Explore Rumeli Feneri, Istanbul: Best Things to Do, See Guide

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Discover the Rumeli Feneri 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, eat, drink, stay, restaurants, and give you all the info you need to plan your visit.

Rumeli Feneri is known as a peaceful and tranquil village located on the northernmost part of the European side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, within the Sarıyer district. This article provides general information about the Rumeli Feneri area, historical sites, places to visit, activities, popular dining spots, and transportation details.

Named after the historic lighthouse built during the Ottoman Empire, which is still active today, Rumeli Feneri is a district where nature and history blend seamlessly. It is an ideal escape for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and serves as the first entry point to the Bosphorus from the Black Sea.

The village stands out with its unspoiled nature and serene atmosphere. It offers a peaceful environment with its green spaces, rocky shores, and breathtaking sea views. In addition to the historic Rumeli Feneri, walking through the narrow streets of the village allows you to observe traditional Black Sea houses and local life.

Top Things to Do, Places to See

The main attraction in Rumeli Feneri is, of course, the historic lighthouse from which it takes its name. Built by Sultan Abdülmecid in 1856, this lighthouse has served as a guide for sailors navigating the rough waters of the Black Sea. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse offers an unforgettable experience, providing a bird’s-eye view of the vast expanse of the Black Sea and the entrance to the Bosphorus.

Another historical site worth exploring is the Rumeli Feneri Fortress, dating back to the Byzantine period. This fortress holds intriguing details for history enthusiasts. Additionally, walking through the natural beauty of the village and taking photographs are enjoyable activities. The walking trails and picnic areas along the coast are perfect for spending a day immersed in nature.

Rumeli Feneri Lighthouse

The current lighthouse at Rumeli Feneri, with a history dating back to ancient times, was constructed during the Crimean War in 1855 by the French and British to facilitate the passage of warships from the Bosphorus to the Black Sea. Along with the Anatolian Lighthouse on the opposite shore, it began service at that time.

Situated 58 meters above sea level, the lighthouse tower itself stands 30 meters tall. Beneath the hill where the lighthouse is located, there is also a fishermen’s harbor. At this harbor, there is a small, rustic restaurant.

Altinkum Beach

Rumeli Feneri can be reached by following the roads through Rumeli Kavagi or Sariyer. On the road that follows the Bosphorus from Rumeli Kavağı, you can also see the famous Altınkum Beach and take a break there.

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Marmaracık Cove

Additionally, if you follow the road branching to the left from the entrance of Rumeli Feneri, you will reach Marmaracık Cove, surrounded by forests. This cove has a beautiful holiday village, making it an ideal spot for Istanbul’s weekend vacationers. Especially during the summer and weekends, nature lovers gather at this retreat far from the crowds, which offers a restaurant, beach, sports activities, and an open-air cinema.

Garipce Village

Garipce Village is a charming village known for its natural beauty and historical texture, away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Located near the Black Sea, this small village offers a peaceful escape where green and blue meet. With its narrow streets, stone houses, and intimate atmosphere, it makes visitors feel like they’re in an Aegean village.

The village is particularly famous for its breakfast spots and fish restaurants. You can buy fresh fish from the fishing boats along the coast or enjoy delicious seafood with the unique view of the Bosphorus at the restaurants. Additionally, Garipce Castle, one of the historical landmarks of the village, offers magnificent views of both the village and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge.

Places to Eat

Rumeli Feneri is also known for its restaurants offering seafood and the flavors of Black Sea cuisine. You can enjoy fresh and delicious varieties of fish at the seaside fish restaurants. The menu of fish and seafood, which varies according to the season, provides a unique experience for gastronomy enthusiasts.

The village’s modest cafes and tea gardens are ideal for those who want to take a pleasant break with a sea view. You can enjoy the famous tea of the Black Sea region and local delicacies while soaking in the natural beauty. Additionally, the small eateries in the village serve homemade dishes and regional flavors that are worth trying.

See the best restaurants in Sariyer

How to Get to Rumeli Feneri?

Rumeli Feneri is a peaceful and serene village located on the Black Sea coast in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district. There are several options for reaching this beautiful and historic area, whether by public transport or private vehicle.

By Bus: For those who prefer public transport, IETT buses are a good option. The 150 bus route departing from Sarıyer takes you directly to Rumeli Feneri. You can reach Sarıyer by bus or metro from central locations like Taksim, Beşiktaş, and Hacıosman.

By Private Vehicle: Driving to Rumeli Feneri with your own vehicle is a comfortable and enjoyable option. Start from the city center of Istanbul, follow the route through Maslak and Sarıyer, and take the Kilyos road. Follow the signs to Rumeli Feneri from Sarıyer, and you will reach the village after a 20-kilometer drive. This route offers a scenic drive with views of greenery and the Black Sea. Along the way, you can take pleasant breaks at various rest stops and viewpoints.

Alternative Transportation: After reaching Sarıyer, you can also take a taxi to Rumeli Feneri. A taxi ride from Sarıyer to Rumeli Feneri takes about 20-30 minutes, making it a convenient alternative for those who prefer not to adhere to public transport schedules. Additionally, during the summer months, cycling enthusiasts can enjoy a beautiful bike route from Sarıyer to Rumeli Feneri along coastal and forest paths.

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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