A must see in Istanbul is definitely the Princes’ Islands (Kızıl Adalar). A chain of the four larger islands and five smaller ones is located in the Marmara Sea close to Istanbul.
The name Princes’ Islands goes back to the time of the Byzantine period, where princes and other royalty were exiled on the islands. During the nineteenth century the islands became a popular resort for Istanbul’s wealthy people.
My sister and I visited the Princes’ Islands on a very hot day in August. From local people we were advised to not taking the tourist ferries, since they would charge us much more than the local ferries. And they were right. The price the tourists pay is about 10 times higher than the price we paid. Departure with the ferries happens both on the European and the Asian side of Istanbul.
On the boat there were many local passengers. And as soon as we arrived we noticed that there were many local people as well. We didn’t notice many european tourists. Due to the high temperature we didn’t stay long. The island was very small, but there were many restaurants cooking hot food and so many people everywhere, which made it feel very crowded and too hot!
But is this a place I’d recommend? Yes! If you don’t pay overprice then you should definitely go see it. Even though there were many people, it was still very relaxing to walk around the quiet streets and get away from the big city. We also found a quite good restaurant next to the water with an amazing view. I’d go back here if possible!