Today it's a bustling commercial and transportation center, and Asian residential district of the megalopolis of Istanbul.
Kadıköy is untouristy and very Turkish middle class. It's well worth a half-day visit, perhaps combined with a visit to Üsküdar to the north.
The voyage is among Istanbul's greatest value-for-money pleasures: a 40-minute intercontinental cruise for about TL4!
The M4 Metro line goes from the Kadıköy ferry docks southeast toKartal (map), with a connection to the Marmaray at Ayrılık Çeşmesi. From the bus station right next to the ferry docks, Havataş airport buses travel to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, farther to the east. More...
The Kadıköy market district (çarşı, CHAR-shuh), just inland from the ferry docks, is a particularly appealing one, with bright fruits and vegetables, lots of fish, and a variety of good restaurants with sidewalk tables in fair weather. More...
A bit farther along Güneşlibahçe Sokak and on sides streets is Kadıköy's meyhane district, dozens of Turkish tavernas serving good meals and any alcoholic beverages you may want.
If you're up for a walk, continue south along Moda Caddesi to thetea gardens on a promontory at Moda, with fine panoramic views across the Sea of Marmara to Old Istanbul. An alternate walk is along the seaside promenade that begins at the Kadıköy ferry docks and winds along the shore south and east for kilometers.
Farther south and east at Fenerbahçe ("Lighthouse Garden"—you'll see the lighthouse) is a beautiful park built and maintained by the Turkish Touring & Automobile Association. Its Romantika Restaurant is a fine place for a light meal or beverage, with indoor and outdoor dining areas, all with sea views.
Inland, Bağdat Caddesi (Baghdad Avenue) is Kadıköy's main commercial street, lined with upscale boutiques, stores, cafés, bars, restaurants and businesses. Its traffic lanes are jammed with BMWs, Range Rovers, Alfa Romeos and other luxury automobiles, its sideways thronged with the young (and not-so-young), mostly beautiful, and well-dressed.
—by Tom Brosnahan