10 Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey

10 Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey

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Stretching from Europe to Asia across the Bosporus, Istanbul greets visitors with fabulous palaces and mosques and a vast head-spinning Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, serving as the country’s economic, cultural and historic hub. The city straddles the Bosporus Strait, lying in both Europe and Asia and has a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey.  Istanbul is the most populous European city and the world’s 15th-largest city.

Things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul has so much to offer one needs at least a week to do it justice. Mirrored in the Golden Horn and the Bosporus linking two continents and two seas, the old Constantinople is a lively city, rich in local colour and heritage sites. The main attractions are all within walking distance but anyone wishing to explore a little further will find cheap reliable public transport from buses to ferries and trams.

10 Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey

Visit the Hagia Sophia Museum

See Agia Sofia, church and mosque now turned into a museum to preserve its unique treasures. Walk up the ramp to the upstairs gallery to view the golden mosaics and the dark cavernous nave below.

Explore the Grand Bazaar

Shop till you drop in Constantinople’s legendary Grand Bazaar with 64 streets and over 3000 boutiques, said to be the largest in the world. Jewellery, textiles, ceramics, lanterns and lights, carpets, copper and wickerware are among favourite buys. If shopping leaves you exhausted, head for the Turkish Baths around the corner.

Take a Bosphorus Cruise

Cruise down the Bosporus past waterside villas, palaces and mosques and under the two suspension bridges spanning the straits. Glance at the ocean liners heading for the Black Sea and if time allows, sail to the Prince’s Islands., Unrivalled cultural sites, exotic shopping, great food and a chance to cruise on the legendary Bosporus, Istanbul is a must-see for any visitor to Turkey.

10 Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey

Visit the Blue Mosque

Choose a quiet time to visit the Blue Mosque and appreciate its lovely stained glass, Koranic inscriptions, and blue Iznik tiles contrasting with the red carpet. It’s a good idea to carry one’s shoes in a plastic bag for safe keeping.

Visit the Topkapi Palace

Allow at least half a day to explore the Topkapi Palace, all glistening tiles, marble columns and gleaming domes set in four consecutive gardens. Visit early to avoid the queues to view the sacred relics and imperial treasures. Enjoy the panorama over the Golden Horn on one side and the Sea of Marmara and Bosporus on the other.

Explore the Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is a famous indoor market in Istanbul, Turkey, where you can find a wide variety of spices, herbs, teas, sweets, and other products. Visitors can taste and purchase traditional Turkish foods, souvenirs, and handicrafts. It’s a great place to explore local culture and culinary traditions.

Visit the Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is an ancient underground water reservoir located in Istanbul, Turkey. Visitors can explore the large cavern and see the impressive columns and lighting effects. It is also possible to take a boat ride through the cistern.

10 Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey

Visit the Dolmabahce Palace

The Dolmabahce Palace is a stunning palace in Istanbul, Turkey that was once the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. It’s known for its opulent design, impressive artwork, and beautiful gardens. Visitors can take guided tours of the palace and explore its many rooms, including the grand ballroom, crystal staircase, and harem quarters.

Take a Turkish Bath (Hamam)

A Turkish Bath, also known as a Hamam, is a traditional Turkish bathing ritual that involves a combination of steam, bathing, and massage. In a Hamam, you can relax and unwind in the steam room, get a scrub and massage, and enjoy a refreshing bath. It’s a popular activity for locals and tourists alike and is a great way to experience Turkish culture and relaxation.

Visit the Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Istanbul Modern Art Museum is a contemporary art museum located in Istanbul, Turkey. It features a collection of modern and contemporary art from Turkey and around the world. Visitors can view various exhibitions, attend events, and participate in educational programs. The museum also has a restaurant and a gift shop.

Image Credit: Depositphotos

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