Things to do

What to Visit in Istanbul in 3 Days

Day 1: Sultanahmet – The Historical Peninsula of Istanbul


Hagia Sophia: Start your day with a visit to this architectural marvel, a former church and mosque, now a museum.

Blue Mosque: Just a short walk from Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque is famous for its blue Iznik tiles and six minarets.


Topkapi Palace: Once the residence of Ottoman Sultans, now a museum showcasing imperial collections.

Basilica Cistern: Explore this ancient underground water reservoir with its mystical atmosphere.


Grand Bazaar: End your day with a shopping experience at one of the world’s oldest and largest markets.

Day 2: Beyoğlu and the Bosphorus


Galata Tower: Start with panoramic views of Istanbul from this medieval stone tower.

Istiklal Street: Walk through this bustling street for shopping and historic sites like the Flower Passage and St. Anthony of Padua Church.


Bosphorus Cruise: Take a cruise to enjoy the strait that separates Europe and Asia.

Ortaköy: Visit this charming neighborhood by the Bosphorus, known for its cafes and street food.


Taksim Square: Explore this major tourist and leisure district with lots of dining and nightlife options.

Day 3: Asian Side and Princes’ Islands


Kadıköy: Take a ferry to the Asian side and explore its vibrant markets and street art.

Moda: Walk along the seaside promenade and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.


Princes’ Islands: Take a ferry to these islands for a peaceful escape from the city. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and beautiful views.


Return to European Side: Spend your last evening enjoying a nice meal at one of the many restaurants along the Bosphorus.

Audio Guides of Istanbul

Exploring Istanbul with audio guides is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture. Here are some recommended audio guides for your Istanbul journey:

“Discovering the Sultanahmet District”: This audio guide takes you through the heart of Istanbul’s historical peninsula, covering landmarks like Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.

“The Grand Bazaar Experience”: Navigate through one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with insights into its history and tips on how to haggle.

“Bosphorus: The Soul of Istanbul”: Explore the significance of the Bosphorus Strait with this guide, highlighting both its historical importance and modern-day charm.

“Modern Istanbul: Taksim and Beyoğlu”: Discover the modern and vibrant side of Istanbul, exploring Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, and the cultural hub of Beyoğlu.

“Istanbul’s Culinary Delights”: A guide focusing on the diverse and rich culinary landscape of Istanbul, from street food in Kadıköy to fine dining along the Bosphorus.

“The Artistic Side of Istanbul”: Dive into Istanbul’s art scene, exploring modern galleries, street art in Karaköy, and the Istanbul Modern Museum.

Each guide provides not only historical facts and descriptions but also immerses you in the sounds and ambiance of Istanbul, making for an enriching and engaging experience.

City of Contrasts – Off to Asia!

Istanbul, a city straddling two continents, offers a unique experience of contrasts between its European and Asian sides. Here’s what to explore on the Asian side:

“Kadıköy: The Vibrant Heart of Asian Istanbul”: This guide takes you through Kadıköy’s bustling market, hip cafes, and historical landmarks, highlighting its vibrant street life.

“Moda: Seaside Charm and Relaxed Vibes”: Explore the laid-back neighborhood of Moda, known for its sea views, historical architecture, and trendy eateries.

“Bağdat Avenue: Istanbul’s Fashionable Side”: Stroll down Bağdat Avenue, a major shopping street with a mix of local and international brands, cafes, and restaurants.

“The Princes’ Islands: A Tranquil Escape”: Discover the serenity of the Princes’ Islands, where carriages replace cars and nature walks, and historical mansions abound.

“Beylerbeyi Palace: Ottoman Splendor by the Bosphorus”: Visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, a stunning example of Ottoman architecture, set against the backdrop of the Bosphorus.

“Anadolu Hisarı: Where History Meets Nature”: Explore the historical fortress of Anadolu Hisarı and enjoy the surrounding greenery and waterfront views.

Sultan Palaces & the Charm of the Bosphorus

Istanbul, a city rich in history and culture, is home to several palaces that were once the epicenters of the Ottoman Empire. These palaces, alongside the majestic Bosphorus, offer a glimpse into the city’s glorious past.

Topkapi Palace: Once the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi Palace is now a museum, famous for its exquisite architecture, beautiful courtyards, and extensive collections of artifacts.

Dolmabahçe Palace: Known for its opulent design, the Dolmabahçe Palace blends traditional Ottoman architecture with European styles. It’s located on the shores of the Bosphorus, offering stunning views.

Beylerbeyi Palace: This summer residence of the Ottoman sultans on the Asian side of the Bosphorus showcases lavish interiors and a beautifully landscaped garden.

Çırağan Palace: Once a palace, now a luxury hotel, Çırağan Palace offers a mix of royal history and modern luxury, with panoramic views of the Bosphorus.

Yıldız Palace: Set in a large park of flowers and trees, this palace complex includes a series of pavilions, a mosque, and Yıldız Palace Museum.

Exploring these palaces provides a deeper understanding of Istanbul’s imperial history, with the Bosphorus adding to the city’s unique charm and beauty.

Best Tours Available in Istanbul in 2024 with Tickets & Tips

Istanbul offers a variety of tours for every kind of traveler. Here are some of the best tours available in 2024, complete with ticket information and tips:

Historical Sultanahmet Tour: Discover the heart of old Istanbul. Visit the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. Tickets can be booked online for convenience.

Bosphorus Cruise: A must-do for stunning views of the city from the water. Evening cruises offer a special glimpse of the city lit up at night.

Food and Culture Walking Tour: Explore Istanbul’s culinary scene with a local guide. Taste traditional dishes and learn about the city’s rich food culture.

Princes’ Islands Tour: Escape the city bustle with a trip to these serene islands. Ferries and guided tours are available from the city center.

Shopping and Bazaars Tour: Visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. Guided tours offer insights into the history of these iconic shopping destinations.

Modern Istanbul Tour: Discover the contemporary side of the city with visits to places like Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, and modern art galleries.

Asian Side Discovery: Explore the less-touristy Asian side of Istanbul, including Kadıköy and Üsküdar.

Tips for Touring Istanbul in 2024:

Book tours in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Check for combo tickets that offer access to multiple attractions.

Wear comfortable shoes as many tours involve a lot of walking.

Be prepared for weather changes; bring an umbrella or sun hat as needed.

Always have local currency on hand for small expenses.

Top 10 Most Liked Attractions in Istanbul

Istanbul, a city where history and modernity coexist, offers an array of attractions. Here are the top 10 most liked attractions in Istanbul:

Hagia Sophia: A masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, this former church and mosque turned museum is admired for its massive dome and stunning mosaics.

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii): Known for its six minarets and beautiful blue tiles lining its interior walls.

Topkapi Palace: Once the court of the Ottoman Empire, today it serves as a museum displaying imperial collections, including the Prophet Muhammad’s cloak and sword.

Grand Bazaar: One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with over 4,000 shops offering a variety of goods, from spices to jewelry.

Bosphorus Strait: The natural strait and the international waterway, offering beautiful views and ferry rides between Europe and Asia.

Galata Tower: Offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul’s historic peninsula and its environs.

Dolmabahçe Palace: Known for its luxurious design, the palace combines traditional Ottoman architecture with European styles.

Basilica Cistern: The largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city, known for its Medusa head pillars.

Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar): Famous for its array of spices, dried fruits, nuts, and other edibles.

Süleymaniye Mosque: An Ottoman imperial mosque, it is the largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.

These attractions not only define the rich history and culture of Istanbul but also offer visitors a chance to experience the unique character of the city.

Istanbul with Kids: 15 Top Rated Things to Do

Istanbul offers many family-friendly activities that are enjoyable for kids. Here are 15 top-rated things to do in Istanbul with kids:

Visit Miniaturk: A miniature park with replicas of famous Turkish structures.

Explore Istanbul Aquarium: One of the largest aquariums in the world, showcasing a variety of sea creatures.

Enjoy a Bosphorus Cruise: A fun way for kids to see the city from a different perspective.

Visit Vialand (Isfanbul): An amusement park with rides suitable for all ages.

Discover the Rahmi M. Koç Museum: Offers interactive and educational exhibits on transport, industry, and communication.

Spend a day at Princes’ Islands: Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and nature walks.

Go to Istanbul Toy Museum: Showcases a vast collection of toys from around the world.

Enjoy the Beaches of Istanbul: Such as Kilyos, offering a day of relaxation and fun.

Jurassic Land: An educational and fun experience for kids fascinated by dinosaurs.

Visit the Istanbul Butterfly Farm: A magical experience with various species of butterflies.

Experience the Istanbul Dolphinarium: The largest indoor dolphinarium in Europe.

Explore the Taksim Tram: A nostalgic tram ride that is fun for kids.

Check out the Sea Life Istanbul: An interactive sea life experience.

Visit the Harbiye Military Museum: For kids interested in history and military.

Spend time at City’s Parks: Like Emirgan Park and Yildiz Park, which are great for picnics and playtime.

10 Most Visited Museums in Istanbul

Istanbul, rich in history and culture, is home to some of the most fascinating museums in the world. Here are the 10 most visited museums in the city:

Hagia Sophia Museum: Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum, it is famous for its massive dome and stunning mosaics.

Topkapi Palace Museum: A former royal residence, now displaying an extensive collection of art and artifacts from the Ottoman era.

Istanbul Archaeology Museums: Consisting of three museums, it houses a vast collection, including the Alexander Sarcophagus and the Treaty of Kadesh.

Rahmi M. Koç Museum: Dedicated to the history of transport, industry, and communications.

Dolmabahçe Palace Museum: Known for its luxurious design and the Atatürk Museum section.

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts: Home to a superb collection of Islamic art, including carpets, calligraphy, and ceramics.

Istanbul Modern: Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art.

Chora Museum (Kariye Museum): Famous for its stunning Byzantine mosaics and frescoes.

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum: Houses an extensive collection of calligraphic art, religious and state documents, along with paintings of the Ottoman era.

Pera Museum: Known for its Orientalist painting collection, Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics, and the famous ‘Tortoise Trainer’ by Osman Hamdi Bey.

These museums not only preserve the rich heritage of Istanbul but also offer an insight into its diverse cultural and historical landscape.

Top 10 Most Liked Attractions in Istanbul

Istanbul, straddling two continents, is a city of unparalleled cultural and historical significance. Here are the top 10 most liked attractions in Istanbul:

Hagia Sophia: A marvel of Byzantine architecture, known for its massive dome and rich history.

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii): Famous for its beautiful blue tiles and six minarets.

Topkapi Palace: An opulent palace that was the residence of Ottoman Sultans, now a museum showcasing imperial collections.

Grand Bazaar: One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, a labyrinth of shops selling everything from spices to jewelry.

Bosphorus Strait: The natural strait connecting Europe and Asia, offering scenic beauty and boat tours.

Galata Tower: Provides a panoramic view of Istanbul’s European side, particularly beautiful at sunset.

Dolmabahçe Palace: A stunning example of 19th-century Ottoman architecture, with lavish interiors.

Basilica Cistern: An ancient underground water reservoir with striking columns and carvings.

Süleymaniye Mosque: A grand mosque built by the famous Ottoman architect Sinan, offering serene views of the city.

Istiklal Street: A bustling pedestrian street in the Beyoğlu district, known for its shops, cafes, and historic buildings.

2024 Bosphorus Cruise Best Price

A Bosphorus cruise is a must-do when visiting Istanbul. As of 2024, here’s a guide to getting the best price for a Bosphorus cruise:

Standard Bosphorus Cruise:

Duration: Typically 1.5 to 2 hours.

Price Range: Expect to pay between $15 to $30. Prices vary based on the cruise line and the type of boat.

Features: These cruises usually offer basic amenities with snacks and beverages available for purchase.

Tips for Best Price: Book in advance online for discounts. Avoid peak tourist seasons for lower prices.

Dinner and Sunset Cruises:

Duration: About 3 to 4 hours, usually in the evening.

Price Range: Approximately $50 to $100, including dinner and entertainment.

Features: Live music, traditional Turkish performances, and a full meal.

Tips for Best Price: Look for combo deals that include dinner and entertainment. Group bookings often come with a discount.

Private Bosphorus Cruises:

Duration and Price: Customizable depending on the service provider.

Features: Personalized experience, ideal for special occasions.

Tips for Best Price: Negotiate directly with providers for the best rates. Early booking can sometimes secure better rates.

General Tips:

Compare prices and services of different providers.

Check reviews for quality assurance.

Some cruises may offer discounts for children and seniors.

Enjoy the stunning views of Istanbul from the Bosphorus at the best prices by planning ahead and researching your options.

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