Istanbul enjoys four pleasant seasons, but late spring and summer bring the perfect weather for alfresco dining, sunbathing and especially swimming.
We searched all over the city to find the most opulent and beautiful pools to cool off in when the temperatures rise, and a few indoor and heated options available year-round. All the pools include the bonus of a bar or are attached to a luxurious spa facility to ensure ultimate relaxation.
Here are the finest places to take a dip during your stay in Istanbul.
This former sultan’s palace, and now one of Istanbul’s most beautiful hotels, lets you live like royalty — even if it’s just for 24 hours. If you don’t stay overnight, Çırağan Palace offers day passes that can be reserved from Mondays to Saturdays. This way you can enjoy its exclusive pool overlooking the strait and partake in the poolside menu’s sumptuous lunch courses as you watch the sea traffic along the beautiful Bosphorus between Asia and Europe.
For a touch of glamour, head to the outdoor pool at this Five-Star hotel. A panoramic view of the city that sparkles both day and night makes this a picturesque spot to see the sunset. Exclusive to in-house guests, the wonderful rooftop pool bar Lounge 6 lets you sip drinks and soak up the view. Try the spicy Red Passion cocktail or a classic Aperol spritz to match the hues of the sinking sun.
A Five-Star urban retreat in the middle of the city, Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus offers two beautiful alfresco pools on the Bosphorus Strait. The surrounding greenery makes them feel like an oasis from the action of downtown Istanbul. Lounge by the seaside pool and enjoy a fresh juice or a cocktail, such as the refreshing and summery passionfruit, champagne, chili and vanilla-infused vodka concoction with lime and ginger.
You can even pick up a chic bathing suit or beach coverups and kaftans crafted by local Turkish designers in the spa boutique.
The extensive Willow Stream Spa in the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel includes a spacious indoor-outdoor pool. In the warmer months, a retractable glass wall opens for bathers to bask in the Turkish sunlight. The nearly 22,000-square-foot spa facility also has traditional Turkish hammams for rejuvenation and an ice fountain to cool off afterward. Here, you can get your exercise and leisure fix all year round.