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During the summer months the Princes’ Islands are popular destinations for day trips from Istanbul. As there is no traffic on the Islands, the only transport being horse and cart, they are incredibly peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul. They are just a short ferry ride from both the Asian (at Bostancı and also Kartal) and European sides (from Sirkeci/Eminönü, Kabataş and Yenikapı) of Istanbul. Most ferries call in turn at the four largest of the nine islands: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and finally Büyükada. Ferry services are provided by Istanbul Seabuses (İDO), a firm operated by the municipality of Istanbul. In spring and autumn the islands are quieter and more pleasant, although the sea can be rough in late autumn and winter.

Passenger ferryboats from Istanbul sail regularly to the Princes Islands (Adalar). (Car ferries do not go, as private cars are not allowed on the islands.)

Departures are from the Kabataş, Beşiktaş, Kadıköy and Bostancı ferry docks (map), by four different companies: Şehir Hatları, the traditional ferries; İDO, the fast catamaran ferries; TurYol smaller ferries; and Dentur Avrasya ferries.

Note that there are no shuttle boats among the islands, only the scheduled ferries. To travel from one island to another (for example, from Büyükada to Heybeliada), you must check the ferry schedules to find voyages that will both take to the other island, and take you away from it so you don't end up spending the night (unless you want to).