Istanbul’s Most Beautiful Parks and Green Destinations
Istanbul is not only famous with its cultural heritage and history; its bustling streets, art centers, museums and glittering shopping centers, popular and lively squares; the magnificent old city also provides its visitors who love green with many destinations that offer an opportunity to get some fresh air where people can escape from their urban routine for at least a while.
With its reservoirs that supplied İstanbul with water for many centuries after its foundation, its fountains and rich fauna, Belgrad Forest serves as the lungs of the city today. Roughly half an hour’s drive away from the city center, Belgrad Forest is also a matchless destination for those who love their sports with its running and cycling tracks. You can run or walk in the 6.5km-long track, have picnic surrounded by the chirping of birds or just meditate by the pond.
Maçka Democracy Park
You will get your fill of green at Maçka Park, where you can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the city from a cable car passing over the park. People come to this park, which is a green oasis in the heart of the city, to jog and walk, walk their dogs, have a picnic or meet in the evenings. Before attending the concerts and festivals held at the neighboring Küçükçiftlik Park, you can always visit here for a brief, energizing rest.You will get your fill of green at Maçka Park, where you can enjoy the bird’s eye view of the city from a cable car passing over the park. People come to this park, which is a green oasis in the heart of the city, to jog and walk, walk their dogs, have a picnic or meet in the evenings.
Büyükada, Heybeliada, Kınalıada and Burgazada… Each one of the islands off the coast of İstanbul is an escape point where you can enjoy fully throughout the day. With their historic, colorful and fragrant streets, beaches only a bike ride away, glorious mansions, spectacular view, delicious food and green nature, they offer the perfect getaway from the city while remaining in the city.
Preferred by families with children living in İstanbul to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Polonezköy should be your principal destination for breakfast on Sunday. Brace yourself for a very delightful day in touch with nature where you can try a real Turkish breakfast and barbeque.
Renowned as Turkey’s first live tree museum, Atatürk Arboretum is an area of scientific research and observation of the Faculty of Forestry of İstanbul University. It hosts nearly 2,000 unique plant species over 296 hectares of forestland. After spending a day in the heart of nature at Atatürk Arboretum, which is located in Sarıyer, you can also go for dinner at the famous restaurants featuring the Black Sea cuisine or fish restaurants in the area.
Overlooking the Bosphorus, the Emirgan Park is renowned for its tulips. At the park, you can enjoy a glorious view of the waterway during a breakfast or dinner at the cafés and restaurants located in the Yellow Pavilion, Pink Pavilion, and White Pavilion, each named after a tulip color. When you arrive at the park, which should be located at the top of your list of “Places to see in İstanbul”, take an art tour at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum situated right next to the park or walk along the Bosphorus coastline.
Situated on the Asian coastline, adjacent to the Kalamış Marina is Fenerbahçe Park, which also hosts many art events such as the Jazz Festival throughout the year.
Particularly frequented by those who wish to get some fresh air during summer, Bebek Park is ideally suited for a delightful morning walk. You will feel great walking in the confluence of the green and blue. You will be greeted by a view of the Bosphorus and the boats anchored at the bay as you approach the Rumeli Hisarı at Bebek Park, where you can sit under the centuries-old trees and enjoy the view and make a pleasing walk on the trails.
Situated between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy, Yıldız Park is a paradise in the heart of the city covering an area of approximately 46 hectares of land. The biggest park in the city, Yıldız Park was cited in various historic sources for its bay tree forests and as the area where Pan played his flute along the Bosphorus in mythology. Also nestled in Yıldız Park, which hosts more than 120 species of exotic trees and bushes, the Yıldız Pavilion (Yıldız Köşkü). You can spend your entire day in nature at Yıldız Park engaging in various activities: as you walk, run, ride your bike, the squirrels on trees and animals in the ponds will be there to accompany you.
Çubuklu Park and Khedive Palace
Situated on a hill overlooking the Bosphorus on the way from Üsküdar to Beykoz, Çubuklu Park, which goes through a complete transformation in spring and summer, and the Khedive Palace offer glorious views of the Bosphorus. In the tulip gardens surrounding the Khedive Palace, you can experience the spring to the fullest accompanied by birds chirping, walk along the path meandering through the pine forests, and enjoy the view at the observation terrace.