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Nature Spots in Istanbul

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City life is great but we’re always craving for nature to rebalance and reboot. Whether you want to go for a walk, a jog, or just to breathe in some fresh air, these forests, parks, and groves in the city will do trick.

Belgrad Forest: We all know about the Belgrad Forest is a great spot for a workout amongst the trees but many of us, especially those without a car, tend to visit it rarely. A new busline (D2) was started a few months ago to change that. You can take the D2 line from Beşiktaş İskelesi to Belgrad Forest on Saturdays and Sundays at 6.30am, 8.45am, 11.20am, 2pm, 4.40pm,and 7.20pm.

Mihrabat Korusu: There is an approximately 1.5km of walking track in this grove with a view of the Bosphorus. The easiest way to get here is to take a vapur from Beşiktaş to Üsküdar or take the marmaray to Üsküdar (for those coming from the European Side) and then take a dolmuş from the ferry stop to Kanlıca from Üsküdar.

Emirgan Korusu: This is the European Side equivalent of Mihrabat Korusu, located in Emirgan. In addition to walking routes, there are two ponds and three manors that are worth seeing. There are several ways to get here – you can take the metro to the İTÜ stop and then take a minibüs and get off on İstinye Bayırı Caddesi or you can take any of the bus lines that go along the Beşiktaş-Sarıyer coastline.

Hidiv Korusu: Also known as Çubuklu Korusu, this grove shares its grounds with the historic Hidiv Kasrı. There is an approximately 1.5km of walking track as well as a café where you can have tea or coffee after your walk. The easiest way to get here is to take a vapur from Beşiktaş to Üsküdar or take the marmaray to Üsküdar (for those coming from the European Side) and then take a dolmuş from the ferry stop to Çubuklu from Üsküdar.

Atatürk Arboretumu: This is a very special spot in the city with over 7000 types of plants and trees. You can take the 42T busline from Taksim or 4.Levent, get off at İstanbul Üniversitesi Orman Fakültesi stop and walk back 500metres. You can also take the metro to Hacıosman, then take the 42HM busline to Bahçeköy, get off at Bahçeköy and walk approximately 500 metres. There are other bus lines that come here as well, check the IETT website depending on where you’re coming from.

Yıldız Parkı:If you want to go somewhere more central, Yıldız Parkı will satiate your need for nature, conveniently located in Beşiktaş. It’s very close to Barbaros Bulvarı so those coming from the Asian Side can get off at the ferry stop and walk and those on the European Side can take any bus that passes through Beşiktaş.   

Özgürlük Parkı: Located in Selamiçeşme, Özgürlük Parkı is very central but also very quiet, large, and perfect for a walk or jog. Those coming from the European Side can either take the vapur to Kadıköy or metrobüs to Söğütlüçeşme, then take a dolmuş to MacroCenter in Fenerbahçe, walk up to Bağdat Caddesi and take the street right next to Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi and walk for 5-10 minutes to reach the park. (There is also an organic bazaar held every Wednesday here.)  

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