Emirgan – Woods and Tulips

Perhaps March is not the best time to visit the Emirgan Park but somehow I’ve done it for the second time in this month.

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It is almost spring but it is still chilly, the wind is cold and strong. I miss my woollen gloves. I haven’t used them once throughout the whole winter and did not expect I would need them on a day in March, almost a spring day. At least calendarwise.

Emirgan is famous for its huge park which in the spring and summer is flooded by families which spend whole days there picnicking, having dinners in 19th century pavillions (köşks) and admiring the Bosphorus views. It is a paradise for the kids who have a lot of space to run around and a few playgrounds to choose from. The park is also known for the tulips of all colors. No doubt it is one of the most delightful places in Istanbul.

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It is a victim of its popularity though. It is very crowded on the weekends, the coastal road gets jammed and it may take ages to find a parking place.

That’s why I haven’t visited this place too often.

It’s worth mentioning the Emirgan Woods were given to Egyptian Khedive Ismail Pasha who built the three pavilions (Yellow, White and Pink) which nowadays house restaurants.

The Woods were bought by the state in 1943 and only then it was turned into a public area.

A popular place is the Emirgan Square with a few tea-houses, restaurants popular for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The most popular is Emirgan Sütiş located just near the restored fountain and mosque.

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Emirgan will attract tourists because of its Sakıp Sabancı Muzeum hosting various exhibitions including one on the Polish-Turkish relationship last year.

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