Last Updated on September 7, 2021
Located in the natural park and protected area, on the Asian side, about 25 km. (45 mins drive) from the city, Polonezkoy, formerly known as Adampol is a pretty Polish village that you should visit during your Istanbul stay. Polonezkoy has an interesting history that the village was established after Poland was invaded by its neighbors Russia, Austria and Prussia in 1775. With the help of the Ottoman Empire, the Polish immigrants have settled here.
This unique village gained a reputation in protecting its green nature and environment around Istanbul, and has become one of the most popular Istanbul escapes. Many locals flock to the village at weekends to have a great day out at its quality hotels, pensions, restaurants, gardens, barbecues, village breakfasts, etc. Google Map
Polonezkoy in a nutshell
The word “Polonez” is related with the Polish in Turkish language, and “koy” means “village”, which gives a meaning of “Polish Village” or “the village of the Poles”. The former name of “Adampol” stands for the founder Adam Czartoryski, which means “the land of Adam”.
The village was first founded by Adam Czartoryski (Chairman of National Uprising Government and the Leader of a Political Emigration Party) in 1842. The existence of “Polonezkoy-Adampol” within the city is a big cultural and historical event that has never been seen before in the world. The village was established in Istanbul just after the invasion of Poland by its neighbors Russia, Austria and Prussia in 1775.
The Ottoman Empire was against the idea of this invasion. Ottoman Empire supported Poland and Polish immigrants by giving them this heavenly place for settlement. The inhabitants also took the Turkish citizenship in 1938.
In the early 1900s, the village started a concept of a clean family pension service to Istanbul and opened its door to tourism. This type of accommodation has become very famous in the village with its green nature, wooden houses that are like smiling with their landscape of trees full of flowers and fruits.
Today’s Polonezkoy is one of the most preferred places in Istanbul to choose from an exciting weekend breaks, day trips, to nature walking, cycling, picnics, barbecue, dinners in luxurious and quality restaurants, weddings and various parties.
Polonezkoy is also one of the most famous villages in the world. And for more than 150 years, the inhabitants of the village have preserved the Polish language, culture and the traditions of their ancestors.
Many famous people have visited the village, including the French Liszt in 1847, Gustave Flaubert in 1850, founder of Turkey Mustafa Kemal ATATURK, Pope 23rd Jean, former President Kenan EVREN and Polish President Lech WALESA and author Pierre Loti.
Czech author Karel Droz says in his novel that, “Even this is a fairy tale, it is very real. Far away from the motherland, inside somewhere by the Anatolian hills covered with forests, lies a hidden Polish village.” He describes the view of the village as “a smile of a corner from heaven”.
Poland culture lives here through the buildings of the village, people’s life style, leisure activities and wedding ceremonies at the same time.
Attractions & Sights
Polonezkoy is a heavenly place, a unique village with its success in protecting its green nature and environment around Istanbul. Even on the way the village, passing through the forest road, you’ll feel the peaceful environment.
The village itself is a place where you can have the respect, feel yourself free from the crowd, noise and stress of Istanbul.
While you were passing through the roads surrounded with forests of pine trees, you’ll suddenly feel your soul purified from the crowd, noise and chaos of the city.
At the entrance of the village, the Mother Mary Church and the Catholic cemetery welcomes you. About 100 meters ahead, you’ll arrive to the village’s pretty small square.
The House of the Memory of Zofia Ryży, where the village history and old photographs are exhibited, the historical Czestochowa’s Mother Mary Church, that was built between 1900-1914, the Polish Cemetery, also home to the tomb of the Mehmet Sadik Pasha’s wife, the house where Ataturk (the founder of Turkish Republic) stayed during his visit to the village, culture house or the open air wooden arts exhibition, are among the most popular places to visit and see in Polonezkoy.
You’ll find variety of great activities to choose from in Polonezkoy, from an exciting weekend breaks, day trips, to nature walking, cycling, picnics, barbecue, dinners in luxurious and quality restaurants, weddings and various parties.
You can start the day with a rich village breakfast or brunch in this paradise village, which you can also describe as the backyard of Istanbul, then you can relax in the greenery on hammocks or cushions, and then continue the day with a nature walk or bike tour.
When you want to take a break, you can eat at the cafes and restaurants in the village that offer delicious and different alternatives, you can have a picnic, barbecue and barbecue party in their garden, or you can reward yourself with cakes, donuts and sweets at tea time.
When you want to spend your time during the day, you can visit the Zofia Rizi Memorial House where the history of the village and old village photographs are exhibited, you can visit the historical village church, the culture house in the village center and the wood carving sculpture exhibition. You can also visit the souvenir shops in the village square.
If you don’t want to return to Istanbul at the end of the day, you can stay in the hotels and hostels in the village and enjoy a clean air and stay in nature, albeit for one night.
Village Breakfast & Brunch
Polonezkoy is one of the most preferred places in Istanbul that come to mind when it comes to breakfast or brunch in a beautiful place in Istanbul, especially at the weekends.
You’ll find many places that offer village breakfast and brunch. You can try the delicious breakfast and brunch menus at the restaurants that serve as restaurants and cafes only, as well as at the restaurants of the several hotels and pensions, and refresh yourself in the nature during the boring city life.
Nature Walking & Hiking
Polonezkoy and its Nature Park is one of the rare places that remain green in Istanbul, and the village offers a very ideal environment for nature lovers with its clean air, nature that contains all shades of green.
You can do a great outdoor sports activity in nature by hiking or nature walking along the pretty roads and the pathways of the village, and along the 5-kilometer walking track.
Cycling or biking along the beautiful trails of the village is also one of the best attractions in Polonezkoy.
You can rent a bike at the village square and have a great day out on bike, along the impressive pathways and forest trails.
Dine & Wine at the Cafes & Restaurants
Cafes and restaurants are the most common places in Polonezkoy. You are able to find many high quality and boutique style cafes, restaurants and patisseries housed in pretty places with exciting themes.
You can taste the countless home-made dishes, local delicacies, pastries and desserts, which are created by blending Polish gastronomic heritage and Turkish cuisine. We also recommend you not leave the village without tasting the unique Polonez cake with a coffee or tea.
Picnics & Barbecue
Most of those who visit Polonezkoy on weekends come to the village especially for picnics, barbecue and self-catering activity in a lush natural environment.
You are able to find many places in the village that offer picnic and barbecue facilities in the beautiful gardens, however, there are also many place in the vicinity of the village.
The House of the Memory of Zofia Ryży
Zofia Rizi Memorial House is one of the must-see places for those who want to see photos, documents and memories about the history of the village. It is the historical symbol of the village, and the culture, friendship and hospitality between Poland and Turkey.
If you want to make cultural activity, see the village life and memories of the Polish people living in the village since 1842, and make a kind of a museum visit, than we recommend you visit this house of the Aunt Zofia, which is also one of the oldest houses in the village.
Czestochowa’s Mother Mary Church
The Czestochowa’s Mother Mary Church is one of the most important symbols of Polonezkoy. It is situated in a beautiful garden right at the entrance of the village.
Dating back to the 1845s, the church was also used by the Turkish Army as headquarters during the First World War.
The accommodation opportunities in Polonezkoy are very diverse. You are able to find many large facilities, boutique places and small villas that serve as club hotels, boutique hotels or pensions.
You can enjoy the village’s beautiful nature and peaceful environment for all year round in these places that offer quality service and have a nice weekend break in Istanbul. In addition, there are also a few hotels that offer quality service in the vicinity of the village.
How to Get There?
by Private Vehicle
The easiest and most comfortable option for transportation to Polonezkoy with your private vehicle; Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge over Kavacık exit and the new Riva road.
For those coming from the European side, the first turn after crossing the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, for those coming from the Anatolian side, after entering the “KAVACIK” turn, which is the last exit of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, after a little progress, enter the “NEW HIGHWAY (Riva Road)”. [The road that runs straight and goes under the bridge is the new highway. Continue straight, do not enter the secondary road on the right. You will also see the POLONEZKÖY sign here.]
The new road is asphalt and very comfortable. As you proceed through the viaducts, you will see Acarkent on your right. About 4.5 km on this road. After you go, you will see the “Polonezköy” turn to the right. From the highway, keep going inwards and follow the “Polonezköy” signs that you will often come across.
Continue straight in the direction of the “Polonezköy” sign on the four roads you will see after a while. About 2.5 km from four roads. then continue on to the left in the direction indicated by the “Polonezköy” sign. Approximately 3.5 km. Then you will reach Polonezköy. After the Kavacık turn, take the new road to Polonezköy for 13-14 kilometers.
Your second option over Kavacik;
It is possible to reach Polonezköy by following the Polonezköy signs over Çavuşbaşı, by not taking the new road after the Kavacık exit, turning right, and following the BP gas station.
Your third option over TEM;
It can be reached from the “Ümraniye Sarıgazi” exit of the TEM, by turning towards the old Şile road, when you reach Alemdağ, proceed in the direction of Cumhuriyet village, and when you reach Cumhuriyet village, turn left.
Your fourth option over Beykoz;
You can reach Toygar via Beykoz, then to Mahmut Şevket Paşa, and from there to Üçpınarlar, by heading south.
Unfortunately there is no public bus to Polonezkoy at the moment.