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10 Best Beaches in and near Istanbul [Insider Guide with Directions]

10 Best Beaches in and near Istanbul [Insider Guide with Directions]

Istanbul has all the ingredients to make your holiday a memorable one, including gorgeous beaches. So if you are looking to escape the city and enjoy sun, sand and sea, then look no further.

Although you should not expect dream beaches like in Antalya, there are definitely some beautiful beaches that offer a soothing beach getaway and a fun, feel-good summer vibe.

We have compiled a list with the 10 best beaches in and near Istanbul that are reachable in less than a two hours drive.

First, let’s start with the beaches inside Istanbul. After that, we take a look at the close beaches outside the city.

Let’s dive in!

Tip: We recommend preferring the beach clubs, which are usually open from June to September and charge a daily fee, to the free public beaches (halk plaji) whenever possible. The atmosphere and cleanliness on the public beaches is often not very appealing to tourists.

Beaches inside Istanbul:

1. Princes‘ Islands

Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul

The picturesque islands 20 km southeast of Istanbul are brimming with marvelous beaches on the Sea of Marmara. Easily accessible via a 60 to 90-minute ferry ride from Kabataş or Eminönü, the beaches of Princes’ Islands offer a mix of sandy coasts, rocky shores and beach clubs. Water temperature reaches 20 to 24 degrees Celsius during the months of June to September.

Being the largest and most popular Princes Island, Büyükada offers the most swimming spots, such as Nakibey Beach, but can be quite crowded on weekends. If you prefer tranquility, you can opt for the amazing beaches of Heybeliada, surrounded by forests. Popular beach clubs here are Ada Beach Club and Aqua Green Beach Club.

2. Kadinlar Plajı

Kadinlar Plajı in Istanbul

This one is for the ladies! Gather your female friends, family members and children, and enjoy a quick beach getaway in a women-only setting. Kadinlar Plaji, the women's beach, is literally a beach just for women. In Istanbul, there are two women-only beaches on the Black Sea. Both are equipped with a cafeteria, changing rooms, restrooms and sun beds. An entrance fee is charged.

Sarıyer Altınkum Beach, known for its golden sand, is located in Sarıyer, the northernmost district of Istanbul’s European side. Situated 27 kilometer from Taksim, it can be reached after a 70-minute ride on the M2 metro (to the Haciosman stop) and bus 25A (to the Rumeli Kavağı stop). A shuttle service from various parts of the city is available for a fee (reservation required).

The other option is Riva Elmasburnu Plajı in the Beykoz district on Istanbul’s Asian side. The beach is open only for women on certain days. Read more about it in the second part of this guide.

3. Caddebostan

Caddebostan Beach in Istanbul

Let's take a look at one of Istanbul's closest beaches, just 18 kilometers from the city center. Caddebostan Beach in the Kadıköy district is located on the Asian coast of Istanbul on the Sea of Marmara.  In fact, the lively Caddebostan Beach consists of three sandy beaches stretching over 950 meters, equipped with cafés, umbrellas and dressing rooms.

If you want to beat the crowds of this popular beach, we recommend the strip Caddebostan 1 Plaji. Unlike the other two beaches of Caddebostan, Caddebostan 1 Plaji charges an entrance fee. This is why this section is typically less crowded, enhancing your beach experience.

All three strips boast a vibrant atmosphere with Turkish music blaring from the cafés and beach activities such as windsurfing, beach volleyball and more. There is a 20 km long beach promenade with a bike path that is great for cycling, rollerblading or just taking a nice stroll. The shallow water and the kid’s playgrounds nearby make the beach very popular with families. Take the ferry to Kadıköy ferry terminal and get on bus 4 or 16 to get to Caddebostan Beach.

4. Florya

Florya Güneş Beach in Istanbul in Turkey

The location of Florya Güneş Beach in the European district of Bakırköy is hard to beat! Hop on the Marmaray and get from the city center to Florya Station, where the longest beach in Istanbul is at your fingertips, in less than an hour.

There is an entrance fee, which includes the use of a sunbed, umbrella and showers. You can easily find some cafés and restrooms on-site. The water at this beach on the Sea of Marmara is shallow. The cleanliness of the sand and water can vary.

Florya, 28 kilometers from Taksim, is a popular spot for sun-seeking locals and tourists seeking a beach vacation nearby. This is why you should expect crowds, especially on the weekends. Families with children appreciate the Florya Aquarium right next door.

5. Yesilkoy

Yeşilköy Çiroz Plajı in Istanbul in Turkey

Another beach on Bakırköy‘s long coastline is Yeşilköy Çiroz Plajı. Located only 25 kilometers from Taksim, this beach is a pleasant place for a dip. It consists of two bays mixed with sand and fine gravel and has a total length of 660 meters.

Since Yesilkoy Beach is a public beach, you can enter for free. It features volleyball and mini soccer fields, two cafeterias, dressing rooms and plenty of umbrellas and sun beds. Turkish pop tunes get visitors in beach vacation mood. Embrace some of the finest views of landscapes from Yesilkoy Beach and capture the fun time out with lots of photos.

The area itself has a number of recreational amenities, including a marina, seafood restaurants, bike rental, and a garden.

Beaches outside of Istanbul:

6. Kilyos

Kilyos Beach in Istanbul in Turkey

The small seaside resort Kilyos on the Black Sea coast is the most popular beach destination around Istanbul. Beachgoers who appreciate water sports, summer beach parties and an energetic atmosphere are in for a treat! The strip of yellow sand is especially packed during July and August.

Hotspots of Kilyos are the beach clubs, which not only offer sun loungers, umbrellas and cafés/bars, but also host lively DJ parties at many evenings. Some top choices are the beach clubs Solar Beach, Uzunya Beach and Burç Beach, which offers kiteboarding.

Situated in the Sarıyer district, 41 kilometers from central Istanbul, you can reach Kilyos by public transport in about 90 minutes. From Taksim, take the M2 metro and go 10 stops to Hacıosman. From here, change to a direct bus to Kilyos.

7. Riva

Riva Beach in Istanbul in Turkey

As mentioned above, Riva, 38 kilometers from the center of Istanbul, has a beach reserved for women called Riva Elmasburnu Plajı. Strictly speaking, it is reserved for women only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On the other days it is open to all visitors. The easiest way to get there is by rental car (about 1 hour) or by using the beach's paid shuttle service (reservation required).

Another beach in the area is Riva Beach. The sandy beach offers everything you need for a fun day with family or friends. However, keep in mind that the water is not the cleanest on windy days. There is a small entrance fee to access the beach. Restrooms, showers, lounge chairs and umbrellas are available on site. A nature park, restaurants and the Riva Kalesi fortress are in close proximity to the beach.

From Taksim Square, you can reach it in about 2 hours by taking the M2 metro and then changing to two other buses. Therefore, a rental car is a better choice. Parking spaces are available for a fee.

8. Sile & Agva

Sile Agva Beach in Istanbul Turkey

Some of the finest sandy beaches around Istanbul are located in the Black Sea coastal resorts of Şile and Ağva.

Enjoy the unspoiled nature and seafood specialties in the charming fishing village Şile, but don’t expect a haven of tranquility. During the summer months, the region with a resort atmosphere attracts many locals and tourists who flock here to swim, sunbathe, and have a good time. A popular beach club is Aqua Beach Club on the sandy and very clean Uzunkum Beach. Şile, 79 kilometers from the center of Istanbul, can be reached in about 70 minutes by car.

If you are looking for a more peaceful beach experience, Ağva may be a better choice for you. Ağva is a lovely paradise with strong waves that have created a dramatic coastal landscape over time. Boasting sandy beaches and hidden coves, the place is less crowded than its neighbor. Ağva is located 108 kilometers from the city center and can be reached in 1 hour and 40 minutes by car.

9. Yalova

Yalova Beach in Turkey

Yalova, 90 kilometers south of Istanbul, is a beloved vacation resort of the Istanbulites. The city in the Marmara region is famous for its sandy beaches and hot springs, which are located in the Termal district. Another advantage is the Mediterranean climate.

The most popular swimming spots are Armutlu and Çinarcik. Armutlu, 50 kilometers from Yalova’s center, boasts not only a fine sandy beach with water sports activities, but also healing thermal springs. Çinarcik, on the other hand, is known for its colorful nightlife. A local favorite is Mawish Beach Club, where an aqua park, foam parties, and dance events are among the highlights.

By rental car, you can reach the center of Yalova in about 90 minutes, depending on traffic. A recommendation is the IDO sea ferry buses, which run regularly from Yenıkapı Pier in Istanbul's Fatih district to Yalova Pier in 75 minutes.

10. Silivri

Silivri Beach in Istanbul in Turkey

Considered ideal for both families and friends, Silivri is a great destination for a day at the beach. Located 82 kilometers from central Istanbul, it is a popular holiday resort on the Marmara coast. The small seaside town with a 45 kilometer coastline is busy with visitors from June to September.

Most of Silivri's beaches have a shallow sea with good water quality and on-site facilities. Another advantage is that beachgoers can enjoy sunbathing here without worrying too much about the crowds. Summer Beach with its long strip of golden sand and Semizkum Beach with its excellent water quality are among the most popular beaches in the area.

By car, you can reach the center of Silivri in about 90 minutes, depending on traffic.

Now you know the best spots to take a dip in and around Istanbul. If you're looking for even more inspiration for a day outdoors, take a look at our guide to the 10 best day trips from Istanbul and our article about the 10 best Parks, Gardens & Forests in Istanbul.

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