Here is the ugly truth: Every Istanbulite will suffer from construction noise, never ending traffic and pollution at some point.
Do not feel gloomy though; there are still ways to connect with nature in Istanbul.
Here are six of them.
1. Spend time at Kuzguncuk vegetable garden
One of the most peaceful neighborhoods, Kuzguncuk has a 17-acre garden where locals grow fruits and vegetables. There is also a very small grass amphitheater nearby. >map
2. Cultivate your land at Komşuköy
Komşuköy, the real life version of Farmville, allows you to rent and run a farm from your computer. Get your hands dirty to truly engage with nature and visit Komşuköy farm in Beykoz to cultivate your land on your own. >map
3. Enjoy the sunset at Tuzla Yacht Club
The Istanbul branch of Bozburun Yacht Club is great for sailors and yoga lovers. Take a breath of fresh air and indulge in the breakfast buffet with natural, fresh foods (served only on weekends). >map
4. Go mushroom hunting in Belgrad Forest
Mushroom hunting is a serious business, you need an experienced guide. Learn how to pick and cook different mushrooms with Jilber Barutçiyan, Turkey’s leading mushroom expert. >map
5. Take a long walk at Atatürk Arboretum
Inhabiting nearly 2000 plant species, Atatürk Arboretum will introduce you to botany. Who knows, you may even see a deer if you behave well. >map
6. Attend a workshop at Ek Biç Ye İç
Located in the middle of Taksim, Ek Biç Ye İç is a cafe with a hidden 70-m2 urban garden. Attend one of their workshops on permaculture, sustainable living or indoor soil-free gardening. >map