Istanbul sprawls so far that it’s difficult to get in and out of the city in the same day. It is possible to get to Edirne, on the Greek border, and back again. The fast-ferries across the Sea of Marmara also bring the spa resort of Termal within reach.

Day Trips from Istanbul


Escape to the country for pleasant nature walks in this upscale weekend retreat just inland from sandy Black Sea beach. A variety of hotels line the river banks.

62 miles northeast of Istanbul,
Tags: beach | hiking | day trip


This wonderful old Ottoman town retains many ancient mosques, including the Selimiye Cami – regarded as the masterwork of 16th-century architect Sinan. Riverside restaurants serving Turkish food provide a pleasant lunch break.

145 miles northwest of Istanbul,
Tags: culture | history | day trip


On the Thracian side of Istanbul, several summer beach clubs draw party-goers to this increasingly popular Black Sea Resort. Warning: strong undercurrents mean that the sea is not always safe for swimming.

16 miles north of Istanbul,
Tags: beach | family | day trip

Princes' Islands

Four of these Sea of Marmara islands are open to visitors--Buyukada, with its old wooden houses, is the largest. Transport here and on neighboring Heybeliada is by horse and carriage.

1 hour by ferry from Istanbul, 011-90-212-444-4436,
Tags: family | history | day trip


Bathe in Turkish baths or swim in an outdoor swimming pool at this spa resort outside Yalova, on the Sea of Marmara. Ataturk first made Termal popular when he planted an arboretum here.

1.25-hours by ferry from Istanbul (,
Tags: family | day trip


On the Sea of Marmara’s southern shore, this crumbling Ottoman town is acquiring new life. Visit three Byzantine churches (the largest now a mosque) and sea-facing fish restaurants.

1.5-hour by boat from Istanbul to Guzelyali plus 15-minutes by bus, 011-90-212-444-4436,
Tags: history | day trip

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