Istanbul beaches are not well known amongst tourists, which is a shame as Turkey is rated 3rd globally for the number of blue flag beaches and Istanbul is a city on the water. With two major bodies of water, the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea, as well as miles of coastline on both, it’s no wonder people are drawn to Istanbul’s beaches. The Black Sea has strong waves, unlike the Marmara Sea.
Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove or a bustling seaside town, there’s a beach in Istanbul for you. Aside from a nice escape from the busy city center, it’s a lovely way to relax. If this sounds like your ideal way of spending your vacation, we have listed the most popular beaches in Istanbul in 2 categories;
-8 Public beaches
-8 Private beaches
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List of the 8 best public beaches in Istanbul:
Although the public beaches in Istanbul are some of the prettiest beaches in Istanbul, their facilities may not be as excellent as those on private beaches. In addition, public beaches in Istanbul may get overcrowded during summer weekends.
1. Caddebostan Beach
On the Asian side of Istanbul and close to Central Istanbul, this location contains three beaches. Only one of them is public now. There is a rescue boat and ambulance. There’s also a line you’re not supposed to swim across to be visible to the lifeguard personnel. Fortunately, there are toilets, showers, and a changing cabinet.
It’s a nice, sandy beach that you’ll share with the local beachgoers. If you’re into sunbathing, there are sunbeds to chill in while you’re catching your tan.
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2. Şile Ayazma Beach
Şile has a few beaches that are blue flag protected areas. This one faces the Black Sea coast and is considered the largest beach in Istanbul. Şile has at least 35 lifeguards and two ambulances. On the Asian side, it’s quite a distance from Istanbul City Center.
There’s a Nature Park nearby and a lighthouse from 1859.
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3. Yeşilköy Çiroz Beach
Yeşilköy is on the European side. This beach has about 500 loungers with 500 beach umbrellas available. Though it faces the Marmara sea, it has two lifeguard towers with 12 lifeguards, a rescue boat, and an ambulance. If you’re thinking of a picnic on the golden beach, there are toilet cabins and safety cabinets to store your picnic basket. If mini burgers or cheese sandwiches on yellow sand aren’t your things, why not check out one of the many cute local cafes for a warm meal?
If you’re feeling super sporty, beach volleyball may be fun. Alternatively, there’s a mini-soccer field for a game of beach soccer. Anyone who wants to explore the peace gardens in the back, but doesn’t feel like walking, can hire a bike or electric scooters for cheap at the city hall. If you stay for sunset, you’ll find spectacular views with the free music on the beach.
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4. Tuzla Public Beach
Many people consider this to be one of the best beaches for women. The reason why is because it’s reserved for women on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, which is fab for self-conscious ladies who want to catch some rays.
One of the cleanest places to swim, this beach is located on the Asian side. It’s also on the shoreline of the calmer Marmara sea. It is a mix of sand and gravel. One fun thing to do is cannonball into the sea from the extended floating platform. Another enjoyable thing is to chill to the music.
There are a few kiosks around that sell food and beverages, but the fish menu at the “Palmiye Sosyal Tesisleri” (restaurant) is spectacular. Prices are reasonable as the Municipality owns the restaurant.
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5. Şile Uzunkum Beach
Uzunkum is another one of the Şile beaches that face the Black Sea. It has fine sand with no jellyfish or seaweed so, if you’re up for it, you may want to head into the sea. As we’ve previously stated, the Black Sea’s waves can be overwhelming. However, you may want to stick to the shallow end and play with the waves.
There are beach bars with lovely food and delicious beer. That’s not all you may need to pay for—some of the basic services like the sunbeds, the beach umbrellas, and so forth.
One of the top beaches to photograph, this spot is a true blue beach.
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6. Florya Güneș Beach
If you’re feeling up for a bit of culture with your new tan lines, the Atatürk summer house is within walking distance. If you need a little retail therapy, try visiting a few malls nearby, including the lovely Florya Mall. There’s the Istanbul Aquarium too.
It’s pretty large too – with 1500 sunbeds, you won’t struggle to find a nice spot to relax. There’s also a parking lot for 300 cars, but you may still struggle to find parking in the summer. If you’re bringing any valuables, there are safety deposit boxes too.
There are two beaches in Florya. However, the Güneş beach is the favorite amongst locals. This may be because security and cleaning work is routinely done every day. In other words, the clean sea makes this one of the best beaches in Istanbul. You can play beach volleyball while listening to the music broadcast.
There is a small entrance fee, but it’s much cheaper than a private beach club.
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7. Burgazada Madam Martha Public Beach
You will need to take one of those Princes Islands Ferry to get here because Burgazada is one of the many picturesque small islands. The sea is quite rocky so you will need swim shoes. However, it’s definitely worth the short ferry ride just for the restaurants serving good fish and spectacular seafood that you will struggle to find elsewhere in Istanbul. Barba Yani made our best Mezes in Istanbul list of our restaurants!
Aside from that, the Princes Islands are known for being a quiet, meditative place. If you need a little zen, you can climb up to the monastery to meditate. If monasteries are too passive for you, you can hire a bike and ride around the Island. Alternatively, you can visit the Sait Faik Abasıyanık Museum (Turkish writer) here.
By the time you get back to the ferry terminal, you’ll be wiped out!
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8. Anadolufeneri Beach
This beach is more for ships than swimming. It is on the Asian side and by the black sea coast. The sea is very stony, so you will need swimming shoes if you want to go in. It does have a brilliant lighthouse and beautiful views. If you’re feeling up for a quiet picnic without tourists, this may be one of the best beaches to act as though you know Istanbul beaches better than the locals.
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List of the 8 best private beaches in Istanbul:
Though private beaches do have entrance fees, they also have a reputation for being better maintained. If the crowded public beaches bore you, try the following 8 top beaches.
1. Tırmata Beach
Tırmata is famous for being women-friendly. Every group must have at least one woman; otherwise, they’ll be denied entrance. This is to enforce the family-friendly concept of the beach. There’s a 5000 people capacity, so it’s unlikely to get overcrowded.
This is an upscale beach, quieter than some of the alternatives. Once you pay the entrance fee, the other services – such as sunbeds, parasols, showers, etc. – are complimentary. Moreover, there’s a lot of fun activities such as the Kite Surf school, a horse ride on the beach, a cute beach cafe, and a lovely restaurant.
There is a shuttle service from the nearest underground.
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Taste of Two Continents Tour
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2. Milyon Beach
If you’re looking for a clean sea with an even cleaner beach, Milyon is the place to be. This is a place known for its fantastic beach parties. There are plenty of activities during the day, such as live music from rock concerts, backgammon, board games, chess, lego, soccer, and volleyball.
In the morning, you can grab some breakfast, but otherwise, you’ll be spending your time choosing between different fishes at the restaurant.
This is a family-friendly beach that includes cute pets! You can contact Milyon Beach here.
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3. Uzunya Beach
Uzunya Beach Club is unique in that it’s a private sheltered cove. It’s located at Kilyos beach – which is known for being youth-friendly. Hiking is popular here. You can also camp at the camping grounds. If you visit, stop by the Uzunya beach restaurant. You walk up to an aquarium, pick out the fish you want to eat, and then wait for the chef to get going!
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4. Ada Beach Club, Heybeliada
The beach club is located on the Heybeli Island, another of the lovely Princes Islands. There is a short ferry ride, and they operate shuttle buses as well. Activities include mini-golf tournaments, sightseeing boat tours, swimming, horse ride/safaris, nightlife, and cycling tours. There’s free limitless internet which may be just the thing you need after dipping into the cool water.
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5. Solar Beach
Solar Beach is not only considered one of Turkey’s largest private beaches, but it’s also more like a holiday resort. Solar Beach is located on Kilyos beach, it has excellent facilities, including child and pet care centers, health centers, markets, shops, fashion shows, surf clubs, beauty centers, water sports, jet ski championships, etc. If you can’t swim in the sea, they have a swimming pool.
Open 24/7 and with live music, the nightlife is something else.
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6. Şile Aqua Beach
Though there are unpaid beaches in Şile, beach access to Aqua requires an entrance fee. The sea is breathtaking in the morning. Though it is on the coast of the black sea, its sandy shore is a great place to enjoy a drink from the beach bar. This is a chill, picturesque, family-friendly place.
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7. Loc’ada Büyükada
Loc’ada is a hotel located on the biggest of the Princes Islands. The hotel has lovely architecture, operates like a Meyhane (tavern), and has a small private beach. It’s a little expensive to stay there, making it somewhat exclusive.
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8. Şile Fora Beach & Fish Restaurant
If you’re planning on drinking rakı and enjoying meze, why not do it at Fora? They have their private beach club, which you make reservations to use during the summer months. The restaurant can serve 100 people and uses local suppliers.
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We hope that you’ve enjoyed our list of the best beaches in Istanbul. Whether you want to escape from the city or just need a break at some point during your stay, these are all great options for their beautiful surroundings, warm sun, and refreshing waters.
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