Because many people will arrive in Üsküdar via ferry, it’s a great experience for first time visitors to stick to the seaside and just sit back, enjoy the views, and watch the action. Near the ferry terminal, there’s a small park with snack bars, street vendors, flower sellers, and benches to sit. It’s a great place for people watching.
Along the promenade to the south, you’ll notice a lot of fishermen. This is a common scene all up and down the Bosporus. There’s something idyllic about patiently waiting for a nibble while looking across to another continent as a ferry shuffles past.
As you walk along the seaside dodging fishing poles and the occasional bicycle, you can’t help but notice the breathtaking views of the Bosporus across to the European side. Several important landmarks and areas can be spotted easily.
If you’re looking for a place to sit and have a çay or coffee, there are a few small, simple places between the Şemsi Paşa Camii and the lighthouse. They have free wifi! You’ll also see two monuments near the lighthouse with the numbers 1453 and 1923. Those are significant dates in Turkish history. 1453 marks the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople while 1923 marks the founding of the Turkish Republic.
A few minutes further down the promenade, there are some more nice places to kill time or have a bite to eat overlooking Kız Kulesi. First, there are tables and steps right next to the ticket booth of Kız Kulesi serving nargile, çay, and Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffee). It can get crowded and service can be slow on a Sunday, but it’s a great setting right on the Bosporus.
Across the street is a famous köfte restaurant that also has an amazing breakfast. Filizler Köftecisi has two levels with outdoor seating and spectacular views. The food and service are both excellent. I highly recommend it.