laleventure istanbul one of the lakes in Atatürk Arboretum

Enjoy Mother Nature in Istanbul! Atatürk Arboretum and Belgrad Forest

When you hear the word “Istanbul”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Some of you would say magnificent historical structures, others will mention the amazing Bosphorus Strait, while others would refer to the exciting urban activities.

It is true that Istanbul is all about the mentioned attractions, but it’s also about green spaces and nature. This metropolitan city is covered by 44% of greenery ranging from street greenery to parks and forests.

Away from touristic areas, crowds of people, shopping sprees and noisy traffic, on the north side of European Istanbul, lay two of the most beautiful natural spaces. Atatürk Arboretum and Belgrad Forest.

Atatürk Arboretum

Home to more than 1,500 plant species, Atatürk Arboretum serves as rich material for scientific plant researches, while providing locals and tourists alike with a superb natural escape.

You can smell fresh air, relax in open space, jog on walking tracks, and shoot beautiful photos full of life and color.


Tickets are sold at the gate of the Arboretum. Food and drinks are to be left in a safe box at the ticketing counter and can be retrieved on the way out.

laleventure istanbul at the gate of ataturk arboretum
At the Gate of Atatürk Arboretum

The Arboretum has a central fountain,5 different walking tracks distributed around the center and 2 small lakes with swans and ducks.

laleventure istanbul central fountain in ataturk arboretum
Central Fountain in Atatürk Arboretum

Locals head to this location especially to shoot wedding and kids photos.

laleventure istanbul A Kid Getting Prepared for a Photo Shoot
A Kid Getting Prepared for a Photo Shoot

There are plenty of benches around the lakes for you to sit and enjoy the scenes. Drinking water source and WCs are also available. (People with special needs have a special WC).

laleventure istanbul Atatürk Arboretum bench sitting
Relaxing and Enjoying the Scenery

So just unwind, relax and enjoy…..

Belgrad Forest

Known as Belgrad Ormanı in Turkish, this forest is considered as the lung of Istanbul.

laleventure istanbul belgrad forest entrance
Belgrad Forest Entrance

Entry to the Forest is free for people on foot, while car drivers pay a fee.

Inside the forest, there are two main roads. The right one is short and leads to a lake and some historical ruins. It is a nice way to walk and absorb nature.


The left road is a long uphill road, which reaches a beautiful picnic area. Although this road will need about 30 minutes to walk, it is worth if you are a nature lover, especially in autumn where leaves are of different color shades.

laleventure istanbul belgrad forest
On Our Way to the Picnic Area in Belgrad Forest

The picnic area is provided with benches and tables. There is a booth that sells snacks, coffee and tea. WCs are available on site too.

laleventure istanbul belgrad forest
Coffee or Tea?

Igniting fire is forbidden, so you can’t cook or heat up food. Best picnic food options are pastry and cold sandwiches.

laleventure istanbul belgrad forest
Benches and Tables in Belgrad Forest

Kids can have fun on wooden bridges and can play with small balls or rackets. You can read here about other kids activities in Istanbul.

laleventure İstanbul belgrad forest
Small Bridges in Belgrad Forest


Be Interactive!

These were two natural escapes in Istanbul. Do you know others? Share them with us in the comment box below.

Check our List of 10 Historical Attractions, and List of 7 Walks and Strolls in Istanbul.

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