- Büyükada, meaning "Large Island" in Turkish. "Prinkipo", Prince in Greek with an area 5.46 km2 (2.11 sq mi).
- Heybeliada, "Saddlebag Island" in Turkish. "Halki" in Greek with an area of 2.4 km2 (0.93 sq mi).
- Burgazada, "Rocky Island" in Turkish. "Antigoni" in Greek, the name of a mythological figure with an area of 1.5 km2 (0.58 sq mi).
- Kınalıada, meaning "Henna Island". "Proti" in Greek, meaning "First", being the closest island to Istanbul with an area of 1.3 km2 (0.50 sq mi).
- Sedef Adası, meaning "Mother-of-Pearl Island". "Antirovithos" in Greek with an area of 0.157 km2 (0.061 sq mi).
- Yassıada, meaning "Flat Island". Plati in Greek with an area of 0.05 km2 (0.019 sq mi).
- Sivriada, meaning "Sharp Island". Oxeia in Greek with an area of 0.05 km2 (0.019 sq mi).
- Kaşık Island, meaning "Spoon Island". Pita in Greek with an area of 0.006 km2 (0.0023 sq mi).
- Tavşanadası, meaning "Rabbit Island". Neandros in Greek, the name of a mythological figure with an area of 0.004 km2 (0.0015 sq mi).
Only first fours; Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kınalıada are inhabited.
During the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, princes and other royalty who were seen as challengers to the throne were exiled there giving the islands their present name. Until 19th century islands were almost empty but during the nineteenth century, the islands became popular resorts for Istanbul's wealthy, and Victorian-era cottages and houses are still preserved on the largest of the Princes' Islands. Demographic structure of islands was more Armenians, Jewish and especially Greeks until 1950’s but today few amount of Armenians and couple of hundreds Greeks living in islands.
Most famous PALACEs in islands Ayia Yorgi Church and Monastery dating back to the sixth century, in Aya Yorgi Hill in Buyukada and the Ayios Dimitrios Church
During the summer months the Princes’ Islands are popular destinations for day trips from Istanbul. Motorized vehicles – except service vehicles – are forbidden, so visitors explore the island by foot, bicycle, in horse-drawn carriages.
There are many 19th century wooden houses mainly in European style as well as Turkish style with incredibly peaceful ambiance.
Only way to reach to the islands from city is by the sea. They are just a short ferry ride from both the Asian (at Bostancı and also Kartal) and European sides (from Kabataş) of Istanbul. Most ferries call in turn at the four largest of the nine islands: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and finally Büyükada. Ferry services are provided by Istanbul Seabuses (İDO), a firm operated by the municipality of Istanbul. In spring and autumn the islands are quiet and pleasant, although the sea can be rough in spring, autumn and winter.