Explore Emirgan, Istanbul: Best Things to Do, See, Dine Guide

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Discover the Emirgan neighborhood of Istanbul with our local guide. We’ll explore the secrets of this beautiful neighborhood of Sariyer along the Bosphorus European shores, including the best things to do, attractions, historical sites, places to see, museums, eat, drink, stay, restaurants, shops, and give you all the info you need to plan your visit.

Emirgan is a historic and naturally beautiful neighborhood located in the Sariyer district on the European shores of Istanbul, and it is famous for its historical and natural beauty, following Rumeli Hisari and Baltalimanı after Bebek. In this article, you can find general information about the Emirgan neighborhood, historical sites, places to visit, activities to do, popular dining venues, and transportation information.

Named after an Iranian emir named Emir Gûne, Emirgan is famous for its plane tree cafes, tea gardens, rice pudding, ice cream, and paper helva. Located on the Bosphorus coast, Emirgan is one of the favorite spots for both Istanbulites and tourists with its calm and peaceful atmosphere.

Especially on quiet days, the neighborhood offers a modest Bosphorus village atmosphere and was a meeting point for renowned writers and artists in the early 20th century. With its historical mansions, lush green parks, and magnificent Bosphorus views, Emirgan stands out as one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Istanbul. In spring, the hills covered with Judas trees and narrow, winding streets take you on a journey through an old story.

The most well-known feature of the neighborhood is the Emirgan Grove, from which it takes its name. This vast and lush area turns into a veritable riot of colors, especially when flowers bloom in spring and summer. It’s an ideal place for walking, picnicking, or simply enjoying nature.

Emirgan also attracts attention with its historical texture. Many Ottoman-era buildings and mansions complete the neighborhood’s elegant and nostalgic atmosphere.

Top Things to Do, Places to See

Emirgan Grove

Certainly, one of the places to visit in Emirgan is the Emirgan Grove. Located in the upper part of Emirgan, Emirgan Park and Grove cover an area of ​​325,000 square meters and are among the most popular parks in Istanbul.

One of the historical buildings in the grove, the “Pink Pavilion,” was built by Ismail Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, and opened to the public in 1943. The two-story wooden-clad house has been decorated with antique furniture, reflecting the intricacies of Turkish handicraft art. Another historical venue in the grove, the “Yellow Pavilion,” was built in the style of a Swiss mountain house.

Emirgan Grove, reflecting the romantic English garden style, stands out as a clean and green area with its chalet-style mansions, artificial ponds, picnic areas, and various plant and tree species brought from different parts of the world.

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The park also offers visitors the opportunity to be close to nature throughout the year. Especially during the Tulip Festival held in April, the grove turns into a fairy-tale land adorned with colorful tulips. You can take a walk in Emirgan Grove, relax by the pond, and discover different plant species. The most beautiful Judas tree scent on the Bosphorus coast is also found here in Emirgan.

Wanna learn more about Emirgan Grove?

Private Sakip Sabanci Fine Arts Museum

Another important venue in the neighborhood is the Private Sakip Sabanci Fine Arts Museum. The Sabancı Family’s Atli Kosk, once home to prestigious events, now serves as a museum that everyone can visit. The museum, established by fulfilling all the requirements of modern museology, blends the Sabancı Family’s private collection with contemporary artworks and world-famous exhibitions.

The museum attracts art lovers with its Ottoman-era artifacts, calligraphy collections, and modern art exhibitions. The museum has also won many international awards and welcomes visitors in a 3,500-square-meter exhibition area with a collection of more than four hundred calligraphy pieces and over three hundred paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Wanna learn more about Sakip Sabanci Museum?

Tevfik Fikret’s House – Aşiyan Museum

Aşiyan, the house where the famous poet Tevfik Fikret lived between 1906 and 1915, was taken from his wife Nazime Hanım by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in 1940 and opened as the Aşiyan Museum.

The three-story wooden house, built according to the poet’s own design in the garden, includes sections such as the Edebiyat-ı Cedide Exhibition, Abdülhak Hamit Hall, and the Room of the Poet Nigâr Hanım. The section dedicated to Tevfik Fikret includes the poet’s study and bedroom.

Emirgan Mosque

Located next to the tea gardens, Emirgan Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Abdulhamid I in 1781 in memory of Prince Mehmet and his mother Hümaşah Hatun. The golden gilded decorations on the wooden ceiling and wall ornaments of the mosque are extremely striking.

Emirgan Pier

You can reach Emirgan with a short walk from Boyacıköy. Before reaching the center of the neighborhood, you will be greeted by Emirgan Pier. The pier was first built in 1851 when the Şirket-i Hayriye ferries started operating in the Bosphorus. The pier, active until 1989, was demolished during the coastal road arrangement and then rebuilt faithfully to its original. From this pier, where you can see old photos of the pier and the Bosphorus, ferries are organized to Istinye, Çengelköy, Arnavutköy, Bebek, Kandilli, Anadoluhisarı, and Kanlıca.

Among other activities you can do in Emirgan are walking along the coast and exploring the historical waterfront mansions. These mansions stand out as elegant structures witnessing Istanbul’s rich history.

Towards Sarıyer

Continuing from Emirgan towards Sarıyer, you can visit İstinye and Yeniköy neighborhoods, then Tarabya, and then pass through Kireçburnu, where Istanbul’s popular fish restaurants are located, before reaching Büyükdere and then Sarıyer.


Istinye combines modern lifestyle and natural beauty in Sariyer. Especially renowned for Istinye Park shopping mall, the neighborhood is a favorite destination for shopping enthusiasts. Furthermore, Istinye Marina, located on the neighborhood’s coast, stands out with its luxury yachts and stylish restaurants.


Yenikoy is one of the sought-after neighborhoods along the Bosphorus in Sariyer. It stands out with its historical waterfront mansions, green parks, and charming streets. Yenikoy is an ideal spot for those who want to take a walk or enjoy the seaside. The cafes and restaurants along the neighborhood’s coastline offer delicious meals accompanied by views of the Bosphorus.


Kireçburnu is a charming and peaceful neighborhood. Its name comes from the intensive lime production carried out during the Ottoman period. The coastline of the neighborhood is filled with fishing boats, tea gardens, and restaurants. One of Kireçburnu’s most well-known features is its natural beauty; while walking along the shore, you can enjoy both the sea and lush parks.


Tarabya is a historic and luxurious neighborhood with one of the most beautiful bays on the Bosphorus. Inhabited since ancient times, Tarabya was used as an important resort area during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Today, Tarabya is known for its luxury hotels, quality restaurants, and unique views of the Bosphorus.

You can take a walk along the coastline, sit at the seaside cafes, and enjoy fresh seafood while taking in the breathtaking views.


Büyükdere is a tranquil neighborhood located on the coast of Sariyer. The neighborhood is known for its important structures, such as historical mansions that carry the traces of old Istanbul. Additionally, the fish restaurants and cafes along Büyükdere’s coastline offer visitors a pleasant experience. After Büyükdere comes the Sariyer center.

Places to Eat & Drink

Emirgan also offers delightful dining experiences with its rich culinary options. You can enjoy breakfast with a view of the Bosphorus or taste the flavors of Turkish cuisine in the historic mansions located within Emirgan Grove.

Especially, Yellow Mansion, White Mansion, and Pink Mansion stand out with both their historical atmospheres and the flavors they offer.

The cafes and restaurants lining the coast are also ideal for dining in Emirgan. At these seaside venues, you can find a wide range of flavors from fresh seafood to international cuisine.

Moreover, the famous tea gardens in Emirgan are places where you can enjoy your tea while watching the Bosphorus and have pleasant conversations with your friends. Especially Emirgan Sütiş is known for its traditional Turkish desserts and breakfasts, making it a must-visit place.

See the best restaurants in Sariyer

How to Get to Emirgan?

Emirgan is located on the European side of Istanbul, on the coast of the Bosphorus, and is easily accessible. You can easily reach Emirgan from almost anywhere in Istanbul using various transportation options.

Transportation by Bus: Getting to Emirgan by public transport is quite convenient. Buses departing from central areas such as Beşiktaş, Taksim, and Sarıyer provide direct access to Emirgan. Bus lines numbered 22, 22RE, 25E, and 40T from Beşiktaş follow the coastal road to Emirgan.

Transportation by Metro and Minibus: You can get off at Hacıosman station using the M2 Yenikapı-Hacıosman metro line. From there, you can take a short minibus or taxi ride to Emirgan.

Minibuses departing from Hacıosman also follow the coastal road to reach Emirgan. Additionally, minibuses departing from Sarıyer also use this route.

Transportation by Sea: There are also various options for those who prefer sea transportation. Bosphorus tour ferries departing from Beşiktaş, Eminönü, and Üsküdar also stop at Emirgan.

You can take a city ferry from Beşiktaş or Üsküdar to Bebek Pier and then reach Emirgan with a short walk or taxi ride from there.

Transportation by Car: It’s also quite easy to reach Emirgan by car. You can follow the coastal road towards Sarıyer from the center of Istanbul to reach Emirgan. Depending on traffic conditions, this journey takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

We recommend checking IETT public bus routes, METRO, and City Lines ferry schedules from the following links, as the routes mentioned on the page may change over time.

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