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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 guide has everything you need to know to go, including:
- How to get to Bebek
- The six best things to do in Bebek
- Where to stay in Bebek
- And much more!
If you’re ready to go, keep reading to plan the perfect day trip to Bebek.
Waterfront walk in Bebek
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.
There are also boat tours on the river that pass by Bebek – so you can see the bridges, fortress, and pretty streets from the water – but they don’t stop and let you explore the neighborhood.
About half of the fantastic spread at Rumeli Kale Cafe
What to do in Bebek, Istanbul
You can see the whole neighborhood in a half day, and I recommend going on a sunny one to take advantage of the location on the waterfront. When you go, spend a relaxing day checking these six things off your Bebek itinerary.
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 this is definitely one of the best restaurats in Bebek.
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 happily for us, 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, or you can take a guided bike tour of the neighborhood to get more out of your day trip.
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 from Bebek 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.
Market in the small but charming Ortakoy neighborhood – you can walk from Bebek to Ortakoy to make a full-day of your excursion
Bonus: Where to Stay in Bebek
Bebek has a kind of annoying location to get in and out of but there’s no denying that it has absolutely stellar views of the Bosphorous and is one of the most relaxing places to stay in Istanbul.
If you want to buck tradition and stay in Bebek instead of the more popular Istanbul neighborhoods like Sultanahmet and Beyoglu, check out the top-rated Bebek Hotel by The Stay Collection and Gül’s Guest House in Rumelihisarı.
To be honest, those are pretty much your only two options in this quiet neighborhood!
In Ortakoy there are a few more choices, and you can book your stay in:
- The Stay Bosphorous – 9.0 rating on Booking.com
- Nevv Bosphorous Hotel and Suites – 9.1 rating on Booking.com
- Ortakoy Hotel – 9.2 rating on Booking.com
- Ortakoy Aysem Sultan Hotel – The most budget-friendly rooms in Bebek (and don’t worry it still has a great 8.4 rating as well).
Bebek restaurants in front of the Rumeli Fortress
Explore the Best Things to Do in Bebek, Istanbul With This Guide
Bebek is an off-the-beaten-track neighborhood in Istanbul but worth a visit to escape the crowds and congestion of the rest of the city.
When you go, use this guide to discover exactly what to do in Bebek, where to eat, how to walk from Bebek to Ortakoy, and more!
Ready to go?
Explore accommodation unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in Istanbul. Then, check out more food, culture, and outdoors experiences in the city on Airbnb – like a local food tour or this day trip to the Prince Islands – to round out your itinerary.
Or, stick around and explore the Turkey Series to discover the 9 best neighborhoods to visit in Istanbul, the 8 best cheap restaurants in the city, the 13 best things to do at night in Istanbul, and much more!
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