Whenever I search for pictures of Istanbul the first photos that usually appears is of an amazingly beautiful rooftop view, at sunset, overlooking Istanbul. Sometimes there were seagulls or doves flying above and it looked so surreal. There was no way I would miss this opportunity on my trip to Istanbul. I wanted this Rooftop Sunset View of Istanbul.
I searched online and actually had a hard time finding exactly what I was looking for. Istanbul is full of lovely rooftop restaurants (every corner seems to have another amazing rooftop), but I was looking for something very particular – the beautiful, picturesque setting with traditional Turkish rugs and blankets, Turkish tea, overlooking the water.
After lots of searching, I found the perfect spot. Nova Santiye Cafe. So after a long busy day of sightseeing, (Check out this post for more amazing things to do in Istanbul: 2 DAYS IN ISTANBUL? HERE ARE THE TOP 7 THINGS TO SEE AND DO! ) we rushed to this cafe.
How to Get to the Best Sunset Rooftop in Istanbul
Nova Santiye Cafe is located very centrally. It was about a 15-20 minute walk from our hotel in the Sultanhamet neighborhood of Istanbul. If you are staying in this area to visit the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, or other such places, it’s right nearby.
But don’t worry, even if you are staying in another area of Istanbul, it’s very easily accessible by taxi. Here is the exact google map location of the restaurant.
Nova Santiye Cafe – Sunset Terrace
One of Istanbul’s many (somewhat aggressive) store owners was outside waiting for us when we arrived. We did not make a reservation and as we passed, he tried to convince us to enter his restaurant. Little did he know that his restaurant was just the place we were looking for.
Climbing up what seemed to be a million stairs to get to the rooftop of the restaurant, we finally made it to a spectacular view of Istanbul as the sun was just beginning to set.
We were so excited to see that there was a beautiful little set up in a separate area from the restaurant where you can sit and have tea and take pictures.
However, what we were NOT so happy about was that we were asked to pay a fee to enter the little area that they have set aside. In the past this activity used to be free, but the Turkish people realized how popular it was becoming with tourists and decided to make a bit of a profit. The fee was 50 Tl (about $6-$7USD) per person, but it does include the tea and as much time as you want at the sunset spot! We decided to look at it just as very expensive tea, but it was so worth it for the experience.
They brought us fresh Turkish tea, took a million pictures for us, and brought us each a dove to let loose into the pink and purple sunset sky. We enjoyed our tea slowly and quietly as we watched the sun set over the Bosphorus Strait and the city. Sipping our tea we watched the sun completely disappear and the city become covered in sparkly lights. The perfect end to an amazing day.
After our tea in the sunset spot, we went to the restaurant for a proper dinner, and enjoyed Istanbul’s beautiful night views.
- Weather – Even in the summer, it can get chilly in Istanbul at night. The restaurants provide blankets to their diners, but I would bring a shawl or sweater as the wind can be quite cold.
- Go Early – We visited Istanbul when there were very very few tourists in the city, so we were lucky enough to have no lines (anywhere in the city), but this place can get very busy under normal circumstances. If you don’t want to miss the sunset, arrive a bit early!
- Be Warned! – There is a good chance that the birds will poop on you! The more birds, the bigger the risk. With just two doves between the two of us, my boyfriend unfortunately had one of them pop on his shirt!
- Cost – Although it is unfortunate that there is a cost for this activity, there may still be some rooftops where it is free, however they won’t have the beautiful set up like this restaurant did!
- Where to Stay – In order to see all the best tourist places in Istanbul, it is recommended to stay in the Sultanhamet neighborhood. All the most famous tourist sites are within walking distance! Here is where we stayed, a very affordable boutique hotel right in the heart of the Sultanhamet. The staff were very helpful and friendly and the place was beautiful. It even has a view of the ocean!
Istanbul’s most Istangrammable Spot! Some of my favorite photos from my Turkey trip were taken here! Don’t miss this amazing spot on your trip to Turkey!
Don’t forget your travel essentials!
Last but not least, don’t forget to bring a water bottle, hat and sunscreen! Here are some of our favorite essentials that we bring on every trip:
Every Day Bucket Hat – Everyone needs to bring along a hat while traveling…. it’s perfect to offer protection from the sun and also to hide bad hair days! Our favorite bucket hat also comes in tons of different colors.
Amazing Everyday Water Bottle – We literally don’t go anywhere without this water bottle. Perfect for hikes and also everyday! We can’t even describe how delightful it is to take a sip of water from this perfectly made bottle. Also available in multiple different sizes.
Timeless Vintage Backpack – What could be better than lots of different pockets to store all the little goodies that you bring along with you on your journeys? This backpack is comfortable, convenient, and a classic. A stylish backpack perfect for every environment.
Mini Tripod – Who doesn’t want to get the perfect photo while traveling? Not everyone is lucky enough to have a personal photographer with them at all times to capture the special moments, so that is where this portable tripod comes in handy. Adjustable, with a selfie stick handle, and a wireless control make it the perfect combo.
Rogue Fishing Co. The Protector Phone Tether – Adventurous journeys call for a little more caution when it comes to our electronics. This phone tether has saved us more than once on kayaking trips, rappelling, and hiking. The compact leash is small enough to stay out of your way, but stretches enough to help you get the perfect picture.
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters
ChocovivSeptember 14, 2020 at 9:15 pm
Colorful SistersSeptember 14, 2020 at 9:35 pm
A truly amazing place! Such a memorable experience!!
ChocovivSeptember 14, 2020 at 9:40 pm
2 Days in Istanbul? Top 7 Things to See Before you Leave | Turkey TravelSeptember 14, 2020 at 11:54 pm
[…] View the full blog post: ROOFTOP SUNSET OVER ISTANBUL | MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT IN ISTANBUL […]
leightontravelsSeptember 15, 2020 at 8:26 am
We made a note of this place. Great info, we know what to expect.
Colorful SistersSeptember 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Yayyy so happy! Hope you get to visit 😍
Rishika KakarSeptember 15, 2020 at 7:24 pm
Istanbul has been on my bucket list for so long! This is a great post. ✨❤️
Colorful SistersSeptember 15, 2020 at 7:35 pm
Thanks so much!!! I hope you make it there one day! It’s amazing 😍
carmenSeptember 16, 2020 at 11:36 pm
WOW!! What a fabulous view! Beautiful white outfit! 😘
Colorful SistersSeptember 17, 2020 at 6:02 am
Thank you sk much love 😍 it was an amazing experience to say the least
Colorful SistersSeptember 17, 2020 at 9:49 am
The view really is incredible! And thanks so much! The pants I actually handmade a while ago 😍
EMILIA KOLEYSeptember 21, 2020 at 9:22 am
Truly a beautiful view from the top! Do drop by travelwithliaa.com for some tips and other amazing places to visit in Istanbul ❤
Colorful SistersSeptember 22, 2020 at 11:54 am
It really is a very beautiful view! I’ll check it out. Thanks for the tip 🙂
Magaidh BryanOctober 4, 2020 at 9:54 pm
Colorful SistersOctober 5, 2020 at 6:46 am
It’s really amazing 🙂
writinstuffOctober 10, 2020 at 8:58 am
Those photos are incredible! Can’t wait to see it for myself.
Colorful SistersOctober 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Thank you so much!!! I’m happy you enjoyed and I hope you can visit someday soon!
Jack S CohenOctober 13, 2020 at 5:05 pm
Beautiful! But currently dangerous. Be careful.
Colorful SistersOctober 14, 2020 at 6:19 am
Thank you! I was there in July so it was very safe then!!
Chinma EkeOctober 16, 2020 at 11:33 am
Beautiful! Added to my travel list.
Colorful SistersOctober 16, 2020 at 12:21 pm
So happy, really worth it! 🙂
maristravelsNovember 2, 2020 at 7:38 pm
I;d happily pay for the privilege of sitting there and looking over Istanbul. After all, why shouldn’t the owner make money from this amazing asset? He has to live and if he finds something to sell to tourists who want to be photographed there, then I’m on his side (but I won’t buy a carpet from his cousin/uncle/or brother!)
Colorful SistersNovember 3, 2020 at 2:45 am
Hahahaha yes I totally agree! Was worth the price… And for sure why not make some money off of it! A little bit expensive though considering the normal prices of things in turkey (superrrrr low prices) but definitely worth the experience 😊
brm7November 9, 2020 at 4:01 pm
Thank you for the like and follow , blessings
jwatrelNovember 13, 2020 at 2:59 pm
Dear Brooke and Danielle,
I love the blog and you make me jealous of the travelling. I miss the International traveling pre-COVID and that view is just breathtaking. I hope to experience it one day.
You both should check out my blog, MywalkinManhattan.com where I explore the complexity of Manhattan and the surrounding areas.
Happy and Safe Travelling !!
Colorful SistersNovember 13, 2020 at 11:53 pm
Hi Justin! We’ll definelty check it out your blog 🙂 It sounds interesting as we never really explored much of New York despite growing up a few hours outside of the city. I also miss the traveling freedom before covid. Hopefully it will return soon. If you’re looking to travel to Turkey though they are accepting tourists (they desperately need tourists to keep their economy alive) I visited this year and the locals were so grateful as just having a few tourists enabled them to put food on their tables!
jwatrelNovember 14, 2020 at 5:42 am
I have not been to Turkey since my trip to visit Emphasis when touring the Turkish Coastline in 2008 on a trip to Greece. It is a beautiful country with very friendly people. You brought back a lot of good memories.
flahertylandscapeNovember 26, 2020 at 11:34 am
I liked the map and photos–but I wonder if you visited the Pierre Loti Cafe?
Colorful SistersNovember 26, 2020 at 8:12 pm
No I haven’t! Never hear of it
Chitra SundaramNovember 27, 2020 at 5:44 am
CarolCooks2November 29, 2020 at 1:11 pm
Stunning images and backdrop …Thank you for following CarolCooks2
tinthiaDecember 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm
Thank you for liking my recent blog post, Dear Cancer. Knowing there are other women out there who support my musings is helpful to continue my journey. Blessed be, Tinthia Clemant
Peace and unity in our livesDecember 7, 2020 at 8:46 pm
THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING AND COLOURFUL BLOG… KEEP IT UP
Colorful SistersDecember 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Thank you so much!!
Peace and unity in our livesDecember 16, 2020 at 9:24 pm
my pleasure and be blessed
Peace and unity in our livesDecember 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm
Take care, be blessed and always follow HIM
Peace and unity in our livesJanuary 8, 2021 at 9:03 pm
my pleasure, beblessed
Peace and unity in our livesJanuary 16, 2021 at 8:32 pm
it is my pleasure… be blessed
Peace and unity in our livesJanuary 22, 2021 at 9:58 pm
be blessed and enjoy your life
Colorful SistersJanuary 24, 2021 at 12:55 pm
You as well!
cielotechDecember 8, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Absolutely beautiful web site AND beautiful rooftop digitals. I loved it. Thank you so much for taking a look at my latest post. I certainly will become a follower. Take care. B
Colorful SistersDecember 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Thank you so very much! I’m happy you enjoyed 🙂
judyhaivenDecember 9, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Lovely photos, from Judy haiven and thanks for looking at Another Ruined Dinner Party
Colorful SistersDecember 9, 2020 at 7:16 pm
Thank you so much as well 🙂
robertwmonkDecember 15, 2020 at 8:50 am
Thanks for the likes and follows. Great photos on here!
Colorful SistersDecember 15, 2020 at 9:40 am
Thank you as well!
FaizDecember 18, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Colorful SistersDecember 19, 2020 at 6:38 pm
CristinaDecember 21, 2020 at 10:23 am
Colorful SistersDecember 22, 2020 at 8:54 am
Karima HoisanDecember 21, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Beautiful photos of such an incredible spot!
Colorful SistersDecember 22, 2020 at 8:54 am
Thank you so much! It really is a lovely place 😍
Equipping For Eternity WebsiteDecember 28, 2020 at 1:02 am
Thanks for following my site;you are very kind.
viewfromoverthehillJanuary 3, 2021 at 11:06 pm
Gorgeous photos! So glad you shared them. I don’t think I’ll ever get to Istanbul, so I particularly enjoyed this post.
Thank you for the honour of choosing to follow my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I’ll also look forward to seeing what you are up to. Cheers.
Colorful SistersJanuary 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm
Hi my dear 🙂 So happy we found your blog and I did enjoy reading several of your posts. Loved the down to earth content. Can’t wait to see what else you write 🙂
kanchansingh7kJanuary 6, 2021 at 5:19 am
Good photography! Great post!
Colorful SistersJanuary 6, 2021 at 10:09 am
Thank you so much!!
hamnabilal20January 8, 2021 at 10:28 pm
Colorful SistersJanuary 9, 2021 at 11:42 am
salooper57January 16, 2021 at 9:54 pm
Seeing Istanbul brings back good memories – thanks! Thanks too for stopping at shaynelooper.com and taking the trouble to like. Best to you both.
Colorful SistersJanuary 17, 2021 at 3:50 pm
Thank you as well! Istanbul certainly is a place where wonderful memories are made 🙂
Bryan ThompsonJanuary 23, 2021 at 8:30 pm
Hello Colorful Sisters! Love these posts on Istanbul and Turkey. My wife and I were just over there last month. You followed our (old) blog on WordPress (storycaster.wordpress.com) and liked a couple of posts. If you would like to see what we’re up to and where we’ve been these past couple of years we are now at https://notquitehomeless.us
Colorful SistersJanuary 24, 2021 at 12:59 pm
Hope you guys enjoyed Turkey!! It’s a lovely place 🙂 We’ll definitely check out your new blog! 🙂
sharonahueJanuary 27, 2021 at 4:20 pm
The colorful rugs set the scene…the view is just a bonus.
Colorful SistersJanuary 27, 2021 at 8:28 pm
Hahahhaa very true!!
estherhechtJanuary 30, 2021 at 1:57 pm
Great pix! Best of luck.
Colorful SistersJanuary 30, 2021 at 5:07 pm
Thanks so much! 😍
SteveFebruary 8, 2021 at 9:41 pm
I don’t know, I think that’s a pretty reasonable cost for tea and use of the space. Looks wonderful, thanks for sharing!
Colorful SistersFebruary 9, 2021 at 11:38 am
It certainly wasn’t very much but compared to the prices of Turkey (extremely low) it was very expensive. It’s all perspective haha
kaitiscotlandFebruary 9, 2021 at 3:28 pm
The only day I was in Istanbul it poured. Great to see it in better weather.
Colorful SistersFebruary 9, 2021 at 4:10 pm
Oh hopefully! It’s such a bummer when it rains during trips, especially if it prevents you from fully exploring!
agwildermanFebruary 12, 2021 at 8:31 pm
Beautiful photos. I was in Istanbul a very long time ago. Great travel memories.
Colorful SistersFebruary 13, 2021 at 5:08 pm
It really is a very memorable city!!
hfatboy55February 14, 2021 at 6:12 am
That is a great view !
We missed that one when we were there !
We like to snap our Harley with backdrops like that – could we get it up the stairs ? (Joke !)
Colorful SistersFebruary 14, 2021 at 1:45 pm
Hahahahah I guess you could give it a try next time 😂😂😂
Nancy GardnerFebruary 16, 2021 at 10:43 am
What a gorgeous reminder of the beauty of Istanbul. My husband and I visited years ago and loved it.
Colorful SistersFebruary 16, 2021 at 2:36 pm
Ooo yesss it really is such a special city!! Loved it so much 🙂
garyhorvitzFebruary 16, 2021 at 7:24 pm
Great blog. Youse got style!!
Colorful SistersFebruary 17, 2021 at 9:43 am
Thank youuu so sweet 🙂
james bruce mcnaughtonFebruary 24, 2021 at 1:52 am
Fun post! Thank you for following my blog.
Colorful SistersFebruary 24, 2021 at 6:24 pm
Thank you as well!! 🙂
craig lockMarch 8, 2021 at 3:42 pm
Hi “colourful” Brooke and Danielle
Thanks for all; the follows
“waking up early-bird sleepy-head” c
Terence Kuch - Memorable FanciesMarch 23, 2021 at 4:28 pm
Istanbul is one of the most beautiful, and interesting, cities I’ve ever visited. Thank you for the photos !
Colorful SistersApril 5, 2021 at 7:10 am
I have to agree!!! Truly an incredible and unique experience there 🙂
Cheryl JensenMarch 27, 2021 at 6:41 pm
I loved Istanbul! Although I didn’t do this spectacular dinner option, I did have dinner on a hired boat on the Bosphorus, which was pretty sweet, too.
Colorful SistersApril 5, 2021 at 7:13 am
Ahh amazing!! We also wanted to take a boat on the Bosphorus but we, unfortunately, didn’t have enough time! Something to do for next time at least!
imran257January 9, 2022 at 3:49 am
That’s really good info. Thanks for sharing. and beautiful photos too! 🙂
Colorful SistersJanuary 14, 2022 at 11:15 am
Thanks so much! I’m happy that you found it useful 🙂
neredenasilgidilirJune 11, 2022 at 8:45 am
Thank you so much for the detailed itinerary!! I visit Istanbul in a week and your blog just made everything so much easier. God bless you and happy travels :)) Gezilecekyerler.com
Colorful SistersJune 11, 2022 at 5:56 pm
You’re so welcome! I’m so happy that you found it useful and I hope that you enjoy Istanbul as much as I did! 🙂
Ha TJuly 7, 2022 at 8:58 pm
Thank you so much!! I was looking for a particular view too just like you stated. Not just an ordinary rooftop and I was surprised it was difficult to find outside of photography studios. I cannot wait to try this place out when I go soon!
AndreaJanuary 22, 2023 at 9:29 pm
Hello, the link is not working to your affordable boutique hotel right in the heart of the Sultanhamet. Whats the name of the hotel.
Thanks !! Andrea