Place to visit: Prince's Islands Istanbul

prince's island istanbul

Prince’s Islands Istanbul

The Princes’ Islands, also known as Adalar in Turkish, are a group of nine islands located in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, Turkey.

Here’s some information about the Princes’ Islands:


The Princes’ Islands are situated in the Sea of Marmara, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Istanbul’s city center. The islands are easily accessible by ferry from Istanbul.


There are nine main islands in the Princes’ Islands group, with Büyükada (Big Island), Heybeliada (Saddlebag Island), and Kınalıada (Henna Island) being the most popular and frequently visited by tourists. Each island has its own unique charm and attractions.

No Cars:

One of the notable features of the Princes’ Islands is that motorized vehicles are not allowed on the islands, except for service vehicles. This contributes to a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, with horse-drawn carriages and bicycles being the main modes of transportation.

Historical Significance:

The Princes’ Islands have a rich historical and cultural heritage. In the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, the islands served as a place of exile for Byzantine princes and Ottoman royalty. Many beautiful mansions and summer houses from that era still exist on the islands.

Nature and Scenery:

The Princes’ Islands are known for their natural beauty and picturesque landscapes. The islands are covered in lush greenery and offer stunning views of the sea. You can enjoy leisurely walks, rent bicycles, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to explore the islands and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Beaches and Swimming:

The islands have several beaches where you can relax and swim. Popular beaches include Buyukada Beach on Büyükada and Princess Islands Beach on Heybeliada. During the summer months, the beaches can get crowded, so it’s advisable to arrive early to secure a good spot.

Historical Monuments:

The Princes’ Islands are home to historical monuments and landmarks. On Büyükada, you can visit the Aya Yorgi Church, which offers panoramic views from its hilltop location. Heybeliada is home to the Halki Seminary, an important institution of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Restaurants and Cafes:

The islands offer a variety of dining options, including seafood restaurants, cafes, and local eateries. You can savor delicious seafood dishes, Turkish cuisine, and enjoy a leisurely meal with a view of the sea.

Day Trips and Overnight Stays:

The Princes’ Islands are a popular destination for day trips from Istanbul. However, if you want to experience the islands’ tranquility and charm fully, consider staying overnight. Büyükada has a range of accommodations, including hotels and guesthouses.

Ferry Transportation:

To visit the Princes’ Islands, you can take a ferry from Istanbul. Regular ferries depart from various ports in Istanbul, including Kabatas, Eminönü, and Bostancı. Ferry schedules and ticket prices can vary, so it’s advisable to check the latest information before your trip.

Local Tips:

The islands can get crowded during weekends and holidays, especially in the summer months. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting on weekdays or during the off-peak season. Remember to bring sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, and appropriate swimwear if you plan to swim.
Exploring the Princes’ Islands offers a unique escape from the bustling city of Istanbul. Enjoy the serene atmosphere, natural beauty, and historical landmarks as you immerse yourself in the tranquility of these charming islands.

How to visit Prince’s islands? istanbul

To visit the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul, you can follow these steps:

Plan your visit: Determine the date and time you want to visit the Princes’ Islands. Consider the weather and choose a day when you can spend several hours on the islands. Choose the island(s) to visit: The Princes’ Islands consist of nine islands, but the most popular ones for tourists are Büyükada (Big Island), Heybeliada (Saddlebag Island), and Kınalıada (Henna Island). Research the islands and decide which one(s) you would like to explore. Ferry transportation: The most common way to reach the Princes’ Islands is by ferry. Ferries depart from various ports in Istanbul, including Kabatas, Eminönü, and Bostancı. Check the ferry schedules in advance, as they may vary depending on the season. You can find the schedules on the websites of ferry operators or by visiting the ferry terminals. Ticket purchase: Once you have decided on the island(s) and the ferry departure point, purchase your ferry tickets. Ticket prices can vary depending on the destination and the ferry company. You can buy tickets at the ferry terminals or through online platforms if available. Boarding the ferry: Arrive at the ferry terminal early to ensure you have enough time to board the ferry. Follow the signs and instructions provided at the terminal. Once on board, find a seat and enjoy the scenic journey across the Sea of Marmara. Island exploration: Upon arriving at your chosen island, disembark from the ferry and start your exploration. The islands are pedestrian-friendly, and motorized vehicles are not allowed except for service vehicles. You can explore on foot, rent a bicycle, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to get around. Sightseeing and activities: Each island has its own attractions and activities to offer. Take your time to visit historical sites, explore the charming streets, relax on the beaches, and enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. Some popular activities include visiting churches, hiking or biking through nature trails, and enjoying local cuisine at restaurants and cafes. Return ferry: Before leaving the island, check the ferry schedule for the return trip. Make sure to allow enough time to reach the ferry terminal and board the ferry. Ferries generally operate until late evening, but it’s always best to double-check the last departure time. Local tips: To have a pleasant experience while visiting the Princes’ Islands, consider the following tips:
  • Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
  • Bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, especially during the summer months.
  • Carry sufficient water and snacks, especially if you plan to spend a significant amount of time on the islands.
  • Respect the local customs and culture.
  • Keep in mind that some establishments may only accept cash, so it’s advisable to carry some local currency.
  • Follow any instructions or guidelines provided by the ferry staff or local authorities for a safe and enjoyable visit.
Visiting the Princes’ Islands allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility of these picturesque islands. Enjoy the scenic ferry ride, explore the islands at your own pace, and create lasting memories of your trip to the Princes’ Islands.

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