Top 10 Romantic Things to Do in Istanbul

Nihal Razı
29 August, 2015

One of the most romantic things to do in Istanbul is definitely being on the water. A good idea is being on a boat before the sunset and experience all the changes in the sky and watch the bridges and mosques as they light up. A glass of champagne would complete the moment really nicely.

Another one is taking the ferry to the Prince Islands and spending the day walking around, eating yummy ice cream, biking and hopping on one of the horse carriages that give you an hour tour around the island. You can sit back and watch the beautiful 19th century art nouveau villas and the greenery. For sunset, climb up to the Aya Yorgi hill and feel as if the day is ending in the Aegean sea as you sip your house wine towards the Sea of Marmara.

If you do not have the time to go all the way to the island, you can also take the ferry to Moda, locate yourself in a nice little table on top of the hill at Moda Çay Evi and watch the sun change colors as it moves towards the sea.

1-Prince Islands (Adalar in Tr.)

You can take a trip with your partner to one of the 4 biggest islands for a romantic day. Although most people choose Buyukada (Big Island), you can choose one of the other alternatives for more tranquility. As there is no traffic on the islands, you can enjoy the peace and get on the horse-drawn phaeton carriages to try out some historical moments.

There are many fish restaurants where you can taste delicious food while drinking your raki. Some churches are also present on the islands.

P.S. You will take a ferry ride for the islands, which lasts for around 40 minutes. It is also a good opportunity to watch the sea in your lover’s arms.

2-Maiden's Tower aka the “Leanders Tower” (Kiz Kulesi in Tr.)

A tower lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus, where the Marmara Sea meets the Bosphorus. There is a restaurant in the first floor and a café at the top of the tower. Dinner is served everyday between 8:30pm - 01:00am with live music. You can take your partner there and watch the beauty of the city in a romantic atmosphere. Private boats make trips to the tower several times a day. If you cannot go to the Tower, then you can just watch the tower from the banks located at Salacak. You can see many couples sitting there and enjoying the romance of the view.

3- The Bosphorus

If you think that sea alone is enough for romanticism, then the Bosphorus is the best choice for you. Along its long coast, there are many places to drink and eat. You can walk by the sea with your partner and get away from the noise of the city. In the evenings, you can view the  two bridges sitting on the banks along the coast. If you are looking for a cool restaurant to eat, Bebek district along the Bosphorus should be your first choice. In elegant restaurants and cafés located around Bebek, you can enjoy the high-quality food and drink with your partner, facing the beautiful view of the Bosphorus.  

4- Beyoglu-Tunel 

The main street in Beyoglu, Istiklal Street, is a pedestrianised street of shops, cafés, patisseries, restaurants, pubs, wine houses and clubs, as well as bookshops, theatres, cinemas and art galleries. It has a 19th century metropolitan character, and the avenue is lined with neoclassical and art nouveau buildings, where you can smell of romance. It is resembled to Galleria in Milan, Italy.

If you are looking for live music, you can try Cezayir Sokağı, also known as La Rue Française, which is famous for its pubs and restaurants playing live music (especially French) or the famous Nevizade Street, which has rows of historic pubs or the Asmalimescit Street with historical Turkish restaurants. You can also visit Pera Museum. For partners, one of the warmest cafés is J'adore Chocolatier & Café. There you can taste delicious chocolates and desserts in a romantic setting.

5- Pierre Loti

It is a hill named after a famous French writer and located in Eyup district. It has a beautiful view of the Golden Horn. There is a historical café on the hill, where you can drink your coffee or tea while watching over the Golden Horn, Galata Tower, Galata Bridge, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

The place is historically famous for being a meeting spot for lovers. You can also take many pictures with your partner during this visit.   

6- Kanlica

This small but warm district is famous for its yoghurt with sugar. This special yoghurt is a must to try. Kanlica is a coastal area on the Anatolian side. The most known place about this district is Ismailaga Kahvesi (Café). It is located by the sea, so you can watch the Bosphorus and the bridge. The night view is much better when compared to that of daytime. You can take your partner there for a peaceful evening. You can take a ferry to go to the Kanlica district.

7- Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karakoy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn. You can find the best panoramic view of the city at the top of this Tower. It was built by the Genoese colony called Galata and today used as a tourist attraction.

The elevator only goes to the 7th floor, and you must climb the last two floors of the tower by stairs. There is a balcony that encircles the tower, where you can watch the unique view. You can eat a romantic dinner at the restaurant on the top floor with your partner or enjoy its nightclub. If you just want to watch the view, the balcony is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (7 pm in summer) and the entrance fee is 10 TL.

8- Cengelkoy (Cinaralti Cay Bahcesi)

This place is a perfect match for romantic partners. The place is by the sea, so you can watch the scene in a peaceful atmosphere or take nice pictures with your partner. The district is famous for it borek (a traditional Turkish food made of dough with meat/cheese/spinach/potatoes etc. as ingredients). You can buy your borek from somewhere and take it with you to the café (it is allowed to bring your own food). You will fall in love with the view of the Bosphorus. Maybe you can also refresh your love with your partner in this romantic scene. You can take a ferry to go to the Cengelkoy district.

9- Agva

Agva is a populated place and resort destination in the Sile district of Istanbul. Agva is a coastal place at Black Sea, situated between two rivers. Surrounded with a picturesque scenery, Agva is one of the popular resorts of Istanbul. In addition to the 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) beach, there are many boarding houses and restaurants.

Most of the hotels are by the lake, so you can relax across that view.

Göksu River is well-known for boat excursions. You can take a boat trip with your partner away from all the worries of city life. There are several options for you, such as going swimming, jogging, fishing or even trying paddle boats. If you find romance in green, then Agva is a perfect choice for you.  

10- Ortakoy

It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with its art galleries, night clubs, cafés, bars, and restaurants. However, the view of the Ottoman Neo-Baroque style Ortakoy Mosque on the Bosphorus is the most famous thing about Ortakoy. You can also watch the Bosphorus Bridge at the top of you.

The Esma Sultana Mansion in Ortaköy near the Bosphorus Bridge is another important Ottoman era palace that is worth seeing. When you go to Ortakoy, you should defititely try kumpir (a different Turkish food with potato and several ingredients inside it like olives, pickles, corn etc.)  

Apart from beautiful cafés with a Bosphorus view, such as the Ortakoy Kahvesi, pubs and restaurants near the ferry port, there are some of Istanbul's best seashore night clubs, including Reina, Sortie and Anjelique in Ortakoy. You can spend a night full of music with your partner at the shores of the Bosphorus.

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Nihal Razı

Whatever you do, do it perfect way!Thanks to my internship at Atdaa, I work as a marketing specialist in a multinational company today.

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