Istanbul is a transcontinental city straddling the continents of Europe and Asia. It is also famous for being a prominent cultural, economic, and historic city in Turkey. Being one of the most populous cities in the world and by its unique location, a great fusion of both the continents of Europe and Asia can be savoured by the visitors in Istanbul. Having said that; it takes a lot of planning to make the day trips from Istanbul truly enjoyable and meaningful.
12 Day Trips From Istanbul
Take a look at the list of these amazing Istanbul day trips. Make sure you cover most of these places to create numerous memories during your Istanbul trip!
1. The Princes Islands
Ever wondered how a place would be without cars and automobiles? Or only bicycle or straddling a horse or walking is allowed? Strange, that such a place even exists, in these days! Yes, it does. The Princes Islands- an archipelago floating in the seas of Marmara- is one such rare place. An assortment of islands, there are two major chunks of land to visit- the Buyukada and Heybeliada islands. Buyukada is the largest of the populated islands, barring for a few old country houses, the place is a vast stretch of woodlands beckoning hikers. Do take a walk up to the Greek Orthodox Monastery and revel in the arms of the nature. Heybeliada is strung along the course with few magnificent beaches and is more laid back than all other islands of the group. It is worth undertaking a day trip from Istanbul, for sure.
How to Reach from Istanbul: The distance is about 18 Kms navigable by ferry from Kabatas port.
Kilyos, a coastal resort on the northern coast of Istanbul is a wonderful get away from sun-seekers and revelers. Its beaches with long and beautiful sandy bay are a perfect foil for the young. If you are a music buff and a DJ fan, Kilyos is the ideal one day trip from Istanbul for you. The tranquil beach town of Kilyos is stage for DJ performers from all over the world during the summer months. The riveting dance and song reverberates the beaches of the place. Though it is one of the best day trips from Istanbul, most people to prefer to stay back for the night to enjoy the music on the beach sands.
How to Reach from Istanbul: It is at a distance of 31 km from Istanbul and can be reached by private car or Uber service. An Uber ride costs around INR 1600/-.
3. Belgrad Ormani
How about venturing out in to a forest without going too far away from the city environs? Sounds great, is it not? Yes, that is Belgrad Ormani (literally meaning Belgrad forest) is at the edge of the Istanbul city. Spread over an imposing 5,000 acres of land, Belgrad Ormani provides scenic woodlands, dams of Ottoman empire, streams and historic sites. With some excellent hikes in the area, presence of serene and calm natural spaces makes a trip to Belgrad Ormani a truly memorable one.
How to Reach from Istanbul: At 500 miles from Istanbul, it is just an hour flight.
A visit to Bursa is one of the not-to-miss day tours from Istanbul. As one of the most historical cities in the country, Bursa enjoys frequent visitors from all over the world to come and walk the streets of the Ottoman Empire’s first ever capital and to marvel at its impressive buildings. This is one of the best day trips from Istanbul by train. Bursa’s Uludağ Mountain is known for its excellent skiing during the winter and breathtaking views of the city during summer. Do not miss the central markets where you can browse for traditional wares.
How to Reach from Istanbul: While the air route is only 92 km, road distance is about 240 km. If road travel is your option, the choice of cabs or buses is for you to pick from.
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5. Anadolu Kavagi
It is a quaint little fishing village. Not far from the city center of Istanbul, Andalu Kavagi presents a coast lined with vibrantly colored little wooden houses overlooked by the famous Yoros Kalesi fortress that dates back nearly a millennium. You can hike up to the fortress and also enjoy mouth-watering freshly caught fish at many of the restaurants in the place.
How to Reach from Istanbul: Tourists can traverse the distance of 40 km to Andalu Kavagi either by road or by water way. Most prefer to raft through the waters to reach this village.
Suggested Read: 6 Theme Parks In Istanbul For Letting Out The Kid In You!
Widely recognized as a place with a very similar energy to Istanbul, but much more manageable in size, is the thriving seaside town of Çanakkale. Found near the Gallipoli Peninsula, the town is abuzz with youthful energy as well as many intriguing historical points of interest. Young adults and families alike can be found socializing and enjoying themselves outside bars long after the sun has set. The place is an ideal spot for honeymooners. The best way to enjoy this trip is to to undertake a day trip from Istanbul by train.
How to Reach from Istanbul: Located at a distance of about 500 km, tourists can either fly (about 40 minutes) or go by road, which takes about 7 hours or by train.
Cover great mythological and historical Trojan War on a day trip from Istanbul to Troy. Walk around the place and get a glimpse of the archaeological place of Troy to a glorious replica of the Trojan Horse! Savour a tasty Turkish lunch at the nearby Eceabat town. Undertake a short journey by ferry from Eceabat to Canakkale and also take a glimpse of the famed site of the Troy in your trip. Hear the tourist guide narrating the story of Troy and also walk around the ruins of the place for a walk down the memory lane. Top up your day trips from Istanbul with a visit to the wooden Trojan Horse there.
Pamukkale is one of the country’s popular attractions for tourists. Pamukkale is a series of startlingly white thermal pool terraces cascading onto one another in the gorgeous flats of Turkey’s southwest. It is also the site of the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis, which has been incredibly well-preserved and adds to the entire surreal experience. This great one day trip from Istanbul offers endless opportunities to relax, snap incredible pictures, and explore one of the most unique places in the world.
How to Reach from Istanbul: Pamukkale is around two hours away from Istanbul including a plane journey and overland transfer.
The town of Iznik (formerly known as Nicea) is an ancient fortified settlement. It is steeped in historical significance with deep rooted presence of Turkish, Roman and Greek history. The town is the seat of pottery and tiles production activity over the ages. The stunning architecture and the colorful pottery and tiles all across the town is a scene to behold. The gorgeous lake outside the town adds to its overall scenic beauty.
How to Reach from Istanbul: It is at a distance of 92 km by air and 135 km by road.
This was the second capital city of the Ottoman Empire. Edirne is an astonishingly opulent city positively brimming with heritage listed buildings including mosques, museums and an enchanting and mysterious Old Town. The town’s Selmiye mosque is one of the finest buildings in the country with a huge dome overhead. A visit to the Edirne Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, housed within the mosque’s courtyard and exhibiting fascinating ceramic, cloth and woodworks from the Ottoman reign is worth spending the time. Edirne is also the venue for the popular annual oil-wrestling contest.
How to Reach from Istanbul: By air it is at a distance of 93 km and by road 135 km.
11. Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is an incredibly beautiful natural harbor that is home to many fascinating historical sites as well as being a gorgeous stretch of coast. The seven-kilometre-long inlet has been built on since the medieval era and once played a pivotal role in shipping throughout the region. Do not miss the chance to visit the opulently adorned Aynalıkavak Kasrı pavilion before heading up to the equally as impressive Eyüp Mosque, built 500 years ago and magnificent to this day.
12. Kilitbahir Fortress
Known to be built by Sultan Mehmet in 1463, this incredible fortress lies on the other side of Canakkale. It was envisaged as a defensive project to defend the waters leading to Istanbul. Tourists can enjoy a panoramic view of the strait of Dardanelles after they get on to the highest point of the fort. Kilitbahir is also home to a large port worth visiting.
Each place is considered to be the best destination one can explore when planning day trips from Istanbul. Traveling to Turkey will be an experience to remember when you’ll add the above-listed places to your itinerary!
Frequently Asked Questions About the 12 Day Trips to Take from Istanbul
A. Being one of the vibrant urban conglomerates with its typical identity of mixing Europe and Asian traits, Istanbul remains a safe place for the travellers.
A. Being a city of global repute, Istanbul offers an ample variety of recipes that represent numerous cuisines. You can enjoy a variety of recipes at a reasonable price.
A. Travellers can plan maximum historical sites and all those that have Islamic relevance during a 12-day tour.
A. It is safe for women and families to enjoy great rides through local travels to and from Istanbul to rest locations in Turkey.
A. Turkish people are extremely humble and consider visitors to their guests.