15 Must do day trips from Istanbul in 2024

Find out and book the best day trips from Istanbul with our ultimate guide. Istanbul is a city that never fails to amaze with its fascinating mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. But what if we told you that Istanbul’s magic doesn’t end in its busy streets? Read on for a trip outside of the city as we talk about the must-do and best day trips from Istanbul that show you the secret gems that are close to this beautiful metropolis.

Best day trips from Istanbul

With these amazing day trip ideas, Istanbul opens the door to a world of different adventures. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or excitement, these places are even more beautiful in the fall. As you make plans for your trip to Istanbul, you might want to add one of these day trips to your list.

1. Breathe in the Serenity at Belgrad Forest

Belgrad Forest is a peaceful haven, and only a short drive from the city center. It has beautiful lakes, peaceful walking trails, and a place to get away from the busy city life. The bright leaves in the forest are beautiful to look at, and it’s a great place to take a slow walk and enjoy nature’s beautiful art.

Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.

2. Sail to the Princes’ Islands

The Princes’ Islands, a beautiful group of islands just a boat ride from Istanbul, come to life. It’s a great time for a day trip because there are fewer people around and the weather is nice.

You can rent bikes to get around Büyükada or Heybeliada, have a relaxing lunch, and learn about the islands’ past and beautiful scenery. Don’t forget to enjoy a slice of island treat that you made yourself!

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3. Enjoy in the Colors of Şile and Ağva

The pretty seaside towns of Sile and Agva are great places to get away from it all. You can get to these secret gems by taking a beautiful drive along the Black Sea coast. Check out the ancient lighthouse on Şile and the peace and quiet of the riverside in Ağva. Enjoy fresh seafood at nearby places, take deep breaths of the clean sea air, and savor peaceful moments.

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4. Polonezkoy: A Tranquil Escape to the Polish Village

Just a short drive from Istanbul lies Polonezkoy, a charming village affectionately known as the “Polish Village.” The village is only a short drive from Istanbul. It has beautiful forests to explore, delicious Polish food to eat, and charming streets lined with wooden houses to walk along.

5. The Enchanting Yalova: Thermal Springs and Nature

Yalova is a great place to get away in the fall because of its hot springs and lush scenery. Soak in the thermal baths’ healing waters, and then go on a wildlife walk in the Yalova Atatürk Arboretum, which is close by. Here, the bright colors of fall come to life, making this a feast for the eyes.

6. Bursa’s Ottoman Heritage – Uludağ Mountain Tour & Cable Car Ride

A day trip to Bursa, that used to be the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is like going back in time. Visit the Bursa Grand Mosque, which is on the UNESCO list, the Green Tomb, which has beautiful architecture, and the famous Iskender kebab. You’ll feel like you’re back in time as you walk through the bazaars and old streets.

On Uludağ Mountain, you can get away to the snowy hills. It’s only a ferry ride from Istanbul. Even though winter is coming soon, this place is truly magical in the fall. Take the cable car to the top, where you’ll see hundreds of miles of woods and mountains all around you. In a cozy lodge, you can sip hot tea and enjoy the fresh mountain air. People from all over Istanbul love to take this day trip in the fall.

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7. Admire the Beauty of İznik (Nicaea)

A peaceful getaway is waiting for you in İznik, a town with a lot of history and old city walls all around it. Explore the ruins of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, go to the famous İznik tile workshops, and take a stroll along the Lake İznik shores. The pretty fall colors and quiet atmosphere of the town make for a memorable day trip.

8. Kilyos: A Coastal Retreat

Escape to Kilyos, Istanbul’s coastal gem. Just a short drive from the city, Kilyos offers sandy beaches, clear waters, and a relaxed seaside atmosphere. Enjoy a day of sunbathing, beach volleyball, or simply strolling along the shore. Kilyos is a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

9. Edirne: A Journey to Ottoman Splendor

Embark on a day trip to Edirne, a city steeped in Ottoman history and grandeur. Explore the magnificent Selimiye Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its stunning architecture. Visit the historic Edirne Palace and walk along the graceful Meriç River. Autumn adds a touch of nostalgia to this city’s rich heritage.

10. Troy, Gallipoli, and Anzac Day Trip: A Historical Odyssey

Visits to Troy and Gallipoli in one day are fascinating for people who are interested in history. Explore the mythical city of Troy, which is where the Trojan War took place, and honor the Anzacs at Gallipoli.

While visiting these ancient sites in the fall, the sombre mood makes you think about the important events that made history. An extremely popular day trip from Istanbul in the fall.

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11. Sapanca Lake and Masukiye Day Tour: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Experience the beauty of Sapanca Lake and Masukiye, just a short drive from Istanbul. This day trip promises a perfect blend of nature and relaxation. Take a leisurely walk along the serene lake, indulge in a delicious trout lunch, and explore the lush forests of Masukiye.

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12. Journey to the Roman Ruins of Ephesus

For history buffs willing to venture a bit farther, Ephesus is an archaeological treasure trove. A short flight from Istanbul takes you to this ancient city, where you can explore well-preserved Roman ruins, including the iconic Library of Celsus. Autumn offers pleasant temperatures, making it an ideal time to immerse yourself in the rich history of Ephesus.

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13. Pamukkale Day Trip: Walk on Cotton Castle Terraces

For a day of natural wonders, set your sights on Pamukkale. This UNESCO World Heritage site, known as the “Cotton Castle,” is famous for its terraces of white mineral-rich thermal waters. As autumn sets in, the crowds thin out, allowing you to stroll barefoot on the terraces and soak in the warm, healing waters. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, an archaeological treasure.

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14. Cappadocia Day Trip with Hot Air Balloon Ride

Prepare for an adventure that will take your breath away! A day trip to Cappadocia is a journey into a dreamlike landscape of fairy chimneys and cave dwellings. While autumn adds a touch of magic to this region, the real highlight is the hot air balloon ride. Soar above the surreal landscape as the rising sun paints the sky in a kaleidoscope of colors. It’s a bucket-list experience that will leave you awe-inspired.

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Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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15. Göbeklitepe Day Trip: Unveiling Ancient Mysteries

Step back in time with a day trip to Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest known temple complex. Located near Şanlıurfa, this archaeological wonder dates back over 11,000 years. Explore the enigmatic stone pillars and intricate carvings that hint at humanity’s ancient rituals.

Wanna learn more on Istanbul to Gobeklitepe day trips?

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