Istanbul is one of the best cities in the world for its enourmously wonderful panoromic views of Bosphorus. Otağtepe is one of those spots on earth you will never ever want to stop clicking your camera.
The park is located in Beykoz village at Asian side of İstanbul. You will notice at your right side where the huge gorgeous flag of Turkey waving as you are crossing The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge from Europe to Asia.
In history of Ottoman, the camp of army forces had been called as "OTAĞ" and hill means "Tepe" in Turkish. As you combine these two turkish words becomes "Otağtepe".
Now, why this spot is called as Otağtepe? To find out read the historical brief please.
A Historical brief of Otağtepe
İstanbul had been sieged by Sultan Beyazıd of Ottoman in 1391. This had been realy important for them as it was the first. The Emperor wanted to view the whole Bosphorus, and this hill was the best spot for seeing the area and plus just across the Rumeli Castle of Byzantine. So Sultan launched his army forces on this hill and camped during siege. Since than because of camping army forces people used to name the place as Otağtepe.
Sightsee Tips from local Mom for family travelers
Otağtepe Park is a very special botanical garden which has various types of plants and trees of more than 15.300 species. So you will have the chance to explore the botanical nature of Istanbul's area.
There are mini bridges and ponds around, and a huge green area where children can run as you watch the bridge's and also bosphorus's epical panoroma.
The pathways are eligible for rolling baby strollers, in some parks in Turkey it is hard to drive :)
The park is very clean, however it is not allowed to picnic around.
This park has a gorgeous wide view of Bosphorus where you can have lots of family photos here which will be timeless.
There is no cafe, tea garden or a restaurant in the park. So please make sure you have stuff as beverage or small sandwiches for your kids.
There is a cafe outside the Otağtepe Park near the entrance. You can enjoy the view from there too as you lunch with the kids. Another altenative is you can take a 15 minutes of walk and get to "ANADOLU HİSARI (Castle)" where you can find lots of cafes and bistros by the side line of "GÖKSU Deresi (Stream)". My suggestion is; Find "The house Of Teachers" as in Turkish "Öğretmenler Evi". The place is just at the intersection of Göksu stream and Bosphorus shore line. It is a self service tea garden place which has a children playground. It will be lovely to sightsee of these two places in a day as you can observe the local living in Istanbul other than the very famous touristic area.
There is no toilet in the park.
There is no entrance fee to park.
Please note that even the locals call here as "Otağtepe Park", it is actually named as "Fatih Korusu Tema Vehbi Koç Doğa Kültür Merkezi". So as you travel around the city please notice the signs so to find your way.
A plus small tip is as you sightsee around the cities in Turkey, you can ask help for adresses that you are looking from small grociery shops, yellow taxi stops or pharmacies. They all will love to give you a hand.
How to get to Otağtepe Park
By public transportation; First you can take ferries from Eminönü to Kadıköy. From there take 14M numbered buses driving to Beykoz village. Step out at Otağtepe stop. (You can ask for help from drivers in Turkey, we all love to give hand to tourists ;) ) From that point it is only 15 minutes walk up on the hill, also there are signs to follow.
By private vehicles; Cross Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge from European side to Asian side. Take the road signed as "ANADOLU HİSARI". Then follow the signs "OTAĞTEPE". However when you search the adress to Otağtepe Park on Google or other maps on internet, you will easily find the park.
If you drive by car, there is a parking lot just at the entrance which is free.
We as local moms love Otağtepe Park as it is very peacefull and have this gorgeous panaroma of Bosphorus with the two bridges as combining the two continents. I hope you enjoy this place too as you travel with family in Turkey.
Hoping this family guideline about Otağtepe Park in Beykoz will be helpful in your journey, and would like to hear your feed back too.
Heyy if you found this guideline from local helpful, please make sure to share it ;)