Emirgan is a former retreat from the city, backed by a hillside still green despite the recent construction of villas within it. The district is named for the Ottoman lords (Emirs) that came here on excursions. There is a square in the center, shaded by a huge plane tree, with a cafe in the middle. Home to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum.
Sarıyer's Bosphorus villages, backed by steep hills, were once rural fishing communities. They later became retreats for the city's wealthy. In the Ottoman period, the sultans came to these villages for picnics and excursions. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the coast was lined with summer residences of the wealthy foreign traders of Pera and Galata. Many foreign embassies built summer residences in this period. Since the construction of the coast road, these villages, and increasingly the hillsides behind them, house many expensive villas owned by İstanbul's rich businessmen, actors and musicians, attracted by the coastline and the lush forest behind.