We left behind the winter blues. Nature is awakening, now it’s your turn to arouse. Instead of welcoming spring in concrete jungle, hit the road to spring routes that will nourish your soul, raise your smile, and that offer different tastes.
Free yourself from the concrete and traffic in those days when the nature exactly flourishes and get Ataturk Arboretum in no time flat. The place will embrace you with its astoundingly beautiful plant cover in which you can find over 500 species.
Enjoy the picturesque scene of the lake and endless green. Don’t forget to take your camera.
Entry Fee: 20 TL
Phone: +90 0212 226 19 29
Belgrad Ormanı (Belgrad Forest)
Lying adjacent to Istanbul, in Belgrad forest, take a walk in its walking-track. You will closely witness how spring brings life to the forest while you are trekking around. Enjoy passing by the streams, artificial lakes, various flowers, mushrooms, birds, unique vegetation and centennial trees. The mot-known walking track is ‘Neşet Suyu’ on which you can take a walk easily with your kids. On this 6km long walking track you will have the chance to witness closely the beauty of nature. The main entrance gate is in Bahçeköy.
Entry fee (by car): 10 TL
Black Sea coast in Istanbul stretches in the north of the city, Kilyos, should be visited before it becomes crowded. The first historic place when you enter the town is the Castle restored by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II. As the remnants of the past, you can see 3 water gages, 2 rubble mound jetties, a boat shed, and a tree planted in 1453 in memory of the conquest of Constantinople. At the seaside, you may find beach clubs. The most popular beach of the year is ‘Milyon Beach’ that put into service at Babylon’s old place. Appetizers and fish worth to taste! You may also enjoy the fresh air while sipping your cocktail, lying on your sun lounger. On Sundays, you may attend jazz brunch, entry fee is 50TL for each. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can see celebrities performing at the stage, entry fee is; set meal! 95 TL for each.
Phone: +90 212 204 03 68
Anadolu Feneri/Anadolu Kavağı
Set yourself free from stress and indecision. It’s all lined up! After a short tour of the souvenir shops of the old fishing town, climbing the Yoros Castle inherited by Geneoses would be a good option. Climbing can be hard but when you reach the peak, you will feel that all worth it! It is the best spot to see Istanbul Bosporus along the north shore. When it comes to Anadolu Feneri, it can be called as a historical lighthouse or a fishing town. Don’t miss to stop by the restaurants located along the jetty and taste the fresh seafood.
Becoming popular among Istanbulites recently with its new openings such as restaurants, entertainment venues and restaurants, Moda would be the best choice to abandon yourself to joy. The landscape, sea, dock blowing in from a different century, mansions appearing out of nowhere… Don’t miss to sip your ginger lemonade at Kev Café before you leave.
Phone: +90 216 330 02 30
Prens Adaları (Prince Islands)
Drawing your strength from sun and fresh air, let yourself go with the flow of nature brings you peace and joy. After touring around the island on your bike, take a break for coffee at Café Spitz in Splendid Hotel. Cold brew coffee is fantastic! By the way, its ice creams are homemade. The art nouveau style hotel with its harmonious blend of East and West has run by the same family for 106 years. Spare time for sitting in the garden of that building with its red jalousies standing like a leading actor of a nostalgic film. In the restaurant offering 24/7 service to its guests you can find the tastes of world cuisine along with the Turkish cuisine. The restaurant is especially famous with its breakfasts. Büyükada is not the only spot that you can enjoy the flourishing nature. You may also visit Kınalıada if you have time. Have a picnic on the Monastery Hill and enjoy your daydream while staring at the splendid view. If you want more, discover Burgazada. Don’t forget to taste seafood at Pyrgos Restaurant.
Splendid Hotel Phone: +90 216 382 69 50/52
Pyrgos Restaurant Phone: +90 216 381 12 10
Emirgan Korusu (Emirgan Grove)
If you haven’t seen Emirgan Grove yet, you should absolutely visit there at these months. With the ‘Tulip Fest’ the grove turns into a dreamland. You may offer your kid a different park entertainment, do exercises, walk your dog, have picnic with friends and family or sip your tea in one the pavilions. There is no place that you will feel distanced from İstanbul even if you are in the middle of the city. Don’t miss to visit Sakıp Sabancı Museum hosting worldwide famous artists when you drop by here. Contemporary artist Ai Weiwei raising awareness about immigrant issues all around the world stages an art exhibition named ‘Ai Weiwei on Porcelain’ until April 15th. Considering that on Mondays the museum is closed, make your plans accordingly. Exhibition entrance fee is 30 TL. Nourishing your soul with art, reward yourself with the delicious meals of MSA while enjoying the Bosporus scenery.
Museum Phone: +90 212 229 55 18
You can take a ferry from Bebek to Kuzguncuk. Wander around the ‘movie set like’ streets of Kuzguncuk in which you will feel the spirit. Have a picnic at Kuzguncuk Bostan, a ‘free of skyscraper spot’ of the neighborhood, and watch the sunset. If you don’t like picnics, you may enjoy the sea view at the coast restaurants while sipping your tea.
Ortaköy and Bebek
Bosporus is the best place to rejoice in spring. It is the exact time to watch the Bosporus adorned by purple leaf redbuds that have been identified with Istanbul since antique times. You can start the day at Ortaköy Yacht Club. Having a long breakfast with friends, you may take a walk from Ortaköy to Bebek. Breakfast at club is 60TL for each. Arriving Bebek, you will relieve tiredness with the lively nature, mansions and sea. In order to regain energy, stop by at the ice cream shop Mini Dondurma, which many Istanbulites praise. Ice cream with gum mastic and rose Turkish delight are the most preferred ones.
Ortaköy Yacht Club Phone: +90 212 261 13 00
If you are willing to savor springtime not going too far but feeling distanced from the city, Maçka Park will be the best option. Under the shade of old plane trees, do yoga or sports, make siesta, walk… Set a picnic table with the snacks you bring. Redouble your rejoicing!
Still reflecting a kind of neighborhood culture with its pavilions, two story frame houses, Yeşilköy stands as one of the most beautiful whereabouts of Istanbul. The streets make you feel that the neighborhood belongs to a different century. Especially in springtime, making exercises on walking-track or riding a bicycle would be a good choice. Maybe you would prefer sipping your tea at one of the cafes in Marina, it is up to you. If you would like to know the intact culture of this Ottoman inherited district better, visit Ogün Restaurant in Bakırköy Balıkçılar Çarşısı (Bakırköy Fish Bazaar) and try ‘topik’, a popular Armenian appetizer, along with the other delicious Turkish appetizers while taking a sip of Rakı (a traditional Turkish beverage). If you prefer the modern one, you can visit Eleos Restaurant’s terrace in Yeşilköy. The restaurant has a rich menu including various appetizers of Greek, Armenian and Turkish cuisines accompanied by the dishes cooked with the healing herbs of Aegean Region. You should absolutely order ‘hamsi dolma’, ‘balık kokoreç’, ‘kalamar dolma’, ‘kağıtta balık’, ‘börek’ and ‘sufle’. Just a reminder; set meal is only available for 10 people and over.