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Emirgan Park

Emirgan Mah., Emirgan, Istanbul

Get to it by walking along the shore, turning left at a popular, laddish swimming spot and a small park. After the police station – whose lions once stood on the quay spouting spring water for passing sailors – turn up to the right to wend your way between wooden houses and old walled gardens to the park entrance.

At weekends in April, Emirgan Park is mayhem as 20,000 visitors pour in for its ‘tulip cascade’. But out of tulip season, especially in the morning, you can savour serene views from the woods. From the gates to the park, head up to the right as far as the umbrella pines for views norths to Yeniköy’s yalıs; or left for the faux-rock waterfall of the Sarı Köşk, the khedive Ismail Pasha’s 1870s chalet, now a municipal café. Stop for a refreshment or a full meal; the desserts are killer.

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