“Eye Hill”

Market: Monday

Göztepe is a smart, middle class residential suburb on the Asian side of İstanbul. Few foreign visitors come here although there are a couple of attractions worth seeking out if you like to get off the beaten track.

A delightful Toy Museum/Oyuncak Müzesi (admission fee, closed Mondays) is housed in Dr Zeki Zeren Sokak, off Ömerpaşa Caddesi, in the back streets of Göztepe but well signed from Bağdat Caddesi. You can hardly miss it once you reach it since the lampposts outside come in the shape of giraffes and the courtyard contains outsize models of famous funny man, Nasreddin Hoca, on his donkey and of Keloğlan, the rather less well-known “bald boy” of Turkish fairy stories.

Author-owner Sunay Akın has assembled a collection of around 5,000 toys from all around the world, which are displayed on the three floors of a lovely wooden house whose toilets are housed in a replica submarine in the basement. Parents will love the café.

Göztepe Park/60.Yıl Parkı sits on the southern side of Bağdat Caddesi and is one of the best places in the city to visit during the spring tulip season when the quantity of bulbs planted produces an almost hallucinatorily colourful display. A formal rose garden at the rear of the park is at its glorious best in June – rarely will you see so many roses growing together in one place. Altogether it covers an area of 10,000 sq metres.

When the Marmaray suburban railway line was completed the old Göztepe station, an attractive late 19th-century stone building on Tütüncü Mehmet Efendi Caddesi, was rendered redundant in favour of a more contemporary space. It has now been turned into a small Cultural Centre, frequently used for handicraft sales.

For historic rail enthusiasts When the Marmaray replaced the old suburban railway system  six historic stations were left redundant on the Asian side of the city. Aside from the Göztepe one which has been found new use, the others are still awaiting their saviours. They can easily be seen from the modern stations at Kızıltoprak, Feneryolu, Erenköy, Suadiye and Bostancı


Göztepe is full of chain eateries offering a standard repertoire of pleasant enough dishes.

One place worth making a special trip for, especially on festive occasions, is the branch of Şekerci Cafer Erol near the old Göztepe station. With a facade designed to look like a gingerbread house, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of sweet treats, at its most colourful over Christmas-New Year.

Transport info

There are Göztepe stations on the Marmaray and Metro (M4) systems. Where possible, it’s wise to use them since Bağdat Caddesi’s one-way system is often choked with traffic – it can take ages to get from Kadıköy to Göztepe by bus or dolmuş. In 2024 work on a new Metro link from Göztepe to Ataşehir was ongoing.

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