10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Istanbul

Boat crossing the Galata Bridge

Why Should You Visit Istanbul? This question actually has a really easy answer. When it comes to Istanbul, there is really no need to look for reasons to visit this magnificent land of culture, history, and entertainment; yet if you need further convincing why this Metropol should be at the top of your travel bucket list, we hope that this guide will get the point across.

1. Bosphorus and Continent Hopping

Bosphorus Strait

Located on two continents of Asia and Europe and by the shores of the Bosphorus Istanbul is a true geographic wonder. It is common for Istanbulites to change continents a few times a day, especially if they work and live on different continent. Thus, there are plenty of options when it comes to public transport between the two continents; buses, taxis, ferries or the metrobus which is a special bus that has its own track like metro. You can also use private transfer services from/to the Sabiha Gokcen Airport Private Transfer or Istanbul Airport Private Transfer. Hopping between the two continents has never been easier. Add to that the beauty of the Bosphorus, and you are in for a treat!

2. Peppy Nightlife

Nightlife in Istanbul

Istanbul city never sleeps. Clubs, bars, pubs and discotheques, the city literally overflows with nightlife venues that suit all ranges of budgets. Located in Nişantaşı, Kozmonot Pub is a great option for cocktail lovers. For a cozy atmosphere, however, head down to By Bahce located in Taksim, right next to the Sishane metro station. In the mood for exploring the nightlife scene at the Asian side of the Istanbul. There is a whole street called Barlar Sokagı, literally meaning the street of bars. You will find here many live performance bars, as well as clubs that you can dance the night away.

3. Turkish Hospitality and Safety

Turkish hospitality

If there is one thing you will remark right away about the Turkish culture, it is the importance people give to hospitality. Random people may smile and wave at you in the streets, offer you free tea at stores even if you have no intention of purchasing. Don’t be scared and expect that it will all turn out sweet. Locals genuinely want to help make your stay as seamless as possible, because the hospitality is what Turks value the most. You will be safe and sound in the hands of Turkish hospitality.

4. Reasonable Prices

Wallet with money

With the change of the Turkish Lira, there is never a better time than now to visit Istanbul and enjoy the city for a fraction of the cost. Pack up now and head to the nearest airport for a flight, destination Istanbul. Yes, right now!

5. Cutting Edge Art Galleries and Museums

Istanbul is heaven for culture enthusiasts. You can spot many art galleries, museums and cultural venues throughout the city, ranging from big and corporate to tiny and personal. Some of the must-visit places include Pera Museum for modern art, Istanbul Archeology Museum for a trip to the ancient periods, and Hagia Sophia to check out the landmark that stands still for the past three civilizations.

6. Cats

Istanbul cat lying down

Furry friends roam the streets of Istanbul freely. That’s because locals have a passion for cats. You might spot many Turks feeding and taking care of the neighborhood cats. They are most often vaccinated as well as castrated. If you love animals and want to take cute Instagram photos, this is the place to be. Istanbulites coexist with stray animals and they are more than proud of it.

7. Gastronomy

Turkish gastronomy

We all know Kebabs are the number one must-try on a Turkey trip. But have you heard of Baklava, a rich, sweet dessert made of layers of very thin filo filled with chopped nuts and honey? How about cigkofte, a raw meatball dish made with bulghur? And midye dolma, stuffed mussels with spiced fried rice? Eat kebabs by all means but don’t forget to give these popular local aromas a try and who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised!

8. Four Vibrant Seasons

People in Istiklal Street, Istanbul

Over 9 million tourists visit the Istanbul every year, mostly in the summer months from June through the end of August. Istanbul is vibrant and beautiful all year round, but perhaps the best season to pack your suitcase is the springtime, when the temperature is not all-time high and there is a cool breeze, flowers are blooming, the city is waking up from its winter sleep. Even during Ramadan, which is the month of fasting for Muslims, you can find shops, restaurants, and bars buzzing with crowds.

9. Local Bazaars

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Did you know that Turkey is the leading producer and exporter of fresh figs in the world? It also has more than 60 percent of the total hazelnut production of the whole world. That’s massive. If you visit a local bazaar in Istanbul, you can get a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, stacked next to each other, reflecting every color of the rainbow.

10. A True Cosmopolitan

Istanbul, Cosmopolitan city

Armenians, Kurds, Arabs, Jews and many other ethnicities coexist peacefully at the heart of Istanbul. This multiethnic life is reflected in the architecture and culture. To experience a truly cosmopolitan city, head to Istanbul, order a cup of traditional Turkish tea and observe the passersby.

If you are finally convinced that you should absolutely visit Istanbul, now you must be asking yourself how many days would be enough for such a massive city. If you are short on time, 2 days will suffice to cover the must-visit sightseeing, whereas if you have a more flexible schedule up to 7 days of stay will open the doors to the city’s hidden treasures that most tourists don’t get to experience. For more information on planning your trip, read our guide How Many Days to Visit Istanbul.

To make your trip planning easier, we offer you the Istanbul Tourist Pass that aims to be the personal assistant in your pocket, making sure you have the most pleasant experiences in Istanbul. The Istanbul Tourist Pass is more than just a city pass. It includes guided tours at the most popular tourist attractions, unlimited internet, and private airport transfer. You can choose from 2 days, 3 days, or 7-day options, purchase your pass and just enjoy your trip with a peace of mind.

As the team of, we have been working hard since 1995, serving Istanbul and Istanbul lovers with our in depth & up-to-date content on Turkish culture, food and lifestyle.

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