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Beaches in Istanbul is an often-overlooked treasure next to a city often celebrated for its rich history, vibrant culture, and architectural marvels. While most tourists get swept up in the allure of its bustling bazaars, ancient mosques, and sumptuous cuisines, the coastal gems of Istanbul remain relatively tranquil, waiting to be discovered.
These shores, extending from Şile to Büyükada, provide a refreshing contrast to the city’s urban hustle. Dive into this guide to explore 15 of Istanbul’s most enchanting beaches, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty, recreational activities, and local charm.
Best 15 Beaches in Istanbul
1. Kabakoz Beach – Şile
Nestled within the serene backdrop of Şile, Kabakoz Beach stands out as one of the premier spots for beach enthusiasts exploring Istanbul. The sandy shores here seem almost inviting, creating a perfect ambience for relaxation. However, potential visitors should note a few things:
- Facilities: Showers and toilets available.
- Umbrellas: Not provided.
2. Uzunkum Beach – Şile
Uzunkum Beach, accessible via Ağlayankaya street, is a true embodiment of serenity. Its sandy, pebble-free landscape has made it a popular choice among those who value undisturbed beach experiences. A word of caution, though – the Black Sea’s waves can occasionally be unpredictable.
3. Kurna Halk Beach – Şile
For those who have a passion for camping, Kurna Public Beach is undoubtedly the go-to destination. The beach is surrounded by nature, resonating tranquility at every corner.
- Swimming: Suitable for seasoned swimmers; might be challenging for novices.
- Facilities: Lifeguards and parking available. No showers or umbrellas.
4. Doğancılı Beach – Şile
Doğancılı Beach retains an untouched charm, making it an ideal sanctuary for peace-seekers. Whether you’re interested in camping or just enjoying a simple sea-bath, this place has it all.
- Amenities: Paid parking lot available. Limited other facilities.
5. Ayazma Beach – Şile
Situated right at the entrance of Şile, Ayazma Beach or the ‘public beach’ as locals call it, often sees a significant number of visitors, especially families. The beach is unique because the sea doesn’t deepen suddenly, making it safer for younger swimmers. Plus, its accessibility means that you don’t necessarily need a car to reach this beach.
6. Ağlayan Kaya Beach – Şile
Another jewel in the crown of Şile’s beaches is Ağlayan Kaya Beach. This spot is frequented by both locals and tourists alike, drawn by its pristine sands and excellent facilities. Visitors can expect a comprehensive beach experience here.
7. Akçakase Beach – Şile
The relatively new entrant in Şile’s list of popular beaches, Akçakase Beach spans around a kilometer and promises soft sandy shores paired with peaceful coves. The sea here is notably less wavy and shallow, making it a favorite among many.
- Facilities: You can bring your gear or use the facility’s services.
8. Tırmata Beach – Kilyos
Engaging Introduction: Nestled on the captivating coastline of Kilyos, Tırmata Beach offers a seamless blend of relaxation and recreation. A favored destination for Istanbulites looking for a mini vacation, this beach stands out in the vibrant tapestry of Kilyos beaches.
- Relevance: Operating since 2009, Tırmata Beach has secured its place among local favorites.
- Cleanliness: Committed to hygiene standards, ensuring a comfortable experience for every visitor.
- Design: Thoughtfully crafted ambiance to enhance your beach day.
9. Milyon Beach – Kilyos
Engaging Introduction: Operated by Milyon Yapım, known for hosting Turkey’s prominent events, Milyon Beach stretches vast, presenting a balance of green landscapes and endless horizons of the sea.
- Multifaceted: Features a restaurant, beachfront, and event spaces.
- Event Calendar: Stay updated with their schedule to catch exciting events.
- Parking Tip: Arrive early to avoid parking woes.
10. Suma Beach – Kilyos
Engaging Introduction: Craving an exhilarating escape? Suma Beach awaits! Known for its electrifying ambiance, it’s a hub of energy and excitement in Kilyos.
- Entertainment: Day-long DJ performances to boost your vibe.
- Menu Diversity: A vast menu with varied food and drink options.
- Night Life: Famous for parties that stretch into the night.
11. Burç Beach – Kilyos
Engaging Introduction: Managed by the Boğaziçi Alumni Association, Burç Beach is a Kilyos treasure, offering an ambiance akin to renowned holiday resorts.
- Discounts: Special entry reductions for Boğaziçi students and alumni.
- Experience: While the sea can be slightly wavy, it doesn’t hinder the fun.
- Clientele: The upscale clientele ensures a peaceful environment, perfect for families or an all-girls day out.
12. Baykuş Beach – Kilyos
Engaging Introduction: Affiliated with Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Baykuş Plajı exudes a sense of serenity and quality, promising a peaceful retreat.
- Atmosphere: Ensures a tranquil experience while embracing nature.
- Cleanliness: Maintains impeccable hygiene standards.
- Facilities: Despite restrictions on outside food, it offers reasonably priced services.
13. Solar Beach – Kilyos
Solar Beach, located in Kilyos, recreates the holiday atmosphere typical of coastal resorts within the heart of Istanbul. Notable for its commitment to hygiene standards, sandy beach, and respectable visitors, it consistently receives positive feedback. Given its vast space, the beach occasionally hosts events. Hence, it might be a good idea to do a little research before your visit; perhaps you can align it with an exciting event.
14. Yada Beach Club – Büyükada
For those seeking energy and vivacity, the Yada Beach Club in Büyükada offers live performance parties on weekends that make you feel like you’re in a holiday town. An added convenience is its small shop for the unprepared visitors. Rather than the usual beach snacks, Yada also serves delicacies from Far Eastern cuisine. Adorned with straw umbrellas, the club stands out for its elegant atmosphere and quality service.
15. Eskibağ Beach – Büyükada
Eskibağ Plajı is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Büyükada. Those in the know often choose it as their primary destination. Although a bit remote, transport to beaches in Büyükada, including Eskibağ Plajı, is facilitated by boats departing from the center. Managed by a facility, the beach provides all necessary services such as umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, and food.