Metropol İstanbul D:105 Ataşehir , İstanbul

Ultimate guide to Princes’ Islands of İstanbul

Büyükada, the largest of the islands called the Prince Islands, is one of the most tourist places in Istanbul. Cycling through its streets covered with colorful bougainvillea, exploring its historical mansions closely, swimming on its deep blue beaches… Besides all its natural beauties, it always manages to impress visitors with its cultural and architectural texture. In the summer months, the island, which has a population much more than its normal population, is a daily escape point to get away from city noise and traffic.

1-Buyukada Beach
As you approach Büyükada Pier, you will realize that you will experience a different atmosphere in the first place. Büyükada, where you will reach by getting on ferries and boats departing from Kadıköy, Bostancı, Kartal, Yenikapı and Beşiktaş piers, will welcome you with purple and pink bougainvilleas. It is impossible not to admire Büyükada, which is an extraordinary place with its mansions, boutique hotels, and wonderful restaurants. How would you like to have a nice stroll on the island, where the use of motor vehicles is prohibited? When you get off the pier, you automatically head towards the direction people are going and turn yourself towards the coast on the left. Before heading out towards Clock Square, you continue on the left and reach a coastline, although it is not very big. As you walk this coastline, you will encounter different fish restaurants and breweries. If you want, you can have a delicious meal by choosing one of these, or you can sit on the benches by the sea and watch the magnificent view.

2-Clock Square
I think we would not be mistaken if we say that Saatli Square, which is located opposite the Büyükada ferry port, is one of the important symbolic structures of Büyükada. This square, which is visited by everyone, is also a meeting point. The historical clock in the square was built in 1923 and has survived as an iconic symbol of Büyükada. There is one of the most famous hotels around the square and you can take advantage of it as you wish if you need accommodation. Moreover, you can eat from the excellent ice cream of famous ice cream parlors or you can taste the bite dessert.

3-Island Bazaar
The island’s bazaar is located just behind the clocked square and the coastline. In addition to handicraft stalls and famous market chains, you can have the chance to find many other shopping alternatives here. Also, adding that there are restaurants and famous dessert shops, let us state that you should choose one and eat. At the same time, if you need accommodation, you can stay in one of the boutique hotels.

4-Island Streets
Let’s come to the most important part of the list of places to visit in Buyukada… The streets of the island… The streets where you will take a wonderful stroll, discover new places, wander among the colorful flowers, enjoy on foot or by cycling… Whether from the pier or the island market, head to where you want to go. Right or left? It does not matter! As long as you aim to explore the island completely.

As you wander the streets of the island, you will see the historical mansions up close and experience perfect nostalgia. We guess you will not forget to take amazing photos in front of white houses or wooden mansions among colorful bougainvilleas. The joy of riding a bike with your friends or loved ones accompanied by the sounds of birds will be another pleasure! Maybe you’ll have a hard time climbing the slopes, but make sure it’s worth every minute.

Don’t miss out! Sometimes you will take a break and dive into the view of the sea at the points you stop. Sometimes you will dive into taking pictures and spend a lot of time on it. You will not even understand how time passed! Of course, this much break is not enough. You will sit in the famous cafes or restaurants of Buyukada and enjoy the day with a wonderful view.

5. Island’s Museum
The Island’s Museum, Istanbul’s first contemporary city museum, is one of the most famous museums in Büyükada. Inside the museum; There are 20 thousand documents, 6 thousand photographs, and many more collections that tell the story and history of the islands from the formation to the present day.

Why should I go? The works exhibited in open or glass showcases attract a lot of attention. You will go on a historical and geological journey of the islands and learn every detail about the islands from the video screenings in the museum. You will get to know and learn the history and culture of the islands and discover their natural riches.

Come to the museum, which is a half-hour walk from the center of the island, either on foot or by bike. There are also parking spots for those who rent a bike in front of the museum.

Yücetepe, one of the most famous hills of the island, is a must-visit. To reach the hill that covers the area where Aya Yorgi Church is located, you have to climb 1000 m. But no matter how difficult this journey is, you’ll realize it’s worth it when you reach the top.

When you reach the hill, you should first go to Yücetepe Cafe. The place, which captivates the unique view of Büyükada, has a very peaceful and friendly atmosphere. You should taste the delicious menus in this family-run place equipped with wooden tables and chairs. Instead of having dinner on the beach, you will come here to enjoy delicious meals and watch that magnificent view of the sunset.

Adakule, one of the hills with the most interesting view, is the fire tower of Büyükada. This five-story fire tower, which belongs to the General Directorate of Forestry, is started to be operated from April every year. When a fire risk is encountered thanks to the thermal cameras in the tower, firefighters and forestry teams step in to intervene.

Although transportation is thought to be difficult because it is located on the highest hill of Büyükada, it is very easy. At the end of the road leading to Aya Yorgi Church, you only need to follow the path that curves to the right, and then you encounter this fascinating view. Although it is not known as much as Yücetepe, it is one of the places where you can watch the view of Büyükada in the best way.

You can see the view of the Greek Orphanage and Heybeliada from the tower, which is 202 meters above sea level. Is it just that, no! In the tower, which was opened for use after it was restored in 2006, meeting rooms with panoramic views were built so that you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Istanbul. It is due to this being visited by many local and foreign tourists.

8-Blue Beach
Located very close to the center of the island, Blue Beach takes its place among the beaches of Buyukada. When you come to Büyükada pier, right next to the ferry you get off, there are private boats of the beaches. You can reach the beaches by choosing a speed boat or one of the small boats. We assume that you come to Blue Beach in the same way and we also add that you can reach the beach in 5-6 minutes on foot.

Why should I go? Although the area of the beach is not very large and wide, it is ideal for spending time in the sea of the island. You can eat and drink cold drinks from the restaurant located inside. This establishment has been designed with a blue and white color concept and is a place where you can meet your needs very comfortably. On the beach where you will pay a certain fee, the price includes sunbeds and umbrella services. Facilities such as a shower, toilet, and changing cabin are also available.

9-Princess Bay Beach
Princess Bay Beach, located in front of Prenses Boutique Hotel, is among the most famous beaches on the island. As with other beaches, you can reach this beach with free motorcycles departing from the center of the island. The journey takes about 10 minutes and then you are left alone with a wonderful beach. As it is one of the best quality beaches of Buyukada, we can say that it is preferred very often.

Why should I go? Inside; Everything you will need such as a restaurant, sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, toilets, changing cabins are available. The sea is very clean and sandy, so it is very suitable for families with children. On the beach, where various activities and parties are held, you will notice that the entertainment is never missing. If you know the number of people who come to this beach even just to watch the sunset… Therefore, do not forget to add this beach to the list of places to visit in Buyukada!

10-Buyukada Nature Park
Büyükada Nature Park, which has the status of State Forest, has an area of approximately 4.5 hectares. The park, which is the best example of the combination of green and blue, was declared a nature park in 2011. The presence of various plant and tree species in it will also bring you to a different atmosphere.

You can have a pleasant walk or a picnic in this place where you will be in touch with nature. You can use the accommodation facilities on it as you wish and find everything you need here. In the recreation area; There are many facilities such as a fountain, toilet, buffet, sports field. Moreover, Büyükada Nature Park even provides you the opportunity to swim. If you want to stay longer when you arrive, you can choose one of the bungalows or regular houses and stay as long as you want. Also, don’t forget to take lots of pictures and cycling!

Don’t miss out! Around the park are the Aya Nikola Monastery, the Islands Museum, the Hagia Yorgi Church, the Greek Orphanage, and the Hamidiye Mosque. Those who want to have a nice day can go to these points after visiting the park.