During most of its history, Sarıyer was a fishing village, with fishing weirs set up in the Bosphorus currents, and hearty fishermen going out in boats daily to harvest the fruits of the sea.
Otherwise, Sarıyer is a normal Bosphorus town, with no outstanding sights, but plenty of authentic Turkish atmosphere and activity. I like it.
The exception is the exquisite Sadberk Hanım Museumjust south of Sarıyer on the shore road in Büyükdere.
From Sarıyer, you can head north 15 km (9 miles) by bus, minibus or taxi to Kilyos, the Black Sea beach resort.
Or you can head south along the Bosphorus European shore to Büyükdere, Tarabya, Yeniköy, Rumeli Hisarı (the great fortress), Bebek, Arnavutköy, Ortaköy, Beşiktaş(Barbaros), Dolmabahçe Palace, Beyoğlu and Taksim Square, or Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn.
—by Tom Brosnahan