Why and How Should You Visit the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul?

Picture of the sunset on Buyukada Island in Istanbul, Turkey.

by Erlend Geerts

in Sightseeing

Istanbul has two major tourist attractions that will take almost a full day out of your holiday: a visit to one or more of the Princes’ Islands and a boat tour on the Bosphorus. People rightfully ask me if it’s worth sacrificing one or two days of their often already short stay in Istanbul?

That is a tough question to answer, and completely based on personal preferences. So let me explain what you can expect from a daytrip to the Princes’ Island, and how to best go about.

What Are the Princes’ Islands of Istanbul

The Princes’ Islands (Kızıl Adalar or just Adalar) are a chain of nine rather small islands in the Sea of Marmara. They evolved from a place of exile during the Byzantine era, to a popular destination for tourists and Istanbulites alike to escape the hectic city life for a day. Of those nine islands, only four of them are open to the public: Büyükada, the biggest and most popular, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Kınalıada.

Princes’ Islands Features

Horse-drawn carriage on the Princes' Islands in Istanbul, Turkey.

Horse-drawn carriage on the Princes’ Islands.

The main feature of any of the Princes’ Islands is the sound of … silence. All motorized vehicles are banned, making the islands an oasis of peace and quiet. The only sounds you’ll hear are bicycle bells and the typical sounds of horse hoofs. Yep, that’s right. Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main transportation means on the islands.

But that’s not the only feature that makes the Princes’ Islands unique. You’ll find yourself walking or riding through narrow streets flanked by either untouched pine-forests or fine, wooden Victorian cottages. How is that for a unique fin-de-siècle flash back?

How to Get to the Princes’ Islands … and Back!

By boat, that goes without saying. But there are different ferries to choose from. There are the sea buses (fast ferries) operated by IDO, and the regular ferries operated by Şehir Hatları.

Both ferry types depart from Kabataş — easily accessible with public transportation. From Taksim you can take the F1 Kabataş-Taksim funicular or from Sultanahmet you can get on the T1 Kabataş-Bağcılar tramway.

The sea buses are the fastest option. If it stops at all the islands, the trip will last for 55 minutes maximum and sets you back for 9 TL (7,10 TL with the Istanbul Kart) per person — one way.

The regular ferries are slower and can take as much as 100 minutes, depending on the amount of stops it makes. The upside is that they are cheaper (only 5 TL per person, or 3,5 TL with the Istanbul Kart) and make more runs back and forth.

Take my advice! If you plan to visit the islands, make sure you get on the very first sea bus (fast ferry) to the islands on any given day. You’ll beat the (local) crowd to the islands — and check upon arrival when the last ferry (fast or conventional) departs back to Istanbul! Although some islands have nice hotels, you don’t want to miss the last ferry. Then, spend as much time as you want on (one of) the Princes’ Islands, and return to Istanbul with whichever ferry you prefer.

The ferry timetables change according to the seasons, so make sure to check the exact departure dates of the sea buses (fast ferries) or the conventional ferries. (Look for Adalar or Island)

Photo Sources (1) (2)

What's Next

{ 206 comments… read them below or add one }

Riyadh November 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Thank you for this information about Princess Islands.
I’ll be there in 7th November, 2011. I plan to stay 3 days in Istanbul, 2 days in Antalya, 1 day in Bursa, and 1 day in Lilava.

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Charlie Warda May 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Hi, I visitewd “Big Island” many years ago and took one of teh horse carriage tours but recall it was a bit expensive. Any idea what i should expect to pay ? Thanks

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Erlend Geerts May 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Hi Charlie,

These days, on Büyükada (the big island), the prices are 40 TL for the small tour, and 50 TL for the big one.

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Louise June 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Hi Erlend

We are planning a stop over at Istanbul on our way to New York.

We land 05:40 11 July 2012 in Ataturk Airport. Would like to spend one night in Heybeliada Island. Which is the best and most affordable way to get there? Please can you provide me with as much info as possible.

Thanks so much!
Louise

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Erlend Geerts June 22, 2012 at 12:18 am

Hi Louise,

Assuming you arrive without delay at 05:40, and it will take you approximately 1 hour to get out of the airport, I’d suggest to take a taxi to Kabataş (15TL). You could take public transportation of course, but then you may not catch the first quick ferry to the island. On weekdays, the very first ferry to go to Heybeliada leaves Kabataş at 08:15 and you should be at the island at 08:50, just in time for breakfast :-)

Here is the official IDO timetable.

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Laila July 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Hi Erlend,

My family and I are planning to visit Istanbul this year, I have 2 kids which I am sure would love to go for a ride on this horse-drawn carriage, my concern is my husband whose a handicapped. Is the Island accessible for him?

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Erlend Geerts July 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hi Laila,

Well, since there are no cars on the islands, the streets are for pedestrians, cyclists and horse and carriage. I don’t know to what degree your husband’s handicap is, but you must keep in mind that except for the center of Büyükada for instance and the boardwalk of most islands, there are some steep hills to deal with if you want to do the full tour of the islands.

Erlend

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Anthony August 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

Hi Erlend ,
I would like to ask if we can sleep there in the island ?
Thank u ,

Anthony

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Erlend Geerts August 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

Yes, there are a few hotels on the islands. Just type in the name of the island + hotel in Google. Do make reservations though.

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rokka August 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

hello, i would like to know if we can swim at the princes island and if there is water activities to do there like jet ski etc… thank you

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Erlend Geerts August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hi,

Yes there are some beaches. Upon arrival, you’ll see people with small boats to take you there. They are not free of charge though.

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sarah August 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Hi Erlend
we would like to go to the Büyükada island this coming weekend 17-18
where and what time does the first ferry leave from istanbul and the last ferry leaving on saturday night to istanbul, how long is each trip and how much does it cost?
thank you,
sarah

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Erlend Geerts August 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hi Sarah,

Please follow the links at the end of the article for the most up to date timetables.

Have fun.

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Sahar August 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Hi Erlend

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have found this brilliant website where you answer all our queries relating to Istanbul. Thank you so much for providing this excellent service, especially to tourists like me who are visiting for the first time. I intend to visit Princes’ Island on 12 Sep 2012 with my aged grandparents. How cold/rainy will it be? I’ll be staying in yenikapi. What is the most convenient & reasonable way to visit Princes’ Island? Should I take a taxi to Kabastas? The cheapest price of a tour is 45 euros per person. I believe that if we go ourselves, it’ll be much cheaper as 3 return tickets on the ferry will cost 48 liras and a carriage ride will cost 40 liras. How much will the taxi cost?

Sahar

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Erlend Geerts August 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hi Sahar,

Thanks a lot for your sweet words.

I of course can’t predict the weather, but generally September is dry and mild (25C). If a tour to visit one island is 45 € per person, you’re definitely better of doing it yourself.

A taxi ride from Yenikapı to Kabataş would set you back for 15-20 TL. From there you’ll take the quick ferry which is rather cheap.

Have a nice stay.

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Tan August 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Thanks for the information. I am traveling to Istanbul from December 24th to December 30th. Is it advisable to visit the Princess island end of December or is it too cold? We are from Canada so winter is not a huge deal but wonder if there will be any activities. I have three kids aged 4 to 9 years. How much time should we set aside if we go to princess island? Thanks again.

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Erlend Geerts August 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hi Tan,

Temperatures in Istanbul don’t go below -5 Celcius, so that shouldn’t feel too cold for you. You can always visit the islands. Hiking or making a tour on a bike doesn’t take too long (2h), but you would spend most of the day there because of the ferry rides back and forth.

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Denise Cavanaugh August 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

Hi,
I’ve found out so much from reading your web site, and following people’s questions. I want you to know how much I appreciate your work, and to thank you for your very useful information!

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Erlend Geerts August 20, 2012 at 1:19 am

Thanks a lot Denise!

Comments like yours make all the hours in front of the PC worthwhile.

Thanks again,
Erlend.

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Ben August 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hi Erlend,

I really appreciate all that I’ve read so far on your website – I visited Istanbul about 3 years ago and am about to go back so it’s good to know what I missed the first time round. It’s great that you take the time to answer everyone’s questions – I can’t begin to think how many different people’s experience of Istanbul you have enhanced :)

Every time I have thought to ask a question, I’ve found the answer somewhere on here, so decided just to post my appreciation instead :)

Kind regards,

Ben

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Erlend Geerts August 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Thanks a lot Ben,

That is so sweet of you to take the time to show your appreciation.

You really made my day!

Kindest regards,
Erlend

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Mrunal August 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Hi Luka,

Thank you for the wonderful work of answering questions and the article. This is a great source of information and thank you for your time in individual replies.

Regards,
Mrunal

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Erlend Geerts August 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Thanks a lot Mrunal, these words make work lighter.

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Khalid September 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

I will to Princes Island and at the hotel I am staying are charging me for 65EURO with dinner for the trip if I do it through a agent. But after what you wrote I don’t think it is neccssary to do it. I can take the ferry myself. I though to ask you for advice.

Thanx Khalid

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Erlend Geerts September 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hi Khalid,

65 Euro is almost 150 Turkish liras. After deducting the ferry fares (and maybe bus/tram fares), that leaves you with 140 for dinner. That is plenty to have a really nice one for TWO people. So yeah, I’d do it without an agent.

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Abdalla September 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Hi Erlend,
I am a big Egyptian fan of your great work in this site. Well done. Would appreciate your reply to my inquiry:
1) how long timewise is the short and long carriage tours?

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Erlend Geerts September 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Hi Abdalla,

The longer tour takes just short of 1 hour, the shorter considerable less.

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KK September 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Dear Erlend,

Seems that you have become a local celiberity for Istanbul information. I would be in Istanbul during Mid of October. I have planned 4 full days. I am planning 1 day to princess Island now based on you information provided above. I wanted to know if

1. Is it a safe place?
2. How bumpy is the waters during october (my wife is pregnent so i would want to be a bit more careful)
3. We want to relax and enjoy a view and walks, are there any recommended beaches or hills around there where we can enjoy the quite nature and the sea?
4. which would be the best clean/hygenic restaraunt on the island? Is there some beach music and bonfire place around there (i am expecting too much here but you never know whats the harm in asking?) right

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards
KK

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Erlend Geerts September 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Hi KK,

The islands are very safe. Since you’ll be here mid October, taking a dip in the sea will however be a very chilly, hence not popular activity by then.

For the most hygienic restaurant, I would say the one of the Princes’ hotel in the town center. It has a nice terrace and ditto view too. This is not to say others are of less standards, but that one came to my mind first and I have some nice memories of it.

Have a nice trip,
Erlend

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shreya October 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Hello. I will be travelling to Turkey for the first time in December this year, Is it advisable to travel to Prince’s Island and do the Bhosphorous cruise as I have read that its the rainy season in Turkey?. Thank you for the valuable info. I will definitely be using most of it.

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Erlend Geerts October 16, 2012 at 10:17 am

Hi Shreya,

Neither the Bosphorus tour nor the Princes’ Islands are ideal when it’s raining hard. But since none of these activities need upfront reservations, I suggest to wait and see what the weather is like. It’s so unpredictable. I prefer the islands on a sunny but cold winter day, the air is so fresh then.

Erlend

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shreya October 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Hi Erlend

Thanx once again – I was planning on booking my tours from SA as I feel its safer for 2 ladies travelling. I am just worried about the weather.
And can you also suggest a decent nite club. And what it costs to enter these clubs.
I am totally clueless about Turkey as its my first trip.

regards

Shreya

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bahaa October 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm

hello Erlend
we are planing to visit Istanbul , Taksim from 24 october to 28 october , and as you know it is the kurban bayrami time, so i would be thankful if you can tell me what are the places that i can visit, as well where can i have shopping since the grand bazar and the spice bazar are closed, also if the blue mosque, topkapi palace, and the hippodrome are closed

best regards
bahaa

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Erlend Geerts October 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Hi Bahaa,

Have you checked our special article about the Feast of the Sacrifice? I’m sure you’ll find some good tips there, and don’t forget to read my replies in the comments section. Alternatively, you can also read the latest comments in post on Istanbul Shopping.

Have a nice stay,
Erlend

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Ouenn October 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Hi! We will be there next week. We will be staying in the hush hostel which is in Kadikoy. Where should we get the ferry going to Buyukuda? We are planning to go to European side in the afternoon. Which route should we take?

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Erlend Geerts October 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hi Quenn,

In that case, I’d suggest you take the conventional ferry from Kadıköy, check the timetable link at the end of the article for the latest updates. An hour later you’ll be in Büyükada.

In the afternoon, you can take a similar ferry back, which will first go to Kadıköy and then continue to Kabataş, which is on the European side. From there you can take the tramway to Sultanahmet or the funicular to Taksim.

Have fun,
Erlend

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SP October 31, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hi Erlend !
I was thinking of taking regular tours to Istanbul and Princes island which costa Euro 75 & 65 but after reading your comments I am inclined to do it on my own and use the money for shopping and enjoyment.
Is there any problem doing the local tour of Istanbul city and Bosphous on own ? Do I have to walk quit a bit ? Anyway to cut down on walking ?

___SP

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Erlend Geerts October 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Hi SP,

I’m not sure I understand your questions, but I’ll try.

Taking the ferry on your own to the Princes’ Islands is not difficult at all. How much you walk there depends on you of course. I wouldn’t recommend trying to walk the whole island though.

As for your Istanbul tour I’m a bit puzzled. I assume it’s the hop on hop off bus tour you’re talking about. Yes, you can do everything they do on foot. You’ll probably see even more and really experience local life. When tired, you can always hop on a tramway or metro.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Baqer November 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

we are planning holidays in April 2013 to Turkey for 5 nights.
We Intent to spend 4 nights in Istanbul, and one night in Princess Island.
Can anybody advise me if the planning is fine. I tried to get hotels through Booking.com but the name “Princess Island -Turkey ” is not appearing on their site.
will appreciate the guidance.

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Erlend Geerts November 5, 2012 at 8:12 am

Hi Baqer,

The name of the group of small islands is Princes’ Islands. When you type that plus hotels in Google, you will get targeted results.

Or you can try to look for accommodation on a specific island (see names in the article). I can’t really recommend one since I only stayed one night in Büyükada. I stayed in the hotel with the island’s name in the town center. Rooms were basic, but the dinner round the pool with its lovely view was great.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Svenja November 7, 2012 at 5:33 am

Hey Erlend,

Thanks for your article, it’s really helpful.
I’m planning on visiting Istanbul this coming February. However, I cannot find the adequate timetables for going from Istanbul to the islands at the end of that month… Could you provide me with those or tell me how to get there? It woud be highly appreciated.

Good night
Svenja

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Olivia November 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

Hey Erlend,

thanks a lot for the article above, very helpful. i will be travelling to istanbul next week for 5 days. any suggestions on how i could spend my time there. have done my reserach on visiting the historic places and mosques and off course the grand bazaar. but it would be nice if you could give me some more ideas on what else can be done.

Thanks

Olivia

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Erlend Geerts November 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Hi Olivia,

Since you already did your research on the most popular sightseeing areas, including the Islands, another nice place my dad insists on visiting every year is the Istanbul Aquarium. Maybe a good idea for a bad weather day. Forum Istanbul is also a popular destination for rainy days.

Enjoy your stay,
Erlend

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Malak November 11, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Hello Erlend,

Thanks alot for all these useful information!
I am visiting Istanbul from Nov15 to Nov20. This is my 4rth visit, and I am in love with the city.

This time I am planning to have a “Sufi” night, you know with the sufi music and the dance.. I am staying in Taksim. Do you know a good place that is not too expensive nor commercial?

Someone recommended ” Galata Mevlevihanesi”, do you know it? Or any other good place?

teşekkürler

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Erlend Geerts November 14, 2012 at 8:06 am

Hi Malak,

Have you taken a look at this page already, with a lot of info on the Whirling Dervishes?

Have a nice stay,
Erlend

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INAS November 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’m visiting Istanbul for the New Year’s eve. For now I have no questions for you, but I just want to thank you for the good job you are doing in informing us about Istanbul.
Well done and keep up with the good advises.

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Erlend Geerts November 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks a lot Inas. Much appreciated.

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Rasha November 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Dear Erlend, what a wonderful job you make thank you for the website really it is so helping I am planning to visit Istanbul for 3 or 4 days starting 6 dec as we have a wedding there on 8th but it will be in the Asian side I would ask your advice for the sightseeing we can visit in istanbul we can stay 2 nights in taksim for visiting sultanahmet and go to the Asian side for 2 nights is this appropriate or u advise something else. Thank u so much

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Erlend Geerts November 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hi Rasha,

Thanks a lot for the kind words.

Since there are more sightseeing spots on the European side, if it will be your first time in Istanbul, I’d stay 3 nights on the European side and one in Asia. But again, this is very personal.

Erlend

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A.Ali November 26, 2012 at 1:03 am

Hi,

I want to visit Istanbul by Jan-13 any recommendations what is the best week in jan or may be the time of sale in istanbul ? and what are the places could be visited in such weather ?? Many thanks in advance

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Erlend Geerts November 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hi,

I think your planned time to visit is just fine. You can do the same sightseeing activities in winter as in summer, you just have to dress accordingly.

Erlend

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Gupta December 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Hi Erlend,
We really appreciate your generosity and valuable guidance provided through this website to all of us.

Need your expert advice .., we are visiting istanbul in mid december for three days and will be staying in taksim. i have following questions:

a). Can be combine bhosporus cruise with visit to princess island? Is it worth
b). For Bhosporus cruise should be take short cruise from eminou to kadikoy or ortakoy which one is better

Thanking you in advance

Gupta

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Erlend Geerts December 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hi Gupta,

Thanks for the nice words.

I’m afraid you can’t really combine a Bosphorus cruise with a trip to the islands. They are two different lines, and in winter, even if you wanted to do one after the other, the time tables wouldn’t match.

But don’t let this set you back. A trip to the islands will take until early afternoon, but a short tour on the Bosphorus will only take two hours.

I’m a bit puzzled about what you mean with your second question. The short Bosphorus tour (which is actually not that short at all) leaves every day in Eminönü at 14:30 and goes non-stop to we’ll past the second bridge and back.

I think you are confused with regular stopping ferries that locals use to commute. They follow the same route to a certain extend, but stop a lot to let people on and off. Of course, if don’t want to go too far and/or want to get off in let’s say Ortaköy, then that’s the best way to go.

Have a nice stay,
Erlend

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Zagadodia December 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for the tips…. Will check this place out tomorrow.

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Erlend Geerts December 25, 2012 at 12:21 am

You’re welcome. Let us know how it went.

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mike January 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Hi Erlend,

I am coming to Turkey friday 15 march,into Sabhia Gokcia airport for 19.00.I shall be leaveing for Keyseri on saturday evening.I would like to spend the 24hrs+ on one of the Princes Islands .Can I make the ferry crossing from Pendik or nearby either preferably late friday evening or early saturday morning. If not would Yavlova be as
good as a substitute trip for the same 24+period. As you can tell on my way into Turkey I am trying to avoid going ‘downtown! I shall have more time for those pleasures on my way out!!

Thanking you in anticipation, Cheers Mike.

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Erlend Geerts February 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Hi Mike,

The last ferry for the islands leaves from Bostanci at 19:40, which you won’t be able to catch if you land at 19:00. And even if you were, you would have to leave the islands the next morning at 8:25 already.

You could do the Yalova trip though, here you can find the Pendik-Yalova time table.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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mona February 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm

hi Erlend
is it possible to visit princess islands in february and march? how is the weather in these months?
tnx a lot

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Erlend Geerts February 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hi Mona,

It’s perfectly possible to visit the Princes’ Islands in the winter. Be aware that there are less frequent transfers though, so check the latest timetables to make most of it.

As for the weather, who can predict that. To give you an example, today the weather was foggy in the morning, sunny and rather hot in the afternoon. And for tomorrow they predict rain. Only snow was missing to have all four seasons in one day!

Once come May the weather is stable, being sunny and (at times extremely) hot, until September/October, sometimes even November.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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mike February 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hi Erlend

Thanks Erlend, I presume that is a No for ferries from Pendik to the Princes Is.
However I can now see that Yalova is a possibilty. I would greatly appreciate your advice as to whether or not Yalova is worth a trip for just 24hrs and if not is there any where on the shore of the Marmara Sea within striking distance of the Sabhia Gokcia airport that would be worth a short stay?

Many Thanks Mike

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Erlend Geerts February 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hi Mike,

A trip to Yalova is certainly worth it if you like the thermal springs, which are especially fun in winter, and spa resorts.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Anees Basheer February 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Hi Erlend,
Really appreciate the info you are providing here.. Certainly a great help for first timers like me..

I’m intending to visit Istanbul during the first week of April for 5 nights and have considered the below itenenary. We are a family of 4 including two kids aged 9 & 7 who haven’t shown too much patience in taking long walks!!!
Your feedback will be really appreciated.

Day of arrival – evening istiklal/ tak sim
Day 2 – topkapi / Haga Sophia / blue mosque
Day 3 – Bosporus cruise / princess island
Day 4 – miniaturk / galata
Day 5 – grand bazaar / spices bazaar
Day 6 – return in the evening

Appreciate your views and many thanks in advance

Warm regards,
AB

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Erlend Geerts February 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Hi Anees,

Here we go.

Day 2 – This will be a full day, but certainly doable, also with two kids. They will have a good time in Topkapi (boys will enjoy the weapon room, girls will enjoy the treasury I’m sure; without being sexist here, but it’s the way it is). They may be less impressed by the Hagia Sophia and/or the Blue Mosque, so I would suggest to do the Hagia Sophia first and be there 30 min before opening. Ticket lines tend to grow. If you can, split up and have one adult go buy the tickets for the Topkapi Palace as well and meet back to visit the Hagia Sophia. When done, up to Topkapi it is. Take as much time as needed. Then come back for a lunch, and rest your legs. Last I’d do the Blue Mosque.

Day 3 – It’s hard to predict, but ferries will probably still be in winter regime. This will make it impossible to do both (even in summertime). I’d just do the Princes’ Islands, a family day out with horse and carriage, a bicycle tour, and/or walk. Try to have your breakfast at Büyükada if the weather is nice. The Bosphorus tour will move to day 5.

Day 4 – Good idea. Maybe squeeze in Dolmabahçe Palace in the morning if you can.

Day 5 – Spend a few hours in the Grand Bazaar, and walk down to Eminönü docks for the Bosphorus tour. You may want to buy tickets before you go to the bazaar if you want to make sure. Don’t lose track of time in the bazaar! Then, after the tour, you can still visit the spice bazaar and the adjacent alleys.

Day 6 – Have a night flight back.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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mike February 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Hi Lucca

Sorry to bug you but I wondered if you could come back with some thoughts (re. Yavlova) 0n my enquires of Feb.6th.

Cheers Mike

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Anees Basheer February 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hi Erlend,

Apologies for not responding earlier. But really appreciate your views and comments – thanks a million. You’ve made us feel much more relaxed about the holiday :)

Thanks again and will post our feedback post holiday…

Kind regards,
Anees Basheer

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Gonzalo February 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Hi, thank you so much for your website, it is really helpful. I’ll be visiting Istanbul next june with my wife on our honeymoon, so I’d really appreciate some comments on where to stay, and unique experiences outside the most known wonders of the city. Regarding the islands, what can you do when you get there? Are any beach clubs where you can hang around, or are any monuments to visit? I’m not familiar with the dress code for women, can they wear a bikini on the beach? Thank you very much, I’ll be waiting for your comments. With best regards. Gonzalo

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Erlend Geerts March 2, 2013 at 12:56 am

Hi Gonzalo,

Congratulations with your upcoming wedding.

A typical visit to the islands (especially Büyükada) includes an early ferry trip to it, followed by a breakfast at the town square. After that, people either walk, rent a bike or do the (big) tour of the island with horse and carriage.

That won’t take a full day. I used to take the first ferry out, have the breakfast, then rent the bike for a full day. Upon almost completing the big tour, 20 min. before entering the town again, I stopped at Naki Bey. He runs a basic but well maintained facility to enjoy the sun and have a dip in the sea. Keep in mind the entrance is not free. There are more so liar facilities. Concerning your worries about dress codes for women, bikinis are just fine at the beach.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Lily Vera Cruz February 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Hi Erlend,
Your suggestions and advice are very much appreciated by people like me who are first time travellers to Istanbul. I would like to ask which budget hotel is nearest to kabatas so i can go to princes’island the earliest time possible? Thanks and God bless you more patience and strength to answer all queries that come your way evryday.

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Erlend Geerts March 2, 2013 at 12:43 am

Hi Lily,

Don’t worry about finding the closest hotel to Kabataş. There are almost none in that area anyway. Pick one you like best. Whether you choose Beyoğlu (the closest) or Sultanahmet district, you’ll never be more than 15-20 minutes away from the ferry dock.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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MA March 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Hi,

I and my wife will be visiting Istanbul later this month (March 2013) for a week.

How can I do a full-day Bosphorous Tour, Prince Island Tour on my own? The official tours seem to be costing 60 Euro per person for each tour!

I will be staying in Sultanahmet.

Thanks a lot in advance for your kind help!

MA

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 11, 2013 at 7:53 am

Hi MA,

I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. I have two posts on what Bosphorus tour to take and how to best get to the Princes’ Islands, the page you just read.

Both explain in detail what to do, to stay clear of private companies. Any of my suggestions will cost you 12 euros or less per person.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Hamid March 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hi Erlend,

I am planning to visit Turkey in April along with my wife for honeymoon. My stay is for 6 nights. I will be arriving at Istanbul on 14th April and leaving on 20th April. Initially I was planning to spend all 6 nights in Istanbul and I have also booked a hotel in Sultan Ahmet, but most of my friends are saying that 6 nights are too much to stay in Istanbul and I should add one more city in the tour.

I need your advice to spend all my stay in Istanbul or add cappadocia in my trip. Are there enough places in Istanbul to see and visit . Please note that as I am coming from Saudi Arabia so i will not be intrested in bars / clubs or shopping.

If you can give a sample itenenary that would be very greatful.

If I choose to go to cappadocia please give me a rough expense estimate.

Thanks and waiting for your reply.

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Hi Hamid,

You can spend two weeks in Istanbul and still haven’t seen everything. It all depends on your preferences. If you want to stick to the most popular sightseeing spots, sure 4 days can do. In such case a trip to Cappadocia may be a nice extra.

Since this blog is focused on Istanbul, you should contact a travel agency for prices.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Fouad March 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Thanks for the great replies.
I and my family (6 adults + 5 children ) will be visiting Istanbul second week of Istanbul and we will be staying in a hotel in SultanAhmet area. I received an offer from a travel agency for a visit to the princes islands including horse-drawn carriage tour and lunch for 520 euros (private tour) and 420 euros (if we join a group). Do you recommend we do it on our own and what would be the cost if we do? children ages: 2 babies (< 3 years) and 3 childs (7, 8 and 9).
Thanks for your assistance

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Erlend Geerts April 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

Hi Fouad,

Let me put it this way: the big tour on Büyükada with horse and carriage costs 70 TL. So, you’ll need two of those for your party, which makes 140 TL. Of course you still need to get to the island. This costs with akbil 11 TL per person for a round trip. Times 9 people makes 100 TL. Now, if you deduct this from the 1150 TL (520 Euro), that leaves you with 900 TL for lunch. I have yet to find a place on the island where a lunch costs 100 TL per person, 30-40 is more likely.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Sandra April 3, 2013 at 1:45 am

Hi, thank you so much for such clear and much useful information. We are visiting Istanbul in mid April, and would love to visit the Island (need to look up info on the Bosphorous Tour next), we will be staying in the Sultanahmet area (if I have the name correct) which is close to Gulhanepark. I would like to ask you how do I get to the Island from there, and how much it would cost. I am hoping not to spend too much as I have 2 children with us.
How much will a carriage charge us and will it be per person, or for the whole carriage.
Thanks.

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hi Sandra,

You have two options. The first is to walk down to the Eminönü docks to catch the slow ferry to the islands. Secondly, you can take the tramway to Kabataş, and take the IDO quick ferry there. Always check the latest ferry schedules beforehand.

A big tour on the island by horse and carriage costs 70 TL, regardless the amount of people in the carriage.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Johnny April 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

My wife & i are coming to Istanbul at the beginning of September 2013 and are very curious of the princes island. Can we just catch the local ferry ourselves at that time of year and be able to hire a buggy or horse & cart?
Can you recommend the best way to wing it ourselves?

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Erlend Geerts April 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hi Johnny,

Yes, you can, just like explained in the article and its comments.

Erlend

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sandeep April 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm

hi, thanks for such a informative site. I am planning to visit istanbul in august beginning with my wife and 2 kids. ( 3 yrs & 7 yrs) they both r used to sleep with us. Can u suggest me what kind of accomodation or hotels to look for, since i hv heard frm my friends that the hotels over there r european standards and they dont allow 2 + 2 accomodation.

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Erlend Geerts April 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Hi Sandeep,

You are right, most hotels follow European standards and are normally only one extra bed per room (often because of space restrictions). The fact that you come in high season won’t facilitate things.

Having said that, I’m sure you can find some hotels that will be happy to add two small beds. The only advice I can give is contact your favorite hotels and ask.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Farah Murad April 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hello there! Me and my family are visiting istanbul this week, princes island tour included , do you think its a good time to swim /for beach activities there? Im from lebanon and its already summer time and i heard istanbul is a bit colder then here.. So i m not sure if its recommended to swim there And what sort of activities you recommend ? Thank you :)

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Erlend Geerts April 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Hi Farah,

Summer kicked in a week ago in Istanbul. If you know that the sea takes a long time to heat up …

Erlend

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Javed Iqbal May 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

Hi Dear
Thank you very much for your useful information.I will be visiting Istanbul from 22nd of May this year for six days. I would like to go to the Princes’ Islands along with my son aged 11 for one day. Would you please let me know as to which one of the nine tiny Islands is most attractive and worth visiting. What is the best and cheap medium of transport to hire to explore the Island?
Many Many Thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hi Javed,

I would go for Büyükada. The nicest way to explorer the island is by bicycle. If your son is a bit sportive, I would opt for that over a horse and carriage ride. There are two pretty steep slopes, but other than that it’s easy peddling. Also, try to take the big tour. No need to make a race out of it, just enjoy the scenery.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Ernst May 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Dear Erlend,

Thank you so much for the great info about Istanbul.

We are going to Istanbul in a few weeks and would like to visit Buyukada. But when I check IDO´s website for a timetable it only shows times for weekends and holidays. We like to go on a friday. Is it only Sehir Hatlar that goes on working days?

Another question about the ferry. I read that it´s also possible to go from Eminönu, but I can only find two departures at 13.10 and 18.00 – do you know if thats all?

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Erlend Geerts May 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Hi Ernst,

You’re right that IDO’s quick seabuses currently only operate during weekends and holidays.

If you want to visit the Princes’ Islands during the weekdays, you should take the ferry from either Kabataş or Kadıköy (Asian side). They leave approximately every half hour, and the trip from Kabataş takes about 1,5 hours. Here is the current time schedule.

You can easily reach Kabataş from Eminönü by taxi or tramway.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Ernst May 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Dear Erland,

Thank you for the quick reply!

When I click the link you posted, I can only see a timetable where the ferry’s leave every second hour. Are you sure that they leave every half hour? That would be great, because the 8.40 ferry is to early for us and the 10.40 is a to late (the departure times are taken from the link).

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Erlend Geerts May 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Hi Ernst,

You’re right, they leave every 2 hours. I’m sorry.

Erlend

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Aamena May 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Hello,
Thank for all the information,
We are planning to travel to Turkey beginning of June with our 2 daughters aged 9 and11.
Which would be the best places to visit? Especially in Istanbul, cappadochia, Izmir
It’s our first time so basically I’m a bit clueless….there are just too many places to visit in turkey.
Please get back to me when you get a chance..
Many thanks,
Aamen

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Hi Aamena,

This site focuses on Istanbul, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you with Cappadoccia and Izmir.

Since this would be your first time in Istanbul, I would start with the classics: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and of course a Bosphorus Tour. I prefer the Süleymaniye Mosque over the Blue Mosque.

Have fun,
Erlend

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Ron May 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hello Erland,

I found the information you have provided to be most interesting but there’s something that still worries me. I wonder if you can help. My wife and I are planning to visit the Princes’ Islands in October. According to my TK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL guide of Turkey (on Page 158) it states that there is a “ferry from Eminönü or a sea bus from Kabatas to the islands”. For the life of me I cannot find the timetables for a ferry from Eminönü, only from Kabatas. Can you please confirm if there is, in fact, a ferry from Eminönü and if there is, on which website will I find the timetables?

Kind regards
Ron

PS. You mentioned that the cost of the big tour on the horse and is 70 TL but I could not find on your website any mention of the cost of the short tour. Do you know what it is?

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Hi Ron,

You’re right, currently both the regular ferry and the sea bus operate from Kabataş. As for the small horse and carriage tour, I don’t know this year’s price yet, but I’d say to set 50 TL aside.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Ernst May 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Dear Erlend,

How many people does a regular carriage fit on the horse ride?

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Erlend Geerts May 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hi Ernst,

Four adults comfortably.

Erlend

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skim May 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Hi, I made reservation at Big Is Splendid palace for 6/12. I hope the hotel is good. we are leaving from Sirkeci Konak hotel and checking into Witt on 6.13. should we take tram or taxi?

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Erlend Geerts May 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi Skim,

I would take a taxi. It’s a small distance, but you don’t want to carry your luggage up the hill from Karaköy. It should cost you max 10 TL.

Erlend

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Fareeha May 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

Hi Erlend,

You’ve done a great job in helping everyone and am hoping you can help me too. I am thinking to visit Istanbul in the last week of June till first week of July. Is this a nice time to visit? We’re a family of 4 (2 kids: 2 yrs, 5 yrs) and would it be comfy to move around/see all the sights, etc. in the weather at this time? We plan to do the cruises to the Islands and Bosphorus and walk around/use tram everywhere in Istanbul, utilizing the daylight hours as much as possible/as the kids allow but I can’t gauge how much that would be possible ‘cuz of the weather. An input would be wonderful and most helpful. Thanks !

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Erlend Geerts May 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Hi Fareeha,

June/July are great times of the year to visit Istanbul. Of course, given the age of your children, you’ll have to take it a bit slower. If they still use buggies, you may consider bringing these backpack-like devices to take them across the city.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Ali Houri May 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

Its an amazing information … Thanks man

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Shorab June 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

thank you dear for all this information, it is very helpful.we are 5 friends traveling to istanbul next weekend we are staying in buyuk sahinler. we will arrive istanbul airport at 7.00 am, would you recommend us to take the princess island tour the same day and what would be the closest and cheapest mode of transport.

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Erlend Geerts June 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Hi Shorab,

First of all, what day do you arrive, because schedules may be different on weekdays and weekends. Also, where is your hotel located?

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Shorab June 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Hi Dear,

We arrive on a Friday morning at 7.00 and we will be staying in Buyuk Sahinler.
Also can we cover Princess Island and Bosphorus Cruise in a day.
Thanks in advance for your help.

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Erlend Geerts June 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hi Shorab,

I’m afraid it’s impossible to combine both (with the current ferry schedules).

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Mariana June 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Merhaba Erlend,
My name is Mariana and I’m from Romania.
I stumbled on your article surfing the net for info regarding Princess Islands’ beaches. And I stopped looking for more sites after I found your article and all the info you are providing.
Your article it’s interesting and offers a lot of info. But not as much as your answers for all the other questions. I’m really amazed and pleased that you still find time to answer all of them, offering to everybody more and more info that it’s not really easy to get. GREAT JOB.
I visit Istanbul regularly but for business not for holiday. Finally, this June, I intend to “steal” a day off from the business. During this day I plan to visit again the Princess Islands and I would like to go to the beach.
Can you, please, suggest on what island should I go for an uncrowded beach but not too far from the ferry terminal. By “not too far” I mean a walking distance of no more than 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter the size, if it’s rocky or not, but should be free of charge and accessible to the public.
If the visiting period it’s relevant – June 16th to June 22nd but, most probably, not on Sunday.

Thank you very much and have a nice evening,
Mariana

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Hi Mariana,

I’ve seen a few free, small, wild beaches where people were sunbathing and swimming on several occasions while doing the big bicycle tour on Büyükada. So, I would suggest to go there and ask around. If nobody can point you to such a beach, rent a bike for a day, and take the big tour until you stumble upon one.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Hamed June 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Hi everybody,
My fiancee and I are planning to stay few days in princess islands in beginning of July,
while searching i have found 4 small island and i dont know which one is the best and most beautiful one to stay ,
I appreciate if anyone could give me some information in this case,
cheers

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Aniket June 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hi Erlend,

I just stumbled upon your website and want to first thank you for helping so many travelers find their way in Istanbul. God bless you!

I have time till Saturday afternoon in Istanbul. I have already seen topkapi palace, hagia sofiya, blue mosque and basilica cistern.

I plan to spend a day to see the grand bazaar and spice bazaar.

This leaves me with another day and a half. I am staying at sultanahmet.
Here are my questions:

1 what are the local sights you would recommend I should see additionally? Keeping in mind that rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday.

2. Can you recommend if a dervish dance or gypsy dance is worth witnessing? Do you have a particular recommendation for any group?

Thank you very much for your kind assistance, and wish you all success for your future.

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

Hi Aniket,

I just checked the weather forecast, and I don’t think it will be a rainy day. Maybe a local (thunder) shower, but I doubt it will rain all day. And since the temperatures are still not too hot, this may be a great time to enjoy a bicycle tour on Büyükada, followed by whirling dervishes in the evening and a rooftop dinner/drink afterwards.

For your last half day, have you considered a visit to Dolmabahçe Palace? I always enjoy the selamlik tour there.

Hope this helps,
Erlend

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ISSAAD June 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

Dears ,
Many thanks for every one who contributed in this website . Its really full of ideas .
Actually I’m planning to be in Istanbul 18th , my wife and my 2 kids . The initial plan is to stay 3 days in Istanbul and 5 days in Lara Cost .
What would be the best things to enjoy in Istanbul having 2 kids 5 and 9 trying not to get them board with adults activities .
Also is there any good activities or tours in Lara ( Antalya ) to break the beach plan .
BR

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 14, 2013 at 11:09 am

Hi Issaad,

You should obviously visit the classics, and alternate those with some fun Istanbul activities for children.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Han June 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Hi Erland,
Please advice what would be nicer, to get the tour over the horse carriage or on a bike?
What will each cost and are there any 3 wheels bikes for the ones who don’t know how to ride 2 wheels?

Thank u

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hi Han,

I don’t think there are three-wheel bikes available. So, given that and the fact that there are some slopes, I suggest you take the horse and carriage. The latest prices have been published in previous comments.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Anita June 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Hello,
I will be traveling to Bursa June 20, 2013 and wanted to the price and time table of fast ferries going to Istanbul? Are there also slower ferries?
Many thanks for offering this info to tourists!

Anita from Washington DC

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

Hi Anita,

There are only quick ferries between cities. Check out IDO’s website for details.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Emel Singer June 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

We’ll be in Istanbul and want to take the fast ferry from Kabatas to Buyuk Ada on Sun., July 7th but we want to come back to Bostanci for dinner with friends in the evening. I have tried looking on the link you’ve provided for IDO to figure out the ferry timetables on Sundays, but I haven’t been able to determine if we can get on the fast ferry in Kabatas in the morning and after our tour of Buyuk Ada, take a ferry that stops in Bostanci. Can you please clarify for me or provide a phone number at IDO?

Thanks – I appreciate all the valuable information you’ve provided about Istanbul.

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Hi Emel,

Go to the IDO site, and click on the second tab (Sefer Saatleri). Select the departing and destination harbor as well as the date in the “Iç Hatları” pane.

Good luck,
Erlend

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Joseph July 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Hello we are visiting Istanbul for one week starting on the 21/7/2013 and at this time it will be Ramadan the feast time were the Muslims don’t eat day time my question is will the places be open at this time can we still go around with the kids regular thx. Joseph

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Erlend Geerts July 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hi Joseph,

Did you read this one on Istanbul during Ramadan?

Erlend

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KEN July 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Looks great!!

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sim July 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I am planning to have a stop over in istanbul end dec…i will have all day but ahve to be back by 4 pm for the flight…what should i do? princess islnd?> i was in istanbul last 2 yrs ago and saw the whole city…

would it be too cold…for princess island.. can i go at 10 and be back by 4?

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Erlend Geerts July 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Hi Sim,

I think you can, but it’s too early to tell now since all ferries operate on the summer schedule.

Leave me another comment somewhere at the end of October and I’ll be able to check it for you.

Erlend

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Haidee July 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hello Erlend
Is it worth while going to Marmara island, to stay for 2 nights?
(ie are there nice beaches and good chilling and great food)
How long is the ferry trip? from Yenikapi?
Regards, Haidee

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Hi Haidee,

In all honesty, I’ve never been there myself so I’m afraid I can’t help you with that one.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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kauthar July 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

Dear Erlend,
Thanks a lot for your effort on answering peoples query on Istanbul. I really appreciate it and you are really very helpful.

I would plan to visit Istanbul on 21 aug 2013. Can you please advice me if it is safe to travel at this time after the protests which happened in june? As it’s my first time and I would like to go only for 5 days to celebrate my anniversary, can you please advice me which is a nice and romantic place to go to and how to reach it? And if you are aware of a nice hotel, please share it. I would love to go to Princes’ Islands and Topkapi Palace.

Thank you
Kauthar

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Hi Kauthar,

There has never been a safety issue for tourists in Istanbul, so no need to worry about that. To celebrate your anniversary, I can’t think of a better, more cozy hotel than Witt Istanbul, honestly! As for nice place to eat, check out what locals recommend in the Locals Share section.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Anie July 30, 2013 at 7:15 am

I will be staying in Taksim square from Aug 1-6. I plan on visiting the Princess islands but for everything else I am worried that my teenage kids will get bored. They would like to do some activities that do not involve visits to churches and mosques… :/ What can I do to make sure my kids have fun in Istanbul? Please help!

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Erlend Geerts July 31, 2013 at 10:49 am

Hi Anie,

Did you read this post on Istanbul with children?

Erlend

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Fida August 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Erlend,

Your website is so far the best on the subject, thanks a lot for all your answers!

My husband and I plan to visit Istanbul next week, and I was wondering if it would be possible to take the half-day Bosphorus cruise and still have time to visit one of the Prince’s Islands in the same day? we have 4 days in istanbul and are trying to make the most out of the trip. If those two activities cannot be done on the same day, which do you recommend most?

Your help is much appreciated,

Thanks!

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Hi Fida,

Please let me know what days you’ll be here and which days you want to go, because the timetables change on weekdays and weekends.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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fida August 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Hi Erlend!

Thank you so much for the fast reply!

We’ll be in istanbul between 9th-13th of august and plan to take the Prince’s Islands tour (and the half day Bosphorus cruise if possible) on the 11th.. If we have time to do both on the same day? Also, if we were to visit one island, which would you recommend :) ?

Thank you so much for your help! We can’t wait to be there and have it all be well-planned :) :)

Fida

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Hi Fida,

First up, there is no way you can do all islands and a Bosphorus tour in one day. It would even be a challenge to do the four islands in one day.

Given your limited amount of time in Istanbul for your first trip, I would focus on Büyükada.

It is difficult to combine both on any given day, and on a Sunday it is impossible. I would just split them up, and fill it up with other activities. Just keep in mind that the Bazaars are closed on Sunday.

I would do the island(s) on a weekday (locals escape the city on weekends), and the Bosphorus tour on Saturday. You may go for the sunset tour on Saturday, although the last time I took it, it was too crowded to my liking. Also keep in mind that you’ve seen 90% with the small tour too, which only takes two hours.

I hope this helps,
Erlend

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Fida August 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Hi Erlend!

Thank you so much for all the answers :) This definitely helps a lot!
Will be taking up your advice and split them up on two days :)

Thanks a lot again,, i really appreciate you taking the time to answer :)

Kindest,
Fida

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Safina August 10, 2013 at 2:20 am

Hi Erlend,
Thank you so much for the all great info you are posting… I’ve been several times in Istanbul and you are so right that there are still so much to see. This time Princess island is must see…so thanks for the detailed info… I just wonder if the sea buses are still departing from Kabatas? And how to get to Kabatas from Sultanahmet area? Another question is – I have already visited Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, underground Cistern. This time I’m very much interested to see the Mihrimah sultan Mosque and Suleymaniye Mosque. I just wonder what is the best way to get there from Sultanahmet area? And the last question can you recommend any good and affordable hotel in Sultanahmet area…I booked Dom Hotel, but there are so many others, so little bit confused…Thank you so much!

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Erlend Geerts August 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hi Safina,

The sea buses still depart from Kabataş, which you easily reach from Sultanahmet with the T1 tramline. If you’re staying in Sultanahmet, I suggest walking to the Süleymaniye Mosque. Which is a great choice, since in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful mosques Istanbul has to offer.

I’m sorry, but I don’t give hotel recommendations for the obvious reasons.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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nastaran August 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Hi Erlend,
thank for your wonderful and informative website
I plan to visit Istanbul in 2 days and i want to spend a day in Buyukada.I wonder if you can recommend me a beach club which is not expensive and also serve an alcoholic drink
thanks in advance
best regards,

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Hi Nastaran,

Did you read this comment?

Have fun,
Erlend

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nastaran August 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hi Erlend,
Yeah, I mean exactly that comment. But I went to the website of that beach club and it was only in Turkish, and I couldn’t understand much. As far as I can get from that website, it only serves soft drinks. That’s why I left that comment:)

Best regards.

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Erlend Geerts August 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Hi Nastaran,

They don’t seem to serve alcoholic beverages these days. Check out Yörük Ali beach. I called them, and they serve beer and rakı.

Cheers,
Erlend

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Jackie September 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Hi Erlend,
Fantastic website, really helpful.
We are visiting Istanbul on a cruise and dock 8am on Friday 11 October and leave 8am on Saturday 12 October.
Our cruise takes us through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, so no need for a Bosphorus cruise.
Are the ferries to Princes’ Islands on their summer or winter timetable that weekend?

Thanks,
Jackie

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Erlend Geerts September 2, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I Jackie,

Although here is no official news yet, it’s fair to assume that he winter schedules will start half September, when the schools open.

Best is to check the two ferry sites online regularly for the latest schedules.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Mike Danforth September 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Hi, I had heard there is some type of religious festival once a year, maybe in April, on the one or more of the islands, where many people travel and walk to the top of a hill. Do you you know anything about this, the dates, etc? Sorry to be so vague, that’s all I know.

I appreciate your insight so much, THANKS!

Mike

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Mike Danforth September 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Hi, I had heard there is some type of religious festival once a year, maybe in April, on the one or more of the islands, where many people travel and walk to the top of a hill. Do you you know anything about this, the dates, etc? Sorry to be so vague, that’s all I know.

I appreciate your insight so much, THANKS!

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hi Mike,

This takes place on Büyükada every September 24 and April 23. They walk until Haghia Yorgi, the church and monastery that stands on top of Yücetepe. According to Christian belief the people who climb this hill are considered half pilgrim. To be considered a full pilgrim, you also need to visit Meryem Ana (Virgin Mary Church) in Ephesus.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Sophie September 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi Erlend,
We are going to be in istanbul from 01 November until 06 November.. We have a hotel for the first few days, but we were thinking of heading out of istanbul for 2 nights, can you recommend any places to visit for a few nights? We were thinking somewhere good for walking, exploring and somewhere that’s a traditional turkish village? Any thoughts? Thanks so much, sophie :-)

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Erlend Geerts September 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Hi Sophie,

Have you thought of Şile by the Black Sea, or Yallova with its thermal springs?

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Karim October 1, 2013 at 8:34 am

Hi Erlend

This is a wonderful job u r doing.. I haven’t got enough words to appreciate ur sincerity..Thanks for all the time in answering all these individual queries.. I am planning an istanbul tour this weekend with my wife and 4 yr old son and a friend, his wife and 10 month old baby. We arrive on friday and are staying at hotel el blanco in sultanahmet.. This is our itinery :

friday noon onwards: short bosphorous cruise, pierre lotte hill cafe, egyptian
bazaar,eyup mosque
saturday (walking tour): Topkapi palace, hagia sophia, blue mosque, underground
cistern, grand bazaar, galata tower
Sunday: Princes Island
Monday we have time till about 1 o’ clock which is not yet planned.. could you please give ur suggestions about the planned and unplanned parts.. would it be possible to get a local guide who is not very expensive.. when we tried booking through websites, they don’t fit into our budget.. But i feel a guide would be indispensable as we r visiting for the first time and its a short trip.. Please help.. Thanks a lot in advance…

Abdul Karim

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Hi Karim,

The itinerary looks fine to me, as long as you know that Saturday is really stuffed and you will have a hard time spending enough time at Topkapi Palace to finish all you have planned that day.

Also, I would switch the Spice Bazaar and Pierre Lotti from place, otherwise you may risk not being back in time to get into the bazaar.

As for Monday, maybe Dolmabahçe Palace or just enjoying the streets and shops at Galata or Bebek.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Shariq October 8, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hi, I am celebrating Eid al-Adha in Istanbul this Year :) . My travel agent is charging Euro 45 Per person for “8 hours Princes’ Islands (Buyukada), Phaeton Tour (horse and cart) ” including lunch and pic and drop to hotel , i am staying in Hamidiye Hotel .

Since its my 1st visit to Istanbul I required you help to know is it worth to pay EURO 45 for the tour ?

Thanks

Shariq

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Hi Shariq,

I don’t know how many people will join you, but I have made a similar calculation previously. Please read through the comments.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Shariq October 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Thanks Erlend..
You Post helped me alot :)

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Katie December 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hi
I am really glad I found your website. I am going to Istanbul for 10 nights in March 2014. Do you know if it is easy to hire a bike on the island?
Also any good tips for supermarkets? I am staying in Sultanahmet.

Thank you
Katie

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Erlend Geerts December 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Hi Katie,

No problem whatsoever to rent a bike, there a few bike rental shops. As for supermarkets, the main chains are Migros, Carrefour, Onur, and Uyum.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Jaqui December 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I will be spending 1 week in Istanbul in early March with my adult daughter. We would like to leave the city for 1/2 nights to visit somewhere else nearby: where would you suggest? Also, will we have problems travelling as 2 women?
Thank yo for this very interesting andinformative blog!

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Erlend Geerts January 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Hi Jaqui,

First up, Istanbul is very safe, so if you use common sense you should be just fine.

As for your trip, it’s very hard to give advice. Maybe check out more info on Yalova, the Princes’ Islands, Şile, and Edirne and see which one appeals most to you.

Also keep in mind that the weather may still be cool, and certainly cold at night.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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May January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm

hello
thank you for all the useful info provided on ur page.
i arrive on 14 th February for a 3 days stay with a girl of 7 years, is there are any activities that cannot be made if its rainy?
and if we need a taxi from the airport to the klas hotel ?
is it easy to find 1 and if yes how much the cost will be 2 adults and 1 child
thank you for your reply

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hi May,

Most sightseeing spots and activities continue regardless of the weather.

Did you check out these posts on how to get to your hotel and the latest on Istanbul cab fares? Also, don’t forget to go over the comments.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Nishant Jha February 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Hi,

I, my wife and our would be 6-months young infant boy are travelling to Turkey for 2 weeks on 25-July-2014 and would start our trip with a 6 nights stay in Istanbul…How comfortable or uncomfortable is the Ferry from Istanbul to Prince’s Islands for a 6-months young infant? Should we include this 1-day trip or not as part of our itinerary?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards,
Nishant

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Hi Nishant,

In July both the regular and the quick ferry are comfortable and enjoyable. But with a 6-month old, I would obtain for the quick ferry. Think of it like boarding an airplane, but on water. Since you’re here for six days, I would include it into my itinerary. It will feel so much unlike Istanbul, with less heat, less noise, fresh air and beautiful wooden mansions.

Enjoy,
Erlend

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Khalid February 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Dear Mr. Geerts,

Thank you very much for this wonderful ocean of only useful information. Cant appreciate it enough. God Bless you.

My wife and me are travelling to Turkey for the first time for our anniversary next week from Feb 7 – Feb 13.

We will have Feb 8 wholly in Istanbul and then Feb 12 afternoon till Feb 13 afternoon.

If you were taking your newly wedded wife, where would you stay and what would you do in this precious time with such an important person?

Please give your priceless and much needed advice.

Thank you

Best Regards

P.S.: We dont drink nor gamble.

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Hi Khalid,

Thank you so much for the nice remarks.

Honestly, if you’re looking for really nice rooms, wonderful design and kindness of the staff that’s hard to beat, try Witt Istanbul. Just check the rooms and prices of hotels offering similar quality, and you’ll understand.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Mervyn Chin February 4, 2014 at 3:54 am

Hi Erlend,

You are truly amazing with your help probably much better than the tourist information. Greatly appreciated.

I will be visiting Istanbul for a week at the end of March 2014 , coming from Canada and have 3 questions for now:

1. The full day Bosphorus tour goes to 2 villages Rumeli Kavagi and Anadolu Kavagi. Which of these two villages would be nicer to visit before returning to Istanbul?

2. I am staying at Mevlana hotel in Sultanahmet . How do I get to Taskim Square .
How many tickets and token will I need.

3. How do i get to Chora Church.

Tesekkur ederim.

Mervyn

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 10, 2014 at 10:05 am

Hi Mervyn,

1. It’s personal of course, but most people go for the last stop (Anadolu Kavagi).
2. With the tramway to Kabataş, followed by funicular. 2 Tokens per person.
3. By taxi.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Mervyn Chin February 20, 2014 at 4:24 am

Thanks Erlend.
I really appreciate all your help to myself and other travellers . I will ask the Turkish government to make you the official tourist ambassador for English sinec you write and speak excellent English.

Question : if you take the fast boat over to the Princes Island , the big one, Buyukada , can you return by the slower boat since tehre are more times available.

Tesekkur ederim.

Mervyn

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Hi Mervyn,

Thanks for the compliment.

Of course you can return with the slower, conventional ferries. Just make sure you buy a single (not gidiş-dönüş) ticket for the quick ferry, and buy another single ticket to return with the conventional ferry when you embark for the way back.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Oly February 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Thank you for the detailed information you provide to these posts.
I am planning to visit Istanbul on 7th May for 8 days. I am am pregnant and i will be visiting with 18 months toddler. Do you think i should spend my time only in Istanbul or should i book a flight to Izmir and stay 2-3 days in Istanbul?

Reply

Erlend Geerts February 28, 2014 at 7:33 am

Hi Oly,

I’m afraid I can’t help you with your choice. It all depends a bit on what you plan to get out of this holiday, what you have seen before, what temperatures you prefer, etc.

I’ve never been to Izmir myself, so I can’t compare. Weather should be nice by then in both cities, with temperatures (much) higher in Izmir probably.

I hope it helps,
Erlend

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Sarah March 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Hi Erlend,

My hotel is in Taksim and i want to go to Dolmabahce palace same day with princess Islands, i will take F1 to kabatas where i can see the palace walking (it needs about 1.5 hr max) then i can leave palace also walking and go for ferry terminal and take seabus ,
the question is: is there any mistake or error in the above steps?
second question if i want only to go to the last island which has horse carriage should i inform the captain or driver or whatever or he will announce that we arrived to last island?
by the way i am coming to istanbul this thursday but will do this on friday or saturday since the palace is closed on Thursday

thank youu :)

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Hi Sarah,

The setup seems nice, just make sure you have a quick ferry from Kabataş at that time leaving for the islands, or take a slower ferry from Eminönü. No need to tell the captain where you’re heading, he’ll stop at all places his ship is scheduled to go to.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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RITA April 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

can we visit all the islands with istanbul card by paying only 7 TL per person or just we can visit one island each day ? thx

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Erlend Geerts April 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Hi Rita,

You don’t pay to enter the island, you pay for the ferry. Every time you use it, you’ll have to pay a fee.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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raed April 25, 2014 at 12:15 am

hi,
thanx for ur advices
i will visit istanbul at first of may, and my brother is handicapped with weelchair,
i need to know the places are not weelchair accessible and isit difficult to transport by trian and taxi?
thanx

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Hi Read,

Istanbul is not the most wheelchair accessible city, largely due to its age and historically small street. But don’t dispair, the municipality is doing efforts.

Most common sightseeing spots are accessible for people in a wheelchair. Busses and taxis will be harder to use, but I recommend using the metro and tramways. Metro systems usually have elevators from ground level to the platforms (and back).

The Princes Islands are also an option, but keep in mind that there are hills.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Bradley May 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm

My wife and I are travelling to Istanbul for our anniversary in August. We’re staying in Sultanahmet. What is the nicest beach nearby for us to spend one day?

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Erlend Geerts May 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

Hi Bradley,

There are no real beaches in Istanbul’s city center. You either have to go to the Princes’ Islands, or to the beaches of the Black Sea. Alternatively, there are some really nice hotel pools to take a dip in.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Alexander May 5, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hi Erlend,

first of all thank you for the time and effort to inform us. How do you even manage to answer all the questions?
We are going to Istanbul next week for 6 days and I was wandering if the ferry stops on each island it waits there or you need to catch another one to go on the next island? If so, you need to pay each time you take the ferry?

Best regards,
Alexander

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 6, 2014 at 10:10 am

Hi Alexander,

The regular ferries normally do all the islands. The quick ferries sometimes do all of them, but sometimes it only does one or two. In any case, it’s wise to check the latest schedule or ask when in doubt. Every time you board the ship, you need to pay.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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pam May 11, 2014 at 10:55 am

Hi,
We would like to visit Istanbul and combine it with some island hopping. Could u tell me approximately how long it takes between each of the islands and which islands we should “hop”. We are planning our visit at the beginning of July.
Many thanks.
Pam

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Hi Pam,

That’s so personal. I did them all once, and spent most time on Büyükada and Heybeliada, simply because I did the bike tour there. The good thing is though, if you want to hop to the next island, there is always a ferry to take you during the daytime.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Britt May 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

Hi there!

Can you suggest where to stay on the Princes’ Islands? I am finding it difficult to find options.

Thank you!

Brittany

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Hi Britt,

I once stayed at the Büyükada Princess Hotel, right on the main square. The rooms were standard and not too big, but dinner on their terrace around the pool and sea view were fabulous.

If you want more hotels, go to booking.com and look for Büyükada, some 20 should list.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Wassim May 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Hi there,

What time the shuttles stops ? In other term, can we reach the islands drruing night time ?

Thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Hi Wassim,

Most definitely not. Please check the time tables not to get stuck there.

Erlend

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Maxim May 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Hi Erlend,
Good i landed up with this website at the 11th hour. I have planned my trip through travel agent. But wanted to check. i will have one free day , it is worth visiting the prince island in half a day.
The website for funicular timings doesnt seem to work. WE will be staying at sultanhamnet. could you please suggest how early we can leave how and how to be back by 4pm.
For bicycle ride, do we get them in the island. Thanks for your answers
Regards
mp

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 22, 2014 at 7:38 am

Hi Maxim,

If you’ve seen all the major sightseeing spots, then it sure is worth the trip. Certainly in spring. For timetables, please click both links at the bottom of the article for details. I checked them, they both work fine.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

faruk June 25, 2014 at 3:19 am

Hi Erlend.
I went to Princes Islands last year via ferry from Kabatas.
However my question is ,can i go to Princes Islands from Eminonu and save myself and my whole family of going to Kabatas.

Many Thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 1, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Hi Faruk,

Yes you can, but then you can’t take the quick ferry, only the conventional ones.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Priyanka July 1, 2014 at 9:30 am

Hi Erlend,

Can’t tell you how amazing is to find this site. Read almost all the queries and your patient and diligent answers to all of them.

Currently, with the unrest in Middle-east, how safe is it to visit Istanbul in late august or september starting?

Regards.
Priyanka

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Hi Priyanka,

Nothing to worry about. The border is minimum 1000 km away.

Erlend

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Haider July 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Hi Erlend,

Your blog/site is fantastic and must see for someone visiting Istanbul. I have a couple of questions. We’re as a family visiting Istanbul in a fortnight i.e in Ramadan and leaving a week after Eid/Bayram.

Do these tours still operate in Ramadan? We’re renting a self-catering apartment, so is it easy to pick up food for when we start the fast i.e do restaurants or takeaways open early during Ramadan? Finally does everything close for Eid/Bayram.

Thanks

Regards Haider

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Hi Haider,

During Ramadan, it’s business as usual.

You do not want to go shopping on the last day of Ramadan though. It’s so crowded and hectic, as people are preparing for the Bayram.

The first day of Bayram, most shops will open much later or not at all. The second day, everything is back to normal.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Haider July 4, 2014 at 12:38 am

Hi Erlend,

Thank you for your reply, much appreciated. Sorry to bother you with one last question, will any food places be open say 3 am in the morning, or do they all shut before midnight?

Thanks

Kind Regards

Haider

Reply

Erlend Geerts July 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Hi Haider,

Established restaurants will be closed at that time, but you should be able to find some street food.

Cheers,
Erlend

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Hung September 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi Erlend,

I’ll be in Istanbul from Oct 3 thru 10. Since all attraction will be closed half a day on Oct 4, I plan on going to Heybeliada. But I am worried about ferry schedule. IDO’s web-site for inner-city lines schedule shows only … 1 trip from Kabatas to Heybeliada, leaving at 1050 & arrive at 11:50. Is this correct, Erlend? Only … 1 ferry for the whole day?

Sehir Hatlari’s web page is in Turkish … so can really understand it.

Mavi Marmara’s web site shows ferries leaving Kabatas starting @0930 and … almost every 1/2 hour ’til 19:30. Leaving Heybeliada starting @0745 … almost hourly with the last ferry @ 1945.

What is the availability of ferry tickets, Erlend? Can I get the going/return tickets at the same time?

Thanks in advance for your info. And, thanks for ALL the good tips!

Regards,

Hung

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Hi Hung,

The IDO winter schedule with just one trip seems right. The normal ferries of course make more trips, and you’re right about the Şehir Hatları website. The problem is that they used to have an English part of the site, but they removed that So, (for now) the site is monolingual Turkish.

At the top, click on ‘Seferleri’ and then on ‘Sefer Tarifeleri’. That should bring up a list of all their ferry lines. Almost at the bottom, you’ll find ‘Kabataş-Kadıköy-Adalar-Bostancı’. Click on that link to see the time schedules for the islands.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Faiz October 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for the info…

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Rime October 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Hi Erlend,
Thanks for your helpful blog!
I will be in Istanbul for 10 days (4 days in maltepe and 6 days in Fath). I am planning to explore the Asian side of the city during the first day. Do you have any good suggestions considering that we have 2 kids with us (11 and 5 years). Another question: what is the easiest way to get from Maltepe to Fatih and what would a taxi fare be for the trip.

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 11, 2014 at 12:13 am

Hi Rime,

Did you check out these posts on what to do on the Asia side?

I would never take a taxi ride from Maltepe to Fatih. You’re better of taking the ferry to Eminönü from Kadiköy, and from there take a taxi or the tramway to Fatih, whichever is more convenient luggage wise.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Cynthia October 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Hey Erlend,

In my country (Netherlands), it’s customary for high school students to go on a trip right after your final exams. So me and my girl friends have been thinking about locations for quite a while now, and Istanbul seems really interesting. I am particularly interested in doing a city trip, but the other girls would like to relax on the beach as well. Since I’ve read online that there aren’t a lot of beaches in Istanbul, we made a compromise: We’ll visit Istanbul for 4 days, city-trip till we drop, and the remaining 4 days we’ll spend on Büyükada, to relax, swim, etc. before we fly back to our home-country.

Do you think this is a good idea and do you have any suggestions, tips, do’s and don’ts, on arranging this?

I look forward to your reply,

Cynthia

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hi Cynthia,

I appreciate that you try to combine culture and leisure for your students. Assuming you plan to visit somewhere in July, I can tell you that the weather should be excellent, but the sea may still be only just above Netherlands temperatures because it takes a while to heat up.

Let me clarify something about Büyükada (or any island) beaches. They are not like the ones you may know from Bodrum or Antalya. The beach you’re accustomed to involves walking into the sea over sand. Here, when you can access the water easily, they call it a ‘beach’. So, this can be a concrete pier, sand, or a mixture of sand and pebbles. There are two kinds of beaches on the islands: privately owned and ‘wild’ ones. The former are mostly concrete constructions with sunbathing chairs, a bar, and facilities. These are well maintained and have an entrance fee. I wrote about those earlier. The wild ones are public, natural, without fee, and without facilities.

So, you can spend 4 days at the ‘beach’ if you want of course. But keep in mind that Istanbul offers plenty of leisure activities without the necessity of a beach. There are also some great (payable) pools around (with after party). Also, you can head to the Black Sea region, and find genuine beaches, again mostly for a fee and some travel.

I hope this helps,
Erlend

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Ash November 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Hi there
I am planning to travel to Istanbul in April 2014, please advise on the weather?
Ie will we need jackets etc. I am not fond of cold weather, please assist.

Many thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts November 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Hi Ash,

If I could predict the weather 6 months ahead, I would be rich. In April it can be hot, but rainy and chilly too. Summer doesn’t really start until the end of May.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Jane December 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Hi Erlend,

I’m having a hard time figuring out the timetable at http://www.ido.com.tr/. We would like to go Tues 12/30 (weather permitting). Also any restaurant recommendations for
Büyükada? Thanks!

Jane

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Hi Jane,

In wintertime there is no IDO quick ferry going to the islands during the weekdays, only one during the weekends and during holidays. But you can take the conventional ferries instead, they operate during the winter time.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

Jane December 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Sorry another question, do you know if Dolmabahce Palace will be open on Dec 31? New Year’s Eve? Are there many places not open?

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Hi Jane,

Yes, it should be business as usual on December 31st.

Erlend

Reply

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