One of the oldest and largest parks in Istanbul, Gulhane Park lies adjacent to and on the grounds of the famous Topkapi Palace. “Gulhane” means “rose garden” and the park was once a rose garden for the palace.
In the early twentieth century, the park featured playgrounds, coffee houses, recreational areas and even a small zoo. In 1926, it also became home to the first statue of Ataturk, sculpted by Heinrich Kippel. More recently, renovations removed the zoo and an amusement fair in order to create more open green space. Today, it is a popular destination for residents looking to relax and tourists waiting in line to visit Topkapi Palace.
On the western edge of the park, you will find the Museum of The History of Science and Technology. Housed in the former palace stables, the museum displays over 100 replicas of major inventions from the 8th through the 16th centuries. Head to the far northern part of Gulhane Park to enjoy sweeping views of the Bosphorus from an outdoor tea garden.
Gulhane Park is particularly enjoyable to visit in late March and early April, when thousands of tulips are in bloom and the city celebrates the International Istanbul Tulip Festival.
Gulhane Park is located in the heart of the main tourist area in Istanbul, not far from the Aya Sofia. If you are not staying within walking distance, the easiest way to get there is likely by taking the tram to the Gulhane stop.