Bebek, Istanbul is an interesting part of the city.
The quiet neighborhood is located outside of the city center and runs along the Bosphorus river. It has beautiful waterfront views, so the best time to visit is on a sunny morning.
If you’re looking for an escape from the crowds and a bit of fresh air, I recommend a half-day trip to Bebek. This is everything you should do when you go!
How to Get to Bebek, Istanbul
Only one road leads into Bebek so it can get really busy on weekends and at rush hour. Because of that, your Uber may get really expensive sitting in traffic and the bus is a better choice.
Luckily, no matter where you are Google Maps will tell you the best route on public transport from your current location to Bebek.
There’s no underground metro to Bebek so you’ll definitely end up on a bus during the trip and will need an IstanbulKart to board it. If you don’t have one, visit the nearest metro station to buy one at the kiosks before you start on your way.
What to do in Bebek, Istanbul
Spend a relaxing day checking these six things off your Bebek itinerary.
About half of the fantastic spread at Rumeli Kale Cafe
1. Eat a Turkish breakfast
I ate quite a few Turkish breakfasts during my two-month stay in Istanbul, but my favorite was in Bebek. I highly recommend indulging in the spread at Rumeli Kale Cafe and Restaurant.
Just sit down inside and they’ll deliver about 20 small plates to your table immediately, hot tea included. My favorite was the fried cheese, while Dan enjoyed the homemade peanut butter. They also had a spectacular flat bread, bagels, fresh vegetables, olives, honey, fried cheese rolls, and so much more.
You can order even more traditional dishes, like menemen eggs, from the menu as well if you’d like, but I almost never have room for any more food.
It only costs 35 lira / 6.50 usd per person and Anthony Bourdain recommends it on No Reservations, so you know it’s good.
Dan thinks he’s an Instagram model
2. Walk along the waterfront
I recommend visiting Bebek on a sunny day because this is the best thing to do in the neighborhood – simply walk along the water and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The view of the bridge makes a great backdrop for your selfies and there are boutique storefronts, coffee shops, fancy yachts, balloon salesmen, and lots of fat dogs to people watch alongside.
Taps Brewery in Bebek, Istanbul
3. Visit a Brewery
There are only a few breweries in Istanbul, but one is in Bebek. Taps Bebek is a 10-year-old brewpub with an open front, street side seating, and floor to ceiling windows on the second floor where you can enjoy the view with a glass of their fresh brewed beer.
4. Rent a Bike
The paved waterfront stretches for a few kilometers along the Bosphorus river, so it’s a great place to rent a bike to explore it. I don’t have the exact details because I didn’t do it, but I’m pretty sure the Bebek waterfront has automated bike rental stands. Keep an eye out for them when while walking around and you should stumble across one!
Rumeli Fortress and the Bebek waterfront
5. Explore the Rumeli Fortress
The Rumeli Fortress rises up alongside the Bebek waterfront, so you truly can’t miss it. Walk along the walls, climb the towers, and visit the dungeons, all with a bird’s eye view of the Bosphorus river from above. Entrance costs 15 lira / 3 usd per person.
Pretty homes on the walk from Bebek to Ortakoy
6. Walk to Ortakoy
If you’re wearing sturdy walking shoes and want to stretch your legs, I recommend walking to the Ortakoy neighborhood from Bebek. It’s about 3.5 away miles but most of the trek is along the waterfront so it’s quite pleasant. In Ortakoy you can browse a lively market, grab a famous kumpir (baked potato with tons of toppings) and see the small but lovely Ortakoy mosque.
Looking for more to do in Istanbul? Browse the complete Turkey Series to learn how to visit the Prince Islands, where to take the longest cable car in the world, what to do in Istanbul at night, and so much more!