Once you get your fill of fresh air and stunning Bosporus scenery on the Üsküdar seaside, it’s time to head inland and visit the markets. Follow the main road and you’ll find a bustling area full of colors, sounds, smells, and unique flavors (ask for samples!). It’s also great place for people watching.
The first market you’ll come to will most likely be the Üsküdar Balıkçılar Çarşısı (fish market). This long corridor is full of stalls selling the fresh catch of the day from the Bosporus, Marmara Sea, and Black Sea.
Another market is the Mimar Sinan Çarşısı. It’s an old Ottoman building with shops inside and a square out front full of people. There are often children playing around the fountain while the adults sit on benches and chat away.
After visiting these areas, my advice is to get lost in the maze of streets that make up the markets. You never know what you’ll find! Much of it will be fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and spices, but there are also clothing stores, antique shops, music stores, cafés, and restaurants. Again, ask for samples, try the snacks from the street vendors, and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells.
Most of the photos on this post come from an afternoon wandering around these streets and alleys with a student one day. It turned out to be one of the most memorable days I spent in Istanbul. Here are a few more photos from that day: