Asian Shore

While some of the waterside enclaves on the Asian side of the Bosphorus are popular stops on day cruises, spread out along the Asian shoreline of the lower Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara are also some large residential districts. They have few "sights" as such but offer a pleasant change of pace from the faster tempo of the European side—as well as a welcome escape from the tourist crowds. Üsküdar has several Ottoman imperial mosques and presents a slice of Istanbul life that is more traditional than what visitors generally see across the water. Farther down the coast, Kadıköy has a youthful, relaxed vibe; the pedestrian-only area off the waterfront and lively nightlife are among its top draws. From Kadıköy, a short taxi or dolmuş ride takes you to the beginning of Bağdat Caddesi, or "Baghdad Avenue," a 6-km-long (3.7-mile-long) boulevard that is the Asian side’s ritziest avenue. Lined with elegant apartment buildings, upscale designer boutiques, and trendy restaurants, it gets increasingly posh as you get farther away from Kadıköy towards Suadiye.

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