Büyükada - The Princes’ Islands

Address: Büyükada, Adalar, Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: 0212 444 18 51

- Free


Relaxation and recreation on Istanbul’s favourite holiday retreat.

Getting there is half the fun of a trip to Büyükada, the largest of the nine Princes’ Islands a dozen miles off Istanbul’s coast. The 1.5-hour ferry ride offers sea breezes, beautiful views, and a lively scene onboard. The island itself is blissfully car-free; rent a bicycle or a horse-drawn carriage to see its charming 19th-century wooden houses, set amid lush grounds and visit the hilltop St. George Monastery, or just stroll around the bustling harbour area and stop for a fish meal or an ice-cream cone wherever strikes your fancy.

Value for money

Price advice

Visiting Büyükada and the rest of the islands is free, but the ferry to get there costs a bargain 3 lira each way. A faster sea bus goes less frequently for 7.50 lira each way.

Expert tips

Island-hop by ferry to the smaller, less-visited Kınalıada or Burgazada for nicer beaches with fewer crowds.

Check out the new Islands Museum on Büyükada that tells about the history and culture of the islands through documents, artefacts, and film. Closed Mondays, admission 4 lira.

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Honeymooners
  • Sporty types
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • Romance
  • Chilling out
  • Nature / wildlife