Legend has it that long ago, a fortune teller prophesied to the king that his daughter would be killed by a snake on her 18th birthday. To shield her from this fate, he built the Maiden’s Tower in the middle of the Bosphorus, an isolated little island where she could live her life in safety. But alas, on the morning of her 18th birthday, a snake was hiding in her daily basket of food…and she died. But the Maiden Tower survives after all these years, and the restaurant there serves as one of the most romantic date spots I’ve been to in my whole life.
It was a warm summer evening, perfect for a patio dinner. The dinner at the Maiden’s Tower was by reservation only, and we had to arrive at the pier at a set time because all of the night’s guests had to cross the Bosphorus together in one trip. We boarded the little ferry with the others, took our seats, and the journey began. It only took ten minutes to get to the island, and we had time to walk around and take some pictures before taking our seats for dinner.
After taking all of two minutes to walk the entire circumference of the island, got settled on the patio. The sun was setting, the water was sparkling and soothingly crashing against the rocks, and there was a small band playing Turkish music. The setting was beyond romantic, and it was very intimate despite the fact that the patio was full to capacity. We ordered a bottle of red wine and chose our courses off the “Optional” menu (ps, you had to specific which menu you’d be ordering from when you made the reservation. Each had a different fixed price.)
The food was plated beautifully, tasted delicious, and made us feel fancy. Especially when we’re traveling, we don’t usually go out of our way to have a nice dinner; we typically opt for quick, local meals, so sitting for four courses of gorgeous, yummy plates definitely felt really special. It was seriously a perfect evening that I would recommend to any couple headed to Istanbul. Yes, it was on the pricey side, but it was definitely worth the experience. FOUR couples got engaged that night, that’s how romantic of a dinner location it is!
After dinner, guests could explore the tower and read about the princess’s story. We had to rush through because we took our time finishing our dinner (just like the arrival, the ferry came at a specific time and everyone had to leave together). But still, the view on the balcony at the top of the tower was beautiful and definitely worth the climb up.
If you’re looking for a dream date in Istanbul, I would absolutely recommend the Maiden’s Tower. Again, it was one of the most romantic dinners of my life…and really, what can beat dining in a restaurant right in the middle of the Bosphorus, smack dab between Europe and Asia?
What’s the most romantic dinner spot you’ve discovered?