Istanbul's Most Expensive Houses: Top 5 Luxury Mansions by the Bosporus

Istanbul's Most Expensive Houses: Top 5 Luxury Mansions by the Bosporus

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey with a rich history and millions of tourists and expats visiting it every year. What about houses in Istanbul? Real estate prices in Istanbul are the highest in the country, but properties continue to be in high demand among expats, too. If you want to buy luxury property in Istanbul, take a look at the houses on the Bosphorus. The costliest and most luxurious properties of Istanbul are located along the Bosporus waterfront. Many of them are of historical value, and each house has unique architecture and history. Read on to find out about the most expensive house in Istanbul and its four main competitors.

The Müşir Zeki Paşa Mansion: The Dream House

The Müşir Zeki Paşa Mansion opens our list of the best houses in Istanbul. The mansion of Tophane Müşir Zeki Paşa is a fantastic palace on the shores of the Bosporus Strait. Eclipsing all other residences in the Rumelihisarı vicinity, this grand abode was erected in 1895 and has since become a cherished local landmark. Originally commissioned by Müşir Zeki Paşa, the distinguished field marshal of the Ottoman Army, the mansion was conceived as a testament to his legacy and thus bears his illustrious name.

Photo: Dosseman (Wikimedia Commons)

The villa's architectural brilliance is attributed to Alexander Vallaury, a notable French-Ottoman architect. Renowned among Istanbul's affluent denizens, Vallaury's imprint graces several other city structures. Regrettably, not all of his creations have endured the ravages of time. Numerous, primarily wooden, structures fell victim to fires and succumbed to history's grasp. Yet, the Müşiri Zeki Paşa Mansion, crafted from resilient brick and concrete, has triumphantly persisted, standing as a testament to Vallaury's enduring legacy.

Exhibiting a Baroque architectural style, the mansion's façade is a captivating sight to behold. Despite the prevalent use of brick in its construction, the walls exude the appearance of natural stone, which makes the mansion look a bit mysterious. Positioned in close proximity, or more aptly, nestled beneath the towering expanse of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Suspension Bridge, the mansion has earned the endearing moniker "The Treasure under the Bridge" from certain city tour guides, drawing parallels to its alluring allure.

Inside the Mansion

Standing as a grand testament to architectural magnificence, the five-story mansion reigns supreme along the Bosporus embankment, a true titan among its peers. Housing a remarkable ensemble of 23 expansive rooms, each offering panoramic vistas of the majestic strait or the meticulously landscaped garden, this dwelling is a haven of opulence. Within its walls, eight elegant bathrooms and four gracious dining rooms grace the residential levels, while the ground floor unveils a sanctuary of relaxation—an intricate sauna complex adorned with a resplendent hammam. Commanding a total floor area of 500 square metres, vertical transitions are effortlessly facilitated through the presence of an elevator, allowing residents seamless access to each splendid level.

This luxury house in Istanbul is surrounded by a 4,000-square-metre land plot, where an exotic garden and several bodies of water take up half of the area. The parking facility and a swimming pool occupy the other half. A distinctive hallmark of the palace is its pier, stretching a remarkable 110 metres in length. You can enter the mansion either from the garden or the Bosporus if you have arrived on a yacht.

Price Rate Dynamics for the Most Expensive Property in Istanbul

Over the past 15 years, the mansion has been listed for sale multiple times. Yet, on each occasion, the prospective owners found themselves compelled to retract their offers for a myriad of reasons, ranging from the tumultuous fluctuations in the Turkish lira exchange rate to other unforeseen circumstances. So, what is the price for this Istanbul waterfront real estate?

In 2011, the price for the mansion was 200 million TRY, or approximately $120 million at that time.

In 2015, the mansion owners put it up for sale at $125 million. 

Then, in 2019, the famous mansion was on the market for $95.5 million.

From what we know, the vast majority of potential buyers were citizens of the countries around the Persian Gulf. Currently, the mansion is not for sale. Perhaps, the owners are waiting for a more stable economic situation to negotiate the price.

Prince's Palace for $100 Million

Our list of Istanbul luxury homes is continued with Prince's Palace. As reported by Forbes, the resplendent Şehzade Mehmed Burhaneddin Efendi Villa, adorned in a regal shade of pink, secured the prestigious position as the fourth most valuable property on the market in Istanbul during 2014.

Erected in 1880, this three-story palace stands as a testament to architectural finesse. Bearing the namesake of its inaugural possessor, Şehzade Mehmed Burhaneddin Efendi, scion of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the mansion's design is thought to eloquently mirror the imaginative and intellectual attributes of a "şehzade," a Turkish term connoting "prince."

This opulent palace unfolds over a sprawling expanse, encompassing 64 exquisitely appointed rooms and a colossal 650-square-metre hall on its inaugural floor. Spanning 6,000 square metres, the Şehzade Mehmed Burhaneddin Efendi Villa sprawls magnificently, punctuated by a lavish swimming pool of grand proportions and a traditional Turkish sauna, both making bold statements of indulgence. Gracing this impressive domicile are expansive windows that command captivating vistas of waterways and the charmingly weathered old wooden pier.

So, who is the owner of this property in the most expensive area in Istanbul? A Qatari businessman bought the palace in March 2015 for $100 million. 

A Mysterious Residence for $70 Million

The next name in the list of luxury houses in Istanbul is a Mysterious Residence. The historic palace with 14 rooms, two halls, and 12 bathrooms was put up for sale in 2021 for $70 million. The villa has an enormous garden that covers 7,000 square metres. The palace is located in the upmarket area of Kadıköy called Caddebostan. The area is known as one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Istanbul and it is popular with many celebrities and Turkish officials of the highest rank.

Photo: TurkeyExpert

The palace's windows unveil a sweeping panorama of the Marmara Sea, creating an exquisite visual connection to its surroundings. A sweeping driveway, flanked by the lush garden, elegantly guides one towards the entrance steps. Notably, a charming gazebo and an inviting swimming pool stand in close proximity to the palace, enhancing its allure. Stepping inside, the interiors exude an unmistakable aura of opulence. Antique furniture and glittering crystal chandeliers grace the spaces, harmonising with the pristine, snow-white balconies and intricately designed custom ceilings, collectively underscoring the resplendent character of this remarkable abode.

Scant information exists regarding the mansion; its owner maintains a deliberate air of anonymity, revealing details exclusively to prospective buyers, thereby shrouding the history of this location in enigma. As of now, the question of whether this enigmatic mansion has found a new proprietor remains unanswered, leaving its status cloaked in intrigue.

A Palace with a Secret Garden for $42 Million

Another one of the beautiful houses in Istanbul is Palace with a Secret Garden. You can find this luxury residence at the prestigious and one of the most expensive Beykoz area in Istanbul along the Bosporus embankment. Spanning an impressive floor area of 819 square metres, the mansion exudes grandeur and elegance. The property offers the convenience of a spacious garage, while the allure of two expansive pools—both outdoor and indoor—beckons for relaxation. Notably, the estate boasts an impressive 18-metre pier.


This Istanbul luxury house has only two floors with eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a living room with a billiard table, and a spacious kitchen with the most modern built-in appliances. The windows of the mansion overlook the Bosporus strait and the pool. The mansion features a glass lift and an indoor garden. You can go from floor to floor via an elegant spiral staircase. The property is further adorned with a comfortable gazebo, providing an idyllic spot for relaxation amidst the surroundings.

Erected in 1994, the mansion lacks historical significance and is currently listed for sale at $42 million. Basically, Turkish regulations grant the owner the freedom to undertake renovations and reconstructions according to their preferences, without any responsibility for its preservation.

The Ahmed Arifi Paşa Villa for $40 Million

The last but not least house in our list of Istanbul mansions is The Ahmed Arifi Paşa Villa. Resembling a magnificent 19th-century castle, this villa exudes an aura of elegance, complete with meticulously crafted turrets gracing either flank. Standing tall and resplendent, the five-story marvel known as the Ahmed Arifi Paşa Villa shares its designer, Alexander Vallaury, with the renowned Zeki Paşa Villa. Notably, this opulent abode enjoys the favour of esteemed guests and Turkish television series creators, who frequently select it as a picturesque backdrop for their new productions. 

Photo: Dosseman (Wikimedia Commons)

Within its walls, this luxury home in Istanbul boasts an impressive arrangement of 22 rooms, complemented by a spacious garage and an enchanting garden that exudes allure at every turn. Spanning a generous expanse of 2,242 square metres, the estate stands as a testament to opulence and sophistication. Notably, Turkish businesswoman Suzan Sabancı Dinçer acquired this splendid abode in 2009, making it her own with a significant investment of $40 million. Since then, this bosphorus mansion has not been offered for sale, retaining its status as a cherished personal haven.

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In a Nutshell

All in all, we have reviewed the bosphorus houses in the most expensive residential area in Istanbul. The Tophane Müşir Zeki Paşa Mansion stands out as the most exorbitant residential offering to grace the Istanbul market in recent years. Its exceptional architectural design, meticulous layout, and historical significance contribute to its formidable price tag. At 125 years of age, this beloved Turkish tourist destination carries an illustrious past. Possessing such a palace in the Istanbul most expensive area signifies an elevated social status, but it also demands substantial financial commitment for its preservation and upkeep. Perhaps this could explain why the present owners have encountered challenges in securing a suitable buyer over the past few years.

Cover photo: Gaye Kırkın (Pexels)

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