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The Ataturk Arboretum, comprising part of Belgrade Forest, contains a spectacular collection of plants and trees from around the world. Located only 20km from Istanbul, this 345 hectare peaceful sanctuary is heaven for nature lovers.
The Arboretum is especially popular with students and researchers, who come to admire and study the wide variety of greenery. Established in 1949, there are more than 2,000 species of living trees here such as the American tulip tree, Spanish fir and red-leaved Judas tree. The Ataturk Arboretum has contact with other botanic institutions worldwide and they are involved with regular exchanges of seeds.
2 ½ hectares are entirely dedicated to various oaks. Exotic species include the Chinese scythe tree, Asian sweet gum, Japanese hydrangea and Arizona cypress. There are plaques displaying the names of the trees and country of origin.
Visitors are given a map of the Arboretum on arrival, and are strictly warned not to damage any plants.
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How to get to Ataturk Arboreteum, Istanbul: From Sultanahmet: First get to Taksim. Take the T-1 tram in the direction of Kabatas. From Kabatas, take the Funicular to Taksim. From Taksim : Take bus line 42T (Bahcekoy-Taksim). Bus stop: 'Kemerburgaz Yolu'. Alternatively, you can take the M-2 metro and get to '4.Levent Metro' station. From there, there are frequent buses: 42 (Bahcekoy-4.Levent Metro) or 42M (Bahcekoy-4.Levent Metro). Bus stop: 'Kemerburgaz Yolu'. From the 'Kemerburgaz Yolu' bus stop, you need to walk to the gate of Ataturk Arboreteum.
"If at some point you don't ask yourself, 'What have I gotten myself into?' then you're not doing it right" - Roland Gau