In Istanbul, where there are no balconies in the homes, no gardens in the apartments, and no parks, breathing has become quite difficult. We have compiled a list of the city’s most stunning green spaces, which the locals will find to be therapeutic.
In addition to these, here are some activities that you can do in Istanbul that we recommend: Best 35 Touristic Attractions in Istanbul
The European Side’s Parks, Groves, and Gardens
Istanbul’s Belgrad Forest is the city’s largest green space. It serves as the city’s life support system as well as the sports hub for Istanbul residents. It also serves as a getaway, picnic, and BBQ location, in other words, it is all a weekend should be.
First, Sariyer’s Belgrad Forest
The most popular track for runners is the 6,200-meter Neşet Suyu Running and Walking Track. Weekends see more people than weekdays, but since summer and spring are not the months, there are no fearful throngs of picnickers. Don’t forget to treat yourself with freshly squeezed fruit juice made from locally grown seasonal fruits in the region near the tracks starting after your run or walk. For a location, click.
Saryer’s Atatürk Urban Forest
To the bodies staying at home, Atatürk City Forest, which began accepting visitors in May 2020—exactly during the Pandemic—came like medication. You won’t think there is such a large grove in the city, but we enjoyed this park. Between the Hacosman and Darüşaffaka metro stations, it spans a sizable valley. As a result, it has been transformed into a complete European park, complete with orienteering courses and playgrounds for kids. Istanbul Municipality deserves praise.
Thoughts of this location as a picnic and BBQ spot should be avoided. You cannot make a picnic and sit anywhere you choose on the grass. Ataturk Urban Forest was created for Istanbul residents who are more active. There are also areas with a basketball court, kid’s play areas, and a festival area.
There are 12 kilometers on the walking track in total, for individuals who practice sports, it is therefore quite pleasant. Additionally, it contains three little lakes. Also, cafes are present. The Hacosman Metro exit is not far from the entrance gate. You may quickly walk there from here to go to the metro. Although it hasn’t yet been finished, it will in reality have an entrance from the Darüşşafaka metro station. There isn’t a cost to enter. open until 22:00 every night. For a location, click.
Sariyer’s Ataturk Arboretum
One of the most picturesque locations to see Istanbul’s trees change color in October and November is Atatürk Arboretum. This place has a wide variety of trees since it is an arboretum or tree park. The resulting landscapes are more distinctive as a result. Let’s stress once more that this is not a place where you can picnic, have a barbecue, ride a bike, or even bring your pet. You can visit, look around, stroll, and take in the environment here. For a location, click.
Saryer’s Maslak Pavilion
Maslak Pavilion is a green space with preserved antique Ottoman pavilions on Büyükdere Street, across from Maslak Oto Sanayi, in the military forest. There are five historical structures there: a conservatory, the Pasha’s apartment, the tent palace, the Kasr-i Hümayun, and the Mabeyn-i Hümayun.
The pavilion, which was constructed under the rule of Mahmud, was expanded during the rule of Abdülaziz by the addition of new portions. Particularly promising are the photo opportunities in the greenhouse area known as the Limonlik, which is modeled after the Orangerie of European palaces. There is an entry charge. You are also provided an electronic guide that comprehends the history of the pavilions at the entrance.
Additionally, there is a cafe where you can dine and drink. For a location, click.
Sariyer’s Emirgan Grove
Due to its location overlooking the Bosphorus, Emirgan Grove, the site of the annual Tulip Festival that takes place in March–April, is a fantastic hiking trail and picnic area. A little pond, a children’s playground, the Yellow Mansion, the Pink Mansion, and the White Mansion are three tourist attractions you can visit and see.
Additionally, Sar Köşk is a cafe where you can have breakfast or a drink. Be ready to deal with a huge crowd if you visit during the tulip season. Compared to the tulip season, it is less congested during other times of the year. The greatest program combination is traveling to Emirgan, enjoying a stroll around the grove, touring the exhibit at the Sabanci Museum close to the grove, and then stopping for lunch at MSA’s Restaurant. For a location, click.
Japanese Garden in Baltaliman, Saryer
In 2003, in honor of the “Japanese Year in Turkey,” the municipalities of Istanbul and Shimonoseki, which have been sister cities since the 1970s, collaborated to create the modest Japanese garden known as Baltaliman.
Instead of using this park for exercise or strolls, consider stopping by to learn more about Japanese culture. The most significant characteristic is that it is a famous Japanese tree called sakura, which blossoms pink in the yard in the spring.
A tea room (yogetsuan), waterfall, pond, and gazebo are other fundamental components that every Japanese garden has to have. However, this location also provides a broad concept. In our opinion, the Japanese Garden in Konya is more successful than the one in Istanbul. When you visit, you have the option of combining the program with the nearby SSM and Emirgan Grove or trekking the other way to Aşiyan and Bebek. For a location, click.
Coastline in Ortaköy and Yeniköy, Beşiktaş-Sariyer.
A pleasant walk awaits you along the European Side shoreline, which begins at Sariyer and continues uninterruptedly to Karaköy if you start from any place along that stretch of land. The Bosphorus’s deep blue seas will be your companion. However, we believe that the 12-kilometer stretch that goes on to Yeniköy after passing through the immensely popular Ortaköy is the most suitable for hiking.
Starting at the Ortaköy Mosque, the route will be 3 kilometers long, 6 kilometers in Rumeli, and 8 kilometers long, ending at the Sakp Sabanci Museum.
On the coast of Yeniköy, it is 11 kilometers long.
The fact that you have a variety of options for taking a break is this line’s greatest benefit. The entire journey may be walked in around 2.5 hours, but once you’ve covered the desired distance on foot, you can continue by bicycle for the remaining distance. Simply register a Municipality account, add your credit card and hire a bike from one of the bike kiosks along the route to get started. For a location, click.
Bebek Park, Beşiktaş
One of the best venues to relive the nostalgia of Istanbul from thirty years ago is Bebek Park. Because the well-known area we call Bebek was the ideal location 30 years ago where you could come to find some peace by the sea on the weekends with the park where your kids could run freely among the centuries-old trees, the traditional coffee where you can drink sage and eat simit, and the famous Bebek Almond Paste where you can buy marzipan and Mabel gum.
You may now eat breakfast in the areas surrounding the always-busy park, get a coffee to go, and stroll through the market. You can also take a break by walking from Ortaköy to the park’s terminus or vice versa from Emirgan. If you’d like, you can take a ferry from the pier inside the park to Emirgan, Anadolu Hisar, and Kanlca for a short Bosphorus trip. Additionally, there are yearly events like the Baby Festival and Petival here. It might be appealing to you if you have a child or a pet. For a location, click.
Beşiktas’ Kuruçeşme Park
Before reaching Bebek Park, there is a smaller park called Kuruçeşme Park. It is quieter but less vegetated, especially near where tour boats and opulent yachts moor. You can park your car in the parking lot directly across from the park. You can leave your car parked here to begin exploring Kuruçeşme Park on foot. Let’s add that Kuruçeşme beach offers several excellent options for breakfast or dinner. But in any case, picking a day other than the weekend is beneficial. For a location, click.
Etiler Artists Park, Beşiktas
One of Istanbul’s hidden jewels is Artists Park, a tranquil park surrounded by greenery on the Akatlar side of Etiler. There are two components to it. The first is a park where you may spread out in peace with your food and a place to hide, where on summer evenings young people pick up their guitars and sing and perform music together. Additionally, this location has a city cafe. You may get food and beverages for very affordable costs.
The second is the trail that runs alongside the park, called the German Stream Trail. You can tour this facility’s 1,500-meter tartan track, basketball court, and yoga tent until your daily sporting requirements are satisfied. For kids, there are also lovely playgrounds. Occasionally other open-air events are hosted here, such as festivals and concerts. The park, which is close to the Etiler metro line, is great for strolling and running and getting together with friends. For a location, click.
Beşiktas’ Ulus Park
Ulus Park, which is situated in a fantastic location with a view of the Bosphorus, is more beloved by Arabs than by us. Its cafe, which offers a stunning view but is not particularly comfortable, is constantly crowded with Arab tourists, no matter the time of year. The park area is compact and sloping. To put it another way, it is a park where people should go to relax on the grass rather than run around. In cultured people, beautiful. For a location, click.
Besiktas’ Dilek Sabanci Park
The Sabanci Foundation and Beşiktaş Municipality worked together to open this little park in Levent in 2002. It is the most inclusive park in the city and has an elevator for the disabled, charging stations for disabled vehicles, and an imprinted park map. I
n actuality, the park is the first accessible park in Turkey where kids with impairments can have a good time on their own. The basketball court in the forest is a lot of fun, despite the short walking paths. For a location, click.
Yildiz Park in Beşiktas
Yildiz Park, also known as Yildiz Grove, is one of the most significant green spaces in the city and is situated between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy. IV constructed the grove, which in the 17th century belonged to a family by the name of Kazancolu. Murat purchases it and presents it to his daughter Kaya Sultan.
In the Tulip Era, the grove served as the backyard of Raan Palace. Starting in 1877, it served as the outer grove of Yildiz Palace. After 1940, the forest was made public as Yildiz Park. Currently, you can play sports or have a picnic at the Istanbul Municipality-affiliated park, and if you’d like, you may dine and drink something inside one of the mansions.
The park is ideal for athletes who wish to challenge themselves. Because the park is incredibly mountainous, we refer to it as “testing the limits.” To fully circle it, you must run or walk for around 3 kilometers. Huge trees, stunning pavilions, and the Bosphorus view are all outstanding features of the landscape. During the week, it is more deserted.
The locations around the waterfall that are not in the tourist area are much more secluded. Here, there are a lot of wooden picnic tables. You can find a space for yourself since the land is large. The park has locations where you may enjoy tea, coffee, breakfast, and food. These two mansions, Malta Mansion and Tent Mansion are run as eateries. Entry to the springs is free, however, you must pay for the parking lot if you come by car. For a location, click.
Abbasaga Park in Beşiktas
Residents of Beşiktaş’s neighborhood park are called Abbasaa Park. Being a location that neighborhood residents typically favor, it is much quieter than its neighbors, Yldz and Maçka parks.
This green space was made accessible to the public in 1941 and is named for the eunuch in command of the harem, Abbas Aa.
The park’s most significant characteristic is that it occasionally hosts forums where social concerns are addressed and debated. In a sense, Abbasaa Park is a city agora that offers a setting for discourse in the city, much like in Greek cities of the time. For a location, click.
Maçka Democracy Park in Sisli
Maçka Democracy Park serves as the equivalent of Caddebostan Beach for residents of the European side. You will see people engaging in sports, walking their children, enjoying a picnic with wine, and throwing a Frisbee at their dog, among other activities. It is constantly crowded because it is a very popular park.
Every corner of the park is packed, especially on summer evenings, with friends having picnics, kids practicing tightrope walking, sports teams performing yoga or pilates, couples reading books and listening to music, and dog owners lying out in the sun with their dogs. You need to arrive quickly to secure a seat.
Although there is a cafe inside, everyone loves to come and shop independently at the nearby markets. There are public restrooms in the municipality that accept akbil for your requirements. Only restrooms close at 21:00 in the summer and winter. Therefore, watch how much you drink after that time because you might need to knock on neighbors’ doors. For a location, click.
World Peace Park and Ihlamur Pavilion, Sisli
One of the pavilions utilized by the sultans for daily rest and horseback riding is called Ihlamur Pavilion, and it is a true oasis in the middle of the city. One of the city’s most magnificent examples of Ottoman buildings from the 19th century is the pavilion in neo-Baroque style. The Merasim Mansion, one of which is used for official works and ceremonies of Sultan Abdülmecid, and the Maiyet Mansion, which is reserved for the sultan’s entourage and his harem, were both constructed by Sultan Abdülmecid between 1849 and 1855 under the direction of one of the most renowned architects of the time, Garabet Balyan. There are two structures;
The garden of the Dolmabahçe Palace, which was created by German gardeners who did the landscaping work, is, in our opinion, the most attractive feature of the pavilion. Large pink blooms bloom on the great magnolia tree in the pavilion garden, especially after the third week of March, and magnificent squares start to appear.
Everybody comes here that week to take pictures of this tree. In addition, excluding Mondays, Maiyet Mansion functions as a cafeteria. There are options such as a mixed breakfast in addition to snacks like bread and tea. The Ihlamur Pavilion has a cost for entry. Indeed, it is one of the places we would advise you to see if you are in the vicinity of Nişantaş or Beşiktaş.
Contrarily, the steep World Peace Park is located just across from the Ihlamur Pavilion. Despite being a green space that has not been visited for years, the park was updated in 2020. It has been transformed into a cozier, more pleasurable area thanks to the lighting created by the new arrangement, the additional gazebos, dog walks, and children’s playgrounds. However, we haven’t yet got the chance to do so. For a location, click.
Florya Atatürk Forest, Bakirköy
The Florya Atatürk Woodland is presently accessible to the public; it was once used as a forest for the Atatürk Marine Mansion, which was constructed in 1935 and gifted by the BB of the time to Atatürk, who enjoyed swimming off the Florya shore. You can go there and take a stroll. For a location, click.
Fatih Gulhane Park
The rose gardens that gave Gülhane Park its name were located there when it was Topkapi Palace’s outer garden during the Ottoman era. The first act of democratization, Gülhane Hatt-Hümayunu, or Tanzimat Ferman, is read here on November 3, 1839. Cemil Topuzlu planned it, and the city of Istanbul transformed it into a park and made it accessible to the general public in 1912.
On September 1, 1928, during the Republican era, Atatürk introduced the Latin alphabet to the populace in this park. On November 19, 1938, this ceremony served as the final one in Istanbul before Atatürk’s body was transported to Ankara. As you can see, this is a historic location that has been the scene of numerous historic occurrences.
The Istanbul Islamic Science and Technology History Museum opens its doors in 2008 in the Has Stables Building in the park, which received a thorough renovation in 2003. For your touristic trips, you can include Gülhane Park as a stop in addition to Sirkeci, Eminönü, the Spice Bazaar, Sultanahmet, and the Basilica Cistern.
You can visit the Archeology Museums above the park if you have an interest in history, and you can visit the Ahmet Hamdi Tanpnar Literature Museum Library inside the park if you have an interest in literature. For a location, click.
Nature Park near Göktürk Pond in Eyüp
After the pandemic, Göktürk Pond Nature Park, which was previously exclusively known to the Göktürk people, has become a destination for people from all over Istanbul looking to escape the throng and get some fresh air in the green. So much so that, like Belgrad Forest, lengthy lines started to form at its gate on the weekends.
At the picnic or hiking tables nearby, you can enjoy a picnic or go cycling. Barbecuing is permitted only in the designated places; swimming and fishing are not permitted in the lake. The region has a cost for entry. Additionally, there are amenities like parking, restrooms, and a place to eat and drink. For a location, click.
Eyüp’s Kemerburgaz Urban Forest
The newest attraction for people who fled Belgrade is the Kemerburgaz Urban Forest. In 2019, Kemerburgaz City Forest, which is located on a meadow surrounded by trees, was built on the shore of Alibeyköy Dam Lake. With its greenery, amenities, and creative parking system, it was quite well-liked. As a result, there will unavoidably be lengthy lines at the gate on weekends.
What are your options then? To start, you have the option of riding a bike on your own bike or one that you may rent locally. You can also rent a go-kart, a battery-powered vehicle, and a child’s bike. You can then stroll around the Alibeyköy Dam Lake afterward. The picnic tables are available for picnics. However, it is strongly prohibited to build fires, grill, go into the lake, and go hunting. During the winter, a portable ice rink is also erected up here.
There are a lot of playgrounds for kids around as well. They can also enjoy traditional slides and swings as well as amusement park attractions like the Ferris wheel and carousel. In addition, the park has tennis courts, basketball courts, and volleyball courts for sports aficionados. Let’s not forget that Dot, one of our favorite indie theater companies, has a new campus nearby.
Visit the Third Place, a welcoming outdoor venue, food and beverage area, event space, and socializing place that opened in the summer of 2021. We can’t wait to observe their outside social exclusion games. There are restrooms, a dining area, and parking facilities. Entry fees apply. For a location, click.
Anatolian Side Parks and Gardens
Kadikoy’s Fenerbahce Park
The most lovely green space in the Kalamş area is Fenerbahçe Park, which gets its name from the lighthouse that has been here since the Byzantine era and whose current building dates from 1857. The park’s most significant characteristic is that it is currently the annual location of the Istanbul Jazz Festival’s “Jazz in the Parks” event. The park occupies the majority of Fenerbahçe Island.
On that particular day of the year, attendees bring their picnic blankets, covers, and go-to munchies, set up in front of the festival stage, and enjoy a weekend packed with jazz. One of the annual events in Istanbul that we cannot miss. The park is surrounded by a large number of eateries. For a location, click.
Yogurtçu Park, Kadköy
Yourtçu Park is a little-known yet favored green space in Kadköy. Of course, the park’s proximity to Ükrü Saraçolu Stadium is the main contributing aspect to this. The park transforms into one of the most raucous celebrations before and after each game. A statue of Alex De Souza, one of Fenerbahçe’s most adored players of all time, is located directly in front of the park.
Yourtçu Park extends a warm welcome to visitors who come to take photos of the statue. The park also has the Yogurtçu Fountain, which was built in the 18th century and gave the park its name. During the Tulip Era, this park was one of Kadköy’s most well-liked amusement spots. The tastiest croissants in the city are available at Brekkie, which is conveniently located across from the park if you’re hungry. However, let’s assume right away that there is a long wait in front of it on the weekends. For a location, click.
Kadiköy’s Caddebostan Beach
We consider Caddebostan Beach to be one of the Anatolian Side’s freed places. This is a long beachfront where Istanbulites can enjoy themselves in a civilized manner, picnic, skate, walk, jog, or ride their bikes, especially in the summer. It is similar to the planned Maçka Park on the European side. You may easily find a decent area here because one side of the beach is green space, but we advise that you do so before it gets too late in the day. Because a needle thrown here in the summertime does not fall to the ground.
The area where the historical mansions begin at the rear of Caddebostan Migros and continue in the direction of Fenerbahçe is the most pleasant and well-liked location. At this time, facilities like basketball courts, coffee shops, and tea gardens are also accessible. Here as well as on the Ortaköy line, there are SBKE stations. After a given distance, you can ride your bike, continue walking or run. For a location, click.
Moda Beach, Kadiköy
Like Caddebostan Beach, Moda Beach is a nice place to walk. Hours can be spent watching the sea from the rocks. Additionally, one of the must-see buildings nearby is the 1917 Moda Pier. In Skele, there is a little restaurant as well. Either eat a Sunday brunch or just sip tea and coffee while taking in the scenery. While you’re here, plan to visit Moda, where you can explore the neighborhood’s streets, have ice cream, enjoy a drink or breakfast in one of the area’s adorable cafes, and view the Barş Manço Museum House. For a location, click.
Moda Park, Kadiköy
Both the beach and the park in Moda are lovely. The old uncle at the park’s entrance sells bird food, and it is a park tradition for the inhabitants of Moda to purchase it and feed the pigeons. It’s also a good place to watch the sunset, Moda Park. Moreover great and perfect for taking a tea break and going for a walk on the beach. A fantastic option, especially for people who are sick of Caddebostan’s throng. For a location, click.
Kadiköy’s Kalamis Park
The green space that extends from Kalams Marina is called Kalams Park. In actuality, it wasn’t in a noticeable location near other parks in the area until 2020. Because in 2020, Nike, with the help of the Repair Club and the Kadköy Municipality, created a remarkable makeover project in Kalamş Park. The park’s volleyball court, running track, open skate park, and basketball court have all undergone colorful renovations. The park has also gained a gathering space, sky hammocks, and a table tennis court. For a location, click.
Kadiköy’s Göztepe 60th Year Park
Although it is a sizable and well-planted park, Göztepe 60. Yil Park, or simply Göztepe Park, is not one of our favorites because it is too concrete for us. Although there are themed playgrounds, aquariums, and tulip and rose gardens here, Selamiçeşme Freedom Park, which is nearby, is considerably more entertaining than this. because the park has more vegetation and fewer hardscape. For a location, click.
Selamiçeşme Freedom Park in Kadikoy
Badat Street’s green space, Selamiçeşme Freedom Park. Given that the park is so well landscaped, it is the perfect location to start the day with sports in the city. There are fields and courts where you may play basketball or tennis in the park, as well as a track where you can jog and walk. The park’s final section has picnic spaces that are also intended for picnickers. Every Wednesday, the market that we adore so much, Kadköy Organic Market, is also put up here. In the park, there is Filizi Köşk, a lovely Ottoman building, a children’s library, and a cafe. For a location, click.
Kadiköy – Fenerbahçe – Maltepe Beach
The Fenerbahçe-Maltepe shoreline is the Anatolian Side’s equivalent of the Ortaköy-Yeniköy Bosphorus line on the European side. This line is the perfect place to walk, jog, ride a bike, or skate thanks to its uninterrupted and well-maintained track. You can begin your training on a 1.5 km tartan track right in front of Fenerbahçe Orduevi and finish it with 5 km at Bostanc Pier, 7 km at Küçükyal Beltur, or 11 km at Maltepe Cevahir Hotel. For a location, click.
Mihrabat Grove, Beykoz
Mihrabat Grove is a green space that was given as a gift to Rukiye Hanim, the daughter of Egypt’s Abbas Halim Pasha, during the latter years of the Ottoman Empire. It has views of the Ortaköy shoreline, Rumeli Fortress, Stinye Bay, and the Bosphorus from the Kanlca ridges. “Moon and Sun” is what Mihir signifies. The word “to beautify” is bad. On the other side, the term “Mihrababat” refers to the Moon and Sun in their most beautiful state. From here, the Moon and Sun already appear to be extremely magnificent.
Poets like Yahya Kemal Beyatl and Zdemir Asaf were affected by this beauty, and Zdemir Asaf even penned a poem on the Mihrabat Grove. Today, it is run as a private social facility featuring a cafe, restaurant, and areas for special events and gatherings. It is a choice that some people would like, particularly for Sunday brunches. You eat as much as you want first, then walk three kilometers through the grove to melt the food. For a location, click.
Beykoz Grove, Beykoz
Sultan II of Istanbul, ibb. The Abraham Grove, which begins from the ridges between Beykoz and Paşabahçe and stretches to Riva, is most commonly known by its earlier name, Beykoz Grove, which dates to the era of Abdülhamid. The grove, which is one of the largest on the Bosphorus and was designed by French landscape architects, contains centuries-old trees, two sizable caverns, hiking routes, stunning mansions, birdhouses, and pools. Additionally, the Beykoz Koru Social Facility inside is one of Bosphorus’ most popular locations for organizing and hosting weddings, engagements, weddings, and other social events. For a location, click.
Hidiv Pavilion Grove, Beykoz
On the other side, of all the pavilions in Istanbul, the Hdiv Pavilion is the most attractive and exquisitely landscaped. The pavilion atop the crest of Ubuklu was constructed in the Art Nouveau style by the Italian architect Delfo Seminati in 1907 for the Egyptian Khedive Abbas Hilmi Pasha. As soon as you arrive, the Italian influence of the surroundings’ Tuscan feel becomes apparent. The governors of Egypt during the Ottoman era were known as khedive. In response to British rule in Egypt at the end of the 19th century, the Khedive of Egypt, Abbas Hilmi Pasha, purchased this land and had the Khedive Pavilion constructed on this hill overlooking Istanbul.
Abbas Hilmi Pasha was banished to Switzerland after the British took over Egypt, but his family remained there until 1934. Beltur now runs the pavilion and the grove that surrounds it, which the Istanbul Municipality purchased and expropriated. The first steam-powered elevator is another noteworthy aspect of the Hdiv Kasr. You can take a 1.5-kilometer stroll through the forest, which is particularly lovely in the fall and spring, and then eat breakfast in the mansion’s garden while taking in the scenery. The entrance is free. For location click.
Fatih Grove Tema Vehbi Koç Cultural Center, Otatepe Grove, Beykoz
It’s a line at a location that we’ve all seen on Instagram but may not have yet visited. We’re referring to the lovely hill in Kavacak that is immediate to the right of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. Despite the name change to Fatih Grove It is still referred to as Otatepe Park but is now renamed Tema Vehbi Koç Cultural Center. It is said that Fatih Sultan Mehmet erected the tent here to make it ready for the invasion of Istanbul. The park has dining places, walking routes, and a sales location for TEMA items. Weekdays are better for taking nice pictures because weekends might be highly congested. Inside, there isn’t a cafe-style dining and drinking area. The entrance is free. For a location, click.
Polonezköy Natural Park at Beykoz
Polonezköy Nature Park is a true nature retreat because of its oxygen-rich vegetation and the variety of living things it supports. The 3,000-hectare nature park offers a variety of activities, including 5 kilometers of walking, jogging, and cycling trails, observation towers, breakfast spots, picnic sites, and children’s playgrounds. A zoo is also present in the nature park, however, we do not advise visiting it because we disagree with the zoo mentality. For a location, click.
Üsküdar’s Validebag Park
The Anatolian Side’s second-largest green space is Valideba Grove. The grove, which was designated as a Natural Protected Site in 1999, is home to majestic trees that are 100 to 400 years old as well as two spectacular historical buildings, including the Adile Sultan Pavilion and the Abdülaziz Hunting Lodge, where the Hababam Class was filmed. Routes can be built by linking the roads in it in various ways. For a location, click.
Üsküdar’s Fethipaşa Park
II. Fethipaşa Grove is a seaside grove in Istanbul that bears the name of Tophane Müşiri Fethi Ahmet Pasha, a minister, governor, and head of an embassy under Mahmud and Abdulhamid I. This is one of the locations where a facility connected to the municipality is located. Breakfast can be taken here while overlooking the Bosphorus. The park has historic trees, two historic homes, including one where Cemil Meriç lived from 1948 to 1960, a basketball court, and play areas for kids. The ideal time is in the spring when the redbuds that line both banks of the Bosphorus are in blossom. For a location, click.
Cemile Sultan Grove, Uskudar
On the other side, Cemile Sultan Grove was II. Abdülhamit’s gift to his brother Cemile Sultan. The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce is currently in charge of running it. Additionally, it contains a facility that belongs to ITO. This facility can also be chosen for breakfast but is especially popular for events like weddings and invitations. In the grove, ITO members have access to social spaces such as a swimming pool, basketball court, and tennis court. For a location, click.
Uskudar’s Kuzguncuk Garden
After a weekend breakfast in Kuzguncuk, a stroll through Kuzguncuk Garden is recommended. The sole active garden in Istanbul’s center is the orchard, commonly known as Ilia’s Garden. The Kuzguncuk residents are also welcome to plant and gather fruits and vegetables in a portion of the garden. Children from kindergartens and elementary schools occasionally come here to engage in active learning. For a location, click.
Uskudar’s Small Camlica Park
Second Small Camlica Grove. Mahmut uses this grassy space to ride his horse or go hunting. It was taken over and made public by Istanbul’s governor, Lütfü Kirdar, in 1940. The Istanbul Municipality restored public access to the area after it had been abandoned until 1980 and added playgrounds, athletic fields, and ornamental lakes. Pine, larch, red pine, cypress, plane, hornbeam, and linden trees make up its natural environment. The Water Mansion and the Küçük Amlca Mansion are two further stunning buildings. For a location, click.
Uskudar’s Great Camlica Park
One of the popular promenades that inspired writing and music throughout the Ottoman era was the grove, which gets its name from the Büyük Camlca hill. In comparison to Küçük Amlca Grove, it is situated in a more constrained and compact region. This location, like the Küçük Amlca Grove, was taken over by Lütfü Kirdar in 1940. Also located here is Camlica Hill, from which you can see all of Istanbul. A restaurant where you can dine and drink is also nearby. The crowds might be particularly dense on the weekends. For a location, click.
Nezahat Gökyigit Botanical Garden, Ataşehir
This 46-hectare oasis was built at a motorway intersection where there was previously no grass, halfway between Ümraniye and Ataşehir. The park, which is home to 50,000 different plant species, doubles as a research facility for initiatives aimed at preserving biodiversity in our nation. Additionally, they offer lovely classes like painting plants, making winter tea, and growing strawberries on the balcony.
You can enquire about the “lost tulip,” which was removed from Amasya in the 19th century since it was tulip season and sent to Europe instead of staying in Turkey but was eventually returned to its original location thanks to the efforts of the institution. For a location, click.
Cekmeköy’s Alemdag Forest Hiking and Biking Trail
The Alemdag Forest in Ekmeköy is the one that may be explored the most. It is one of the spots where you need to pack the bikes into your car and go on a weekend because there is no track in the city. There are a total of 3 tracks. The lengths of the first and second tracks are 5.850 meters, 9.300 meters, and 16.500 meters, respectively. Running and walking is best done on the first two tracks, while cycling is best done on the third track. For a location, click.
Kartal’s Aydos Forest
The Aydos Forest of Kartal, the Byzantine-era castle on Aydos Hill, Istanbul’s highest point (537 meters), the Aydos Forest Lake, and the Belgrad Forest on the Anatolian Side with its hiking trails are some of the remaining components of the Southern Forests. When you visit, you can use the hiking and jogging trails, make tent camping or picnic arrangements, and ride a pedal boat on the lake. In the forest, there are also locations for dining and drinking, picnic and BBQ spaces, and playgrounds for kids. Entry fees apply. For a location, click.
Islands in Büyükada Nature Park
Büyükada is a place distant from Istanbul even though it is connected to it. Every season is lovely, and every nook is unique. We advise you to put it in the city between your breathing stops as number one. Since 2011, Büyükada has had the designation of a Nature Park. It is a 5-hectare region that is home to species like red pine, redbud, hackberry, oak, arbutus, and laurel. Some locations are perfect for picnicking, eating, walking, and swimming with a view of the ocean, including showers, changing rooms, sun loungers, and umbrellas, across the green space that spans the entire southern section of the island. All of them are accessible by foot, but the journey takes at least 30 minutes. If you’d like, you can rent a bike or use the shuttles that run with Akbil and leave from the island’s clock tower. For a location, click.
Bonus: Ballikayalar Nature Park
Although it lies outside of Istanbul’s boundaries, Ballkayalar Nature Park in Kocaeli, Gebze, is a plus for rock climbers looking for a nearby option. It’s okay if you don’t like rock climbing; you may also go on a picnic or go trekking. Find all the information in our Ballkayalar Nature Park Guide here. For a location, click.