A quick guide for ide by Istanbul experts covering the best things to do, popular things to see, unique experiences and top tourist attractions in Istanbul
Discover the Old City of Istanbul
If you want to spend your in the center of Istanbul, you can start your day with the Bosphorus and Golden Horn Tour after having a great breakfast in your hotel. You will have a nice to look at the historical buildings from different angles. First, you will start with the Spice Bazaar where you will find out the miracle of the herbs and spices.If you want to get more things that are unique to Turkish culture, Shopping in Grand Bazaar can amaze you by the hundreds of years of history. This enormous site is the largest covered market in the world. Test your bargaining skills before buying traditional Turkish handmade goods such as carpets or bags. During the tour, you will see a great view of Dolmabahçe Palace where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic, lived there for many years. It’s located in Beşiktaş you can find trendy pubs or original fish restaurants. Since many attractions that shouldn’t be missed is located in the old city of Istanbul, getting an Istanbul Tourist Pass can help you to organize your agenda for the trip. Moreover, it helps you to join more than 30 attractions in Istanbul without waiting long ticket queues. The Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum and Basilica Cistern are some of them and the pass contains more locations which will amaze you. Since you will need a place to relax, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At Sultanahmet offers delicious meals in its restaurant. It’s within walking distance of the Grand Bazaar and has a very central location.
Separate your day to the Taksim Area
Istanbul is big city full of adventures and the Galata district is one of the place that you shouldn’t miss out. There, you will get a chance to see the Galata Tower which was built in the14th century by the Genoese colony. It will be crowded in the day but you can easily climb up to the tower at night without any noise or queue. Enjoy the magnificent sunset while drinking a cup of coffee with views of Istanbul. Then, you can walk to the Taksim for exploring more. During the day, a walk in Beyoğlu is the best way to discover the area. When you walk through the Istiklal Street, you will see hundreds of shops, cafes and historic sites. Also, it’s been the home to many historical embassy buildings, fancy hotels and old cinemas. Make sure you visit the Armenian and Romain churches and see the amazing atmosphere. There are many museums to visit as well. The Pera Museum which holds the well know picture of Osman Hamdi Bey’s Turtle Trainer, can be visited. Also, Istanbul Modern Museum is one of the famous museums in Istanbul where you can find a huge modern art collection from well-known artists around the world.
Visit the Asian Side of Istanbul
Although the European Side sounds more touristic and has many attractions, the Asian Side of the city is worth visiting. You can take the ferry to avoid the traffic to reach the Kadıköy District which can be considered as the heart of many trendy cafes, nice restaurants and art events. You will find many cafes that serve delicious Turkish breakfast. If you’re not a morning person, there are many coffee shops that produce their own coffee and serve it in a quality. Walter’s Coffee Roasters and Montag Coffee Roasters are the famous ones among them. It’s more a nostalgic district with colorful houses and bohemian atmosphere. After walking around, get on one of the shared taxis called dolmuş for going to your next destination in the most practical way. Another famous place among locals is Bağdat Avenue which is home to all of the high street fashion brands. It’s a long avenue that connects many districts such as Suadiye and Erenköy. There, you will have plenty of time to shop and relax. When you fell hungry, Happy Moons can be a good choice since it has been serving quality foods for about 20 years. It has large servings and fast service. If you come as a group and want to learn more about the historical places in the Asian Side, Üsküdar & Kadıköy Tour can be more beneficial since you can visit more places in a small amount of time. Also, you will get the chance to experience the Marmaray which a modern train crossing the two continents under the Bosphorus.