Is it worth to visit Princes islands during our short Istanbul trip?

Spending some time on Princes islands must be a must for your Istanbul visit! Princes islands is a green untouched oasis in Istanbul. It is a great surprise and very hard to believe as well how these islands stayed so protected and so untouched considering their proximity to Istanbul.

There are four main islands Buyukada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kinaliada (ada means island in Turkish). If you don’t have time to see all of them then Buyukada is the one not to miss. On princes islands engine vehicles are forbidden any only exception to this is municipality vehicles. Transportation way for people on the islands is walking, cycling and horse carts. Especially the mansions on Buyukada are very impressive and they are one of the best examples of wooden houses of late 19th century and early 20th century.

Once you go there you should rent a bicycle and explore the island. If you want to see the island in a lazy manner then you can take a tour of the island with a horse cart. There are two types of these tours: Big and small (Buyuk and Kucuk in Turkish).

To go to islands, you’ll need to catch a boat but it is strongly recommended to get a traditional boat not the fast-boat (seabus) to enjoy the marvellous sea journey. If you take off at Buyuk island first, then you can catch the boat from this island to the next one and then to the other next one, one by one without paying money for the journeys you do between the islands.

Nearly all of the Istanbul sea transportation, including Princess islands, is done by IDO which is the municipality’s sea transportation company.

Here is the website for IDO in English: http://www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm

One last thing: Don’t miss the fish-soup at one of the restaurants around the main jetty at Buyukada. When you get out of the boat, they will be on your left along the coast. Enjoy!

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