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The Western Suburbs are a collection of Istanbul neighbourhoods, lying west of the Old City walls and sprawling across the Thracian (European) peninsula.


The Western Suburbs are residential, from rough slums to plush apartments but mostly bland burbs. The Marmara Sea coast has a string of resorts which the city has now engulfed; here and inland is commuter belt. The Black Sea coast has small resorts, lagoons and beaches and is less developed. Inland is rural, scarred here and there by quarries. In 2005 the city boundaries were extended to engulf "Istanbul Province" on both the European and Asian sides, so the "Western Suburbs" and scope of this page now reach 50 km west to the edge of Tekirdağ Province.

Get in[edit]

Map of Istanbul/Western Suburbs

These suburbs are the main ports of entry into the city, as the major airport, the main bus station (otogar) and (for the time being) the European mainline railway terminus are all here. By car you cross this district on the way to central Istanbul from Gallipoli, Bulgaria or Greece.

Local transport radiates out from city centre, east-west. There are some north-south links near the centre, but not further out. Travelling between this area and Istanbul airport either means doubling back via the centre, or a taxi ride across the peninsula.

By air[edit]

  • 1 Istanbul Airport (IST IATA). Istanbul's chief airport, and the main port of entry into Turkey. 30 km northwest of the city in Arnavutköy, on the Europe-side Black Sea coast. It was partly opened in Oct 2018 and fully in April 2019. It has a very wide range of international flights, by Turkish Airlines and other carriers, and domestic flights at least daily to all the major Turkish cities. Istanbul Airport (Q3661908) on Wikidata Istanbul Airport on Wikipedia

The city's former main airport "Atatürk" closed in April 2019. Beware out-of-date road signage, maps, and crooked taxi drivers who will try to take you to what is now a demolition site.

By train[edit]

  • 2 Halkalı Railway Station. The terminus for overnight trains from Bucharest and Sofia. There are regional trains once a day from the border town of Kapikule via Edirne and one from Uzunköprü, also calling at Çatalca and a number of villages across the peninsula. Halkali is also the western terminus of the cross-city Marmaray train (B1). This runs 06:00-23:00 every 15 mins via some three dozen stations, including Sirkeci in the heart of the Old City, under the Bosphorus to Kadıköy, then out east to Pendik (for SAW Airport) and Gebze. B2 is an infrequent northern extension to Bahçeşehir. A few high speed YHT trains from Ankara terminate at Halkalı, though most terminate Asia-side in Söğütlüçeşme. Halkalı railway station (Q113522837) on Wikidata

By metro[edit]

Metro line M1 (red) runs from Aksaray downtown and runs northwest to Esenler bus station. It then divides: one branch goes west towards Kirazli, connecting with T1 (dark blue) from downtown, M3 (light blue) north to Başakşehir, and M9 (yellow) northwest to the Olympic Complex. The other branch goes south to Zeytinburnu transport interchange via Bakırköy (though the station is 3 km north of that township) and Ataköy. Tramline T1 runs from near Kirazli via Zeytinburnu to Aksaray then Sirkeci in the old city. Light rail line T4 (orange) runs from Topkapı just outside the city walls and serves the suburbs north of those along M1. Metro line M7 (pink) serves further north, and runs from Mecidiyeköy in the business district.

By bus[edit]

  • 3 Esenler Bus Terminal (Esenler Otogar). Buses from Europe, Thrace and Gallipoli terminate here. Esenler Bus Terminal (Q25008) on Wikidata Esenler Coach Terminal on Wikipedia

The most useful local bus lines are:

The hybrid bendy Metrobüs runs up the centre strip of the crosstown D100 highway. These run from Beylikdüzü to the west via Zeytinburnu to Mecidiyeköy and then Söğütlüçeşme on the Asian side. Since the Metrobüs runs along its right-of-way, it cuts travel time dramatically, but expect crowds no less denser than some infamously packed Asian public transport systems.

The main dolmuş routes, which run virtually round the clock, are from Taksim to Bakırköy, Ataköy and Yeşilköy.


The Treaty of San Stefano was signed here
  • 1 Sea Life Istanbul (Turkuazoo), Forum İstanbul 3, Kocatepe ( Kocatepe 350 m; inside Forum İstanbul shopping mall), +90 212 640 2740. Daily 10:00-20:00. Aquarium where you walk through transparent tunnels underwater. It's small compared to Istanbul Aquarium in Yeşilköy, an hour will be plenty, and their combi-tickets with Madame Tussauds (in Beyoğlu) and Legoland indicate their target audience. Online adult 518 TL, walk-up prices higher; discount for domestic visitors. Istanbul Sea Life Aquarium (Q4809463) on Wikidata TurkuaZoo on Wikipedia
  • Legoland (Legoland Discovery Centre), Forum İstanbul 54, Kocatepe (within the same shopping mall with Sea Life). Daily 10:00-19:00. Iconic buildings of Istanbul made of Lego bricks. 650 TL; concessions when bought online and for domestic visitors.
  • 2 Pelit Chocolate Museum, Koza Mahallesi 1678 Sk. No:19, Esenyurt ( Mehmet Zahit Kotku Camii, 200 m), +90 212 411 13 00. Daily 10:00-17:00. The Pelit company has made chocolate since 1957. This small museum is dedicated to the history of chocolate in Turkey and also features numerous chocolate sculptures. 250 TL.
  • 3 Yeşilköy (formerly San Stefano or Ayastefanos) ( Yeşilköy 300 m). A mostly upscale suburb on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, just south of the former airport. It was a multicultural village during the Ottoman period — the legacy of which still lives on in numerous churches of different Christian denominations dotting its streets — and later a seaside resort. Town centre has colourful wooden houses with highly decorative exteriors from the turn of the 20th century, especially around the railway station (itself a historic building) and the main street leading to it (which has many restaurants and cafes.) One mansion was where the Treaty of San Stefano was signed in 1878, ending the war with Russia — the frontline had extended this close to Constantinople. Town's main sights are the Aviation Museum and Istanbul Aquarium (not related to Sea Life). Get here on the Marmaray. Traffic in Yeşilköy is often congested, and parking very hard to find.
    Mor Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church
  • 4 Mor Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church (İstanbul Mor Efrem Süryani Kadim Ortodoks Kilisesi). Yeşilköy is home to a significant Syriac community. Their church was inaugurated in 2023. It is the first church built since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. Its architecture is inspired by Syriac churches and monasteries in Mardin Province, the Syriac homeland in southeastern Turkey. Mor Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church (Q122950173) on Wikidata Mor Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Church on Wikipedia
  • 5 Aviation Museum (Hava Kuvvetleri Müzesi), Eski Havalimanı Cd, Yeşilköy ( Yeşilköy 250 m), +90 212 663-24-90, . Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. A military-based museum with various warplanes, helicopters, and weapons used by Turkish Air Force, and also civilian air transport and examples of Turkish aeronautics from Ottoman era onward. 200 TL; discount for domestic visitors. Istanbul Aviation Museum (Q3394116) on Wikidata Istanbul Aviation Museum on Wikipedia
  • 6 Istanbul Akvaryum, Şenlikköy Mh ( Florya Akvaryum 350 m; off the coast highway to Halkalı, 1 km west of Yeşilköy centre). Daily 10:00-20:00. Much bigger aquarium than Sea Life, with over 1,500 species. 3 cafes and large parking lot. Online adult 600 TL, students 550 TL; discount for domestic visitors.

Two lagoons indent the Marmara coast west of Yeşilköy, the little (Küçükçekmece) and the big lagoon (Büyükçekmece):

  • 7 Küçükçekmece (little lagoon). This district lies between the "little lagoon" of that name, and Ataturk airport. It houses the Halkali Railway Station. There are lakeside areas for strolling and cycling, and there is a 16th-century stone arch bridge over the creek that connects the lake to the sea, but you wouldn't make a special trip. Küçükçekmece (Q639240) on Wikidata Küçükçekmece on Wikipedia
  • 8 Büyükçekmece (big lagoon) (Buses and dolmuşes from Taksim in the city centre run along the modern highway, continuing west towards Silivri. Coastal ferries call at Mimarsinan, the settlement west of the channel.). This lagoon and district has more to offer. There are lots of cafes around the Kültür Park, and restaurants along the banks of the lagoon's outlet channel. There is nothing of note in modern downtown Büyükçekmece. Büyükçekmece (Q840258) on Wikidata Büyükçekmece on Wikipedia
    • 9 Kültür Park ( Beylikdüzü Sondurak 4.7 km, Üst Geçit 550 m, Büyükçekmece 800 m). The main attraction is this small circular park on the lakefront. Much of its content is modern, including the amphitheatre and sculpture. But behind the amphitheatre are the old baths, and on the park's southeast rim is the caravanserai: Büyükçekmece was traditionally the first overnight stop for caravans trekking west to Europe from Constantinople, or their last stop eastbound. Also known as Kurşunlu Han, the "lead inn" as that's what it was roofed with, it's now a cultural centre: see if there is an exhibition on, and in any case try to peek inside at the architecture supporting the roof. Next to it is Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Mosque, with its kerbside minaret artistically carved out of a single piece of rock, and a large fountain to provide water to the arriving caravans.
    • 10 Suleiman the Magnificent Bridge. Stretching west from the park is this impressive 16th-century stone bridge with four humps and 28 arches spanning the channel between lagoon and sea. The bridge is pedestrian only and offers some very nice views, so it's worth walking across the entire (breezy!) span via the three islets to the quiet western end, even though beyond is industrial gap site, with the modern highway roaring to the south. In the park, the pillbox menacing the bridge was part of the "Çakmak Line", the World War II fortifications stretching from here to Terkos which were Istanbul's last line of defence from the west. The pillbox exterior is colourfully decorated but the interior is closed. Kanuni Sultan Suleiman bridge (Q1394625) on Wikidata Kanuni Sultan Suleiman bridge (Istanbul) on Wikipedia
  • 11 Çatalca ( Çatalca 2.1 km, Çatalca Kaymakamlığı). A small town 40 km west of central Istanbul and 15 km north of Büyükçekmece that had a substantial Greek population until the 1920s transfers. Spared from destruction in the Balkan wars which foreshadowed the Great War, the old quarter has many historic wooden buildings and fountains in leafy squares. A short stretch of the old town walls still stand just north of the centre. Çatalca (Q272681) on Wikidata Çatalca on Wikipedia
    • 12 Population Transfer Museum (Çatalca Exchange Museum / Mübadele Müzesi), Bahar Sk 4 (100 m west of town centre). Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. The town's main sight, housed in a red brick neoclassical building erected as a Greek tavern, this museum commemorates the forced population transfer of 1922–26, whereby Greeks living in Turkey were expelled to Greece, while the Turks of Greece were expelled to Turkey. Çatalca Exchange Museum (Q112584921) on Wikidata
  • 13 Cave Monastery of İnceğiz (İnceğiz Mağaraları) ( Kabakça 5.3 km, Su Deposu 5.6 km, plus minibuses from Çatalca to İnceğiz village 1 km north of the site). A Byzantine monastery complex carved into a cliff, set in a lush valley. The site is free, but May-Sept there's a 32 TL toll for cars on the access roads. There's a picnic area, pity about all the trash, and a couple of restaurants nearby. Cave monastery of İnceğiz (Q38251235) on Wikidata İnceğiz Cave Monastery on Wikipedia
    The "cave" monasteries at İnceğiz
  • There's a string of small resorts and beaches along the Black Sea coast. Those furthest east, Rumelifeneri and Kilyos, are described under Istanbul/Bosphorus. These continue west along the coast to Arnavutköy. This formerly quiet area (not to be confused with the downtown district of the same name) now hosts Istanbul's new airport, so it's likely to become rapidly industrialised.
  • 14 Kurşunlugerme ( Gümüşpınar Girişi 6 km). A remarkable Roman double aqueduct above the village of Gümüşpınar. Here water from two catchments converged then flowed by a upper and lower channel all the way to Constantinople. In 2020 treasure hunters got it into their heads that gold was buried beneath, so they blew it up, incurring substantial damage.
  • 15 Anastasian Wall (Anastasius Suru, Ἀναστάσειον Τεῖχος). it was a defensive wall built in the 5th century to protect Constantinople from barbarian attack from the west. It ran for 56 km from Evcik on the Black Sea coast right across the Thracian peninsula to Silivri on the Marmara coast. Unlike the better-known Hadrian's Wall in England, it was neither well-constructed nor well-garrisoned, so the barbarians gleefully overran it, and it was abandoned in the 7th century. Much of the stone was looted or recycled for later buildings, and little remains of its southern half. The northern half has lasted better, with little forts and substantial masonry, such as the section leading to Evcik Beach. Anastasian Wall (Q487013) on Wikidata Anastasian Wall on Wikipedia
    • 16 Evcik Beach (Evcik Plajı) ( Prof Dr Tansu Çiller Caddesi 6.5 km). A wide, undeveloped sandy beach backed by cliffs, unexpectedly popular during summer weekends despite its relative remoteness. A narrow track steeply descends to it, but it's best to park your car ahead of the slope to avoid climbing back up in reverse. The ruins of the Byzantine church of St George over the bluff mark the northern end of the Anastasian Wall.
  • 17 Yalıköy (formerly Podima) ( Yalıköy. Bus #404 runs here from Çatalca.). The most interesting of the resorts along this part of the coast. The beach has multi-coloured stones much used as garden mosaics in the city. (Modern quarries nearby still extract these for the Turkish glass industry.) The town has restaurants and accommodation. Yalıköy (Q10836873) on Wikidata Yalıköy, Istanbul on Wikipedia
    The rugged coastline around Yalıköy
  • 18 Binkılıç (formerly Istranca) ( Binkılıç Beldesi. #402 runs here from Çatalca.). A village which has accommodation and old wooden houses. Past Binkılıç, the highway eventually reaches Saray in the neighbouring province of Tekirdağ. Binkılıç (Q111907430) on Wikidata
    • 19 Çilingoz Nature Park (Çilingoz Tabiat Parkı) ( Yalıköy 10.4 km; west from Yalıköy or north from Binkılıç). Camping Apr–Sep. It has a sandy beach backed by forest where a creek runs out. This is as far as you can go in a standard car. 155 TL/car daily use, 195 TL/car night stays. Çilingoz Nature Park (Q24896928) on Wikidata Çilingoz Nature Park on Wikipedia
    • 20 Pirate Cove (Korsan Koyu) (From the nature park further west with a 4WD along the forest dirt roads.). A small and very isolated beach surrounded by rock cliffs.
    • 21 Kastro (Further west from the cove). A relatively developed beach. Kıyıköy (Q1797525) on Wikidata Kıyıköy on Wikipedia
  • 22 Silivri ( Eski Sanayi 900 m). A resort on the Marmara coast. It's the westernmost part of Istanbul, between Çatalca and the province of Tekirdağ. There are some remnants of the Anastasian wall here, the scrappy ruins of a castle, an ancient cistern, the Piri Paşa Mosque, and Uzunköprü the long aqueduct. Silivri (Q732028) on Wikidata Silivri on Wikipedia
  • 23 Germiyan Church (Germiyan Kilisesi) ( Lütfü Vardar Caddesi 10.6 km). An early 19th century church built for the local Greek Orthodox 5 km (3.1 mi) north of Değirmenköy. After they left the area in the 1920s, it served as the village schoolhouse until a landslide in the 1960s forced the relocation of the village to its current location south. Since then, it stands derelict and lonely on an atmospheric hillside, together with the ruins of a 1940s mosque about 100 m (330 ft) to its south — the only remains of the former village. Germiyan Church (Q25472339) on Wikidata


  • 1 Vialand, Şehit Metin Kaya Sk, Yeşilpınar ( Veysel Karani Akşemsettin 1 km, shuttle buses depart from the station; by car the easiest access is by taking the Gaziosmanpaşa exit from O-2/E80, and then following the brown signposts, which may be old enough to call the park by its former name, İsfanbul). Daily 11:00-20:00 (Summer: 11:00-21:00). The only theme park of the city has a good selection of rides, including a couple of rollercoasters. US$55, under 3 free, discount for domestic visitors. Vialand (Q15078111) on Wikidata
  • Swimming and beach – In the series of little beach resorts, and middle-of-the-forest beaches with no facilities, along the Black Sea coast west of the Bosphorus. Beware of strong currents when swimming anywhere along this coast. The Marmara coast also has resorts which are much more built up.
  • Forest hikes and cycling – The best areas are in Çilingoz Nature Reserve.
  • Between Two Seas (İki Deniz Arası). A 60-km, 4-day hiking trail between the coasts of the Marmara and Black Seas across the rapidly changing outskirts of the city, passing through various urban, natural, historic, and industrial sites.
  • The Sultan's Trail. A 2,500-km hiking and cycling trail stretching all the way to Vienna, retracing the campaign of Suleiman the Magnificent onto the Habsburg capital. It is not marked on the ground, but the GPS tracks are available through its website. In the east, it kicks off at the mausoleum of Suleiman in Istanbul's Old City, while to the west the next major town is Saray.



  • 1 Yeşilköy (Green Village) Market. Wed. Far less chaotic market in the west with about 2,000 stalls to be explored.


  • 2 Galleria, Ataköy (on the coast avenue, 15-20 min walk from Bakırköy), +90 212 559 95 60. The first modern shopping mall of Turkey, opened in the 1980s. Galleria Ataköy (Q3404681) on Wikidata Galleria Ataköy on Wikipedia
  • 3 Carousel, Halit Ziya Uşaklığil Cad. 1, Bakırköy (in downtown Bakırköy), +90 212 570 84 34, fax: +90 212 583 66 76, . Daily 10:00-22:00. Shopping mall in Bakırköy. Carousel Shopping Center (Q5045568) on Wikidata Carousel Shopping Center on Wikipedia
  • 4 Olivium Outlet Center, Prof. Dr. Muammer Aksoy Cad. 1/1, Zeytinburnu (Bus lines: 93 from Eminönü, 93C from Beyazıt, 93M from Mecidiyeköy, 93T from Taksim; get off at the 'Adliye' stop), +90 212 547 74 53, fax: +90 212 582 06 26, . An outlet center. Olivium Outlet Center (Q7088220) on Wikidata Olivium Outlet Center on Wikipedia



These are mostly near the transport hubs, set back from the beach front.


There is a string of places around the harbour/marina of all the resorts along the Marmara coast. The main concentrations are in Yeşilköy/Bakırköy south of the old airport, Büyükçekmece both sides of the lagoon, and away west to Silivri.


  • 1 Beyti, Orman Sk 8, Florya (300 m north of Florya metro station (no trains)), +90 212 663 29 90, fax: +90 212 663 29 95, . Tu-Su 11:30-23:00. Expensive and a bit of a way out, but its meat dishes draw consistently admiring reviews. 50–150 TL per person.
  • 2 Yüksel Balık Lokantası, Liman Sk 3, Yeşilköy (Just west of ferry pier), +90 212 663 97 42. Daily 08:00-00:00. Steep prices but great seafood. They'll advise on what is the best fish for the season and other dishes. US$50 per person.


You're never far from a beer in all the conurbations of this district.


Hotels in this district are mostly upmarket.

  • 1 Çınar Hotel, Şevketiye Mah. Fener Mevkii, Yeşilköy, +90 212 663-29-00, fax: +90 212 663-29-21, . 5-star hotel with indoor and outdoor swimming pools located on the waterfront of Yeşilköy. Rooms with en-suite bathrooms, air-con, balcony, internet connection, safebox, and cable TV. B&B doubles from €70.
  • 2 Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, E-5 Karayolu, Sefaköy, +90 212 425 73 73. 5-star hotel B&B doubles from €50.
  • 3 Grand Hotel Avcilar, E 5 yanyol no 66, 34320, Avcılar (By public transport or by car), +90 212 6949900, . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Istanbul hotel with 68 deluxe rooms. B&B doubles from €30.
  • 4 Hit Suites Avcilar, Üniversite Mahallesi Kalender Sokak No 3 (Igs köprüsü ayağı), +90 212 601 2020, . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Situated in Avcılar, Hit Suites Avcilar Hotel provides accommodation within 0.5 km of Pelican Mall Shopping Center. Free WiFi is offered. Every unit features a private bathroom and shower, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a fridge. The nearest airport is Istanbul Ataturk Airport, 12 km from the property. €50.

Stay safe[edit]

There are some sections of waterfront park between Bakırköy and old city walls, where you may feel uncomfortable due to the homeless people and inhalant abusers—best avoided at night.

Go next[edit]

  • Bus and train terminals for long-distance destinations to the west are all in this district.
  • Regional transport runs into Eastern Thrace, notably Saray, Vize, and Kıyıköy on the Black Sea coast.
  • Tekirdağ – The provincial capital to the west, a large coastal town noted for its meatballs and rakı.
  • Keşan – West of Tekirdağ. Either carry on west to the Greek border, or turn south down the Gallipoli peninsula.
  • Edirne – A beautiful city and former Ottoman capital near the Bulgarian border.

Routes through Western Suburbs
END (Halkalı)  W  E  Old CityAsian SideGebze

This district travel guide to Western Suburbs is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.