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Yildiz Park Visitor Guide

A nature grove in the heart of Istanbul (Besiktas), overlooking the Bosphorus. Found inside are scenic paths, tree-covered hills, waterfalls, and gardens.

Brief History

During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the urban park was only reserved for city dwellers. In the early 19th century, it began to flourish into an oasis with a small artificial lake, summer houses, pavilions, and a porcelain factory were established.

Attractions

While somewhat similar to Ulus Park. in that you’ll find views of the Bosphorus and lovely gardens to match; it’s the forest attraction wonders here that make it so special.

Waterfalls

Grab your camera and visit the cascading waterfalls which offer up some of the most picturesque views in Yildiz Park. How this wonderful scene found its way into the heart of Istanbul, is probably a royal secret!

Duck Pond

Head on down to the duck pond. What,some might call a lake, the ducks call home. Not only do they have a run of the place, they even have their own house built on the water. From time to time you’ll see them walk the plank.. and when they do, all the cameras all come out to play.

If you’re truly a lucky duck, you might just catch a turtle bathing in the sun.

Flower Gardens

Breathe in the garden air, while the shade of blues, reds, oranges, and yellows will dazzle both you and your Instagram fans alike. The smells of flowers in bloom will also delight your senses and make the memories even more powerful.

Picnics

Have breakfast or an afternoon picnic in the sun, Whether you’re with friends or family members, Yildiz Park is one of the most picturesque places for picnicking in all of Istanbul.

Loads of tourists bring food to the park and there is no shortage of space to eat. Picnic tables, benches and even pavilions with barbeques await avid picnickers. If you want to know what to bring, just a ask local or take notes from the ones already doing it.

Art Cafe

Relax with some coffee, some cake, and a little bit of art. The former vacation homes of royals have to been turned into food venues and now cater to hungry park patrons. The Art Cafe at the top, however, has the best eye-candy on the inside a view of the Bosphorus on the outside.

Romantic Strolls

Enjoy a romantic evening stroll with the soft light emanating from the old-school lanterns setting the mood. The numerous benches and bridges offer many an opportunity to steal a kiss.

Bird Watching

Go squirrel or bird watching to your hearts content. Even if you’re not a fan of birds, their sweet music will fill your ears throughout the park. In the spring, adept watchers can find collared flycatchers. Warblers and parakeets can be seen zipping around most of the year.

You won’t have trouble finding a squirrel in the park either. In fact, you’d have more trouble NOT finding one, who isn’t already quarreling with a chipmunk.

Scenic Bridges

Cross a bridge… or seven of them as the Yildiz Park is full of scenic bridges. If you want a photo on a bridge with water in the background, this is the place for it. The park has tiny little bridges, lover-sized bridges, and even a wonderfully long suspension bridge! No matter which one you choose, your camera is sure to be snapping pics.

Scenic Weddings

We kid you not., as many local get married here in the park. The forestal scenery in Yildiz Park is so beautiful, and so in contrast to the concrete jungle of Istanbul that it will be hard to NOT find a wedding party already here.

On the bridges and near the flower gardens, you’ll find many a blushing bride with glowing grooms in summer time. Whether you want to partake in the fun yourself or simply applaud those who tie the know is up to you.

Relaxing Atmosphere

Meditate and relax the day away with the gorgeous greenery, sing-song birds, blooming flowers and cascading waterfalls. Whether you want to cuddle up with a lover or a good book, you’ll find little nooks and crannies everywhere where you can just sit and relax.

Forest Walks

Can you even imagine a taking a walk in a forest, in the very heart of Istanbul? This is what Turkish Dreams are made of! If you choose to take a walk on the wild side, you’ll find vegetation including magnolia, judas trees, horse-chestnuts, silver limes, bay-leaves, and more.

On top of that, you can easily find shade any time of day under a cypress, pine, ash cedar or pine tree. Some of these beauties are more than 400 years old.

Decorative Pathways

Stroll along the decorative pathways to see the artistry within the stone work. Some of the park’s pathways are a simply a mosaic work of art. You might just find yourself looking down rather at the scenery all around you.

Photogenic Statues

Strike a statuesque pose as you find them in abundance along the pathways. The red tulip statue is quite popular, but so are the many concrete people and animals waiting for you to discover and take photos with them.

Joggling Trails

Go for jog around the park or train those glutes as you work your way uphill. With all the pathways scattered throughout the park, this one of the best places to jog in Istanbul.

You’ll never tire of the scenery, as there is just too much to see. If you’re into hill climbs, your glutes will love the burn from the up and down trail.

Porcelain Art

What park would be complete with its very own porcelain factory? No, we’re not kidding and you can read more about it below. Tours of the factory can offer a nice break on a hot and sunny day in the park. Who knew you could get your porcelain on in Istanbul, let alone in park?

Park Pavilions

Yildiz Park has two old pavilions (Cadir and Malta). Originally, these two places were used for harem picnics but are now where you can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cadir Kiosk

It was built close to Cigaran Palace and served as décor for the Baylan Brothers. It’s now home to the Art Cafe.

You can take a tea break here or have breakfast and lunch.

Opening Hours

The Cadir pavilion is open throughout the week from 9:00 am to 10:30 pm.

Malta Kiosk

A few meters away from Cadir and where you’ll find the Belediye Restaurant, a more elaborate dining place. This area offers the most beautiful views of the Bosphorus.

Opening Hours

The Malta Pavilion is open from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Tile and Porcelain Factory

This factory was built during the Ottoman Period and is located near Yildiz Park street entrance. It’s connected to the National Palaces and serves as a museum.

You’ll find a workshop inside where cups and other porcelain products are made. Since the factory is properly signposted, you can easily spot it.

Inside, there’s a well-lit workroom where painters showcase their exquisite pieces. But because the factory is now state-run, all work is hand-painted.

Outside the factory, you can enjoy the green picnic areas. You’ll also appreciate the colorful bloom in April. Undeniably, this is a great getaway if you want to walk away from the summer heat.

Opening Hours

The porcelain factory is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am 6:00 pm. It’s closed on Saturday, Sunday, and religious holidays.

Tickets

It’s free, but you can also hire an English guide within who can help you tour around for just 5TL.

Travel Tips

  • The WC (washrooms) are located far from the park entrance on the western side near the restaurant.
  • The park is free but parking cost 8TL.
  • The park is very big and can be hard to navigate blindly. Take a map if needed.
  • Weekends are crazy busy, especially on Sundays. Go on a weekday if you want more space.
  • If going by taxi have them drop you off at the cafe. This is the highest point in the park and will allow you to get your bearings.
  • The park is very steep, hilly, and not suited for the elderly, disabled or very young.
  • If you want to see every single thing in the park, you might want to travel by car.
  • The best time to visit the pavilion areas is during the summer when flowers are in bloom.
  • The easiest access to Yildiz Park is via the Besiktas pier.
  • You can also access the park via Palanga Street or Cigaran Street
  • Be wary of car traffic when in areas near the parking lot.

Videos

Tourist Map

The Yildiz Park (Yildiz Grove) is located in Besiktas, Istanbul, in the Yildiz Palace Complex that was built by Sultan Selim III in 1889.