The Yıldız (Yıldız = star) park is one of the most beautiful and largest parks in Istanbul. Very popular among the locals, it is also highly recommended for tourists. It is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the metropolis and just to relax.
During the Byzantine period, the area of the park was a forest.
In the 18th century, the Yıldız Palace (Yıldız Sarayı) was built on behalf of Sultan Selim III for his mother Sultan Mihrişah. Today, the palace is open to the public as a museum. The park served as a hunting ground and was part of the imperial garden of the palace.
Today, the park houses several villas and pavilions from the 19th and 20th centuries, which can also be visited. The Malta and Çadır Pavilions in the northern and southern parts of the park are historical Ottoman residences built in neo-Baroque style in 1870/71, which served as hunting lodges for Sultan Abdülaziz. The two buildings have been transformed into restaurants and cafés. International and traditional cuisines are offered here in a lovely setting with a beautiful view of the city.
Far away from the hustle and bustle, you can go for a walk in the 160-hectare park, which has been open to the public since the founding of the Republic and was once reserved for the Sultan. The park has ponds, waterfalls and beautiful oases of peace. Almost three-quarters of the Yıldız Park consist of trees and shrubs, including magnolia, linden, horse chestnut, oak, cypress, pine, yew, cedar and ash; the rest are paths and meadows with a large variety of wild plants. Some trees are even over 400 years old. The gardens, which mainly consist of tulips, display a blaze of color.
From the Bosphorus, winding paths lead steeply up the hill, offering breathtaking views of the city and the Bosphorus.