Starting our day in Taksim, Beyoğlu, at the middle of Istanbul’s heart, where else?! Wandering around Taksim Square and the Republic Statue. A lot of the tourists and locals take memorial pictures at the statue because of its value. After that you will find the Nostalgic Tramway of Taksim, a small red tram that was reconstructed to remind the locals about the old Tramway system of Istanbul’s. Take the Tramway tour down to Galata Tower, Galata Tower is a Byzantine Tower that build before for the observation because it was the highest tower at that time. Galata Tower’s top floor has a spectacular 360-view to the Bosphorus and the old town all at once, on the other hand it has a small café that serves the Turkish Coffee and tea. On the way back don’t forget to walk around the Istiklal Avenue, it has a lot of shops and it gets crowded at night which makes a lot enjoyable.
Take the bus and head directly to Beşiktaş, our journey will start from there at the seashore. After you walk around in Beşiktaş Square walk through the cozy street full of trees, that street has the Dolmabahçe Palace at its beginning and Yildiz Park at the middle, consider visiting these two places if you have time because they are very important symbols of Istanbul and Turkey. If you continue walking for another 25 minutes you will arrive to Ortaköy, it has a small square filled with small shops. Gift shops are a lot there, you can buy some of the mini Maiden Tower, mini Blue Mosque, bracelets, and some food shops. The most famous shops are Waffles and Kumpir shops, you will hear the sellers shouting and calling the pedestrians in order to sell them the amazing delicious colorful Waffles and Kumpirs.
Most of the time I recommend to get out of the big city to relax and take a breath away from the crowd, at the same time, Istanbul has stunning places not so far away from the center, for example, Şile & Ağva towns. These two towns are only around 110 km away from the center of Istanbul. Şile & Ağva attribute is that they are located directly at the Black sea at the north. On the way to Şile the first thing that you will see is the Şile Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is located on a hill that has an amazing spectacular view to the black sea. You can take amazing pictures from up there. After you have your Turkish breakfast from a village’s börek shop, head down and go straight to Ağva. Ağva by the way is surrounded by two small rives, the best thing that you can do there it taking a boat tour around the river with the people, after you finish the tour go and have your launch at some of the seafood restaurants there, as said, they serve the best seafood at that region.
Back to the city again, I recommend you to go to Sultan Ahmet Square at that day, you will enjoy the amazing historic places there. First place to see is the Hagia Sofia Basilica, a former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral which was converted to a mosque at the Ottoman empire era, and now it is a museum because of its rich history. The second place is the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii), the square there is named after it, a big symbolic mosque that describes the beauty of the Ottoman art and architecture style.