One of the largest public parks in Istanbul, Emirgan Park covers 117 acres on a hillside along the shores of the Bosphorus Strait. In Byzantine times, the area was covered with cypress trees and by the mid-16th century became known as Feridun Bey Park. By the 1860s, the park was owned by Khediva Ismail Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Egypt and Sudan, who built three wooden pavilions that remain standing today.
The Yellow, Pink and White Pavilions within the park were restored in the late 1970s and then opened to the public. The Yellow Pavilion stands in the center of the park, overlooking the Bosphorus, and features traditional Ottoman architecture and rich interior decorations. The Pink Pavilion is also a typical Ottoman house and is often used for weddings or other events. Not far from the Yellow Pavilion, the White Pavilion was built in a neo-classical style and is now a cafeteria and restaurant. Together with the jogging trails and picnic areas, the pavilions make the park a popular weekend destination for Istanbul residents.
Home to a special tulip garden since the 1960s, Emirgan Park is a great place to visit in April, when it hosts an annual international tulip festival.
Emirgan Park is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and admission is free. If you don’t have a car, the best way to get there is to take bus 25E from the Kabatas tram station. The park is about 20 minutes on foot from the main waterfront road.