Perth-ish: A morning in Kadikoy’s market

Day six of my trip to Perth and back and somehow, despite my third consecutive night sleeping on a plane, I was still feeling reasonably alert and coherent. I’m sure a big part of that had to do with the fact that I was in Istanbul, one of my favorite cities in the world, and I had plans to explore some new (to me) areas in more depth. First up on the agenda: the market in Kadiköy.

The Galata waterfront (and Tower) as seen from the ferry on the way to Kadikoy.

Kadiköy is on the Asia side of Istanbul which meant getting there from the airport was a bit of an adventure. Two trains and a ferry (I LOVE the ferry rides in Istanbul!) eventually had me at the terminal there, off to explore the morning market scene. My previous visit to the area was a late lunch last October and it was crowded, mostly with tourists exploring the many restaurants in the area. Arriving a couple hours earlier this time around showed a much different side of the neighborhood.

The restaurants were still closed, though many were slowly getting around to setting up for the lunch crowds. But the area was still bustling. Rather than the cacophony of mixed languages from tourists it was all Turkish; lots of locals in the market area doing their daily shopping.

And, as is often my experience in such market areas, the sights, sounds and smells were spectacular. Dozens of different olive varieties on display in one stall.

The olives were spectacular. At least I assume they were; I don’t eat ’em.

Fish, fresh off the boat, at the next.

A fishmonger out with that morning’s delivery of wares

And spectacular fruits and vegetables next door to those.

The veggies looked delicious, too!

Some of the shopping options were rather less formal; this guy apparently just sets up shop in an open doorway, taking advantage of the space available.

And, unlike the Spice Market or Grand Bazaar, these shops appeared to be locals doing business with their neighbors, not tourists picking up souvenirs for home.

That’s not to say that there are no tourists in the area. After all, I was there and I’m hardly a local. And I wasn’t alone in that regard, though relatively speaking the numbers were such that I was very much in the minority. I do enjoy that sort of experience.

And I even managed to find a little something to buy in the area. Seeing as how it was still breakfast time I went in to a bakery and came out with a bucket of borek, a local stuffed pastry. I ended up with two types – one was cheese and the other spinach – and both were delicious. Eating them while sitting in a small park area in the neighborhood and watching the city waking up was an added bonus.

My borek breakfast, courtesy of a local shop in Kadikoy

The Kadiköy neighborhood isn’t huge by any means. It is easily walkable once you get off the ferry and it is lots of fun to explore. There is way more to it than just the market area and the scene shifts as the morning progresses into afternoon and evening. The restaurants which are shuttered in the morning fill with patrons for lunch and dinner before converting to bars/night clubs with music and hookahs at night.

As an added bonus, the ferry ride back and forth is cheap (~$1) and offers some incredible views of the city such as the one at the top of this post. Put Kadiköy on the agenda for your next visit to Istanbul.

Oh, and by this point I had visited 4 continents (Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia in just over 44 hours. My plan to visit 5 in 3 days was going quite well.

More posts from this trip:

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I too love Istanbul, going there next week! Do you have a hotel recommendation by chance? Thank you so much for your great blog and website!

  2. What are you looking for in a hotel? I love staying the in Sultanahmet area or between there and the Galata Bridge. There are a ton of independent hotels there spanning the range of quality, price and services.

    If you want a western-branded hotel in that area the Double Tree Old City is a great location and can have reasonable prices. It can also be crazy expensive. Off-brand and behind the Mosque is this one: I’ve had a couple other stays in the area, too, which were all fine, though some more so than others.

    In the Taksim area I’ve stayed at both the IC and the Hyatt and they are both nice but definitely a different vibe than the local properties.

    1. Seth, can’t thank you enough for the recommendation. Sitting on the rooftop terrace of Saba right now, enjoying the view across the Bosphorus and Agia Sophia. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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