Fodor's Expert Review Beylerbeyi Palace
Built as a summer residence for Sultan Abdülaziz in 1865, this palace is like Dolmabahçe in that incorporates a mix of European and Turkish styles, but it is smaller, less grandiose, and has a more personal feel. You must join a tour to see Beylerbeyi, which has ornately painted ceilings, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, gold-topped marble columns, and intricately carved wooden furniture. In addition, its central hall has a white-marble fountain and a stairway wide enough for a regiment. The magnolia-shaded grounds on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, underneath the first bridge, are also pleasant. Two waterfront bathing pavilions (one was for men, the other for women) stand out for their fanciful architecture.