Best Views In Istanbul

Istanbul’s skyline beautifully merges historical landmarks with modern architecture, offering stunning views that blend the old with the new.

You can see a variety of sights from Istanbul’s best viewpoints, including fortresses, mosques, pavilions, mansions, palaces, and tulip gardens.

The city’s skyline masterfully combines elements from its rich past with hints of its promising future.

Istanbul provides breathtaking views in any weather condition.

We’ll explore some of the most picturesque spots in Istanbul, from natural hills and coastlines to man-made towers and buildings. Enjoy discovering the best views in Istanbul.

1. Galata Tower

Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is one of the best places to see in Istanbul. People often wonder: should you look at the tower from the ground or view the city from the top? Either way, just having the Galata Tower makes the city more beautiful.

You can enjoy the menu’s dishes in the Galata Tower’s restaurant while taking in a stunning view.

The tower is just 500 meters away from Istiklal Street, often seen as the center of Istanbul for many reasons.

2. Gulhane Park and Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace are two historical and tourist spots often visited together. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Bosphorus from the park’s high points and the palace’s terraces.

Both the park and palace are located in the Historical Peninsula area of the Fatih district.

Entry to the park is free, but Topkapı Palace has an entrance fee of 100 TL. You might need to pay extra for certain sections of the palace.

When visiting this area, remember to set aside at least half a day to explore the nearby attractions.

3. Dragos Hill

Dragos Hill

Dragos Hill in the Kartal district is a great spot for those on the Anatolian Side looking for beautiful views. This hill has a facility run by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, making it a budget-friendly option.

The view from the hill offers a panoramic sight of the Marmara Sea, providing a sense of joy and peace for visitors of all ages, including retirees, children, and young adults.

Dragos Facilities are open daily from 08:30 to 23:00, perfect for meals or a coffee break. There’s no entry fee to the hill; you only pay for what you consume.

For photography enthusiasts, Dragos is especially beautiful at sunset, offering fantastic photo opportunities.

4. Pierre Loti Hill

Pierre Loti Hill

Pierre Loti Hill is a top choice in Istanbul for a panoramic view of the Golden Horn. This spot is historical, named after a famous writer.

Located in the Eyüp district, today’s visit to Pierre Loti offers a delightful experience with its Historic Coffeehouse, restaurant, cafe, hookah lounge, a hotel in traditional mansions, and an open garden that can host 1400 people simultaneously. The Historical Coffeehouse is open daily from 08:00 in the morning to midnight.

With a large terrace adorned with Ottoman motifs, Pierre Loti is a fantastic place to enjoy Istanbul’s historical and touristic charm. And of course, no visit is complete without enjoying a traditional Turkish coffee at Pierre Loti Restaurant.

5. Beykoz Grove (Korusu)

Bosphorus View From Beykoz Korusu

Beykoz Korusu, also known as Abraham Grove, is a lovely spot for an open buffet breakfast at the Beykoz Koru Social Facilities, especially popular on Sundays.

The presence of squirrels and rabbits freely roaming around and the lush trees providing fresh air make it an appealing place for families with children.

With the Bosphorus always in sight, Beykoz offers a peaceful escape from the city’s traffic, noise, and pollution. Located at Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi Kemerüstü Sokak, Beykoz Korusu features two large caves, five pools, and palace ruins to explore, adding a historical touch to your visit. Thanks to its stunning view, it’s also a favored spot for special events, with a venue that can accommodate a thousand people.

6. Gözdağı Korusu

Gözdağı Korusu

From the Anatolian Side, another great spot to check out is Gözdağı Korusu, located near Pendik.

This place is easily accessible for those living nearby and offers stunning views of the Marmara Sea, the Islands, and even Yalova. The area is beautifully decorated with colorful flowers and pine trees, making it especially vibrant in the spring.

Gözdağı Social Facilities, run by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, includes a tea garden that can host 250 people and a terrace for 100 people. Visitors can enjoy various options like restaurants, picnic areas, viewing gazebos, and playgrounds for kids.

Gözdağı is perfect for anyone struggling to find weekend activities. The scenery changes beautifully throughout the day, offering a unique experience each time you visit.

7. Aydos Hill

Aydos Hill

Aydos Hill, standing at 537 meters, is the highest point in Istanbul, offering a wide and expanding view.

Nearby, Aydos Forest, Aydos Recreation Area, and Aydos Pond are popular spots often visited together. These are great places to be at sunrise or sunset.

The hill gets its name from the ancient Aydos Castle ruins, within the Sultanbeyli district borders, close to Pendik and Kartal districts. While the recreational areas are bustling, climbing the hill is a bit of a workout.

8. Ulus Park

Ulus 29

Ulus Park is a favorite spot in Istanbul, known for its beautiful Bosphorus views. Located in Kuruçeşme District on Adnan Saygun Street, it sits in Beşiktaş, between Ortaköy and Etiler. You can get there by bus or car. The park is particularly busy on Sunday mornings for breakfast.

With its central location and stunning views, Ulus Park is a huge draw for tourists. If you’re in Istanbul and haven’t explored these places, it might be time to reconsider your plans.

9. Büyük Valide Han

Büyük Valide Han

Büyük Valide Inn, one of Istanbul’s grandest inns, is named after Kösem Mahpeyker Valide Sultan.

The inn hosts various shops, selling hookahs, lamps, and many other unique items. It’s a must-visit for anyone near Eminönü or Tahtakale, as it’s hard to leave Istanbul without stopping by.

Büyük Valide Han is renowned not just for its history but also as one of the best places in Istanbul to enjoy a view. Its roof, notable for its domes, offers a spectacular sight, making it a popular spot for photography, especially on weekends.

Be aware that roof access may be restricted during bad weather.

As Büyük Valide Han is a historical site, visitors are reminded to be mindful of their impact, avoiding damage to the floors and the surrounding area.

10. Ortaköy Beach

Ortakoy Mosque

When people think of Istanbul, Ortaköy often comes to mind first. The Grand Mecidiye Mosque, commonly known as Ortaköy Mosque, is set against one of the city’s most stunning coastal backdrops.

The joy of sitting on a bench in Ortaköy and soaking in the view might surpass what you’d find in even the priciest restaurants.

Don’t forget, that Ortaköy is also celebrated for its street food like baked potatoes, chestnuts, corn, ice cream, and waffles. Try it while strolling along the coast or lounging on the grass.

11. Maiden’s Tower

Maiden Tower 3

The Maiden’s Tower, a stunning symbol of Istanbul, is also a favorite spot for enjoying the view. You can catch a shuttle to the tower from Salacak every fifteen minutes and from Kabataş every hour.

Ticket prices for visiting the Maiden’s Tower are 25 TL for adults and 15 TL for students. The tower’s restaurant is a great choice for special events and celebrations.

When viewing the Maiden’s Tower, you might also enjoy watching this iconic structure from the shoreline, much like the viewing experience at the Galata Tower.

12. Çengelköy Beach


Çengelköy Beach in Üsküdar is perfect for those longing for the Istanbul of yesteryears. A highlight here is the Historic Tarihi Çınaraltı Family Tea Garden, a delightful spot in Istanbul.

To get to Çengelköy Pier, you can take a ferry from Eminönü, which runs regularly. Buses from Kadıköy and Üsküdar are also available.

A must-try for Çengelköy visitors is enjoying menemen (a Turkish egg dish) and fish sandwiches, both in the morning and evening. However, it’s important to note that you can’t make reservations at the Historic Çınaraltı, and they only accept cash payments.

13. Camlica Hill

Camlica Hill

Çamlıca Hill, with its old-time feel, gives you a special way to enjoy the view with Turkish Classical Music in the background.

Managed by the city, the hill has places like the Ottoman Coffeehouse and the Garden Cafeteria, so you can visit anytime.

At the Ottoman Coffeehouse, you can taste famous sweets like trileçe, rice pudding, ashure, tahini wrap, and pumpkin dessert.

You’ll find Çamlıca Hill on Touristic Çamlıca Street in Büyük Çamlıca, on the city’s Anatolian side, in the Üsküdar area. There’s parking available, but it costs.

14. Sapphire Shopping and Life Center

Sapphire Shopping And Life Center

Istanbul is known for its shopping malls and skyscrapers, but Sapphire Shopping and Life Center stands out with one of the city’s best observation decks.

At the observation deck, the Skyride 4D Istanbul simulation lets you virtually visit city highlights like the Bosphorus, Maiden’s Tower, and the Basilica Cistern in Topkapı Palace. This virtual journey is available on the 54th floor from 10:00 to 22:00.

15. Sulaymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque and its area are in the heart of the city and offer a great view because of their high location.

The mosque is a must-visit for both local and international tourists. It’s also worth exploring the whole Süleymaniye District surrounding the mosque.

Ağa Kapısı Cafe on Fatva Hill is a favorite among those familiar with Istanbul. The cafe attracts a diverse crowd, including literature enthusiasts, students, and local business people, and even has a prayer room.

Enjoying a strong cup of tea with a view here is a complete experience. Be prepared for it to be busier in the evenings. The cafe also offers traditional Ottoman drinks.

16. Yavuz Selim Mosque Courtyard

Yavuz Selim Mosque Courtyard

We’re at a mosque built in 1522, perched on the hill nearest to the Golden Horn. The Yavuz Selim Mosque in Fatih Fener isn’t just known for its beautiful architecture inside and out; its view of the Golden Horn is also set to impress.

This mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in honor of his father. Mimar Sinan is mosque’s architecture.

For a deeply spiritual experience, consider visiting Yavuz Sultan Mosque early in the morning. There’s something special about being in this serene setting, surrounded by bird songs before the city stirs. Visiting Yavuz Selim Mosque as the day breaks over the Golden Horn could become a peaceful and memorable part of your Istanbul journey.

17. Anatolian Fortress

Anatolian Fortress

For those looking to enjoy a view while indulging in a seafood feast, Lacivert Restaurant at Anadolu Hisarı is the place to go. Dining on sea bass by the bridge with a view of the Bosphorus is a luxurious and pricey option. The menu also explores international cuisine.

18. Fuat Pasa Yalisi

Fuat Pasa Yalisi

Fuat Pasa Yalisi, now operating as a hotel, offers continuous scenic enjoyment for those seeking more than just a brief view. The mansion’s restaurant caters to both business and family groups.

Living in a mansion might not be for everyone, but a short stay at Fuat Pasha Mansion, with its well-preserved elegance, is like a flirtation with luxury. Starting the day with a sea-view breakfast here is bound to be delightful.

Fuat Paşa Yalisi is located in Büyükdere Mahallesi, Çayırbaşı Caddesi, Sarıyer. Don’t let the idea of mansion living scare you budget-wise; early booking deals can make it surprisingly affordable.

19. Les Ottomans Hotel

Les Ottomans Hotel

Les Ottomans Hotel is known for its prime location, Turkish bath, SPA, and friendly staff. The view here is incredible.

For a taste of privilege, try dining at Park Şamdan or Swiss on-site, though note that Swiss is closed on Mondays and might require a reservation.

Located on Muallim Naci Caddesi in Kuruçeşme, Istanbul, Les Ottomans has hosted celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Donald Trump. Visitors to Istanbul who view the city from Les Ottomans gain a unique perspective on Istanbul.

20. Setur Kalamış & Fenerbahçe Marina

Fenerbahce Park

Kalamış & Fenerbahçe Marina, operated by Setur and the largest of its 11 marinas in Turkey, is surrounded by hotels and luxurious restaurants.

Visitors enjoy watching the sunrise and sunset here when the weather is nice.

Sailing around Kalamış becomes even more exciting with available sailing lessons.

If you’re on the Anatolian side, near Kadıköy, consider visiting the marina.

21. 360 Istanbul

360 Istanbul

360 Istanbul offers a full 360-degree view of the city. Located in Beyoğlu, it stands out for its food, vibe, and views. If you’re visiting Istiklal Street, think about making a dinner reservation here, but keep in mind it is a pricey spot.

Situated on the top floor of the historic Mısır Apartmanı, it boasts an award-winning menu. The restaurant opens at noon daily and turns into a club on weekends. It closes at 02:00 from Sunday to Thursday and at 04:00 on Friday and Saturday nights.

22. 16 Roof at Swissotel The Bosphorus

16 Roof At Swissotel The Bosphorus

16 Roof at Swissotel The Bosphorus is a top spot in Istanbul for both the views and the experience. Known for its cocktails, live music or DJ performances, and the view, it’s on the 16th floor of the hotel and recognized by many international guides as a must-visit.

The crowd here is exclusive, reflecting in the pricing.

It’s wise to book in advance for Gaja Roof in the Maçka district of Beşiktaş, and checking the schedule might help. While pricey, the experience, especially the lamb dishes, is worth it.

23. Leb-i Derya Restaurant

 Leb-I Derya Restaurant

Leb-i Derya Restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience with its observation terrace setting, where the stunning view of Istanbul is laid out before you. It’s a spot that might make it onto your bucket list for special occasions like wedding anniversaries or proposals.

Located on the sixth floor in Tomtom Mahallesi, Kumbaracı Yokuşu, Beyoğlu, it’s rare to find such a view in a city of skyscrapers. Leb-i Derya is open daily from 2 pm to 2 am.

24. Vogue Restaurant & Bar

Vogue Restaurant &Amp; Bar

Vogue Restaurant & Bar has been delighting food enthusiasts with its view of Istanbul since 1997.

Perched on the rooftop of BJK Plaza in Beşiktaş, on the European Side, Vogue offers a mix of world and Mediterranean cuisines. Its prices are on the higher side, making it ideal for special occasions.

Not just for dinner, Vogue is a great choice for lunch too, offering panoramic views of the city, including the bridges and the Bosphorus. It’s open from 12 pm to 12:30 am, with the option for more budget-friendly, non-alcoholic lunches.