Can You Swim in Istanbul?

As you probably know, İstanbul is located by seas. The location of Istanbul arises the question “can I swim in Istanbul?”

You should not swim in the İstanbul city center since the water of the sea in İstanbul is quite polluted. On the other hand, there are beaches that you can swim to if you consider making short trips a little outer of Istanbul. Besides, there are also great pools in the city that are open year-round.

The expectation of swimming especially when you are visiting a place that has a sea is pretty normal and valid. It is not that there is no way to swim in İstanbul, but you need to be careful about certain points before attempting to swim in Istanbul. The following article provides comprehensive information about swimming in Istanbul to clear out the way for you.

Can you swim in the Bosporus?

Some parts of the Bosporus are so polluted that, professionals warned people not to swim in that areas of Bosporus, such as between Üsküdar and Beykoz, Sarıyer and Rumelihisarı. If looked at generally, the opinions about swimming in the Bosporus are mainly in favor of not swimming, since it is quite polluted.

However, if you want to try this experience so bad, you are not hopeless. The swimming contests made in the Bosporus make it possible to stop the ship traffic in the Bosporus, which means that you can have a safer and cleaner swimming experience.

Keep in mind that the water of the Marmara Sea is nothing Iike the Aegean Sea or the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the coldest seas of Turkey, and you can get a little bit of a freeze when you first encounter the sea.

Another reason not to swim in the Bosporus is the number of vehicles passes throughout the day. As you swim in the Bosporus, there is a chance of you getting nose to nose with a ship or tanker. As I mentioned earlier, some swimming contests that take place in the Bosporus allow you to swim without the danger of encountering a ship.

Where can you swim around in Istanbul?

There are some beaches around Istanbul that you can swim. The following are some of the beaches that you can swim with peace of mind in Istanbul.

Burç Beach

Burç beach is running by the alumni of the Bogazici University, which is one of the most prestigious universities in Turkey. This allows you to have a decent environment. Besides, you have the opportunity to engage in some water and beach sports as well.

Uzunya Beach

Uzunya beach is known for its breakfast and fish restaurants. Besides, you can camp in the area and go on hiking. Besides, Uzunya beach takes place on its cove which makes it extra special. Uzunya beach takes place in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul.

Tırmata Beach

Tırmata beach is another beach that takes place in the Sarıyer district. It is one of the most preferred beaches among families in Istanbul since you need at least one woman to be able to enter the Tırmata beach. 

Şile Ağlayankaya Beach

Şile Ağlayankaya beach is one of the two beaches in Istanbul that had the blue flag in the year 2012. It takes place in the Şile district of Istanbul on the Black Sea Coast of the Asian Side.

Büyükada Yörükali Beach

If you want to swim in the Prince Islands of Istanbul, then Büyükada Yörükali beach is a great option for you. This beach is especially popular among families since it is all sand and no rocks, also, there is some equipment on the beach that children can have fun with. Also, you can order food while on this beach.

Ada Beach Club

Another wonderful beach at the Prince Islands is the Ada Beach club. It takes place in a gorgeous cove in Heybeliada, and you would be surprised to see an area that is surrounded by forests in Istanbul. In Ada Beach club, you can feel as if you are in a famous holiday destination.

Best pools you can swim in Istanbul

If you do not want to swim in the Marmara Sea, Istanbul has lots of cool pools to offer you. You can find everything in İstanbul that is what makes it a metropolis. So, if you ever feel not comfortable with swimming in the sea of Istanbul, you can always prefer the pools. The following are some of the best pools you can swim in Istanbul.

Marina Aquapark Waterland

Marina Aquapark Waterland is the biggest aqua park in Istanbul. There are hundreds of fun activities to do in the Marina Aquapark Waterland, and it is one of the best ways to enjoy some time swimming while having fun.

The Marmara Pera Outdoor Swimming Pool

Outdoor swimming pools are one of the best places to swim if you ask me, and swimming to the beautiful view of Galata Tower and the rest of Istanbul would be even better. Luckily, you have this opportunity in The Marmara Pera Outdoor Swimming Pool in the Beyoğlu district.

Coliseum Pool / Aquapark

If you want to enjoy the fun of the aqua park and calmly swim in the pool at the same time, then you should get to Coliseum Pool / Aquapark in Sarıyer. The location of this pool makes it so popular, as it is not away from the Sarıyer center. There are 4 outdoor pools, one pool with slides, and one wave pool in the Coliseum Pool / Aquapark.

Hyatt Regency Istanbul Outdoor Swimming Pool

Another fancy pool in the heart of Istanbul is the Hyatt Regency Istanbul Outdoor Swimming Pool. With its special buffet, you can have a literal pool day in this pool. Additionally, there are different deepness levels available in this pool so you do not need to worry about knowing how to swim, as you can spend time in the shallow area. This pool is located on Taksim.

Shelale Hotel Outdoor Swimming Pool

Shelale Hotel Outdoor Swimming Pool takes place in Ağva, and you have the opportunity to be both in nature and swim in a safe pool. Pools can feel a sort of artificial, but with the green trees around you, you can feel like you are in nature again. Besides, due to its great location, you can be both away from the city and have easy transportation.

İstanbul Municipality Pools

There are lots of olympic or semi-olympic indoor swimming pools that are operated by İstanbul municipality around the city. They all have monthly membership plans with reasonable prices.

Frequently asked questions about swimming in Istanbul

There are lots of swimming options in Istanbul. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about swimming in Istanbul.

Is it safe to swim in Bosporus?

Due to the pollution and traffic in the Bosporus, it is not recommended. But if you want it so bad, swimming when the Bosporus is closed for traffic in swimming contest times is recommended.

Are there safe places in Istanbul to swim?

Yes, there are lots of beaches and pools in Istanbul that you can swim safely.

Are there sharks in Bosporus?

The last time when a shark was detected in Bosporus was in the late 19th century.


İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

You may also like...