Hi! Today I suggest taking a short trip to the Asian side of Istanbul to visit the large botanical garden "Nezahat Gökyiğit". This attraction can be considered a non-touristy place in the city: tourists rarely reach this part of Istanbul, and in fact, many locals I've spoken to haven't even heard of this green oasis.
A bit of history
The botanical garden was named after a woman named Nezahat Gökyiğit, who was the wife of Ali Nihat Gökyiğit, a Turkish businessman originally from Georgia. The widower founded this memorial park in 1995, and seven years later, it became open to visitors.
The garden's territory is arranged in a rather unusual way: it is divided into several zones called islands. All sections are connected by underground tunnels, with a bustling highway passing above them. The islands in the park are diverse: one of them is a large, forested area with pathways, another has a pond with ducks and geese, and a third one attracts tourists with numerous cherry blossom trees. It may take more than an hour to explore the entire garden.
The botanical garden is not just a place for pleasant leisure. The attraction's website states that the staff's tasks include educational and consulting activities. Additionally, they gather collections of endangered plants. On the same website page, it is mentioned that the main mission of the botanical garden is to gain recognition on par with the famous Hanging Gardens of Semiramis.
There are plenty of benches and gazebos with canopies throughout the park. Many people come here to have a snack amidst the greenery. On one of the islands, there is a children's playground, and adjacent to it is a small green maze where you can find a low wooden observation platform. A significant advantage for tourists is that entry to the botanical garden is free.
There are no metro stations within walking distance of the botanical garden. The nearest one, Çakmak, is about a 40-minute walk from the entrance. When planning your route here, it's convenient to reach the metro without traffic and then transfer to a bus. You can plan such trips easily using the Moovit app. The garden opens at 9:30 a.m. It closes at 5:00 p.m. in winter and 7:00 p.m. in summer, with the last entry allowed one hour before closing.
If you're wondering what to do after visiting the botanical garden, I would recommend exploring other attractions on the Asian side. Recently, for example, I wrote about the unique Kuzguncuk neighborhood located on the shores of the Bosphorus. Many people come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolis and take photos against the backdrop of colorful wooden houses.
Have a nice trip!