I woke up to a beautiful Monday morning after several days of rain in my Istanbul flat. Having no plans for the day, and being enticed by the warm weather and sun outside I decided it would be the perfect day to see what nature Istanbul has to offer. Living in hustle and bustle of Kadikoy its hard to imagine that only several km away lies the peaceful green space that is Emirgan Park.

To get to the park was a relatively easy matter. From Kadikoy I took a short ferry ride across the Bosphorus River to Besiktas ferry station. From there after searching for several minutes I was able to figure out the correct bus. To get to the park you can either take the 40, 40T, or 42T. I happened to be fortunate enough to stuble across one of these buses on the main road past the ferry station. The bus ride itself took about 30 min and was a scenic trip along the west side of the Bosphorus, providing many great views.

Once you arrive at the Emirgan Park stop, you simply hop off the bus and to your right is an amazing view of the Bosphorus and the bridge running over it, and to your left is the entrance to Emirgan Park. The park is on a large hill, with winding paved, and unpaved paths that lead up the hill. This trip to the park was in early March, so the tulips that Emirgan Park is famous for had not yet bloomed, but you could easily see where all the Tulips were planted and I imagine it will be beautiful.

Inside the park there are hundreds of picnic benches scrawled along the grass and tree covered hills. It would be the perfect spot to pack a pic-nick and spend the afternoon. In some spots you have a great view of the Bosphorus and the surrounding Istanbul area. The highlights of the park include a unique waterfall and pond, lots of interesting playgrounds, permanent chessboards and one life-sized chessboard, a café at the hill top, hundreds of Tulip arrangements, and all sorts of unique walking paths with pleasant surprises spaced thought-out.

If you’re in Istanbul, Emirgan Park is certainly worth an afternoon of your time. It’s a serene quite place, which can serve as a much needed break from the endless hustle and bustle of Istanbul. I have been to Central Park in New York, and Stanley Smith Park in Vancouver and believe that Emirgan Park is right up there with top city parks in the world!