Büyükçekmece is a suburb located around 54 kilometres to the west of Istanbul, Turkey. Nestled on an inlet on the Sea of Marmara, it is popular with families and groups of friends. Many day trippers arrive from Istanbul, keen to experience tranquillity and relaxation on the banks of Lake Büyükçekmece, or by the pretty promenade and beaches.
The first stop for many visitors is Büyükçekmece Sahili, an elegant promenade with waterfront cafes and restaurants, food vendors and sun loungers. It is the ideal place for rest and relaxation after a hectic week in Istanbul. There are small, picturesque stretches of beach where children can paddle or swim in the Sea of Marmara, or the entire family can enjoy water sports or a boat ride. Inland of the suburb, local markets tempt travellers with handicrafts, fresh produce and wares. Everyone will enjoy a fun day out at Aquapark. The water park, with a variety of wave pools and thrilling water slides, attracts many from Istanbul and the surrounding districts, especially at weekends. Ataturk Park offers travellers incredible sea views, nice cafes and during the summer months, live music. It’s a beautiful landscape, relax on the grass, enjoy a picnic or head here for some of the best photographic opportunities in Büyükçekmece. Those searching for culture in this seaside suburb should head for Sancaklar Mosque. Built with brick steps in the style of an amphitheatre, Sancaklar Mosque is constructed on the simplicity of religion and the notion of seeing everyone together in prayer.
There are several ways to reach Büyükçekmece from Istanbul. Metro reaches the suburb in approximately one hour. Travelling by taxi or driving takes around 30 minutes. Many of the areas in Büyükçekmece are easy to walk to, and there are tourist trains which run up and down the promenade for those who prefer a less strenuous route.
The land around the inlet of Büyükçekmece has a turbulent history. As it was on the route of so many armies and a stopping place on the road to Europe, the area has been abandoned and resettled several times over. Some of the ruins close to Lake Büyükçekmece are still in evidence. Until the start of the Ottoman period, the area was empty farmland and forest then gradually it became home to Turkish people looking for a retreat outside the city of Istanbul.