29-03-2023 - Places

Summer & Sea Holiday in Istanbul: Kilyos

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city full of things to do, see, and experience. Generally, Istanbul is famous for its historical buildings, beautiful mosques, ancient churches, and amazing Bosphorus. But Istanbul has also vibrant city life and colorful nightlife. In this article, we are going to look at one of the unique places in Istanbul, Kilyos. Kilyos is a seaside town in Istanbul famous for its beautiful beaches, long parties, and beautiful nature. You will be astounded by the vibrant and colorful day-night life in Kilyos which is also a small fishing village.

But before we dig into Kilyos and its beauty, let’s have a look at the best way to discover Istanbul: Istanbul Tourist Pass®. This Pass is created with years of tourism experience and a deep love for this city. You don’t need to worry about what to do and how to get tickets especially if it is your first time in Istanbul. We have gathered the best attractions, experiences, museum entrances, and more and put a single price on them! Especially we are strong with our professional and knowledgeable guides and curated guided tours. Click here to see a complete list of our amazing 100+ attractions and services included in Istanbul Tourist Pass®.

All About Kilyos İstanbul

Kilyos is a lovely coastal village in Istanbul and it is situated on the northern shores of Istanbul, by the Black Sea, in the Sariyer district. Kilyos is around 30 kilometers (around 45 minutes by car) from the city center. The city is well-known for its stunning sandy beaches, restaurants and bars with a view of the Black Sea, summertime entertainment events, music festivals at its high-end beach clubs, and water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.


Forts and other historical landmarks can be found throughout the village, making them a must-see for anybody looking to venture beyond the nearby beaches. Kilyos is the ideal weekend retreat from the bustle of the city because of its fascinating history and stunning natural surroundings.

On the golden beaches near the settlement of Kilyos, you'll discover a variety of trendy beaches and clubs that hold vibrant summer entertainment for everyone and where pretty much everything goes. A little further out, there are several wilder bays on the Black Sea. However, there are also many peaceful areas where you may tent and get away from the bustle and tension.

Brief History of Kilyos

Kilyos derives from the Greek word Kilya, which means sand. There is also a widely accepted theory that it came from the word Killa, whose original form was Kuwaila and meant good strait. Nonetheless, the meanings of both nouns are appropriate given Kilyos' geographical location. Although Kilyos' name was changed to Kumköy during the Republican era, it is still often used today. Kumköy has also the same meaning; while Kum means sand, köy means village. So from history to the present, the village was always famous for its beautiful sand.

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Ancient times marked the beginning of the settlement in Kilyos. It has gained fam eas a little fishing community. Then, under the Roman Empire, it had become better. Due to its geographic position, the area that became part of the Byzantine borders after the fall of the Roman Empire attracted the attention of the marine civilizations in the area. This area had also been ruled by the Genoese for a while.


During the turbulence caused by the Crusades, Kilyos, which came under Ottoman administration, developed into a cosmopolitan settlement hub as the Levantine population increased. Prior to 1930, it was a township that was part of the Catalca district, but it is now a part of the Saryer district.

During the 1970s, when it became more challenging to access the water from the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea shores, Kilyos has grown in significance. The beaches around the Marmara and Bosphorus coasts are closing one by one due to marine pollution, which forces Istanbul inhabitants to hunt for alternative shorelines in the summer. With the establishment of several hotels and restaurants, Kilyos—previously a destination of choice for individuals who want to picnic and go swimming solely on the weekends—has evolved into a destination for all seasons. It is renowned for its expansive beaches with fine sand.

Beach Clubs in Kilyos

Kilyos is very popular in the long summers of Istanbul. There are plenty of great beach clubs in that town. Let’s have look at some of the great beach clubs. But before we look at them, we would love to warn you about the Black Sea. Although you’ll be charmed by the beauty of the sea in summer, we advise you to check the beach rules and be safe at all times. The sea can look calm but the undercurrents are famously dangerous in the Black Sea. So it is wise not to swim open while you are enjoying the beach. Now let’s have a look at the beautiful beaches in Kilyos.

The most Instagrammable of Istanbul's beaches is Uzunya Beach, which has a deep natural harbor on the Black Sea near the mouth of the Bosphorus. If it weren't for the freezing cool of the water, you would mistake this lovely, hidden nook for the Turkish Riviera in the south during the height of summer with its golden dunes and deep blue sea. You may be fortunate enough to see dolphins playing in the bay.


Solar Beach, the most well-known beach club on Istanbul's Black Sea shore, holds live music events every weekend throughout the summer. Visitors may enjoy Solar Beach's games, music, sunshine, sand, and beachside vendors.

The well-known Burç Beach is one of Kilyos' most stunning and well-kept beaches, where black sea waves and golden sand collide. The Boazici University Alumni Association takes great care to keep it up-to-date, making it a favorite spot for tourists who enjoy water sports. It is the perfect location for kiteboarding and windsurfing, two activities that are highly addictive. A hub for summertime activities with something for everyone is Burç Beach. You may pass the day drinking at one of the beachside pubs or participating in a variety of entertaining activities including volleyball, kite flying, swimming, and much more.

Despite the fact that the sea is calmer here than in many other surrounding locations, swimming is not high on the list of local attractions. You may play basketball, football, or beach volleyball. Try your hand at windsurfing or jet skiing as a water activity, and test the waves. Maybe you might just take advantage of the sun during the day and go to the well-known beach clubs at dawn. Here, there are also sporting activities and musical concerts. There are nearby outdoor pools where you may unwind if you truly want to go swimming.

What to Do and to See in Kilyos

Istanbul residents go to Kilyos, a well-known coastal resort, to eat a fish, picnic, swim, take long walks on its extensive beaches, and spend a little time alone in adventure coves. The town is always appealing, regardless of whether it is winter or summer. For the meat barbecue or fish on the tile offered by the local rural eateries, the Kilyos road is also worth a trip. The Kilyos Castle, the Historical Plane Tree, and the picturesque Kilyos center are the top attractions in this beautiful village.

Together with Kilyos Castle, the village is home to three water scales that are considered to date back to the Genoese era, the Stone Pier, which is still in use today by fishermen, as well as the boathouse and rescue structures.


The Kilyos Castle was constructed by the Byzantines in the 4th and 5th centuries for defense purposes during the Eastern Roman Empire. The Genoese captured the fortress and resided here for a long time at the time when the Byzantines lost their power. Sultan Abdulhamid I and Sultan II renovated the fortress later on. Two times during the Sultan Mahmut era it was repaired and a water system was installed to collect rainwater to fill the cisterns in the middle of the castle.

The castle went through many different battles. The British supplied guns to the castle that were used by the Russians in 1833 and by Turkish and British forces in 1841. These cannons are currently on display in the arena of the castle. Worth seeing the historical weapons to understand the value of peace today. The Castle also served as a hospital during the Crimean War, and combat-related injuries were treated here.


The 28-meter-tall and 34-meter-wide monumental plane tree, a kind of historic tree, is one of the suggested things to see when you visit Kilyos. It is more than 500 years old and it is said to have been planted as a monument to honor Istanbul's conquest in 1453. Visitors frequently snap several photographs there. A great place for your Instagram posts!

FAQ

How do I get to Kilyos?

You can rent a car or take a taxi to get to Kilyos. Keep in mind that parking can be a problem on weekends. The best way to get to Kilyos by public transportation is using the M2 metro line and then taking a bus. The last station of the M2 is Hacıosman Station. After getting off the metro, you can take the bus with the number 151 to bring you to Demirciköy. Many beach clubs have their own shuttle buses also from Haciosman.

Is Kilyos worth seeing?

Kilyos is a beautiful fishing town with many beautiful beach clubs. If you love to enjoy a summer day in a beach club, then it is a great place to be in.

Is Kilyos expensive?

Kilyos can be a little expensive for you if you are on a budget. But because of the currency difference, it is pretty affordable if you think of other European beach villages.

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