Beautiful view of Istanbul

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Istanbul is one of the big cities of Turkey and spreads across Europe and Asia on the Bosphorus Strait. the city is historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople. Istanbul has a very rich history and culture and various destinations for tourists to visit and see and because this city is so famous and packed with things to see and do, it sometimes overshadows the numerous cities and attractions that are near the city or around it and this article will list the places near Istanbul and the beautiful cities near Istanbul that you can visit.

13 Gorgeous Places Near Istanbul

If you are planning to visit Istanbul for a holiday, do not just limit yourself to the city. There are many interesting places near and around Istanbul that can add some extra punch to your vacation. If not all, here are 10 best places near Istanbul that you must visit on priority.

  • Belgrad Forest – Enjoy Natural Beauty
  • Prince Islands – Enjoy A Ferry Ride
  • Kilyos – A Resort Town
  • Cappadocia – Enjoy Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Edirne – Rich In Culture
  • Blue Mosque – A Historical Place
  • Bursa – Enjoy Turkish Cuisine
  • Şarköy – Enjoy Completely
  • Sapanca – With Amazing Natural Environment
  • Antalya – A Popular City
  • Polonezkoy – A Small Town
  • Sile – A Charming Place
  • Agva – Get Impressed By The Beauty

1. Belgrad Forest – Enjoy Natural Beauty

Belgrad is one of the best places to visit near Istanbul

Image Credit: User:Yonca for Wikimedia Commons

This is a mixed deciduous forest which is located adjacent to Istanbul and is a popular destination for tourists who want to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy the natural beauties that are preserved in this forest. Tourists can drive to the forest from Enterprise offices and enjoy activities like trekking and hiking through its numerous trails, taking nature walks or even having a picnic or a barbecue at some of the designated areas which are a favorite pastime for even the locals during the weekends, this is one of the more beautiful places near Istanbul.

Best Time to Visit: Can be visited throughout the year
Location: Kemer, 34450 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 29 Km

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2. Prince Islands – Enjoy A Ferry Ride

Prince Islands are among the most relaxing places to visit near Istanbul

Image Credit: Falco by Pixabay

Also called Prince’s Island this is a cluster of nine islands that are based off the Asian coast of Istanbul, people can visit these islands by a ferry ride from Istanbul. These islands are popular for the fact that there are no motorized vehicles allowed so there are horse drawn carriages only, the other aspect of these Islands is the architecture and the untouched forests which will make you feel like you have time traveled into the past. This is one of the more relaxing places to go near Istanbul.

Best Time to Visit:April-May and September-October
Location: Adalarİstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 17.6 km

3. Kilyos – A Resort Town

Kilyos Dalia beach is one of the most thrilling places to visit near Istanbul

Image Credit: Ozan Kilic for Wikipedia Commons

This is a resort town or village which is located in the Sariyer district and is a well-known seaside destination as it rests on the Black Sea coasts, the tourists come here to visit and enjoy some of the beaches and visitors can also enjoy the big parties organized during the weekends or visit the 14th century Genoese castle which is in the village.

Best Time to Visit:Can be visited throughout the year
Location: Kumköy34450 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul:60 km

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4. Grand Bazaar- A Popular Shopping Destination

The Grand Bazaar has a lot of variety products to offers for all the shoppers.

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known as the world’s biggest enclosed bazaar, The Grand Bazaar is one-stop destination for the tourists who want to explore traditional goods such as textiles, authentic jewelry etc for amazing shopping experience. spread across 30,700 square metres, this amazing destination features 64 shopping streets, more than 4,000 stores, cafes, banks as well as post office and the mosque, making it a little central city. it is world’s oldest bazaar that is keeping a lot of vanishing professions alive with their unique culture. This place is a like paradise for all the shopping lovers as well as for tourists.

Best Time to Visit:Can be visited throughout the year
Location:Beyazıt, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 3.2 km

5. Edirne – Rich In Culture

Edirne is among the most beautiful cities in Istanbul

Image Credit: Tevfik Teker for Wikipedia Commons

This city which is located in the region of East Thrace and was the capital of the Ottoman Empire before Istanbul was captured, this is one of Istanbul neighboring cities and is rich in culture and history and travelers can come to see the amazing architecture, many iconic mosques, cathedrals, Palaces and more. Visiting this city is an amazing experience and an opportunity to learn about its history and culture and it is among the most beautiful cities near Istanbul.

Best Time to Visit:Between late June and late August
Location: 22100 Edirne Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul:213 km

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6. Blue Mosque – A Historical Place

Blue Mosque is one of the most popular tourist destination in Turkey

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This mosque is also known as Sultan Ahmet Mosque is a historical mosque which is now among popular tourist places near the Istanbul airport, the mosque is called blue mosque due to the blue tiles on the interior and the fact that the mosque appears blue during the sunset time due to the light. This is an amazing view and it still functions as a place of worship along with being a popular tourist destination.

Best Time to Visit: Can be visited throughout the year
Location: Binbirdirek, At Meydanı Cd No:10, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: Less than 1 km

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7. Bursa – Enjoy Turkish Cuisine

Bursa is one of the popular tourist cities near Istanbul

Image Credit: Haluk CÖMERTEL for Wikipedia Commons

This is among one of the tourist cities near Istanbul with various attractions and things to do in Istanbul along with being famous for Turkish cuisine. This industrialized metropolitan city has amazing architecture, numerous mosques and historical sites, many parks and botanical gardens and an amazing mountain backdrop. This city is located in northwest Anatolia, within the Marmara Region and is a must visit a city that is near Istanbul along with Edirne.

Best Time to Visit: April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November
Location: Atatürk Cad. Uçak Sok. No 1 16020 Bursa Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 91 km

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8. Şarköy – Enjoy Completely

Avsa Island is a small seaside town with various tourists attractions.

Image Credit: Nevit Dilmen for Wikipedia Commons

This small seaside town which is located in the Tekirdag Province on the north coast of the Marmara Sea can be reached by inland roads. This place is for having the longest beach in Turkey which was dirty before but was cleaned up and received a blue flag, you can go fishing, swimming or even motor boating from here to Avsa or Marmara islands, the town has numerous hotels, bars, and clubs to enjoy as well as wineries which tourists can visit and indulge in some wine tasting since this area is known for wine-making.

Best Time to Visit: June, July, August, September
Location: Altıntepsi, Büyük İstanbul Otogari D:26, 34035 Bayrampaşa/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 13.7 km

9. Sapanca – With Amazing Natural Environment

Sapanca is one of the most famous tourists destinations with amazing natural environment

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This is a town located in the Sakarya Province in the Marmara region and has become a tourist destination recently due to its amazing natural environment, the lake and also the fact that it is located just below the Kartepe ski resort which makes visiting this town during the winter for winter sports ideal. The town has a number of resorts and hotels along with pubs, bars, and clubs that you can enjoy while on your visit there. It is one of the best places near Istanbul to visit by car.

Best Time to Visit: Late June to Early September
Location: Rüstempaşa, Petek Sk. No:3, 54600 Sapanca/Sakarya, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 116 km

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10. Rumeli Fortress – A Popular Historical Place

Rumeli Fortress is one of the best places to visit near Istanbul that offers exceptional example of military architecture from the era.

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Rumeli Fortress, also known as Rumeli Hisarı, is an awe-inspiring historical gem nestled on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey. With a history dating back to the 15th century, this imposing structure stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Commissioned by Sultan Mehmed II in 1452, its primary purpose was to secure control of the Bosporus Strait during the famed Ottoman siege of Constantinople. Boasting strategic positioning and robust defensive walls, the fortress showcases an exceptional example of military architecture from the era. Today, visitors flock to this UNESCO World Heritage site, marveling at its grandeur and enjoying breathtaking vistas of the Bosporus.

Best Time to Visit: April to mid-June (Spring) and September to mid-October (Autumn)
Location: Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey
Distance from Istanbul: 22.7 km

11. Polonezkoy – A Small Town

Polonezkoy is a small town with best tourists attractions located near Istanbul

Image Credit: Nevit Dilmen for Wikimedia Commons

Polonezkoy is a small town located on the Asian side of Istanbul around 30 km away. It is rich in natural beauty and one of the top places to visit near Istanbul. Due to its history, you will still find a small Polish settlement in the village. The place has been able to maintain a top notch central European village charm, which is very ideal for excursions, picnics and long walks, especially if you are with a loved one. Taste some mouth-watering Turkish foods that are authentic in nature.  The town has managed to preserve a rich environment with a wide area dedicated to lush green forests. Some top attractions to visit include Polonezköy Nature Park, İstanbul Kelebek Çiftliği and Nehir Park.

Best Time to Visit:May, September and October
Location:Polonez34829 Beykoz/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 40 km

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12. Sile – A Charming Place

Sile is one of the most charming places around Istanbul

Image Credit: Fatih Ahıskalı for Wikimedia Commons

Sile is one of the most charming places around Istanbul with lots of sandy beaches covering its shores. The sea conditions are similar to that of Black Sea with frequent undercurrents. If you are planning to spend your summer in Turkey, then Sile should be on top of your list due to the ever-gusting winds, climate and a perfect resort town. The fishermens’ harbor is another popular destination in Sile as you get to taste some fish freshly caught from the nearby restaurants. Some other popular attractions include Şile Aqua Beach, Şile Lighthouse, Ağlayan Kayalar Şile and more.

Best Time to Visit: July, August, and May
Location: Şile İstanbul, Türkiy
Distance from Istanbul: 83 km

13. Agva – Get Impressed By The Beauty

Image Credit: orhanyunus18 for Pixabay

Agva is another popular resort town and one of the best places to visit near Istanbul, if not the best. The whole town is situated between the calm waters of Goksu and Agva rivers. You can explore immense natural beauty and a vast beach area around Agva. Many Turkish films have been shot here subject to the unique beauty of the place. Some fabulous places that you can visit in Agva are Kilimli Dark Trekking Trails, Ağva Feneri, Ağva Plajı, Green Park, Bozgoca Köyü Cami and Tatooine Beach.

Best Time to Visit: May and August
Location: Ağva MerkezŞile/İstanbul, Türkiye
Distance from Istanbul: 109 km

Further Read: 10 Routes For Trekking In Turkey For Both Beginners And Advanced Trekkers

These are some of the best places near Istanbul for you to visit. Istanbul itself is an amazing city with numerous attractions and rich culture, but if you are an explorer at heart then you must visit these destinations and more as there are numerous places to see near Istanbul. So, plan a trip to Istanbul right away and explore the city in and out.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places Near Istanbul

Which city is close to Istanbul?

Istanbul. For all cities with a population greater than five hundred thousand, Istanbul is closest to Bursa and farthest from Auckland. The closest foreign city is Bucharest and the farthest domestic city is Diyarbakir.

What country is near Istanbul?

Turkey is the nearest country, the city is located in the northwest of the country at the Bosporus (or Istanbul) strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea.

What is close to Turkey?

Turkey shares its land border with eight countries: Iraq, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iraq, Greece, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Syria. The Turkey-Syria border is the longest, stretching a total of 511 miles, while the Turkey-Azerbaijan border is the shortest, at 6 miles in length.

Which is the best area to stay in Istanbul?

Sultanahmet. On the other part of the European side is Sultanahmet, which is the #1 area for tourism in Istanbul as it holds the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, and the movie-famous Basilica Cistern. You can stay here, but it’s a little more expensive in this area for shopping and food.

What should I avoid in Istanbul?

10 Things You Should Avoid Doing in Istanbul:
1. Don’t stay close to the sights.
2. Don’t take the tram on Istiklal.
3. Don’t shop on Istiklal.
4. Don’t buy apple tea.
5. Don’t buy everything you see on the bazaars.
6. Don’t buy on bazaars without haggling.
7. Don’t be afraid to try street food.
8. Don’t eat close to touristic places.

Which is the most beautiful city in Turkey?

Istanbul. The country’s largest and most famous city, Istanbul is home to some of the most beautiful buildings and landscapes in the whole of Turkey.

What should I buy in Istanbul?

1.Turkish Tea (Chai) Offered as a sign of welcome to guests in every household, Turkish black tea has to be consumed plain without any milk.
2. Turkish Delight (Lokum)
3. Evil Eye (Nazar)
4. Glass Lamps.
5. Turkish Towels (Peshtemal)
6. Soap.
7. Coffee Pot.
8. Carpets & Rugs.

Is it safe to travel to Istanbul?

The FCO has advised that Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and Ankara, its capital, are mostly safe. However, it warns that, much like other major cities, precautions should be taken to avoid the chances of being caught up in civil unrest or a terrorist attack.

Which city is close to Istanbul?

The closest city to Istanbul in Turkey is Bursa which is situated around 150 kilometers away. If you are planning to explore Turkey then don’t miss out on places near Istanbul like Prince Islands and Cappadocia.

What country is near Istanbul?

Istanbul is in Turkey and the country shares borders with eight other countries, namely Georgia, Greece, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Syria, and Armenia. Istanbul is closest to Bulgaria as it located at a distance of 417 kilometers.

Is it safe to travel to Istanbul?

Istanbul and Ankara are the two cities that have been declared as safe to travel to in Turkey. However, one must stay alert in a new city or country to avoid any mishappenings.

Can you drink tap water in Turkey?

Generally, it is not advised to consume tap water in Turkey as it is not treated like in many other countries. It is better to buy bottled water for consumption and washing eatables.

How far is Istanbul from Santorini?

The distance between Istanbul and Santorini is around 595 kilometers which can be covered in different ways according to your suitability.

How far is Bursa from Istanbul?

The driving distance between Istanbul and Bursa is 250 kilometers which can be covered in a day.

Is there a ferry from Santorini to Istanbul?

Unfortunately, there are no direct ferries to Istanbul from Santorini. Ferries are available from Santorini to Rhodes. The best way to reach Istanbul is by taking a flight from Santorini to Athens and then to Istanbul.

Is Turkey expensive to visit?

Turkey is not an expensive destination for tourists who stay aware of genuine prices. A well-planned itinerary and several reasonable places to stay make it a cheap place to visit.

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