul.
The first province in the series is Beşiktaş, which also happens to be the top province on Istanbul’s Quality of Life Index, published in 2015. On Istanbul’s European side, stretching along the Bosphorus from Dolmabahçe Palace to Bebek, lays one of the most beautiful, habitable, valuable and busy provinces in the city. Inland it includes the residential Gayrettepe, Dikilitaş and Yıldız neighborhoods along with Levent, Ulus and Etiler neighborhoods, where you can find many of the most valuable Turkish properties on the market. Its seaside neighborhoods such as Ortaköy, Kuruçeşme, Arnavutköy, and Bebek are beautiful Bosphorus districts with luxury homes and boats and some of the city’s best restaurants and nightclubs. Befittingly populated by celebrities and some of the wealthiest families in Turkey, the province has every reason to be this popular.
Its historic center is the neighborhood of Beşiktaş that gives the province its name. Çarşı, which means bazaar in Turkish, also acts as the province’s social and commercial heart, while its main artery is the Barbaros Boulevard that connects to the E5 motorway, which runs through the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia. Its convenient location also means that it will surely be busy throughout the day and one should check traffic status, before going or passing through there. Impossible to miss while coming to Beşiktaş from Taksim direction, is the historic İnönü Stadium, currently being rebuilt. Arguably the most beautifully located stadium in the world, with an amazing view of the Bosphorus, it is also the home field of the oldest football club in Turkey, Beşiktaş FC. Çarşı is also the name given to the most passionate football fan group in Turkey, if not the world. Inside the historic fish market in Çarşı, you will see a black eagle sculpture, representing Beşiktaş FC, who also go by the name Black Eagles.
Famous historic and touristic sites in Beşiktaş are Çırağan Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Yıldız Palace, Feriye Palace, Naime Sultan Mansion, Hıdiva Palace, Esma Sultan Mansion, Ortaköy Mosque, Mecidiye Mosque and Yıldız Mosque. The stretch from Zincirlikuyu to Levent is one of the oldest and most important business centers in Istanbul. Any property located here is considered to be one of the most valuable properties for sale in Turkey. This area also houses the headquarters of many local and international corporations as well as several major malls such as Zorlu Center, Kanyon, Metro City and Özdilek.
If you’re looking to treat yourself to some of Istanbul’s luxury restaurants and clubs, Beşiktaş is the place to be. Popular locations include Ulus 29 and Sunset Grill & Bar in Ulus, Papermoon and Nusr-et in Etiler, Reina and Sortie in Kuruçeşme, Zuma and Banyan in Ortaköy, Vogue in Beşiktaş. They always tend to be really crowded, so make sure to reserve a table in advance. Also if you’re going to eat fish, just take your pick from the many luxury seafood restaurants between Kuruçeşme and Bebek. These are all located in neighborhoods full of luxury houses and apartments, which hikes up their prices quite above the average.
Beşiktaş is a safe, convenient province full of things that cater to everyone’s taste. It is a must-see place for both tourists, who are only passing by and those looking to invest in real estate in Istanbul.