Travel Turkey

Luncheon at Princes Islands in Istanbul


The Princes Islands are a chain of nine small islands in the Sea of Marmara. They evolved from a place of exile during the Byzantine era, to a popular destination for tourists and Istanbulites alike to escape the hectic city life for a day. Of those nine islands, only four of them are open to the public: Büyükada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Kınalıada.

To travel to the Islands you can take an IDO Ferry from Kabataş, Kadıköy and Eminönü or if you are lucky enough like me you can travel by private boat. We took a 20 minute boat ride to Büyükada, the largest of the islands for lunch.

Most restaurants sell sea food but the best value is furthest along the seafront strip. The Milano, at no 20, has the nicest traditional premises, and the Yaman, no 16, is the newest and most stylish (but most expensive). Venge, at 23 Nisan Cad no 23, in front of the Splendid Hotel, looks classy and has a lovely view but unremarkable food. A cheap alternative is the cafeteria-style Yeni Façyo restaurant, at Recep Koç Cad 57.


I had a Turkish drink called “Raki” – you pour a shot in a glass then mix with water. The drink turns into milky white also known as the milk of the brave — said to have up to 50% alcohol content. (If I knew this I wouldn’t have tried it because I don’t even remember what happened after drinking it) – I wouldn’t recommend this if you aren’t a heavy drinker like me.

Apart from the many resturants on the island you can walk around and shop at the different stores or tour by horse-drawn carriage, or rent a bike and tour the island yourself.

Spending a day at Princes Island is a must when visiting Istanbul .

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  • Lerato B
    02/04/2016 at 9:40 PM

    Thank you. Will do.

  • Lerato B
    02/04/2016 at 5:39 PM

    Yes you should but I’d suggest you visit on Summer so you can do more things.

  • Lerato B
    02/04/2016 at 1:50 PM

    Best to visit in Summer

  • Beatrice - Mademoiselle Nomad
    02/04/2016 at 7:53 PM

    I am soooo envious of you right now. I love Istanbul and unfortunately did not manage to fit Princes’ Islands in my last trip. I tried to read many reviews about them, however yours is by far the most interesting one because, silly me, I had no idea one could get there by private boat in 20 mins! I apprehended the IDO ferries as they are about 2 hours I think?? Enjoy this fab city and please have a döner for me 🙂

  • Debbie Wright
    02/04/2016 at 1:45 PM

    Looks magical om. i need to visit Turkey soon.

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