Visit this central park to take leisurely strolls through rose gardens, visit visit museums and a sultan’s palace and enjoy views of the Bosphorus Strait.
Gülhane Park is a public park situated in Istanbul’s Old City, overlooking the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea. Originally the outer garden of Topkapi Palace, the park opened as a public recreation space in 1912. Its name means Rosehouse Park and it was designed as a large rose garden. You can also come here to enjoy sea views from its traditional tea garden, take a tour of a sultan’s palace and explore museums.
Escape the busy city streets and unwind in the shade of the park’s large plane trees, some of which date back to the 1800s. Stroll along the wide paths to see the colorful roses and ornamental water features. Keep an eye out for statues, including one of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. Look up at the column erected to commemorate a Roman victory over the Goths.
Bring a picnic and relax on the park’s lawns or buy drinks and snacks from the various kiosks. Alternatively, go to the park’s northeastern side to find a tea garden and café. Order a pot of tea or coffee and take in the uninterrupted view of the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea.
While here, be sure to visit Topkapi Palace, a former sultan’s residence built between 1459 and 1478. Walk through the palace’s courtyards to see jewelry and ceremonial robes, armory and ceramics that epitomize the opulence of the Ottoman Empire. The palace has a harem and other preserved examples of the extravagant lifestyle of the sultans. Check the palace’s official website for details of opening times and tour prices.
Aspiring inventors will appreciate the educational exhibits at the Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam. Find reconstructions of historical Islamic instruments, such as a water-powered clock and a device used for the distillation of rosewater. The museum is open from Wednesday to Monday and there is a small admission fee.
Located on the Eminönü peninsula, Gülhane Park is a short walk from Istanbul’s historical center. Public transport, such as buses and trams, stop close to the park’s entrance.