Beach holidays in Istanbul
People often ask: Can I combine sightseeing and beach holidays in Istanbul? We have been to this city several times and we know for sure that it is possible. Of course in summer or in September-October. In winter, this part of Turkey is cold. We’ll tell you where you can swim in Istanbul – in or near the city. We advise the best beaches and share tips.
Where to look for beaches
There are plenty of promenades in the city, but swimming under the Galata Bridge is still not allowed. The best beaches in Istanbul are located on:
- The Prince’s Islands;
- Marmara Sea;
- Black Sea.
They differ in cleanliness and water temperature, the contingent of vacationers, and service. You can go to the beaches of Istanbul on your own or as part of an excursion. Or you can rent hotels on the coast with its own stretch of coastline.
The beaches here are sandy. The entry to the sea is gentle, so you can swim even with small children. The beaches are divided into public (free) and club. The second option is better in terms of landscaping and cleanliness.
The most popular beach in Istanbul is Ciaddebostan. It is located near the city center. In summer there is nowhere to fall. But there is an area with 500 places that is sold for a fee. The price is 10 liras. Jaddabostan has the warmest water in all of Istanbul. The view of the Prince’s Islands opens up from the shore.
Another good beach on Istanbul’s Marmara Sea is in the Floria district. It is located near Ataturk Airport. Here from the water you can watch the planes that fly very low. The beach is also divided into two zones: a free zone and an equipped zone with 1500 seats (entrance fee of 15 Liras).
The resort village with wide sandy beaches is not far from Istanbul. It is picturesque, cozy and quiet. The beaches are private and the sea is crystal clear. We advise a day trip to a 5-star hotel (without overnight stay). Here you’ll relax on the best beach in the village and have access to all the amenities of the resort, including a hammam and spa treatments. Take a look here.
The beaches here are a fan favorite, but it’s easy to get to from downtown Istanbul. If you can get to the Marmara Sea or the Prince’s Islands you are better off not wasting your time on the Bosphorus. However, there are good options here as well.
Istanbul’s best beach on the Bosphorus is Kücüksu. The sandy strip is 300 meters long and is well equipped for recreation. The ferry or bus number 15 is convenient to get from the center. The beach is free, there are changing rooms/showers/chaise lounges. In the summer there are a lot of people here.
It takes longer to get to these beaches, and the water here is cooler. Winds often blow, there are waves. So for the rest it is better to choose a quiet sunny day. But the beaches are long and there are a lot of them. There are pebble and sand beaches.
The most popular beach in Istanbul on the Black Sea is Kilos. Locals like to relax here on weekends, and tourists go on excursions. Kilyos Beach is home to Istanbul’s largest beach club Solar. There is a water sports center, cafes, and entertainment for the whole family. If you don’t have a car, it’s wise to take a tour to the beach with a transfer from and to Istanbul (a good option is here).
Perhaps the best beach in Istanbul on the Black Sea is the picturesque Uzunya Beach. It is an equipped recreation area with a limited number of visitors. Entertainment, picnic area, picturesque area. Admission on weekdays is 15 liras, on weekends 25 liras.
Dalia is a good beach for families. It is green and well-groomed. There are areas for active recreation on the beach. The entrance is 30 liras. Locals like to go here on weekends. On weekdays, Dalia is free.
The resort area is located 70 km from Istanbul. There are a lot of attractions and a long coastline. It makes sense to go from Istanbul to the sea for a couple of days. You can get a nice hotel with a private beach in Şile. If you like a quiet holiday, you will love it.
The Prince’s Islands
It is a paradise near Istanbul with lots of green beaches and clean air. The Princes’ Islands have many beaches: paid, public, wide, secluded – for all tastes. The only minus is one. To get to the Princes’ Islands from Istanbul is possible only by water. Therefore, you must follow the schedule of ferries or take a tour.
Tour of the Islands
We advise a tour from Istanbul with a visit to Büyükada – the most picturesque place in the Princes’ Islands. Here you will find atypical for Turkey architecture, beautiful beaches, an amazing mix of cultures. And a magnificent view of Istanbul. Read the full description of the tour and tourist reviews at this link.
If you are traveling from Istanbul to the Princes’ Islands on your own, it is advisable to buy your ferry ticket in advance. It runs every hour until 8 pm. It is advantageous to take a transfer in both directions. You can do it here (the price is the same as at the ticket office at the pier).
We wish you a pleasant stay in Istanbul! Be sure to take a boat ride on the Bosphorus, feed the seagulls, and don’t forget to have tea with simit ashore. We wrote about what else every tourist should do in Istanbul here.
Where to find good beaches in Istanbul
People come to the Turkish city to see ancient temples and monasteries. A frequent question is whether Istanbul is suitable for a beach holiday? It is! Learn about the beaches on the Bosphorus, the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea, where it’s nice to swim.
Is it possible to relax by the sea in Istanbul
Beach relaxation in a crowded city seems impossible, but it’s not! The metropolis is washed by two seas, which means there are good places for a beach holiday.
Especially for a beach holiday in Istanbul is not worth going. But if you want to freshen up and take a break from sightseeing, it is easy to find equipped beaches. Where can I swim in Istanbul? Excellent sand and pebble beaches are on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, in the Bosphorus Strait and in the bays of the Prince’s Islands. You can find wide sandy beaches on the Black Sea coast in Kilos, Riva, Agva and Shile. Learn about the best resorts in Turkey on the Black Sea.
Keep in mind that the people of Istanbul themselves do not pity the beaches within the city. They believe that because of the huge number of housing and ships sea water is not too clean, so on the beaches of Istanbul rest only tourists and migrants. Locals gladly go to the coast for some fresh air, coffee or tea, and go swimming out of town.
Most of the equipped beaches near Istanbul are paid and are open from 9:00 to 19:00. Prices depend on the day of the week – on weekdays from 25 liras and on weekends from 50 liras. The cheapest places have only toilets, showers, a restaurant or a cafe, the more expensive ones offer water slides, pools and sports fields. Almost everywhere prohibit bringing food and drinks to the beach. Single men are never allowed on family-friendly beaches.
Tip . If you want to relax on the beaches of Istanbul without the crowds, come on weekdays.
When to go
The beach season on the Marmara Sea, and especially the Black Sea, is not as long as on the Mediterranean. Bathing begins in early June, when the water warms up to +21. +22°С. The sea is the warmest in August +25 ° C. The velvet season ends in September. In October, the swimming in Istanbul is already cool – the average air temperature during the day +20 ° C, and sea water +19 ° C.
Istanbul hotels with beach
Heybeli Hotel 3* is a hotel on the island of Heybeliada.
Eskibağ Butik Hotel 3* – Hotel on the island of Buyukada with a private beach
Buyukada Anastasia Meziki Hotel – Historical 200 year old mansion in Buyukada island not far from the beach.
Crowne Plaza Istanbul 5* – A great hotel near Floria Beach.
If you want to relax in the Asian part of the city, head to the beaches in the Caddebostan area for a wonderful view of the Bosphorus Strait. The golden sandy beach is about 1 kilometer long. The water entrance is gentle and clear, but jellyfish sometimes come ashore.
All three beaches have good infrastructure for recreation. Two of the beaches are free and the entrance to the paid beach costs 25 lira. You will pay 10 liras for a beach chair.
Jaddebostan Cove. Photo: Alp_Aksoy / Depositphotos.com.
On the coast of the Sea of Marmara, the beach in the Floria district is popular. Locals call it Güneşli Plaj, which means “sunny.” Florya Beach is near a large park and shopping center Aqua Florya. A great way to sunbathe, swim in the sea and visit the big modern oceanarium!
The spacious 800m long coastline is covered with gray sand, but there is a lot of seaweed in the water. The beach has sun beds, umbrellas, cafes, cabins, showers and toilets. Admission is paid and is 25 liras for adults.
Next to Florya Beach is a lesser-known free beach. There are trees along the 600m long strip of sand. The entry to the water is shallow and the shallow water stretches far from the shore. You can eat at the summer café or buy food from vendors.
Istanbul’s Bakırköy area has two 260m and 160m long coves fenced in with breakwaters. Holidaymakers sunbathe on the sand and grass under the shade of trees. The swimming area is marked by buoys. Free municipal beach is served by lifeguards and fast food vendors. It is a 5-minute walk from the 72T Boğaziçi Yönetim Aş bus stop to the beach.
There is a nice beach with fine sand on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus, close to the famous Kucuksu Palace. There are plenty of sunbeds and toilets along the 300m long beach, and it’s always crowded.
The Prince’s Islands
An archipelago of 9 islands, considered one of the provinces of Istanbul, lies 20 km off the coast of the Sea of Marmara. Adalar has no industrial plants and motorized transport is forbidden. The nature is protected, so the sea water is very clean. Picturesque sand and pebble beaches occupy small bays. Entrance to some of them costs 50-70 liras.
The four islands are open to tourists. There are ferries from Istanbul marinas to Adalar. Comfortable ships take 95 minutes to reach the farthest island and high-speed catamarans take only an hour.
Kynalyada Island, the fourth largest among the Prince Islands.
One of the best beaches on the Bosphorus in Istanbul is called the fishing village in the Beykoz area. The 300m long sandy bay is surrounded by green hills and separated from the waters of the strait by a concrete breakwater. The water is calm, but not as clear as in the open sea. Entrance is free. There is a bus number 135 from the city to Poirazkei.
One of the best beaches on the Bosphorus in Istanbul is called the fishing village in the Beykoz area. Photo: yskandag / Depositphotos.com.
The strip of sandy beaches on the European shore of the Bosphorus is famous for its good infrastructure and service. From the south, the shore is wider – up to 40 m. The water is clean, but there is algae in the shallows. Entrance to private beaches is 40-50 liras. There is a bus number 25A from Istanbul’s Haciosman metro station to Altynkum.
For a free vacation on the Black Sea in Istanbul, the municipal beach of Kilos resort is suitable. It stretches for 500 meters near the center of the village. The left side of Kilyos Halk Plajı has more sand and the right side is more tidal. In windy weather, there are big waves on the sea.
Getting to the center of Kilyos is not difficult. Take the Hacıosman metro station and change to bus number 151.
The beach in Kilios. Photo: halukcigsar / Depositphotos.com.
Burch Beach Club
This is one of Istanbul’s most popular clubbing beaches on the Black Sea, and it is located in Kilios. Many consider Burç – in Turkish “Zodiac” – the best place for a beach vacation around the city. The resort area is covered with clean sand and is divided into private and municipal areas. In addition to sun loungers, sun umbrellas, bars and restaurants, you will find plenty of activities: windsurfing, catamaran rides, beach volleyball and soccer courts, sports competitions and discos.
There is a bus 59RK from Boğaziçi Üniversitesi station to the beach. Entrance costs 50-80 liras. Parking is free.
Kilos’ beautiful club beach adjoins the municipal beach. Tourists like the wide strip of soft yellow sand, the smooth entrance to the sea and the pool. There is a cafe on the shore. If you want to rest without loud music, choose the sun loungers on the outskirts of the beach. Entrance costs 50-100 liras. Parking is also charged at 20 liras.
Tırmata Beach is a calm beach with soft sand and clean, well maintained area that extends for 400m. It is located between Burç and Solar beaches. The specialty of Tyrmata is kitesurfing. If you are a beginner, take lessons at the kite school, which is located next door. The entrance fee for adults is 50-70 liras and 30 liras for children aged 7-12.
Families with children prefer this sandy beach to the east of Kilos. A small bay 140 meters long guarantees a calm rest on the Black Sea coast. You can sit on lounge chairs and large cushions in the shade of the trees. There is an excellent fish restaurant on the beach, where they prepare delicious seafood dishes. Entrance to Uzunya costs 40-60 liras.
Another bay to the east of the resort of Kilos has changed names several times. Earlier this beach in the vicinity of Istanbul was called Babilon, then Dalia. The smooth arc of sand, 180m long, is beautifully complemented by low green hills and blue sea. In the surf zone, the sand is mixed with pebbles.
Milyon Beach has everything you need for a comfortable rest. The entrance costs 50-80 liras. To get to the beach you can only take a cab or a rented car.