>  Cultural Experiences   >  Kadıköy’s Moda: Asian Side of Istanbul
Moda Cover

On the Asian side of Istanbul is a dynamic neighborhood located on the Bosphorus Strait’s southern tip and one of the oldest settlements of Kadıköy called Moda. It is believed to be the first place of civilization in the region by the Phoenicians, which occurred in 1350. During the 19th century, when there was a Westernization movement, many elitists from Europe, Greece, Armenia, and the notables of the Ottoman settled in the region, giving it the name “Moda” (which means fashion).

Moda is a famous district with its nature, green spaces, streets lined with trees and flowers, historic mansions, and chic restaurants and cafes. Moda continues to be a popular destination for people because of its eclectic architecture, trendy stores, famous ice cream shops, and tea gardens.

While in Moda, you will find that strolling the streets, admiring the quaint coffee shops, visiting the small boutiques, and tasting some of the best ice cream is a pleasant way to spend your day away from the crowds in Istanbul.

yummy sweets


Barış Manço Museum

Barış Manço is one of Turkey’s most internationally successful recording artists. He is considered o be the Turkish “Elvis” legend of the wacky 19th-century music who recorded over 200 songs and hosted a popular children’s TV show. On display are some of his eccentric concert outfits and jewelry, a prized collection of Belle Epoque glassware. Make sure to visit the basement and see the Knight’s Room, a room full of instruments.

Caferağa Mahallesi, Yusuf Kamil
Paşa Sok. No:5, 34710 Kadıköy, +90 216 337 94 13

Baris Monco

Kadıköy’s Antique Street

Kadıköy’s Antique Street is home to a cluster of shops selling vintage telescopes, glasses, gas lamps, record players, radios, and hidden gems waiting to be found underneath piles of dusty goods. You’ll be dazzled by the ornate coffee cups on display here. Be sure also to check out the nearby Kadıköy Antiques Bazaar, where you’ll find shops dealing in delicate ornaments and antique furniture.

Tellalzade Sokak, Kadıköy

antique shops

Süreyya Opera House

Built-in 1924 by Süreyya İlmen (Pasha), the city’s first musical theatre on the Asian side has spent most of its 80+ years as a movie house, only raising the curtains on its first operetta in 2007. The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet now wows a more casual crowd, with weekly performances, making up for the lost time. Arrive early to toast a few pre-theatre drinks to its art deco foyer, modeled on Paris’ Champs-Elysées Theatre.

Osmanağa Mah., General Asım Gündüz Cd. No:29, 34714 Kadıköy, +90 216 346 1531,

Sureyya Opera House

Kurbağalıdere (Yoğurtçu Park)

Kurbağalıdere, the most extended stream around Kadıköy, is 76.680m in total. The creek, which was surrounded by mansions during the Ottoman period, has been replaced by the park.

All Saints Church

Constructed in 1878 after the Crimea War. Initially built by English families living and worshiping in the area, and continues to conduct worship services today.

Caferaga Mh Usuf Kamil, Pasa Sk. No 10, Kadikoy, +902164493974,

Church of the Assumption

The French Catholic Church of the Assumption (Église de l’Assomption) sits behind a large fence built in 1865 by the French and Italian communities. We had the pleasure of meeting the priest and a few French nuns who gave us a tour of the church.

Caferağa, Cem Sk. No:5, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Church Assumption

Levon Armenian Church of Surp

Surp Levon Armenian Church was built in 1905, a stone church was built in its place and opened for worship in 1911. There are four bells of different sizes in the bell tower. We were not allowed in the main church (due to covid-19) but could visit the small sanctuary where you can see some of the most beautiful stained glass.

Osmanağa, Ali Suavi Sk. No 1 D:1A, 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Another church to visit is the Greek Orthodox Church of Ayia Efimia.

Levon window
Levon Church

Moda Park

Moda Park is a lovely area to take a stroll and enjoy the sea breeze. Here you will find coffee shops, restaurants, and cafes. It also can be a nice place in the evening to enjoy the lights of the European side of Istanbul.

Historic Moda Pier

At the end of Moda Street is the Historic Moda Pier (Tarihi Moda İskelesi), which juts out into the Marmara Sea—built between 1916-1917 by Vedat Bey, a famous architect at that time. Destroyed in a storm in 1937 and has been restored into service. Today you may find it a great place to sip a hot tea while overlooking the sea.

Moda Pier

Nostalgic Tram

Moda Nostalgic Tram is a great way to move about fron Kadikoy to Moda, which offers approximately ten stations to get off and explore.

nostalgic tram


There are many buildings, walls reflecting street art. Kadikoy and Moda are known for their murals. In 2019 Moda hosted a Mural Festival, and so throughout the neighborhood, you can find unique mural art.

Malala Yoursafzai is a Pakistani education advocate winning the Nobel Prize. She was shot in the face in 2012 on her way home from school.

malala yoursafzai
sasha korban

Sasha Korban was born on March 12, 1987, in Kirovske of Donetsk Region, Ukraine. In 2006-2011 he worked as a miner at “Komsomolets Donbasu.” His artworks are representing characters and portraits. His pieces are characterized by different techniques and styles like photorealism, pop art, expressive conceptualism.

Best Ice Cream

One of the most famous ice cream parlors in Moda is  Meşhur Dondurmacı Ali Usta. He started as a young child making ice cream and is still making it himself today. The ice cream shop was established in 1969.  He uses fresh fruits and sugar, offering a variety of flavors. His most famous ice cream flavor is the Santa Maria, but I must say mine is the black mulberry flavor.

mulberry ice cream
Ali usta

Best Tea Shop

One of Moda’s award-winning tea houses to visit is Dem Moda which gives their guest a nostalgic design with a wide range of tea options. Also available on their menu are innovative cheesecakes and delicious breakfast if you so desire.

Caferağa Mah. Şair Nefi Sk. 9/A, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul – (0216) 550 62 30

Dem Tea
Dem Tea House

Whether you stroll the Bosphorus River, hang out at an adorable café, drink cay in the many tea gardens, shop antiques, ride the nostalgic tram, visit historical sights, you will be happy you made a trip to Moda.

Enjoy your travels! Please read my blog about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.

If you want to read more follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest as I share my journey.

Inshallah! ( God willing)

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  • October 27, 2023

    Hi Lanell,
    Thanks for this post about kadıköy. Do you happen to know what churches those are in the stained glass window in Surp Levon Armenian Church? There is something written in Armenian below each church. I asked the caretaker when we were there recently, and I think he said “Vakıflıköy, İskenderun, Akdamar, and Kayseri”. However, except for Akdamar which I’ve actually been to, by searching the internet I can’t find any Armenian churches in those cities that look anything like what’s on the stained glass. Could be that they’re all gone… Maybe you know something more?


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