Explore Princes’ Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

The Princes’ Islands (Prens Adalari in Turkish) is one of the best preserved natural areas and sights in Istanbul. The islands have taken the name from the exiled Princes during the Byzantium era. The islands is one of the best attractions, weekend breaks and Istanbul escape both for Istanbullites and tourists.


Located across the coasts of Maltepe and Kartal districts, on the Asian coasts, Marmara sea, there are total 9 islands that are situated very close to each other. Six of them, Buyukada, Heybeliada, Kinaliada, Burgazada, Kasikadasi and Sedefadasi form the main Princes’ Islands. Majority of the population of the islands are Greek, Armenian, Jewish and some Syrian Christians.

Buyukada and Heybeliada are among the most popular ones that offer great attractions and sights for their visitors.

Top Selling Princes’ Islands Tours

You’ll find variety of day trips organized with the authorized travel agents. It can be guided tours, overnight stays, and Princes’ Islands boat tickets. We highly recommend this option especially if you are first time visitor. You’ll save yourself from the hassle of arranging the tickets, find place in between the crowds and accommodation.

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts



Video Tour

Things to Do & See at the Princes’ Islands

Princes’ Islands is a popular place for Istanbullites especially during summer, to enjoy the beaches and have great weekend activity. Tourists also flock to the islands to experience and enjoy the islands’ natural beauties, electric vehicle tours, fish restaurants, hiking and swimming opportunities.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

The islands become like a carnival place with cheerful crowds on the weekends. You should keep this in your mind that if you want to visit the islands expecting a peaceful and not crowded day, than you should plan your day trip to Princes’ Islands in the weekdays, or in spring or autumn season.

Motor vehicles are not allowed on the island, and that makes the islands a perfect destination for the ones looking for a peaceful day and night out. You can get around the island on electric vehicles, or rent a bike and explore the island on your own.

Buyukada

Buyukada is the largest island and also the center of the Adalar (means islands) district.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)


Main attractions and sights on the Buyukada include;

  • Tour of the island with Electric Vehicle or bike
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • Visit Aya Yorgi Church (the Church of St. George)
  • Visit the Islands’ Museum
  • Dine at the fish restaurants by the shore

Electric Vehicle Tours

Getting around the Princes’ islands on electric vehicle is one of the most popular attractions. You’ll enjoy the natural beauties of the islands with the views of the Istanbul.

After the ban of the former horse-drawn carriage transportation which caused the death of hundreds of horses, electric vehicle services started on the whole Princes’ Islands since August 2020.

Bike Tours

Exploring the Princes’ islands on bike is one of the most popular attractions. You’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery, wooden mansions and gardens with the views of the Istanbul. You can easily rent a bike and have an excellent 2 hours island tour.

Aya Yorgi Church & the Hilltop

The Aya Yorgi Church (the Church of St. George) is the most popular sight of the Princes’ Islands. Situated on top of the highest hill of the Buyukada, this Orthodox church is a very unique and peaceful place. The church was built in the year 1905.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

Wish Ceremony at the Aya Yorgi Church

The Aya Yorgi Church is also famous with the people writing their wishes to a paper and throwing into the box, or lighting candles for their wishes. Of course these are common in every church in the world. Meanwhile, the Aya Yorgi Church has special days that if you visit the church on 23rd of April and 24th of September, it is believed that your wishes on these days will come true and you’ll get healed. And if the wishes come true, visitors are coming back to the church and bring sugar and olive oil.

Near the Aya Yorgi Church, you’ll also find a lovely restaurant with stunning views of the coasts and the city. Make sure you enjoy this place, eat, drink and take photos.

How to Get To Aya Yorgi Church?

You can access the Church by the electric vehicle carriage or bike. It will drop you off at the head of the slope. You’ll also find here, a pretty restaurant and stalls selling gifts and accessories related with wish.


You’ll need to walk up to the hill, about 10-15 minutes, so we recommend you visit the Church if you like nature walk and hike. You’ll also find benches along the way to relax. Keep in mind that there is a superstition that you shouldn’t talk or speak with your friends while you climb the hill.

Buyukada beaches

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Naki Bey beach
Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Yorukali beach

Heybeliada

Heybeliada is the second largest and popular of the Princes’ Islands.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

Main attractions and sights on the Heybeliada include;

  • Tour of the island with Electric Vehicle or bike
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • Visit Aya Yorgi Cliff Church (Saint George)
  • Visit the Heybeliada Greek Boys’ High School (dating back to 1200s)
  • Visit the School of the Priests
  • Dine at the restaurants by the shore

Heybeliada beaches

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Ada beach club
Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Degirmenburnu beach
Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Aqua Green beach club

Burgazada

Burgazada is the third largest and popular of the Princes’ Islands.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

Main attractions and sights on the Burgazada include;

  • Tour of the island with Electric Vehicle or bike
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • Visit the historical Burgazada Mosque and the Hristos Monastery & Church
  • Enjoy the scenery at the Bayraktepe hill, Madam Martha cove
  • Princes’ Islands Water Sports Club
  • Dine at the restaurants by the shore

Burgazada beaches

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Camakya beach
Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Kalpazankaya beach

Kinaliada

Kinaliada is the smallest of the Princes’ Islands. You can walk all the island in about 20-25 minutes.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

Main attractions and sights on the Kinaliada include;

  • A walking or bike tour of the island
  • Enjoy the scenery at the Cinar, Tesvikiye and Hristo hills
  • Visit historical Hristo Monastery & Church
  • Enjoy the beaches
  • Dine at the restaurants by the shore

Kinaliada beaches

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Kumluk beach
Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Kamos beach
Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)
Teos beach club

How to Get to the Princes’ Islands?

Typical Princes’ Islands (Adalar) cruises are made by Public Ferries (Sehir Hatlari) or by Private Boats. It takes about 90 minutes (from Eminonu, Kabatas or Besiktas) to get to Princes’ Islands by ferry or boat.

Princes’ Islands (Adalar) Public Ferry Lines

You can easily access Princes’ Islands from the ferry docks at Besiktas, Kabatas, Eminonu and Bostanci.

* You’ll need IstanbulKart to pay.

* Check en.sehirhatlari.istanbul for all above routes, timetables and prices.

Princes’ Islands (Adalar) by Private Boats

You can easily access Princes’ Islands by motor boats from Karakoy, Eminonu and Kadikoy.

Round-Trip Ticket for Princes’ Island Ferry & Audio Guide

Offered by Istanbul Welcome Card (IWC).

You’ll have about 75 minutes ferry ride to the Princes’ Island, the Buyukada. While you have a fantastic Bosphorus ride, you can admire the beautiful skyline of Istanbul at the open air deck, enjoy refreshments from the kiosk or listen to the stories about the Bosphorus from the audio guide app on your smartphone.

Explore Princes' Islands (2021 Top Things to Do, See & Stay, Day Trips)

Departure: Kabatas pier (see location map)

Includes: Round-Trip ticket to the Princes’ Island, Fast track entry on boat from the online ticket window, Bosphorus audio guide app for IOS and Android in 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese

Princes’ Island Ferry Departure Times:

  • Departure times are 10:40 AM and 13:40 PM
  • Return times from Princes’ Island is every hour
  • Return times from Princes’ Island 14:30 PM, 15:30 PM and 17:00 PM

How it works?

* You’ll see the wooden DENTUR stand of IWC with lots of red labels at the Kabatas Pier, where The Marine Officer will meet you there.

* You’ll just show your confirmation email to the IWC Marine Officer will take you directly to the boat (without waiting in the queue).

* You’ll just sit back and enjoy your cruise to Princes’ Islands.

Ticket Price: €8 (our website visitors will get 5% discount)

Book Round-Trip Ticket for Princes’ Island Ferry & Audio Guide with 5% discount




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