Some two dozen multistory murals were commissioned during a Mural Istanbul Festival held annually from 2012 to 2018, making wandering Kadikoy’s backstreets a street-art scavenger hunt. There’s a good cluster — including lifelike portraits and a spaceship that’s tractor-beaming cars up into the air — around Resit Efendi Sokak and Misaki Milli Sokak to get you started.
Resit Efendi Sokak, Talimhane Sokak and Genclik Sokak, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34714
Founded by Syrian artists in Istanbul — part of a mass refugee movement across the border to Turkey — this homey cafe, gallery, artist studio and events space gives a glimpse into creative worlds beyond the headlines.
Arthere, Beydagi Sokak 3A, Yeldegirmeni, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34716
Baris Manco Evi
The ’70s never ended at this house-museum devoted to beloved musician Baris Manco, a pioneer of the psychedelic “Anatolian rock” style who later was a popular variety-show host. The collection of his flamboyant stage costumes needs no translation.
Baris Manco Evi, Yusuf Kamil Pasa Sokak 5, Moda, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34710
The sunsets are spectacular from the seafront south of the ferry pier. It’s a favorite local spot for walking, biking, running, picnicking or just chilling by the water with a beer and a bag of sunflower seeds.
Muhurdar Caddesi, Moda, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34710
Basta! street food bar
With two trained chefs at the helm, the durum (wrap) selection here is hardly your standard kebab-shop offering. Think along the lines of spicy homemade sausage with hummus and harissa, plus a creative array of seasonal salads.
Basta! street food bar, Sakiz Sokak 1, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34710
It’s easy to see why locals call this nightlife hot spot Barlar Sokak (Bar Street). Karga and Bina, both in rambling multilevel houses, and Arkaoda, with its big backyard, are all top spots for drinks and music.
Kadife Sokak between Sakiz Gulu Sokak and Dr Esat Isik Caddesi, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34710
Purveyors of pickles, produce, fish, olives, honey, strands of dried vegetables, nuts and much more line Gunesli Bahce Sokak, offering colorful photo ops and edible souvenirs. (Stock up here for a picnic on the Moda shoreline.)
Gunesli Bahce Sokak between Yasa Caddesi and Muvakkithane Caddesi, Kadikoy, Istanbul, 34710