Activities in Belgrad Forest: Tips for Exploring Belgrad Forest

Activities in Belgrad Forest Tips for Exploring Belgrad Forest

Escape the urban buzz of Istanbul and delve into the enchanting Belgrad Forest, a sprawling natural reserve teeming with vibrant life and historical intrigue. Immerse yourself in the activities in Belgrad Forest, ranging from tranquil picnics beneath towering oaks to challenging hikes culminating in breathtaking vistas.

Explore diverse trails catering to all experience levels, or lose yourself in the serenity of birdwatching hidden hides, observing over 200 avian wonders flitting through the trees.

History of Belgrad Forest

During the Ottoman era (13th-20th centuries), Belgrad Forest served as a crucial hunting ground for the sultans and their court. Imagine the echoes of hunting parties amidst the ancient trees, a stark contrast to the peaceful ambiance you experience today.

The forest also played a vital role as a timber reserve, providing essential resources for construction and other purposes. Its historical significance lies not just in its past use, but also in the way it shaped the landscape and influenced the development of the surrounding areas.

The forest’s name itself holds historical significance. Belgrad translates to “white city” in Serbian, reflecting the origin of a community that settled near the area after being relocated from Belgrade in the 16th century. This connection adds a unique cultural dimension to the forest’s identity.

Cultural Significance

Cultural Significance of Belgrad Forest

Understanding the history of Belgrad Forest deepens your appreciation for its current role as a protected natural area. Today, the forest stands as a testament to the delicate balance between preserving its historical legacy and ensuring its sustainability for future generations.

While exploring the forest, keep an eye out for historical sites such as old Ottoman hunting lodges and remnants of the past lumber industry. These remnants offer a glimpse into the forest’s past and serve as a reminder of its evolving role throughout history.

Belgrad Forest Trails

Belgrad Forest Trails

Belgrad Forest caters to all levels of exploration, offering a diverse network of trails that range from gentle strolls to challenging hikes. Here’s a glimpse into what awaits you:

Baltaliman Picnic Area Trail

This easy, family-friendly path meanders alongside the picturesque Baltaliman Lake, offering stunning views and ample opportunities for picnicking and relaxation.

Bentler Stream Trail

Take a leisurely stroll along this flat, scenic trail following the Bentler Stream, perfect for birdwatching and enjoying the gentle murmur of flowing water.

Kemerdere Nature Park Trail

Explore the diverse flora and fauna of this park through a well-maintained, accessible trail, ideal for nature enthusiasts and families with young children.

Bentler Cascade Hike

Embark on a moderate hike through a scenic valley, culminating in the breathtaking Bentler Cascade, a cascading waterfall nestled amidst lush greenery.

Riva Stream Trail

Challenge yourself with this moderately difficult trail that winds through dense forests and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Uzun Dere Trail

For experienced hikers, this challenging trail ascends through a steep valley, rewarding you with breathtaking vistas of the Black Sea upon reaching the summit.

Wildlife and Biodiversity

Wildlife and Biodiversity

You can immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity of Belgrad Forest, teeming with over 200 bird species and diverse mammal populations. You can your eyes peeled for soaring eagles, majestic owls, and busy woodpeckers flitting through the trees. Watch out for wild boars, foxes, and playful squirrels scurrying on the forest floor.

In addition, you can admire the vibrant flora of the forest, dominated by majestic oak trees alongside flourishing chestnut, hornbeam, and a captivating display of wildflowers.

Recreational Activities in Belgrad Forest

Activities in Belgrad Forest Tips for Exploring Belgrad Forest


Pack a dkelicious spread and find a serene spot beneath the shade of towering trees or by a picturesque lake for an unforgettable outdoor meal. Designated picnic areas with tables and benches are scattered throughout the forest, making it easy to find the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the company of loved ones.


With over 200 bird species calling Belgrad Forest home, it’s a haven for bird enthusiasts. Strategically placed birdwatching hides provide excellent vantage points to observe feathered friends in their natural habitat. Listen out for the melodious calls of eagles, owls, woodpeckers, and a symphony of other birdsong.

Hiking and Trekking

Hiking and trekking are among the best activities in Belgrad Forest. Explore the diverse landscapes through a network of well-maintained trails catering to all skill levels. Challenge yourself with a moderate hike to the cascading Bentler Cascade or embark on a longer trek through the Uzun Dere trail, rewarded with breathtaking views of the Black Sea.


Immerse yourself in the magic of the forest by spending a night under the stars. Designated camping areas offer a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility of nature and wake up to the sounds of birdsong. Permits are required for camping and responsible camping in Belgrad Forest is essential to preserve the natural environment.


Explore the forest on two wheels! Designated cycling paths provide a safe and enjoyable way to explore the diverse scenery, while designated off-road trails offer a challenge for experienced cyclists.

Horseback Riding

Another one of the top activities in Belgrad Forest is horseback riding. Saddle up and experience the forest from a unique perspective. Several equestrian centers within the forest offer guided horseback riding tours, allowing you to explore hidden trails and connect with nature in a different way.

Nature Playgrounds

Keep the little ones entertained at designated nature playgrounds, where they can climb, swing, and explore the natural world in a safe and engaging environment. On the related note, got the scoop of 5 Days Istanbul Cappadocia Tour?

Tips for Exploring Belgrad Forest

Tips for Exploring

Though the recreational activities in Belgrad Forest may steal the spotlight, but the below-mentioned tips for exploring Belgrad Forest will make your visit memorable.

How to Get to Belgrad Forest

Belgrad Forest is easily accessible by public transportation and car.

  • Public Transportation: Buses depart from various points in Istanbul, specifically the Sarıyer and Eyüp districts, dropping you close to the forest entrances.
  • Car: Driving allows for greater flexibility and the ability to explore different sections of the forest. Several entrances are accessible by car, with parking options available at designated areas.

Opening Hours

The forest is open year-round, 24 hours a day. However, specific facilities within the forest, such as cafes and restaurants, may have their own operating hours. Entry to Belgrad Forest is free.

Tips for Visiting Belgrad Forest

Gear Up: Wear comfortable shoes with good traction, as the terrain can vary from paved paths to uneven trails.

Hydrate and Stay Sun-Safe: Pack plenty of water, especially during warmer months, and apply sunscreen regularly.

Respect the Environment: Leave no trace behind. Bring reusable water bottles and dispose of any waste properly in designated bins.

Respect Wildlife: Admire animals from a safe distance and avoid disturbing their habitat.

Download a Map: Downloading a map of the forest beforehand can help you navigate the trails and discover points of interest.

Consider a Guided Tour: Guided tours are available for a fee and offer a deeper insight into the forest’s history, flora, and fauna.

Several amenities are available within the forest, including:

  • Picnic areas with tables and benches
  • Public restrooms
  • Cafes and restaurants (limited operating hours)
  • Children’s playgrounds
  • Designated camping areas (permit required)

Additional Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings: While the forest is generally safe, it’s always recommended to be aware of your surroundings, especially on secluded trails.
  • Plan your route: Decide on your desired activity and choose a suitable trail beforehand.
  • Check the weather: Be prepared for weather changes, as conditions can vary in the forest.
  • Download an offline map: Consider downloading an offline map in case you lose phone signal.
  • Respect local customs: Dress modestly when visiting religious or cultural sites within the forest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Need Help? We are online here
We have discount on our many tours. Write to us for more details