25 Best Things To Do in Istanbul, Turkey


There are numerous things to do in Istanbul, Turkey to keep even the most fidgety individual inhabited. There’s something you require to understand, nevertheless: when you’re sightseeing in Istanbul, you can ignore style. Seriously, you require comfy shoes since you’re going to wish to keep checking out!

Your feet will pulsate at the end of the day, however believe me, it’s oh-so worth it. I’ve never ever gone to a city that’s enthralled me rather as much as Istanbul and even now, after numerous years, I still discover brand-new locations to see.

There’s no city in the world rather like Istanbul; with a history that goes back over 2500 years, you can anticipate to discover a lot of old structures and ruins here, however there’s a lot more to this city than its past. Istanbul mesmerizes me every time, and I’ve gone to on numerous celebrations now, I’ve lost count.

Of course, this is a substantial city– it’s enormous– so you’ll require to understand the very best locations to check out in Istanbul ahead of your journey so you do not wind up losing your time on things that aren’t to your taste. Within this post, I’ll share all my tricks, so you can begin preparing your time.

Best Things To Do in Istanbul

I’ve remained in Istanbul for more than a month at a time on a number of journeys to Turkey, and I return with my spouse every winter season for a minimum of a couple of weeks. I’m fortunate that he has household there and, being Turkish, he understands the location completely and can reveal me the very best areas.

The issue with not understanding the very first thing about Istanbul is that you can quickly get lost and miss out on the very best bits. Istanbul’s tourist attractions abound, however they can likewise be rather a range far from each other. When assisting you put together a travel plan, that’s why this list of things to do in Istanbul will come in really useful.

1. Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque and green trees around of it.

Blue Mosque lacks a doubt among the most gorgeous mosques you’ll ever see in your life, and it’s one of the leading complimentary things to do in Istanbul. I was blown away by the interior decoration, however the exterior is simply as spectacular. It’s worth discussing that this is a working mosque so keep in mind that it will close (and resume) at particular times of the day for prayers.

The surroundings around Blue Mosque is very photographic, however I most take pleasure in merely walking and taking in the tranquil environment; it’s rather uncommon to feel that method in such a huge city. Naturally, this is among the most popular locations to check out in Istanbul, so a guided tour will assist you comprehend more. Click here for more details.

Address: Binbirdirek, At Meydanı Cd No:10, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

2. Dolmabahçe Palace

An historical Dolmabahçe Palace and water in the front.

One of the most jaw-dropping tourist attractions in Istanbul is Dolmabahçe Palace— a location so extravagant it will take you a minute to get your head around it. You can’t take pictures within, which troubled me a little initially since I’m everything about taking pictures, nevertheless, I was so lost in what I was seeing, I totally forgot my electronic camera.

This was the previous home of Atatürk, the creator of the Turkish Republic, however it was initially integrated in 1843 as a palace for the Ottoman sultans. The attention to information is astonishing, and it’s not a surprise this is among the leading locations to check out in Istanbul.

Address: Vişnezade, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

3. Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace surrounded of green trees and sea water.

Topkapı Palace was the primary head office of the Ottoman Empire, and it’s one of the very best things to see in Istanbul. Built in 1465, it’s one of the most popular things to see in Istanbul. I ‘d advise you go as early in the early morning as you can as the lines develop quite rapidly and in my experience, they do not move too quick.

However, when you’re in, you’ll be delighted you waited. The gardens are practically as sensational as the interior, however with gold plated actually whatever, and fantastic views over the Bosphorus, this is a location that will carry you back in time. You might likewise think about a guided tour. I discovered this one actually beneficial for comprehending more about what I was seeing. Click here for details.

Address: Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

4. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise

A man and woman standing in the side of cruise with sunset view and sea

For me, among the coolest things to do in Istanbul is take aBosphorus sunset cruise I’ve been fortunate enough to see dolphins a number of times and I hope you will be too! You can pick a cruise with supper or simply adhere to sightseeing, however having a look at the city from the water is among the very best things to do in Istanbul during the night.

You’ll discover great deals of various business using cruises, however pre-booking takes the inconvenience away. If you decrease to Karaköy ferryboat terminal or Eminönü you’ll see great deals of suppliers offering journeys however picking the best one can be demanding when you’re put on the area and they’re all attempting to get your attention at you simultaneously. Click here for more information and to book.

Address: Most trips leave from Karaköy ferryboat terminal: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Genelev, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

5. Shopping at Cevahir AVM

Inside of the mall, viewing a stair and transparent roof.

If you’re trying to find things to do in Istanbul for kids, particularly on a rainy day, I ‘d advise heading to Cevahir AVM. This is a substantial mall with shops, dining establishments, coffee shops, and a substantial Fun Lab, which is basically a huge amusement center with trips and video games for kids. There’s likewise a movie theater for those aiming to do something inside.

If you check out in December, you’ll see the whole shopping mall embellished for New Year, with a substantial tree (in Turkey, “Christmas” trees are utilized at New Year rather), and a lot of enjoyable activities for the whole household. It’s a fantastic method to beat a cold or rainy day.

Address: 19 Mayıs, Büyükdere Cd. No:22, 34360 Şişli/İstanbul

6. Hagia Sophia

Interior view of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul with yellow dim light

One of the most popular locations to check out in Istanbul is Hagia Sophia. Formerly a mosque, then a church, then a museum, and now a mosque once again, this is among the most gorgeous and earliest structures in Istanbul, going back to537 AD Hagia Sophia sits straight opposite heaven Mosque and the square is colorfully embellished with flowers throughout the year.

It’s complimentary to go into Hagia Sophia, nevertheless, contributions are invited. This is another operating mosque, so keep in mind that it will close for a brief time throughout prayer. A guided tour is constantly suggested to assist you discover more. Click here for more details.

Address: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

7. Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern is the largest ancient underground cistern in Istanbul, which was used to store water in the past and is now a popular tourist attraction.

Basilica Cistern amazed me in all the very best methods possible. This is among the leading traveler destinations in Istanbul, however it’s deep underground, so unless you learn about it, it can be simple to miss out on. Do not let that occur– this is among my preferred things to do around Istanbul.

Built in the year 532, it was initially created to make sure water system to Topkapı Palace, however it’s a lot more than that. The pillars are so elaborately sculpted, and you can even see old statues of Medusa. What stuck out for me was the environment; perhaps it was since I was underground, however I seemed like I was surrounded by whispers of the past.

Queues here can get rather long, so a skip-the-queue tour is a fantastic option. Click here for more information.

Address: Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul

8. Gulhane Park

A small fountain with a mini bridge in the background and a couple of people around.

It may amaze you to find out that there are lots of open, green areas in Istanbul, however Gulhane Park is among the very best and can be discovered straight behind Topkapı Palace. Since the large open areas are perfect for kids to run complimentary and let off some steam, I believe this is one of the finest things to do in Istanbul for households.

The very first time I went to here with my spouse it had actually been snowing a little, and it felt similar to Narnia. If you look carefully, it’s such a gorgeous area with benches, statues, and lots of wildlife. There’s likewise a coffee shop to purchase tea, coffee, sodas, and ice cream.

When you’re preparing your travel plan for Istanbul, I ‘d extremely advise a walk around here, for a break from the stress of Sultanahmet if absolutely nothing else.

Address: Cankurtaran, Kennedy Cad., 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

9. Bosphorus Ferry from Europe to Asia

Blue sky clouds and blue waters on an autumn day in Istanbul. A stream of the Bosphorus Bridge from inside the island Stream boat floating in the Bosphorus.

There are great deals of enjoyable things to do in Istanbul, however I like taking the ferryboat from the European side over to the Asian side, and feeding the seagulls as I go. This is really simply public transportation, as individuals go from one side to the other for work and basic life, however it’s a fantastic experience, and the views are fantastic.

Buy a simit (bagel) from the coffee shop downstairs and toss pieces into the air as the ferryboat takes a trip; the greedy seagulls will thank you and show up in their droves. The crossing takes around 15 minutes and you can sit outside, however absolutely take a coat (even if you believe it’s warm)– those Bosphorus winds can be wicked.

Address: Ferries leave from Eminönü, Beşiktaş, and Karaköy. Eminönü is the busiest port: Hobyar, Reşadiye Cd. No:8, 34112 Fatih/İstanbul

10. Grand Bazaar

Large oldest covered market with different fabric products and cloths sell and crowded people.

One of the very best locations to check out in Istanbul for standard shopping is the Grand Bazaar. Built back in 1455, this is among the oldest and largest covered markets on earth. It’s a labyrinth of stores that requires a minimum of a number of hours to browse however the environment is a lot enjoyable. Since I constantly handle to get some deals,

This is high on my list of locations to check out in Istanbul every time. If you’re checking out with kids, make sure you hold their hands securely as this location can get very hectic, and it’s simple to get captured up in the crowds. Beyazıt, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul


Shoppping arcade with spices and herbal teas in the Spice Bazaar in Istabul.

11. Egyptian Spice Bazaar If you’re on the lookout for some spices to reclaim home, you need toEgyptian Spice Bazaar check out the

in Eminönü. This is another covered market, although much smaller sized than the Grand Bazaar and much easier to browse. It’s an incredibly vibrant location and is an outstanding area for pictures.

Here, you can purchase all way of spices, Turkish pleasure, nuts, and other deals with. It needs to absolutely be on your list of things to see in Istanbul, although it should not take more than an hour to check out. Rüstem Paşa, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul


A woman eating one large fish.

12. Consume Fish at NevizadeNevizade A check out to

is among the leading things to do in Istanbul for couples, and it’s a lively area to check out no matter the time of day or night. There are lots of beer locations here, however it’s most well-known for its long line of seafood dining establishments, all serving the best catch. A meal with some raki on the side is a conventional thing to do.Ney’le Mey’le.

While you’re consuming, you’ll discover artists moving the street serenading ready clients. It can be rather loud, however it’s an actually satisfying experience, and although I’m not the greatest seafood fan, I especially enjoyed my meal at Hüseyinağa, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul


Afternoon on Oratkoy and the mosque

13. Go To OrtaköyOrtaköy Right by the substantial Bosphorus Bridge, you’ll discover the Ortaköy mosque district– an enjoyable area that’s home to food and merrymaking throughout the year. You can likewise check out the gorgeous 1854., which goes back to

If you’ve ever seen any pictures of Istanbul, you’ve more than likely seen one with the mosque and the bridge together.

A check out to Ortaköy is among the leading things to do in Istanbul, and I constantly take pleasure in getting a kumpir (coat potato) from among the outside stalls. You can stack it high with as lots of garnishes as you believe you can handle and it’s a well-known meal from this part of the city. Oh, and waffles! Do not forget the waffles. Ortaköy, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul


Galata Tower, with purple sky and surrounded by buildings.

14. Galata Tower Galata Tower I could not perhaps miss out on

off of this list. This substantial tower has actually examined the city for centuries and is now a museum with a little dining establishment at the top. The views resemble absolutely nothing you’ve ever seen before and use amazing sights right over to the Asian side and beyond.

If you’re terrified of heights, this may not be on your list of things to do in Istanbul, however you can still check out and take pictures from ground level. When you’re walking the top of the tower, it can get crowded, and you’ll require to stroll in a file. Be sure to keep a tight hold of them if you’re taking a trip with kids. Bereketzade, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul. Address: Click here for details.

You can likewise take an assisted trip.

The illustration is a frontal facade showing the symmetry of the structure.

15. Süleymaniye MosqueSüleymaniye Mosque You’ll require some comfy walking shoes to stroll up the quite huge hill to

however it’s more than worth the effort. The mosque complex itself is merely sensational in architecture, and it’s such a tranquil and serene location. The views over the Golden Horn are spectacular. Click here for details and to book.

This is among the very best Istanbul activities for grownups, and there are some great coffee shops around the mosque which use a fantastic location to rest your feet after making the trek to the top. The good news is, strolling pull back is a lot easier. Think about taking a guide with a regional if you desire to find out more. Süleymaniye, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul


Istanbul city lights, view from the Camlica Hill.

16. Çamlıca HillÇamlıca Hill Whenever I wish to leave the stress of the city, I leap in a taxi to

with a bag loaded with treats prepared to take pleasure in the serene vibes. Here, you can see the entire city and catch a few of the very best pictures possible. It’s a genuine enjoy the summertime, however similarly as gorgeous when it’s snowed.

You might state this is among the best-kept secret things to do in Istanbul since it’s tucked behind Üsküdar on the Asian side, and is mainly popular with residents. I like viewing the sundown from here, however even if you do not remain for so long, it’s one of the very best locations to check out in Istanbul. Kısıklı, Çamlıca Tepesi yl No:25/10, 34692 Üsküdar/İstanbul


Soccer filed with two big lights.

17. Go to a Soccer Match Beşiktaş Even if you do not have a specific obligation to an Istanbul soccer group, going to a match is among the leading things to do in Istanbul. I’ve been to see Galatasaray and I’ve been to

a number of times, primarily since my spouse is a huge fan. And I need to state, it’s an enjoyable, family-friendly experience; I actually didn’t anticipate to enjoy it as much as I did!

The crowds can be a little extreme, and there’s a great deal of yelling, however you simply need to go with the circulation and participate in. I visited a Champions League match, and I had a lot enjoyable. If you can, I ‘d absolutely advise capturing a video game. RAMS Park, Huzur Mh., Metin Oktay Caddesi, 34386 Sarıyer/İstanbul


Assorted Turkish food set. Pide with meat; pide with cheese , pide mix, lachmajun

18. Consume Street Food

While making your method through this list of locations to check out in Istanbul, you’re going to develop a hunger. Now, there are many dining establishments, and you must attempt as lots of as you can, however street food is the method to go. For me, Istanbul is the street food city of dreams, and there’s a nearly limitless quantity of things to attempt.

In reality, I ‘d state this is among the very best things to do in Istanbul. You can attempt pide, kokoreç, kumpir, börek, halka tatlısı, balık ekmek, doner, köfte, gözleme, the list goes on. I tend to consume excessive on the go and after that do not desire supper, however there are numerous tasty deals with around, that it’s tough to state no. Cihannüma, Beşiktaş Cd., 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye


A hill with an old structure on the top and surrounded by green trees.

19. Rumeli FortressConstantinople. Once upon a time, Istanbul was continuously under attack from various armies attempting to dominate what was then called Rumeli Fortress To alert of approaching attacks,

was developed on the European side of the Bosphorus, with another castle straight opposite the Asian side. Today, checking out Rumeli Fortress is among the very best things to do in Istanbul.

The factor I like this destination is that it’s wrong in the middle of the city, suggesting you’re currently taking in fresher air. The views from the top are astonishing, and it’s one of the very best locations to check out near Istanbul which is seldom excessively crowded. Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul


Waterfront Buildings in Bebek, Istanbul, Turkey

20. Go To BebekBebek. Hands down, among the very best things to do near Istanbul without being best in the middle of the city is to take an outing to

Located down the Bosphorus, far from Beşiktaş, this seaside area of the city seems like you’re a million miles away when in truth you’re just about 20 minutes far from the Bosphorus Bridge.

Bebek is an upmarket area in Istanbul, and lots of regional television series are recorded here. It’s a fantastic location for seafood and steak dining establishments, however I take pleasure in getting a takeaway coffee and strolling along the waterside, viewing the substantial tankers gradually edging their method along the Bosphorus strait. Bebek, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul


A tower on a small islet, A purple sky, and birds.

Maiden’s Tower 21. Maiden’s Tower

must be on your list of things to do in Istanbul, particularly if you’re checking out as a couple– it’s a stunning and really romantic location to go. There are a great deal of legends about why this tower is stuck in the middle of an islet by itself, however in any case, it’s one of the most well-known sights in the city. private helicopter tour You can consume lunch or supper at the dining establishment inside the tower, however you’ll absolutely require to book a table ahead of time. You can take a remarkableSalacak, Salacak Mevkii, 34668 Üsküdar/İstanbul

over both Maiden’s Tower and Galata Tower, for an experience you’ll never ever forget.

A pavilion set within the outer walls of Topkapi Palace. The tile in script above the main entrance.

Address: Istanbul Archaeological Museum 22. Istanbul Archaeological MuseumTiled Kiosk Museum The The Museum of Ancient Orient.

is loaded with fantastic things to see, and it’s one of my preferred things to do in Istanbul, Turkey on a rainy day. Here, you can see artifacts from throughout history, particularly from the Ottoman duration. This museum becomes part of a trio, consisting of The

and Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

History fans must ensure to take a long time to head here, and it’s a perfect location to check out with older kids too as they’ll find out as they walk around the various exhibits.

Boy and Father Tourists Enjoying Galataport Area View, Cruise Port of Istanbul

Galataport Address: Salt Bae Burger 23. Galataport

is among Istanbul’s most recent tourist attractions, and it’s one of the leading things to see in Istanbul if you’re trying to find great views and food. It’s generally a big shopping mall, however it uses the very best views over to Asia and throughout the Golden Horn. It’s likewise a fantastic area for gastronomy and functions

, part of the Nusr-et chain. Kılıçali Paşa Mah. Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. No: 8 İç Kapı No: 102, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

There are lots of occasions held here throughout the year, and it’s the ideal area for an afternoon coffee with a view. You can head there in the early night, take pleasure in a meal, and examine out an incredible sundown.

Turkish breakfast and tea - kahvalti tabagi


24. Breakfast Street in BeşiktaşEleven Brothers There’s no much better method to begin the day than with a hearty breakfast, and Turkey understands how to do breakfast in design. Understood in your area as kahvalti, this is a half and a banquet, and my preferred ‘foodie thing’ to do. Picture my pleasure when I found that Beşiktaş has an entire street committed to breakfast dining establishments, understood as Kahvalti Sokak.

This is by far among the leading things to do in Istanbul in the early morning, and you’ll be complete up till supper. My preferred breakfast dining establishment is Kahvalti Sokak, Sinanpaşa, Çelebi Oğlu Sk. No:26, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

and they likewise use fantastic desserts, consisting of chocolate-covered crepes.

The Istanbul nostalgic tram on Istiklal avenue. The historic tram is a popular tourist attraction. Awesome view of the street on sunny day.

Address: Nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi Tram 25. Sentimental İstiklal Caddesi Tram

One of the most distinct things to do in Istanbul is to take the

in Taksim. This transfers you from the top of Taksim Square, right to the bottom of İstiklal Caddesi, passing exhausted buyers as you go. You’ll absolutely do your feet a favor by doing this and will get an excellent view of the street to see where you may wish to double back to. Kuloğlu, İstiklal Cd., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

However, the cable car is really little, and there aren’t lots of seats so you must anticipate to queue. It’s likewise rather ‘jerky’ thanks to its age, so keep in mind to hang on tight.


Things To Do in Istanbul: FAQs

Here are some responses to frequently asked concerns about checking out Istanbul:

What is Istanbul understood for?

Istanbul is understood for its abundant history and culture. It’s likewise loaded with modern-day enjoyable and some of the finest food on the world.

When is the very best time to check out Istanbul? Since the weather condition is cooler and it’s much easier to manage the crowds,

November to April are outstanding times to check out Istanbul. It can typically snow in December-February. Regardless of that, Istanbul is a year-round location.

Is Istanbul worth checking out?

Istanbul is 100% worth checking out. History, culture, night life, shopping, gastronomy, nature, fantastic surroundings– what more could you desire?

Istanbul is as safe as any other large city. How lots of days should I invest in Istanbul?

While you will have the ability to see a little part of Istanbul in around 3 days, I would advise remaining for a minimum of a week. This will enable you to see more easily, without needing to hurry around.

Is Istanbul safe?

You merely require to bear in mind to practice sound judgment and take routine security preventative measures such as not strolling with large amounts of money or flashing prized possessions in congested areas.

What is the most popular thing to do in Istanbul?

Exploring the Sultanahmet location is the most popular thing to do in Istanbul. Here, you’ll discover heaven Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Topkapı Palace, and Basilica Cistern. This is the most historical part of the city.

What foods should I attempt in Istanbul? Istanbul is a leading location for foodies. Pide, lahmacun, Börek, and Adana kebab are fantastic alternatives to get you began. Is 3 days enough in Istanbul?

Three days will enable you to see


of Istanbul, however a week will offer you a much better possibility of seeing more.

Can you consume alcohol in Istanbul?

Yes, you can consume alcohol in Istanbul.

Can you kiss in public in Turkey?

Yes, you can kiss in Turkey, however keep in mind that this is a Muslim nation, so honestly kissing in the street might direct some looks your method and draw some undesirable attention.

Can you use shorts in Istanbul?

Yes, you can use shorts in Istanbul, nevertheless, if you wish to check out a mosque, you will require to become long trousers/pants, or a long skirt.

Is Istanbul pricey or inexpensive?

Istanbul is as pricey or inexpensive as you desire it to be. There are lots of methods to cut expenses, such as consuming regional and street food, however there are some very glamorous dining establishments and hotels to select from too.

Is it safe to head out during the night in Istanbul?

Yes, it is safe to head out during the night in Istanbul, nevertheless, just like any big city, it isn’t smart to walk by yourself in peaceful locations or display any of your prized possessions. I ‘d recommend capturing a taxi home rather than strolling if you’re around the Taksim/Beyo ğlu location.

Can a lady travel alone in Turkey?

Yes, a lady can definitely take a trip alone in Turkey as long as she takes the routine security preventative measures that you would take in any nation all over the world. Turkey is a really inviting nation, and lots of ladies take a trip here solo.

In Closing(*) To me, Istanbul is wonderful. I do not understand anybody who’s ever been in the past and not wished to return. I hope that’s the case for you, and with this list of things to do in Istanbul, you’ve got a lot to overcome. (*) While Istanbul may not be the capital city, it’s definitely the greatest without a doubt, and I think it showcases Turkey as the cultural and terrific nation that it is. Yes, it’s well-known for its ludicrous traffic, however look beyond that, and you’ll see a city that’s home to whatever you might perhaps search for in a location, therefore far more. (*).


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