The Belgrade Forest is a great getaway for both Istanbulites and those visiting the city. This serene piece of nature is also very easy to get to. Nature lovers flock to Belgrad Forest for a sense of wilderness without having to travel far. Keep on reading if you are wondering how to get to Belgrade Forest, the lungs of Istanbul, so to speak, and wish to learn about its history and the activities you can enjoy there.
Quick facts about Belgrad Forrest
The forest is located at the easternmost point of the Çatalca Peninsula. It is situated in the European side with the Black Sea to the north and the Bosporus to the east. Belgrad Forest spans an area of 5,300 hectares, and its highest point is 230 meters. Home to a variety of tree species including chestnut, beech, hornbeam and oak, the forest is a perfect picnic destination. The historical dams scattered around the largest forest in Istanbul are called Sultan Mahmud II Bentleri (1839), Valide Bent (1796) and Topuzlu Bent (1750). These dams were crucial to Istanbul's water supply during the Ottoman era. So much so that, any damage to the dams was punishable by death as forests were the hearth of Istanbul and the dams supplied the people with water. The forest was named after the Serbs captured and brought along after Suleiman the Magnificent’s siege of Belgrade.
When is the best time to visit Belgrad Forrest?
The forest is stunning every season of the year, every day of the week and every hour of the day. But there is a ‘best time’ for every place. If you want to escape the crowd and seek solitude, early mornings during the weekdays are the best times for you. You will see all shades of green, fill your lungs with fresh air and listen to the songs of birds. As for the seasons, spring and fall are ideal for a perfect day in this natural beauty. Try to avoid weekends during the summer.
What to do in Belgrad Forrest
Here are some of the top activities you can enjoy in Belgrad Forrest:
You may choose among the footpaths with different lengths and take a hike accompanied by the songs of birds.
You can camp by the lake and wake up to a breathtaking scenery.
The restaurants and cafés across the forest do not enjoy the lake views; however, you can bring your basket and break your fast by the scenic lake.
You can also enjoy BBQ with friends in the designated picnic area.
Pay a visit to the triangle house while you are there.
If you are up for exploring, the remains of historical aqueducts are also recommended.
Picnic areas in Belgrad Forrest
The picnic areas across Belgrad Forrest are as follows: Neşet Suyu, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Kirazlıbent, Kömürcübent, Irmak, Falih Rıfkı Atay, Fatih Çeşmesi, Bentler, Binbaşı Çeşmesi, Ayvat Bendi.
How to get to Belgrad Forrest
There is more than one answer to this question. It is possible to get to Belgrad Forrest with your personal car or using public transport. If your choice of transport is your private car, head towards Göktürk over Bahçeköy and follow the signs to Belgrad Forest after Göktürk. Alternatively, you can take the bus D2 from Beşiktaş, or any of the following busses towards Bahçeköy direction: 42HM from Hacıosman Metro; 42T from Taksim; 42M from Zincirlikuyu; 42R from Rumelihisarı; 153 from Sarıyer.
Entrance fee for Belgrad Forest varies for different types of vehicles. Entrance fees to Belgrad Forrest (2019):
ATVs: TL 8
Motorbikes: TL 8
Passenger vans: TL 35
Coaches: TL 110
Cars: TL 10
Midibuses: TL 60
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