THE BEACHES OF İSTANBUL Evidently, when one thinks of İstanbul, the first thing that comes to one’s mind, rather than the beaches, is İstanbul’s history that reaches thousands of years, together with the visible and invisible traces it left in the city. However, the beaches opened at the shores of İstanbul from 1930s onwards were part of the daily lives of İstanbulites up until roughly thirty years ago. Looking at the old pictures of those beaches expanding on both sides of İstanbul, one could easily think that they were shot at, say, in the French Riviera.

With the arrival of the summers, İstanbulites would gather and enjoy the sun and the sea, at those beaches situated in districts like Sarıyer, Tarabya, Florya, Rumeli Kavağı and Büyükçekmece on the European side, and Moda, Caddebostan, Maltepe, Suadiye, Salacak and Küçüksu on the Asian side. In the evenings, after the sunset, they would listen to the live music rising from the music halls. Today, most of those beaches have vanished. Nevertheless, as the summer of 2016 coming to an end, there still are beaches in İstanbul that the inhabitants of the city could meet with the sea and get refreshed.

The most popular beaches of İstanbul in recent years are situated in Kilyos, a district of Sarıyer, on the coast of Black Sea. At these beaches, with a new one opening every year, the rising waves of the spring that whet surfers’ appetites, calm down in the summer. At weekends, beach parties, as stylish as the ones on the Aegean and Mediterranean shores, are held. With the exception of Boğaziçi University’s BURCH Beach, there is an entrance fee to the beaches.

For those who would like to get a sunbath without getting too far away from the city, the Menekşe and Güneş beaches in Florya, and three beaches in Caddebostan, which were opened after the efforts of İstanbul Municipality, are perfect choices. Other than the basic needs like changing rooms, showers, sunbeds and lifeguards, there are also recreational alternatives.

Last but not least, it is possible to go swimming at the beaches of Prince Islands, which provide a noiseless and pollution-free holiday due to the prohibition of the use of motor vehicles. Four beaches in the biggest and the most vibrant of the islands, Büyükada, and two beaches in Heybeliada and Burgazada each, await the visitors who would want to freshen up after a phaeton or bike tour.