8 Unique Things That You Can Only Do In Istanbul
A must-do list for best Istanbul experience. Globalization makes every city look alike. Tourists do not want the same clothing stores, same fast-food restaurants, same cafés. Luckily, the several things to do in Istanbul still makes this city a hidden gem. In this amazing city, you will find unique attraction points that you can’t find anywhere else around the world.
After reading this post, you might want to visit Istanbul. Are you ready for your flight to Istanbul?
1. Taste delicious food on streets of Istanbul
When we talk about Turkey or Istanbul, many tastes come to mind, kebab being the first one. But Istanbul has more than that. Below, we listed some of the best street foods in Istanbul!
- Midye Dolma (mussels with rice filling)
- Islak Hamburger (wet burger with special sauce)
- Kököreç (a sandwich of lamb intestines – sounds weird but it is incredibly tasty!)
- Çiğ Köfte (raw spicy meatballs without meat)
- Lahmacun (minced meat on a thin piece of dough)
- Baklava (a sweet pastry made of layers, filled with nuts or pistachio)
For a unique experience, you can join to Ottoman Palace Cuisine Tasting.
2. Visit the only place in the world that has served three religions throughout the history
Hagia Sophia was first used as a Pagan temple. Then, this amazing structure was turned into a church. After the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih the Conqueror, this dazzling structure is used as a mosque. With its divine properties, this structure is just one of the places to see in Istanbul before you die! We guarantee that Hagia Sophia will be an unforgettable experience. Touch the ‘weeping column’ that is told to heal many illnesses, drink from the well in the great hall, see the tomb of Queen Sophia that would cause the whole place to come tumbling down if touched by anyone!
Find out more about admission to Hagia Sophia.
Bonus: Don’t forget to pet the world famous Cat of Hagia Sophia!
3. Change continents on the same day: breakfast in Europe, lunch in Asia
Bosphorus is indeed the miracle of mother nature! This amazing water way separates European and Asian continents while making it two parts of one city. All we have to do with this gift of nature is to enjoy unique views of both continents.
4. Witness a fascinating meditation ceremony: Dervishes with their Sema Ritual
Sema is an ancient Sufi ceremony. This ceremony is performed by people who seek ‘the truth’, want to rise with divine love, lose themselves in God and return back to Earth with maturity and peace. Sema is a way of meditation with divine purpose. Istanbul is the best place to witness this spiritual beauty of unique sounds and recitations!
These ceremonies are highly popular. When you plan your trip to Istanbul, be sure to get your Sema Ritual ticket.
5. Visit Blue Mosque for the best examples of Islamic Architecture and go for a crazy night out by the Bosphorus
Istanbul has everything you are looking for! In daytime, you will be visiting mosques and churches witnessing the divine power. At night, the city transforms into an entertainment center. You will enjoy marvelous food in the evening and at night you can go out to party! Visitors in Istanbul have a point when they say: “Istanbul is the new Berlin!”.
6. Go shopping in the oldest and largest shopping mall in the world: the Grand Bazaar!
If you love shopping, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will have the chance to shop in the oldest and largest shopping mall: Grand Bazaar! Leather, jewelry, traditional Turkish food, bargaining skills, enlightenment… Everything you are looking for is in this huge bazaar!
You can also visit Grand Bazaar with a professional tour guide, if you think your bargaining skills need improvement.
7. Climb to the historical tower that witnessed the first human flight
A light house, a defense tower, an asylum for the Christian war captives, an observatory, and a launching platform of the first human ever to fly! Galata Tower has been an ever-changing mystery since it was built in 528 by Genoese. This amazing tower is one of the landmarks of Istanbul!
8. Swim in Bosphorus in a pool and enjoy breath-taking view of Europe and Asia
Everyone dreams of swimming in Bosphorus. But strong currents of this water way make swimming dangerous. But you can take a short boat trip to Suada and swim in a pool in Bosporus. At night, you can attend to Bosphorus dinner cruise to witness the beauty of Istanbul at night!