20 Best Parks in Istanbul: Let the Green Flow Into You!

Embark on a journey through Istanbul’s green retreats with our compilation of the city’s 20 best parks. From the iconic Gulhane Park to the serene Yildiz Park, these urban oases offer a refreshing escape from the city buzz. Immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings as we guide you through these must-visit green spaces, seamlessly blending nature and culture. Whether you’re a local seeking a tranquil hideaway or a visitor exploring the city, our list provides a valuable guide to Istanbul’s green gems for a relaxed day out.

Table of Contents

1. Bakırköy Botanic Park

What sets this park apart is its reliance on solar panels and wind turbines to power its energy. Positioned near the highway, rows of trees have been planted to minimize noise. The park features 11 themed gardens showcasing a diverse range of plants, along with a natural pond and a children’s playground. Visitors can relish the tranquility of the park, complemented by a stunning waterfall and panoramic views of sea level. Those in search of a lavish retreat can opt for a nearby luxury hotel, ensuring a comfortable and rejuvenating experience.

How to go:

By public transportation, the easiest way to reach the park is to get off at the İncirli Metrobus stop. From there, you can take one of the following buses to the park: 30A, 30B, 30C, or 30D. The bus ride takes about 5 minutes.

By car, you can use the E5 highway to reach the park. From the İncirli junction on the E5 highway in the Bakırköy district, turn left and you will reach the park. The car ride takes about 10 minutes.

2. Atatürk Arboretum

If you appreciate nature and the refreshing touch of a gentle breeze on your face, then this arboretum is tailor-made for you. As you enter, a charming pool where birds take their baths warmly greets you, and the provided forest map ensures you maximize your visit. Beyond the entrance, there’s a fascinating spot where you can determine a tree’s age by examining the rings in its trunk. The vast and pristine forest promises to create a truly enchanting experience for you.

The Istanbul Atatürk Arboretum is more than just a feast for the eyes; it’s a center for education and awareness. Through guided tours, workshops, and seminars, visitors have the opportunity to delve into the realms of botany and environmental conservation. This underscores the arboretum’s commitment to showcasing natural beauty and nurturing a profound understanding of the intricate relationships between plants and their ecosystems.

Yet, the significance of the arboretum stretches well beyond its visual and educational merits. It plays a pivotal role in preserving Turkey’s biodiversity. By providing a home for rare and endangered plant species, the arboretum serves as a living repository for future generations. The inclusion of seed banks and propagation programs further contributes to conservation efforts, ensuring the continued existence of these invaluable species.

How to go:

If you are taking public transportation, you can take the M2 metro line to the Hacıosman station. From there, you can take the 42HM bus to the Bahçeköy stop. The Arboretum is a short walk from the bus stop.

It is important to note that Atatürk Arboretum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, and is closed on Mondays. Admission to the arboretum is 10 TL for adults and 5 TL for children.

3. Yıldız Park

In a serene and lush setting, this park is simply ideal. Boasting over 120 varieties of exotic trees and bushes, it features three pavilions to savor the scenery over a cup of tea or a delightful dinner. A favorite spot for joggers, walkers, and cyclists, the park effortlessly conceals that you’re in the bustling heart of a vibrant city.

How to go:

Take the Kabataş-Bağcılar tram line and get off at the Ortaköy stop. From Ortaköy, take bus number 22 or 22E to get to the park. The bus ride takes about 10 minutes.

4. Baltalimanı Japanese Garden

Established in 2007 to commemorate the enduring friendship between Japan and Turkey, the Baltalimanı Japanese Garden is a tranquil haven that welcomes visitors free of charge.

Step into the Japanese Garden, a captivating space perfect for leisurely strolls and soaking in the breathtaking surroundings. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this enchanting garden, complete with waterfalls, tranquil gullies, a tea garden, and a variety of native plants. The park’s highlight is undoubtedly the Sakura cherry trees, which burst into stunning pink blossoms during the spring season. Japanese maples and pink camellias further contribute to the garden’s allure.

How to go:

The easiest way to get to Baltalimanı Japanese Garden by public transportation is to take the Metrobus to Kabataş. From Kabataş, take the B10 or B11 bus to Baltalimanı. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes.

5. Moda Seaside

Moda Seaside Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. You can take a walk or jog along the promenade, have a picnic on the grass, or simply sit and enjoy the views of the Bosphorus Strait. Most of the time you will see young people sitting on the grass in a group, enjoying their drinks and having fun together. You can feel the spirit in Moda Park.

How to go:

You can take the M4 metro line to the Kadıköy stop. From there, walk by the seaside.

6. Fenerbahçe Park

A sanctuary for those seeking respite from bustling crowds, this park is a haven of tranquility. Here, visitors predominantly come to unwind, whether it’s delving into a good book or sipping tea and coffee from their trusty Thermoses. The gumwoods, standing tall at 150 years old, are a sight to behold, and as spring unfolds, the Judas trees burst into magnificent bloom, adding to the park’s allure.

Feel free to embrace an active lifestyle – roller skate, bike, or jog to your heart’s content! This park is your open canvas for recreational pursuits, providing a peaceful escape from the hectic pace of other bustling areas.

Lastly, this park is popular for its cats. There are cats everywhere! If you are especially a cat person, you should definitely give your soul time to soothe with the kittens and other felines here!

How to go:

If you’re taking the bus, take the 14ES, FB1, FB2, FB3, or C-137 bus and get off at the Fenerbahçe durağı (stop). The bus ride takes about 20 minutes.

7. Maçka Democracy Park

A paradise for photographers, this park is a canvas painted in a myriad of colors. In the autumn, it unfolds a rich tapestry of browns, while the arrival of spring brings a gentle whisper of various shades of green to soothe the soul. Winter transforms the park into a serene expanse of white when the snow blankets the surroundings.

Within its boundaries, the park hosts two distinct sports areas, two playgrounds for the little ones, and not one but two cozy coffee shops where you can also grab a meal. A man-made island and nine separate artificial pools add to the allure, offering a diverse range of recreational options. Plus, for an effortless journey to Taksim, hop on the rope railway conveniently located within the park!

How to go:

Take the M2 metro line to the Şişli-Mecidiyeköy station. From there, walk approximately 10 minutes to the park’s entrance.

8. Sultanahmet Park

Nestled in the heart of Istanbul, Turkey, Sultanahmet Park stands out as one of the city’s most beloved green spaces. Located in the historic old city, it finds itself surrounded by iconic landmarks like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The park offers a serene retreat, providing numerous benches and shaded areas for visitors to relax and soak in the beautiful surroundings.

Beyond its natural allure, Sultanahmet Park serves as a vibrant hub for cultural events throughout the year. This dynamic aspect adds an extra layer of charm, making it an essential destination for both tourists and locals seeking a blend of tranquility and cultural richness in the heart of Istanbul.

How to go:

Take the Tramvay to Sultanahmet station. The park is located directly behind the station.

9. Gülhane Park

For a city escape within the heart of urban life, Gülhane Park emerges as the perfect retreat. Nestled in the Historical Peninsula, enveloped by the outer walls of Topkapı Palace, it holds the historical charm of being the legendary Ottoman palace garden.

Spanning 13 hectares, Gülhane Park stands today as one of the city’s most enchanting green spaces, cherished by both locals and visitors. Whether you’re looking to spend quality time with your children or indulge in a quick bite at one of the numerous cafés boasting stunning Bosphorus views, this park offers a tranquil oasis. Amidst its lush landscapes, discover beautiful flower gardens, charming fountains, greenhouses, terraces, and even a museum.

Don’t overlook the historic Column of the Goths, situated at the park’s edge, adding a touch of antiquity to the surroundings. As you wander along its paths, you’ll grasp why Gülhane Park has inspired countless poems, leaving an indelible mark on those who seek solace in its serene beauty.

How to go:

Take the Kabataş-Bağcılar tramvay line to the Gülhane stop.

10. Nakkaştepe Garden

Nakkaştepe Garden is a public park in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul, Turkey. It was opened in 2018 by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and is operated by the Üsküdar Municipality. The garden covers an area of 90,000 square meters and offers stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait. It features a variety of amenities, including:

The garden has several picnic areas with tables, benches, and grills, has a network of walking and jogging trails that wind through the trees and flowers, large children’s playground with slides, swings, tennis court, a basketball court, and a football field.

How to go:

Take the Kadıköy-Kartal metro line to the Kuzguncuk stop. From there, walk approximately 10 minutes to the park’s entrance.

11. Saraçhane Park

Saraçhane Park is a peaceful haven amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. Situated close to the iconic Şehzade Mosque, the park offers a welcome break from the urban noise, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its lush greenery.

The park’s expansive greenery, adorned with leafy trees and colorful flowers, exudes a tranquil atmosphere, ideal for quiet contemplation or leisurely strolls. Sun-drenched paths wind through the greenery, inviting visitors to explore the park’s hidden nooks. Benches placed under the shade of tall trees provide comfortable spots for those seeking a moment of peace.

How to go:

Take the Kadıköy-Kartal metro line to the Kuzguncuk stop. From there, walk approximately 10 minutes to the park’s entrance.

12. Polonezköy Nature Park

Polonezköy stands out as a cherished weekend getaway for Istanbulites, situated in the Beykoz district just 28 km from Istanbul. This nature park is a haven for those seeking a tranquil and serene escape. Founded by Polish immigrants in 1842, the name “Polonezköy” itself reflects its Polish village origins. Remnants of this history linger, with Central European-style wooden houses built by the Polish settlers, a historic church, and a memorial house still gracing the landscape.

Encompassing around 3000 hectares, the nature park is adorned with wooden bridges and streams, creating a picturesque setting. A rich variety of tree species, including lemon trees, hornbeams, chestnuts, and alders, thrive in the park, providing a lush habitat for numerous birds, particularly birds of prey and storks.

Explore the trekking and biking trails that wind through the verdant surroundings, letting the fresh air invigorate your senses. Along the way, discover high-quality cafés and restaurants, perfect for indulging in a delightful Turkish breakfast. Polonezköy beckons as an idyllic retreat, where history, nature, and culinary delights converge for a truly rejuvenating experience.

How to go:

Bus number 137 from Kadıköy-Kartal metro line to Kuzguncuk and continue to Polonezköy

Bus number 138 from Ümraniye to Polonezköy.

There are also a few tour operators that offer day trips to Polonezköy Nature Park. These tours typically include transportation, a tour of the park, and lunch.

13. Çamlıca Hill

For breathtaking panoramic views, Çamlıca Hill takes the spotlight. Situated in the seaside district of Üsküdar on Istanbul’s Asian side, this hill is a local favorite. Soaring 288 meters above sea level, it stands as the city’s highest point, treating visitors to stunning 360-degree vistas of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn’s entrance. Adding to its allure, the hill features a delightful public park adorned with flower gardens, towering trees, and enchanting fountains. A serene escape from the bustling city.

Take a moment to relax, spend quality time with family, or stroll through the vibrant gardens, particularly captivating in the spring. The park offers recreational facilities, including Ottoman-style tea gardens, cafés, and restaurants managed by the Metropolitan Municipality. Find a spot and immerse yourself in one of the most captivating sunsets over the Istanbul skyline. Çamlıca Hill ensures a perfect blend of natural beauty and cityscape.

How to go:

There are a number of buses that go to Çamlıca Hill. From Kadıköy, you can take bus number 147. From Üsküdar, you can take bus number 145.

14. Belgrad Forest

Dubbed the lungs of Istanbul, this expansive forest is a haven for adventure enthusiasts and a crucial green refuge that Istanbul must safeguard at all costs. Without this green expanse, the city would lack a vital space for breathing in fresh air, enjoying quality time with family, or indulging in moments of solitude with loved ones. A visit here is akin to soul therapy, immersing you in an atmosphere reminiscent of a romantic movie. For anyone exploring Istanbul, this place is an absolute must-visit, offering a refreshing escape and a rejuvenating experience.

How to go:

Take the M2 metro line to the Haciosman station. From there, you can either walk to the forest entrance, which is about 2 kilometers away or transfer to bus number 42 HM, which will take you directly to the forest entrance.

15. Pierre Loti Hill

Situated in the Eyüp district on the European side of Istanbul, Pierre Loti Hill boasts an elevated position, granting visitors an unobstructed panoramic view of the Golden Horn. The hill is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a serene and natural ambiance.

The primary attraction of Pierre Loti Hill is its stunning viewpoint, allowing onlookers to gaze across the Golden Horn and take in the vast cityscape of Istanbul. The strategic location offers a unique perspective, capturing both the historic and contemporary elements of the city.

At the hill’s summit, charming tea gardens and cafés provide a perfect setting to relax and savor the moment. Visitors can unwind with a cup of traditional Turkish tea or coffee while soaking in the breathtaking views that stretch across the water and city below.

How to go:

To reach Pierre Loti Hill, you can take a taxi, a bus, or a ferry. The easiest way is to take the ferry from Eminonu to Eyüp, followed by a short walk to the cable car station.

16. Otagtepe Fatih Grove

Tucked away in the Fatih district, the 9th Otagtepe Fatih Grove stands out as a hidden gem among Istanbul’s parks. This picturesque park not only provides breathtaking views of the city but also offers ample green spaces, inviting visitors to indulge in picnics and moments of relaxation. Families with children can make use of the playground, while nature enthusiasts can explore the hiking trails that wind through the park’s scenic landscape.

Adding to its charm, the 9th Otagtepe Fatih Grove boasts a small zoo featuring delightful creatures like peacocks and rabbits. For those looking to savor the moment with a cup of tea or coffee, the on-site cafe provides the perfect spot to unwind while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Whether you’re a local seeking a peaceful escape or a tourist eager to discover hidden treasures, a visit to the 9th Otagtepe Fatih Grove is undoubtedly worth the journey.

How to go:

From Eminonu or Taksim, take the metro line M4 to Kartal, followed by bus number 15M directly to the park.

From Kadikoy, you can take buses number 14M or 15M, both directly to the park entrance.

17. Emirgan Grove

Envision a park where vibrant tulips paint a breathtaking panorama, immersing your eyes in pure delight. Well, that picturesque haven is none other than Emirgan Grove! Picture yourself enjoying a leisurely picnic with the enchanting backdrop of the Bosphorus or relishing breakfast, dinner, tea, or coffee in one of its three charming pavilions.

Emirgan Grove is not just any park; it’s the proud host of a mesmerizing tulip festival featuring a staggering 190 different tulip varieties. Running from April 1st to 30th, the festival transforms the park into a radiant sea of color, adorned by a dazzling display of 2.8 million tulips. But the beauty doesn’t stop there – the park boasts an impressive array of 120 different tree and bush varieties, making it nothing short of the perfect floral paradise.

How to go:

Take the M2 metro line to the ITU-Ayazaga station. From there, walk to the nearest bus stop.

18. Beykoz Kasrı Grove

Beykoz Kasrı Grove, also known as Beykoz Mecidiye Kasrı Korusu, is a large park in the Beykoz district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is home to a beautiful palace, a variety of trees and flowers, and stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait.

The palace, built in the 19th century, is a popular tourist destination. It is a fine example of Ottoman architecture and features a number of impressive rooms and halls. The park surrounding the palace is also a popular spot for recreation. There are walking trails, picnic areas, and a children’s playground.

The trees and flowers in the park are a riot of color and fragrance. There are towering pine trees, lush green meadows, and colorful flower beds. The park is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

How to go:

Go to Uskudar and take anything take any bus that goes to Beykoz, because there are so many.

19. Fethi Pasha Grove

Fethi Pasha Grove is a large park in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is located on the hillside coming right down to the Bosphorus shore in the area called Paşalimanı. It is named after the Ottoman governor, ambassador, and minister Fethi Ahmet Pasha. After long years of neglect, it has been recently renovated and opened to the public for recreation. It has a scenic view of the Bosphorus Bridge and the European side of Istanbul.

The park covers an area of approximately 100,000 square meters and is home to various trees and flowers, including pine trees, oak trees, maple trees, tulips, roses, and daisies. There are also two pavilions in the park that have been converted into a restaurant and café. For recreation and fun for the kids, there are children’s playgrounds, a sports field, basketball courts, and two ponds.

Fethi Pasha Grove is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It is a great place to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and take in the views of the Bosphorus.

How to go:

Go to Uskudar and take any bus that’s departing from the big mosque. Get off at the Pasalimani stop.

20. Validebağ Grove

Validebağ Grove, also known as Adile Sultan Grove, is a large park in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is the second largest park on the Asian side of Istanbul, after Belgrad Forest. The park covers an area of approximately 354,000 square meters and is home to various trees and flowers, including pine trees, oak trees, maple trees, tulips, roses, and daisies. There are also several pavilions in the park, including the Adile Sultan Pavilion, a popular wedding venue.

The park is named after Mihrişah Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan III Selim. The sultan built a summer palace in the park for his mother in the late 18th century. The palace was later converted into a military hospital and then a school. The park was opened to the public in 1990.

How to go:

Take the Metrobus and get off at Altunizade station. Start walking down there from the station and you will see the grove easily.