Istanbul’s Princes Islands

Created : 10 Dec 2021
Istanbul's Princes Islands

By Justin Mays:


One of Istanbul’s most charming spots is a ferry ride away from several city ports. Known collectively as the Princes Islands, they are one of the most naturally beautiful areas in the Istanbul metropolis. Fast and slow ferries leaving from Bostanci, Kadikoy on the Asian side, and Kabatas, Eminonu Besiktas, and Karakoy on the European side can take anywhere from 20-90 minutes to arrive at one of the nine islands in the Sea of Marmara. 


Start by exploring Buyukada (Big Island), the largest island with a population of 7500, to wander amongst its wooden gingerbread houses and lively town center.  It is the most popular island for a day trip. Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kinaliada are the next largest islands with their own unique character. 


Traditionally many of Istanbul’s minorities settled on the islands so there are monasteries, churches, and other historic spots to explore. The islands are mainly car-free, so residents move around on golf carts and electric scooters. Many buy boats to explore the smaller uninhabited islands on summer weekends. Bike riding is also a popular way to move around. Real estate options are more diverse than one might expect. There are not only wooden historical homes but also more modern apartments with pools or gardens in shared communal spaces. 


Because the islands are in commutable distance to jobs, meetings, and schools in the city, during the pandemic real estate prices in the Princes Islands have grown by 52% in one year. Thanks to people who wanted to remote work and those who were looking for a more natural setting. With people looking to locate to a quieter area than central Istanbul, the islands deliver with pine-forested hills and pebbly beaches. With the excellent potential for capital growth, this archipelago is a good spot to start your Istanbul real estate search.