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Home Destinations Asia Best day trips from Istanbul: 10 perfect ideas

Best day trips from Istanbul: 10 perfect ideas




Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. This huge, bustling metropolis is full of architectural marvels and is without a doubt the cultural gem of the country. If you have already seen the magnificent cathedrals and mosques, visited numerous museums, you need to take a break from the bustling city. Near Istanbul, there are great places that are ideal for relaxing. In the vicinity of the city, you can visit historical sites, get acquainted with architectural monuments or simply admire the magnificent nature. So if you’re looking for some day trips from Istanbul, then make your choice!

Best day trips from Istanbul: Princes’ Islands (Adalar)

The Princes’ Islands is a very popular destination in Istanbul. This is the perfect place for those who want to spend a day away from the noisy city. You can get there by ferry from Kabatas. In half an hour you will find yourself on magnificent beaches surrounded by forests. Here you will also see traditional Ottoman style houses.

If you just want to swim and sunbathe, head to Heybeliada Island, or learn the history of the archipelago at the Princes’ Islands Museum on Buyukada Island.

How far is the Princes’ Islands from Istanbul

From the center of Istanbul to the Princes’ Islands can be reached by ferry from the quarter called Kabataş.


Princes' Islands

Photo: vedatzorluer / pixabay (Pixabay License)

Princes' Islands

Photo: Pavel.Shulekin (CC BY 3.0)

Princes' Islands

Photo: vedatzorluer / pixabay (Pixabay License)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Kilyos (Kumkoy)

Kilyos is a coastal resort on the north coast of Istanbul. The long, beautiful sandy cove is the perfect place to cool off and relax.

How far is Kilyos (Kumköy) from Istanbul

The distance from the center of Istanbul to the city of Kilyos (Kumkoy) is about 35 kilometers if you travel by car.


Kilyos (Kumkoy)

Photo: Ozan Kilic, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Kilyos (Kumkoy)

Photo: Metin Şanlı / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Best day trips from Istanbul: Belgrad Forest (Belgrad Ormanı)

If you do not have enough calm and quiet outdoor recreation, you can go to the Belgrad Forest, which is located close to Istanbul. Here on 5000 hectares you can enjoy a quiet walk among the trees, during which you can see the historical remains of the Ottoman Empire, such as dams and beautiful abandoned churches.

How far is Belgrad Forest from Istanbul

The distance from the center of Istanbul to the Belgrade Forest is just about 25 kilometers if you travel by car.


Belgrad Forest

Photo: Sinan Şahin (CC BY 3.0)

Belgrad Forest

Photo: KpokeJlJla, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Belgrad Forest

Photo: KpokeJlJla, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Best day trips from Istanbul: Bursa

The historic city of Bursa was once the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. In the center you can see magnificent mosques and tombs such as the Ulu-Jami Mosque and the Green Mosque, which are examples of architectural ingenuity.

Uludag Mountain in Bursa is known for its ski slopes in winter and stunning city views in summer.

How far is Bursa from Istanbul

The distance from Istanbul to the city of Bursa is about 155 kilometers if you travel by car.


Bursa

Photo: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / pexels (Pexels License)

Bursa

Photo: kadirerbas / pixabay (Pixabay License)

Bursa

Photo: Szoszv, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Anadolukavagı

Anadolukavagi is a charming seaside village steeped in history. On its shore there are bright colored wooden houses, and above them rises the famous Yoros Castle, which is almost a thousand years old. To get here, you need to take a cruise on the Bosphorus from Istanbul, enjoying the picturesque coastline along the way.

How far is Anadolukavagi from Istanbul

The distance from the center of Istanbul to the city of Anadolukavagı is about 35 kilometers if you travel by car.


Anadolukavagı

Photo: Moonik, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Anadolukavagı

Photo: Moonik, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Anadolukavagı

Photo: Moonik, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Golden Horn harbor (Haliç)

The Golden Horn is an incredibly beautiful natural harbor, which is the most important port of the Bosphorus. There are many interesting historical sites, as well as a magnificent coastline.

The entrance to the harbor, seven kilometers long, was built during the Middle Ages. It once played a key role in the shipping of the region.

If you disembark at Hasköy, you will have the opportunity to visit the lavishly decorated Ainali Kavak palace complex before heading to the impressive Eyüp Sultan Mosque, built 500 years ago but still resplendent today.

Where is the Golden Horn Bay

The Golden Horn Bay is located almost in the center of Istanbul, close to its most important sights and it will not be difficult to get to it.


Golden Horn harbor

Photo: Russian.dissident, from Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Golden Horn harbor

Photo: wreindl / pixabay (Pixabay License)

Golden Horn harbor

Photo: Dan / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Şile and Agva

On the Black Sea coast lies the extraordinarily attractive fishing village of Šile, which in summer, thanks to its magnificent white beach and crystal clear water, turns into a beach resort.

From the top of a small sea castle built on a rock, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the nearby town of Agva.

How far are Şile and Agva from Istanbul

The distance from Istanbul to the city of Agva is about 115 kilometers with a stop in the town of Şile if you travel by car.


Şile and Agva

Photo: Fatih Ahıskalı, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Şile and Agva

Photo: Ben_Kerckx / pixabay (Pixabay License)

Şile and Agva

Photo: Janko Hoener / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Edirne

Edirne, known as the second capital of the Ottoman Empire, is an amazingly wealthy city. There are many architectural monuments here, such as mosques, museums and the mysterious Old Town.

The Selime Mosque is one of the finest buildings in the country. It features charming minarets and a huge central dome. In the courtyard of the mosque, there is a museum of Turkish and Islamic art, which displays amazing ceramic, wooden and fabric products from the Ottoman era.

How far is Edirne from Istanbul

The distance from Istanbul to the city of Edirne is about 250 kilometers if you travel by car.


Edirne

Photo: Piotr Tysarczyk, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Edirne

Photo: Casal Partiu / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Edirne

Photo: Михал Орела https://www.flickr.com/photos/mihalorel/, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Iznik

Formerly known as Nicaea, the city of Iznik is another ancient fortified settlement filled with Turkish, Greek and even Roman history.

The production and trade of ceramics and tiles are traditional occupations of the locals. The architecture of the city is also interesting. And not far from the city there is a magnificent lake surrounded by restaurants and cafes serving traditional dishes.

How far is Iznik from Istanbul

The distance from Istanbul to the city of Iznik is about 140 kilometers if you travel by car.

Iznik
Iznik. Photo: Acar54, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Iznik
Iznik. Photo: QuartierLatin1968, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Iznik
Iznik. Photo: QuartierLatin1968, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Best day trips from Istanbul: Sapanca Lake (Sapanca Gölü)

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then a day trip from Istanbul to Sapanca Lake is a great opportunity to do it. Legend has it that its serene waters are the result of a curse placed on the city by a wanderer who was treated inhospitably, and the original village of Sapanca is underwater. Rumors or not, but the place fascinates with its beauty and atmosphere.

How far is Sapanca Lake from Istanbul

The distance from Istanbul to Lake Sapanca is about 140 kilometers if you travel by car.

Sapanca Lake (Sapanca Gölü)
Sapanca Lake. Photo: MehmetOzdemir / pixabay (Pixabay License)
Sapanca Lake (Sapanca Gölü)
Sapanca Lake. Photo: fatihset, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)
Sapanca Lake (Sapanca Gölü)
Sapanca Lake. Photo: Acar54, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)