Originally a sprawling rose garden on the Topkapi Palace grounds, Gülhane Park is now a lush public green space favored by locals. The park, located in the Sultanahmet district, is an ideal space for relaxing in nature as you explore Istanbul’s cultural heritage. The northern part of the park has sweeping views of the Bosphorus.
As one of the largest and oldest parks in Istanbul, Gülhane Park feels like an oasis in the middle of the bustling city. It became a public park, separate from Topkapi Palace, in 1912. On the park grounds are the Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam (İslam Bilim ve Teknoloji Tarihi Müzesi) and the popular restaurant Set Üstü Çay Bahçesi, with views of the Bosphorus and Princes’ Islands.
Many small-group and private tours pass through the park and visit other sites in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, and the Hippodrome.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Gülhane Park is a must-visit for nature lovers.
- Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to walk the full length of the park.
- The area around the park’s entrance can get crowded, so head deeper into the grounds to find a quiet spot.
How to Get There
Located in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, right next to the Topkapi Palace complex, Gülhane Park is easily accessible by public transit. To get there, take the above-ground tram to the Gülhane stop. The park is also walking distance from other attractions in Sultanahmet and the Eminӧnü ferry pier.
When to Get There
Gülhane Park is open every day of the week and is most crowded in the afternoon. For a quieter experience, arrive in the morning or head off the beaten path. The park is particularly popular during the month of April, when its more than a million tulips are in bloom and the Istanbul Tulip Festival takes place throughout the city.
Several museums in and around Gülhane Park are worth a visit. The Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam, located in the former royal stables inside the park, contains reproductions of historical instruments used in such fields as mathematics and astronomy from the eighth to the 16th century. Located nearby, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums present artifacts from across Turkey and the Middle East. Topkapi Palace is also a museum, with preserved rooms and chambers from the Ottoman era.