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Prince Islands Istanbul

Prince Islands Istanbul

15 km south-east of Istanbul is a place out of time, a relaxing place, not too far from the big city for the pleasure of the Stambouliotes: the Prince Islands Istanbul

Prince Islands Istanbul (Adalar in Turkish) is an archipelago of 9 islands in the Marmara Sea. It is part of one of the 39 districts of Istanbul.

Off the coast of Istanbul, the Prince Islands Istanbul once were the favorite vacation spot for the Stamboulite elite. A beautiful escape between old bourgeois residences, ancient religious buildings and cosmopolitanism still alive.

On a clear day, the Prince Islands Istanbul are visible from Istanbul. 20 km south-east of Istanbul, the islands are a peaceful interlude with a timeless atmosphere.

The history of Prince Islands Istanbul

A tradition that dates back to the XIX. century, when the first line of steamboats bound for the islands transformed them into a sort of Turkish Deauville – a posh seaside resort prized by the great Greek, Jewish, Armenian merchants and the wealthy Ottomans of Istanbul.

The cosmopolitanism of the Sublime Porte era certainly took the lead in the twentieth century when frenzied nationalism took the place of political creed. This fueled the exile of minorities, including on the islands, where the Turkish population is dominant. The Prince Islands Istanbul nevertheless keep traces of their multicultural past.

Little story: The name of Prince Islands Istanbul comes from the Byzantine period, on these islands were sent princes and fallen emperors to whom we did not want to give access to the throne. Before their exile, these people went through the ophthalmology box, not to know if they had a good view to enjoy the magnificent landscapes that the islands offer. On the contrary, this was done to be sure that they could not take advantage of it so they were puncturing their eyes.

On each of these Prince Islands Istanbul there are monasteries, churches, mosques and synagogues. The nature side and the situation close to the city attracted many practitioners and retirees, which explains the presence on the islands of several prayer places like dozens of Orthodox monasteries, twenty churches, five mosques and three synagogues.

When the first boat line was put in place in the 19th century, the Prince islands Istanbul became a posh seaside resort of the great Greek merchants, Jews, Armenians and wealthy Ottomans. The cosmopolitanism of, makes the population become colorful multicultural. Out of 80,000 inhabitants there are 30,000 people of Jewish, Christian and Armenian faith. On each of these islands there are still today traces of all these cultures.

What to do in Prince Islands

During the summer season, the Prince Islands Istanbul are a popular destination for Istanbul locals, a magnificent place of rest and change of scenery about 1 hour from the city and the hubbub of 16 million inhabitants for just 3-4 euros.

A nice boat crossing that immediately takes you on vacation, for the day or more (small pensions on site, hotels or you can come for a short or long stay). No motorized vehicles on the islands no car noise.

Come to the Prince Islands Istanbul to take a breath of fresh air, have a picnic, take a horse-drawn carriage ride and discover the impressive spectacle of all these horse-drawn carriages taking customers like a taxi (for the small tour of the island and discover the wild side, it takes about 100 tl for the carriage (you are 2 or 4 is the same price, and 150 tl for the big ride). Prices are regulated as in taxis, we do not negotiate. In the high season toutistanbul advises you not to take a carriage ride on the islands. Unfortunately there is no control over the working hours of horses and their owners make them work for hours.

Otherwise, a short walk on the islands on foot or by bike in the midst of the 19th century yalis? In order to wander among very beautiful wooden houses!

Or eat an ice cream, a waffle in the shape of a flower with fruit on it, chocolate a real delight accompanied by a good tea.

The Prince Islands Istanbul are a true haven of peace, very appreciable after a week of work, these places are really very beautiful, we breathe and we inspire!

Of the 9 islands, 4 are accessible by boat, either from the European or Asian coast of Istanbul: BUYUKADA / HEYBELIADA / BURGAZADA / KINALIADA.

How to reach Prince Islands?

By KABATAS – EMINÖNÜ – AVCILAR from the European side / from BOSTANCI – KADIKÖY from the Asian side

Guide to Prince Islands Istanbul

The information sites are in Turkish, so the best is to inquire once on site in Istanbul for the schedules, they are displayed. There are several boats per day, the prices are different depending on the distance and the seasons.

Cruise to Prince Islands Istanbul

Mavi Marmara-Turyol or Sehir Hatlari Adalar Vapuru are boat companies which makes the line of the islands to the Prince Islands Istanbul all the year through the Bosphorus. For schedules, have a look at their website.


If you can avoid going there during the period of great influence such as the long summer school holidays, or else you will have to be patient and calm so that the day does not turn into a nightmare, for example by queuing for the carriage ride or tolerating the crowd.

As with any magnificent destination of this style, very popular with tourists and Turks. The ideal period is the months of April, May, September, October. The weather is nice, there are not too many people and it is very pleasant for a little getaway alone, with family, friends, lovers, there is nothing better!

With AlltourstoIstanbul for a nice day on the Prince islands Istanbul!

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