BEBEK TRAVEL GUIDE

It has always been said that Istanbul is a mixture of East and West. Probably Bebek is among the most Western of this amazing city. Widely touted as one of poshest neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Bebek is located between Rumeli Fortress and Arnavutkoy. However, what really makes this neighborhood special is the existence of the most competitive Turkish university Bogazici University, on top of Bebek hills.

Being a cove on the Boshorus, Bebek is a small natural port. Formerly, it was a little fishing village. Its popularity dates back to the 18th century when people started to built waterside residences. Since that time it has always been an upscale area. In the beginning, its port was used as a port of refuge. Now yachts and boats anchor along the coast.

Another nice thing about Bebek, besides being a charming small village along the Bosphorus is the existence of a hillside small forest which unfortunately has become very rare in Istanbul due to unplanned, looting and squatting style urbanization, especially around the hills along the Bosphorus with the exception of military zones and parks. In the past Istanbul was a very green city with its forests. But now, as an inevitable result of unplanned, looting style urbanization there are much less trees let alone forests. However, Bebek still reserves its beautiful trees.

Life in Bebek is very peaceful and quiet with the exception of the coast where rich kids come to show some of the most expensive cars in the world. Yet the streets and the park is crowded by people from all walks of life who would like to spend some time by the sea.

THINGS TO DO IN BEBEK

Along the coastal road, lie a row of stylish elegant shops such as patisseries, bookstores and cafes. Some international cafe chains have possibly their most beautiful shops in the world in this neighborhood with terraces right on the sea. It is worth having a coffee in these shops even just for the atmosphere. Taking a walk along the sea and sitting on the second floor of cafes along the sea would be the top thing to do in Bebek.

You can eat tasty cakes, waffles, drink tea or coffee and read your book in these cafes with the lovely view of Bosphorus. For example, 'Bebek Kahvesi' is a ubiquitous example of neighborhood cafes where Bogazici students hang out too, though it does not have the same view as other chain cafes.

In addition Bebek has a vibrant nightlife with bars and restaurants which are always full even in workdays.

Asiyan Mezarligi cemetery of famous Turkish authors such as Orhan Veli down from south campus of Bogazici University, university campus itself and Bebek Park are among the places worth seeing. Besides Bebek Mosque located to the west of the cove, there is also an Eastern Orthodox Church and a Catholic Church. Probably the most beautiful building of Bebek is the Egyptian consulate mansion right on the Bosphorus.

HOW TO GO TO BEBEK

You can take buses No 40,42t or 40t from Taksim. Many other buses depart Eminonu and Besiktas The bus ride will be a pleasant ride along the Bosphorus. Or you can take ferries from main districts of Istanbul such as Eminonu and Besiktas. For more information see ferry hours for boats serving the Bosphorus.