This is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the city. What used to be a suburban village that was very cosmopolitan during the Ottoman era, is now one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.
This is where the Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Muslims lived side by side. Ortaköy Mosque, the famous Neo-Baroque landmark building of the Bosphorus, Hagia Focas Church (Greek Orthodox Church) and Etz Hayim Synagogue are walking distance from each other representing the former cosmopolitan nature of the neighborhood. All three are still active.
This is where you would come across locals sitting on wooden benches and watching the Bosphorus or sipping on their tea and watching the famous backgammon game.
Every Sunday, there is an open air crafts market that is set up in the square. It is a good place if you are in the mood to buy souvenirs. There are also many small boutiques in the neighborhood that mainly sell silver and bijouterie jewelry.
Ortaköy Square is also a popular spot for TV commercial and film shootings. The square with her cobbled stones, pigeons and the backdrop of the beautiful Ortaköy Mosque, makes up for a great setting for producers.
If you are in the area and craving for some comfort food, you can always go for ‘baked potato’. Make sure you go to the stall number 6.
If you are looking for a good cafe by the Bosphorus, try House Cafe Ortaköy.
There are two good schools in Ortaköy: Galatasaray University that teaches in French and Kabataş High School that teaches in German.
There are also a few good hotels here. There is The Stay Bosphorus Hotel, Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel and Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel in Ortaköy. All three are great choices for your stay in Istanbul.