Ataturk Arboretum 730-acre haven of green in the city’s north is a pleasant relief from Istanbul’s busy streets and concrete sprawl, with peaceful lakes and approximately 2000 different kinds of trees and plants from all over the world. On a few kilometres of stone paths and dirt trails, stroll among oaks, firs, maples, redwoods, and sweet gums. You might easily spend a number of hours here wandering and breathing fresh air.
Walking through this tranquil and pleasant environment provides you with a sense of quietness and allows you to disconnect from Istanbul’s hectic and stressful daily life. Taking a deep breath of fresh air and appreciating nature gives you a new sense of power and fills your spirit with vitality. The Atatürk Arboretum is a hidden gem in Istanbul, where you can enjoy being in nature while being only 5 kilometres from the concrete jungle of a metropolis with a population of over 15 million people.
Atatürk Arboretum History
The arboretum was established principally for scientific research and observation. Prof Hayrettin Kayacik, an instructor at Istanbul University’s Faculty of Forestry, recommended it, and the faculty board approved it, with the suggestion being forwarded to the Directorate General of Forestry. In 1949, the idea was approved, and the initial steps toward realising it were begun on a 38-hectare plot of land.
Ataturk Arboretum incorporates the Ottoman-era Kirazlibent, which was built in 1818, as well as Neset Hoca’s first plant nursery, which was created in 1916. For seed and seedling acquisition, the Ataturk Arboretum works with other arboreta and botanical gardens across the world.
In 1958, Camille Guinet, the botanical garden inspector at the Sorbonne University, was invited to Istanbul to assist in the establishment of Turkey’s first arboretum. Between 1959 and 1961, Guinet was present at the Ataturk Arboretum Istanbul on a regular basis for planning and implementation activities. During Guinet’s time at the arboretum, the first saplings were planted.
Due of budgetary constraints, the project took longer than expected to complete, and it was finally opened to the public 33 years later, on July 12, 1982. The arboretum was named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, who celebrated his 100th birthday in 1981.
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How to Get to Atatürk Arboretum
Public buses run from Sariyer to Bahcekoy, Taksim to Bahcekoy, and 4. Levent to Bahcekoy to the Ataturk Arboretum Istanbul.
Visiting Days & Hours: Every day except Mondays, it is accessible from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket Prices: Students pay 7.5 TL ($1) on weekdays and 20 TL ($2.60) on weekends, while bridal parties who wish to photograph their wedding must pay 472 TL ($61.30).
Things not Allowed in Ataturk Arboretum
- No food and drink (except water)
- No picnic
- No bbq
- No bicycles
- Pets are not allowed
- Drones or tripods are not allowed