Although Rumeli Kavagi is still in Istanbul, the atmosphere there is so different from the town centre that I always felt far away when visiting this place. It is a good break for one day, or if you have time to add an extra day to your itinerary for a weekend in Istanbul.
Where you can stop on the Bosphorus Tour
At Eminonu, in the heart of Istanbul, it is possible to board a boat to do a Bosphorus Tour. For a short day away from the city, there are some stops to explore Istanbul further.
Anadolu Kavagi is the most popular destination where most tourists would stop during the Bosphorus Tour. I honestly did not particularly enjoy this stop: the views from the hill over the Bosphorus and the Black Sea were lovely, but the experience itself is not authentic, and it is very busy. If your time is limited, I recommend skipping Anadolu Kavagi and stopping elsewhere on the Bosphorus.
My favourite stop on a Bosphorus Tour would be Rumeli Feneri, right at the end. But getting to Rumeli Feneri on a weekend in winter is complicated.
Rumeli Kavagi can be a great compromise for those looking for authenticity as it is an easy spot to reach when your time is limited.
Visiting the authentic Rumeli Kavagi in Istanbul
The following text is the translation of an article I wrote after my visit in December 2010.
Rumeli Kavagi was very calm, and the busy city centre seemed hours away.
We met with local children who were playing in the streets. They were interacting a lot with me and my camera, asking me to take pictures of them and to show them on my screen. They were as happy as I was: I am often shy to ask if I can take photos of people.
We then walked along the Bosphorus, with the fort of Anadolu Kavagi on the other side, in Asia. We ate at one of the fish restaurants near the port. I loved how the port seemed to be a real mess: there was no order for the boats parked there, and I wondered how they could get out!
Three hours after we arrived, our boat stopped to pick us up to go back to Eminonu. There is also the possibility to go back by bus to go through all the fishing villages before finally reaching the heart of Istanbul.
Where is Rumeli Kavagi?
Rumeli Kavagi is in Sariyer on the European side of Istanbul, along the Bosphorus.
It’s a great hidden gem in Istanbul for a different experience out of the beaten track. If you prefer to stay in the city and want to explore a less touristy place, don’t miss the breathtaking views from Büyük Valide Han, not too far from the Grand Bazaar.
Planning your trip to Istanbul? Check out my weekend itinerary with a free map to explore one of my favourite cities in the world!
Have you been to Istanbul? Has Rumeli Kavagi changed since I’ve been there? What’s your favourite place outside the tourist area? Share your experience in the comments below!
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