You’re planning to travel to Istanbul, but you have no idea what to do… Let us help you!
Istanbul, where East meets West, is a big city with its cultural diversity, historical places, mosques, churches, bazaars and more… So it’s understandable if you can’t choose where to start your tour in Istanbul. If you want to have a trip to Istanbul in a comfortable way, by a car, there are lots of firms that you can rent a car.
Here is 7 things to do in Istanbul…
Visit Topkapı Palace
When you come to Istanbul, the first place you must see is Topkapı Palace. It was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years. Its construction began in 1459 at Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s order. But after 17th century, palace lost its importance. Today, Topkapı Palace is a turistical museum. And it contains very important holy relics for the Muslims, including Muhammed’s cloak and sword.
Don’t leave without seeing Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is also a must see place in Istanbul. The Byzantine masterpiece of Hagia Sophia is built by Emperor Iustinian in 537. And it was the world’s largest cathedral for more than 900 years. When Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul in 1453, Hagia Sophia is started to being used as a mosque. And in 1935 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s order, it turned to a museum. At the present day, you can visit Hagia Sophia and see the synthesis of Byzantium and Ottoman architecture.
Shopping at Istanbul’s Bazaars
Istanbul has lots of open air or covered bazaars. But when you come to Istanbul don’t forget to visit Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and also oldest covered market in the world. It has got between 250.000 and 400.000 visitors daily. At Grand Bazaar you can find jewelry, furniture, carpets, leather goods… With its irresistible smell, Spice Bazaar is the second largest covered market in İstanbul. In there you can find spices, nuts, dried fruits, Turkish coffee…
Trip to Bosphorus
Your Istanbul trip shouldn’t end without crossing the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus, called the heart of the city, has got lots of natural beauty. So take a ferry and explore where Europe meets Asia.
Walk through the Istiklal Street
Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street is also one of the “must see” places of the city. When you are walking throughout the Istiklal Street, you can see Ottoman era buldings, art galleries, shops, rastaurants and bars and of course Çiçek Pasajı. At Çiçek Pasajı you can reach the pleasure of drinking rakı and eating fish…
Kumpir is Istanbul’s most prefered street food, a baked potato loaded with appetizers (olives, hot dogs, pickles, corn… etc.). Go to Ortaköy and taste kumpir!
See the Maiden’s Tower
The Maiden’s Tower, also known as Leander’s Tower, is loceted at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus. Today it’s a restaurant. When you’re eating at this legendary tower, you can enjoy the Bosphorus view.
Have a nice travel, enjoy your trip…
Free Things to do in Istanbul
Who said that Istanbul is an expensive city? As you will see, there are tons of fun things to in Istanbul, for free!
Take Long Walks by the Bosphorus..
The biggest city of Istanbul is almost surrounded by sea. There are many districts where you can enjoy the salty breeze of Bosphorus with amazing views; Bebek, Karaköy, Eminönü and Rumeli Hisarı is only a few of them. Put on comfortable shoes and have a relaxing day without spending a single penny!
Visit Museums & Art Galleries
Istanbul is an Arts & Culture capital and there are tons of art galleries and museums where you can nurture your soul without entrance fees.
Along with the galleries on Beyoğlu – Istiklal Street in Mısır Apartmanı, Galeri Nev, Galeri Zilberman, Piatworks and Galeri Non; you can visit Arter, Salt, and Borusan Music House exhibitions freely 7 days a week.
Wander in Shopping Malls
Even though their primary purpose is shopping, you don’t pay for entering nor window shopping! You would enjoy the shopping malls of Istanbul, freely!
Sing along the Street Performers
Street performers are an essential part or art, whether on streets or in public transportation. Young or elder, those street musicians are a joy to the ears. Who knows? Maybe you’d even encounter a mime or puppet artist!
Beyoğlu – Istiklal Street is a great place to start hunting some art down!
Enjoy the Ortaköy Coast
Ortaköy district is a must see in Istanbul and you can easily stroll the whole region without spending any money! Same goes for Beşiktaş, Kuruçeşme, Bebek, Karaköy and Beyoğlu too!
If there are so many things to do for free in Istanbul, imagine what you can do for only 20 TRY in your pocket!
- Enjoy a fish sandwich in Eminönü,
- Have a cup of tea in Gülhane Park,
- Feed the birds around Sultanahmet Mosque,
- Eat some delicious baklava at Karaköy Güllüoğlu,
- Grab a beer in Taksim Nevizade,
- Watch a movie in Beyoğlu Movie Theater in Istiklal Street,
- Climb up the Galata Tower,
- Grab a wet-burger in Taksim,
- Have some white beans and rice at Tarihi Süleymaniye Kuru Fasulyecisi,
- Eat some yoghurt at Kanlıca,
- Enjoy a ferry ride from Europe to Asia,
- Visit Miniatürk in Sütlüce,
- Have some ice cream on Moda shore.
But with a small price, you can attend to private tours in Istanbul and learn much more about the places you go with the best guides!