The Ultimate Guide to Things to do in Istanbul

One of the great cities in the world is Istanbul. There are numerous excellent reasons for you to visit this place. Istanbul is an ancient city with a long history; as a result, there are many historical sites to see. Istanbul is stunning, with its variety of mosques, their vibrant tile work, and their striking architecture. Istanbul is wonderful; there are a lot of hospitable, kind people here.

The Hagia Sophia, an incredible architectural achievement and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is located in Istanbul.

You should be aware that Istanbul has a lot to see if you have plans to travel there. Istanbul is a city where five days would be more than enough. You should have at least three days on your schedule, though more is preferable.

Well Turkey is one of the place in Europe where you may need special visa for Turkey to explore this beautiful country because it is not included in EU. Wondering if you need Turkey Visa or not then you can check Do I need visa for Turkey?.

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

Top Things to do in Istanbul Turkey

1. Hagia Sophia

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

One of the most well-known sights to view in Istanbul is Hagia Sophia, which is regarded as one of the world’s most stunning structures. The building that is today one of the most popular museums in the world was originally a church and a mosque. On our first trip to Istanbul, we didn’t go inside, but after realising what we were missing, we made sure to do so on our second trip. In Istanbul, the interior of Hagia Sophia is a must-see.

After Sultan Mehmed’s conquest, Hagia Sophia was transformed into a mosque, where it stayed for 482 years after having been a church for 916 years. It was transformed into a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia was recently restored to its original use as a mosque in 2019. Like the majority of mosques, it is still accessible to the general public, and you may go inside to view its mosaics, calligraphy, tiles, and the Sultan’s lodge.

One thing which we could recommend is taking the Guided Tour of Hagia Sofia as it is absolutely worth the money.

2. Blue Mosque

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

One of the best things to do in Istanbul is to visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is the city’s most well-known mosque. Without taking in the city’s splendour, a visit would be incomplete.

Its inside walls are covered in blue tiles, earning it the more familiar appellation of The Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque is still a working mosque, although guests are welcome inside if they abide by the laws. Women must have their shoulders and heads covered, and long pants must be worn. It’s the ideal place to start your day before exploring the other neighbouring attractions because it’s in the old city.

3. Grand Bazaar

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

Getting lost in the vast Grand Bazaar is one of the nicest things to do in Istanbul. You can get to the Grand Bazaar by taking a short stroll down the street from the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, and Topkapi Palace. You won’t find a more thrilling shopping experience than this one. The Grand Bazaar spans 60 streets and has more than 5,000 businesses.

The Grand Bazaar has been a significant trading hub since the fifteenth century. one can only image what it was like in the past, when traders from Asia and Africa brought their unique goods for European traders to browse. One of Istanbul’s top attractions is a day spent getting lost in the enormous labyrinth that contains mosques, hammams, cafes, and jewellery shops.

Booking this tour, which begins at Hagia Sophia in the Sultanahmet neighbourhood, is a terrific way to see all the important sights in the ancient city. After that, you can explore the Basilica Cistern, which dates back to the sixth century, before entering the Grand Bazaar, which has 4000 stores selling carpets, silks, pottery, and other items.

Don’t forget to stop by Istanbul’s Spice Market as well. The Spice Bazaar is not far from the Grand Bazaar, and this city was a significant stop along the spice route.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beyazt – Kapalcr Tram Stop

4. Süleymaniye mosque

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

On the third of the seven hills that overlook the Golden Horn, the Süleymaniye mosque is located. The Süleymaniye mosque is one of the most remarkable structures in the city skyline, despite the Blue Mosque being the mosque in Istanbul that is most well-known. The Sultan of Suleyman oversaw construction of Istanbul’s biggest mosque during the 16th century Ottoman Empire.

This tour takes you off the main route in Istanbul to view the Suleymaniye Mosque as well as the historic hookah tradition and sample borek, a traditional Turkish pastry, before continuing on to the Spice Bazaar. The Church of St. George is another stop on this journey.

Cost: free Tram Stop – M2 to Vezneciler from 8 am to 9:30 pm

5. Beylerbeyi Palace

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

The Ottoman Sultans’ summer house, Beylerbeyi Palace, is a fantastic location to visit in Istanbul if you want to witness their opulent way of life. Its facade is made of white marble, while within it is lavishly decorated with artwork, precious vases, fountains, and crystal chandeliers.

There are two ways to get there: by ferry or as one of the stops of a hop-on, hop-off boat excursion. The historical places along the Bosphorus can be explored on this wonderful excursion. A mosque from the eighteenth century, Emirgan Park, and the Sabanci Museum are the first stops on the tour. The boat then travels to the Asian side of Istanbul where you can visit the Kucuksu royal pavilions, the Beylerbeyi Palace, and the Beylerbeyi Mosque. Finally, you’ll arrive at a local market at Bsiktas Square where you can board the tram to return to Taksim.

6. Hippodrome of Constantinople

The Byzantine empire’s capital was Constantinople. The Hippodrome of Constantinople is a short distance away from the Blue Mosque. 100,000 spectators crowded into an antiquated stadium to witness chariot races and horse races.

The three-headed serpent sculpture and the Egyptian obelisk both survived the ages. Ottoman Theodosius Obelisk

It is currently located at Sultan Ahmet Square and serves as the historical core of the ancient city. If you’re interested in history and want to learn more about this intriguing area, taking a guided tour of the Hippodrome is a terrific idea.

7. Walls of Constantinople

The Constantinople Walls were mostly undisturbed until the 19th century, when they were destroyed. But unexpectedly, a lot of them are still whole. The old city walls may be seen in a variety of locations because they have been undergoing renovation since the 1980s. One of the greatest places to see its remnants is the tower inside the Wall of Constantinople. Discover Constantinople before the Ottoman conquest on this Byzantine trip along the Golden Horn. You can explore so much more of Istanbul outside the Medieval City by strolling along the old city walls and gates.

8. Galata Tower

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

Across the Galata Bridge crossing the mouth of The Bay of Istanbul you’ll find one of Istanbul’s top attractions, the Galata Tower. It is located on the North Bank of the Golden Horn and you can take tours up it to view the city overlooking the Bosphorus from its observation deck. It has one of Istanbul’s best views of the Bosphorus and is not to be missed.

The Galata Tower offers the best panoramic views of the city, the Bosphorus, and is an excellent vantage point to gaze upon Old Istanbul. Until the 1960’s it was a watchtower for city fires, but today it is open to tourists to walk around its balcony near the top of the 67 meters (220 feet) high tower. Take a walking tour of the Taksim and Galata neighborhoods where you’ll learn of the Galata Tower, Tunnel Square (second oldest metro in the world), and Dervish Lodge as you walk through its bustling markets and shops.

9. Indulge in Turkish Delight

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

At the foot of the Galata Tower, there is a lovely square where you can sit on the terrace and eat some Turkish Delight while people-watching. However, Turkish Delight is available across Istanbul. Don’t forget to give it a shot.

10. Belly Dancing and Whirling Dervishes

With a restaurant, café, and nightclub where you can enjoy a Turkish show complete with belly dancers and whirling dervishes, the Galata Tower itself is nine stories high. Nothing is cooler than seeing skilled belly dancers and a whirling dervish perform if you want to attend an Istanbul spectacular.

You will be picked up by the 1001 Turkish Nights Performance from your hotel and driven down the Bosphorus to your supper and performance. You may experience belly dancing, a Fasil orchestra, and music. You can select from a selection of wine, gin, vodka, raki, and beer.

A whirling dervish show at Hodjapasha Hamam is one of 30 attractions that are accessible with the Istanbul City Pass.

11. Istiklal street

Things to do in istanbul
Things to do in istanbul

Istiklal Street, which receives approximately 3 million visitors every day, is the lifeblood of Istanbul. The 1.4 kilometre long pedestrian promenade has everything you could want, including theatres, bars, shops, and cafés. This is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for places to go out at night in Istanbul.

Istiklal Street is where we also had our first taste of Turkish Delight and visited the pharmacies to purchase some much-needed prescription drugs. Take the vintage tram all the way to Taksim Square to see the monument to the republic if you don’t feel like walking there.

12. How about visiting Vialand Theme Park

Planning your trip to Istanbul with your Family and Kids then you have to plan one day of adrenaline rush in Istanbul Turkey.

Vialand Theme Park would be a perfect option for spending your day with kids in Istanbul.

Istanbul has an enchanting Ottoman theme which makes for a uniquely Turkish experience. Ride the gargantuan Nefeskesen, Turkish for ‘Breath Taker’, cascade down river rapids, ride a Viking longboat, and more!

Check the tickets for Vialand Theme Park

13. Visit Topkapi Palace Museum

Top Things to do in Istanbul Turkey
Top Things to do in Istanbul Turkey

The home to Ottoman sultans in the 15th and 16th centuries, Topkapı Palace is a treasure trove of architectural and cultural delights.

Expect opulence once you start exploring the palace. The rulers of the Ottoman Empire didn’t skimp on decoration and you’ll see it firsthand as you explore the rooms and gardens of the palace. Make sure to stop in at the treasury to see jewel-encrusted weapons, precious stones, heirlooms, and artworks.

You’ll be mesmerised by the history and heritage inside the palace.

Recommended Tours for Topkapi Palace

That was all about Top Things to do in Istanbul Turkey, Do let us know if we have missed anything from the list.

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