Things to do in Istanbul

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  • 1

    Hagia Sophia

    Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul Turkey
    216 reviews

    This is one of the most important historical sites in Istanbul so make sure you visit it while you are in the city. The history behind Aya Sofia is just amazing so make sure you do your home work before you go. Although the Turkish government has signed a law to provide free entrance to all public museums for members ...

    Popular withHistoryDesignLocal
  • 2

    Blue Mosque

    Istanbul, Turkey
    154 reviews

    A beautiful Mosque built in the early 1600's by Ahmed 1. The legend is that the Sultan wanted gold minarets for this mosque, however the architects misinterpreted him and built 6 minarets instead. For a long time it held the record for most minarets, not however there is the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi with 10 minarets in Medina and the Al-Masjid al-Harām ...

    Popular withHistoryDesignLocal
  • 3

    Grand Bazaar

    Cankurtaran Mh, Tevkifhane Sk 1, Istanbul, Turkey
    125 reviews

    The Grand Bazaar is all about Sensory Overload! There is anything you can possibly think of. I thought it was a good experience because when in Istanbul it is one of those "must see" things. I actually preferred the Spice Market... Much more manageable and interesting.

    Popular withLocalHistoryBudget
  • 4

    Topkapı Palace

    Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul 34122 Turkey
    106 reviews

    With its enormous courtyards and numerous opulent pavilions, Topkapi Palace will take a good of the day get through. The palace is remarkably well preserved with stunning tile intact. There are so many exhibits, including huge diamonds and gemstones, as well as a sacred relic section that includes the staff of Moses, cooking pot of Abraham, sword of David and ...

    Popular withHistoryLocalDesign
  • 5

    The Spice Bazaar

    Istanbul, Turkey
    98 reviews

    Located in Eminönü, Spice Bazaar is the second largest bazaar after the Grand Bazaar, known as the center for spice trade in Istanbul. Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, it has far more things than spices alone: it is truly a food haven and one of the best locations for photography.

    Popular withLocalFoodiesDesign
  • 6

    Basilica Cistern

    86 reviews

    Orhan Pamuk says Istanbul has a ‘subconscious’. If it literally existed, The Basilica Cistern would serve as a portal to it. Built by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus I to provide water to the palace, the Cistern spreads over an area about 10.000 sqmeters. Its massive pillars, low-key lighting and the upside down Medusa heads render the place even more haunting.

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  • 7

    Taksim Square

    Gümüşsuyu Mh., Sıraselviler Cd 7, Istanbul, Turkey
    75 reviews

    This area is definitely the place to be on Thursday through Saturday nights. You can definitely get the local flavour of clubbing and drinking in Turkey. One recommendation here is obviously to try the Raki, the turkish national liquor. Take it chilled with equal parts mineral water, or if you are really brave (or stupid) try it straight.

    Popular withLocalStudentsNightlife
  • 8

    Bosphorus Bridge

    Arnavutköy Mh., Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
    75 reviews

    Very cool when it is lit up at night and is best seen in Ortakoy on the Golden Horn side of the bridge. You will be lucky if you find a restaurant that has a good view of the bridge. It was officially opened in 1973 and at the time was the 4th longest suspension bridge in the world. It ...

    Popular withDesignHistoryAdventure
  • 9

    Galata Tower

    Bereketzade Mahallesi, 34420 Istanbul, Turkey
    59 reviews

    Totally underrated! I read about it but it was never on my must-see list and I think it is absolutely the best first stop to make in Istanbul! It gives you tremendous perspective of the city surrounds and the building itself conveys the strong history of the city.

    Popular withHistoryLocalDesign
  • 10

    Galata Bridge

    Karaköy-Eminönü Verbindung, Istanbul, Turkey
    56 reviews

    One of the great Istanbul's experiences is walking across the Galata Bridge. It's most magical to see people come for fishing, smoking tobacco on the bridge. There're a lot of seagulls flying over the sea.

    Popular withLocalAdventureOutdoor
  • 11


    Piyalepaşa Blv, Istanbul Turkey
    48 reviews

    Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as Pera (meaning "Across" in Greek) during the Middle Ages, and this name remained in common use until the early 20th century and the establishment of the Turkish Republic.The district encompasses other ...

    Popular withLocalNightlifeStudents
  • 12

    Sultanahmet Square

    51 reviews

    The heart of the Historical section of Istanbul, this is the intersection of some of the most special places in the city. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Sistern, are all connected by this colorful square. Have a coffee and take it all in. The Obelisk of Theodosiusis also in the heart of the square.

    Popular withHistoryLocalOutdoor
  • 13

    Dolmabahçe Palace

    Vişnezade Mh., 34357 Istanbul, Turkey
    41 reviews

    The restoration process ruined the beauty of the place, however still a must to visit while you're in town

    Popular withHistoryLocalDesign
  • 14

    Historic Areas of Istanbul

    Istanbul, Turkey
    36 reviews

    History of this proud country is phenomenal! The Bazaar - the big one- is a must see; plan several hours, and buy lots of stuff b/c the prices are really outstanding.... you must bargain though. Do so in a friendly manner with self deprecating humor, and you'll make an instant friend of the shopkeeper. They are fast, they are sharp, ...

    Popular withHistoryLocalDesign
  • 15

    Istanbul Modern

    4 Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi Liman Sahasý Antrepo, Istanbul Turkey
    30 reviews

    Istanbul Modern is a very cool modern art museum that took over an old warehouse along the Bosphorus. It is the first museum in Turkey to feature modern art by Turkish artists. After browsing the exhibits, be sure to stop at the restaurant for a drink or lunch--there is a patio with great views of the Bosphorus.

    Popular withDesignLocalStudents
  • 16

    The Princes Islands

    28 reviews

    I was lucky enough to spend a whole day at Büyükada Island. Sometimes the huge city of Istanbul can be overwhelming and a day trip to these islands can be exactly what you need. My main destination on my trip here was the Agia Yorgi Church and Monastery which dates back to the 6th century. I would recommend getting a ...

    Popular withLocalOutdoorHistory
  • 17

    The Bosphorus Strait

    29 reviews

    The Bosphorus is one of the most geopolitically significant bodies of water in the world. It separates Europe from Asia and the Black Sea from, eventually, the Aegean and Mediterranean. It is the life blood of the Istanbul, where oil tankers go by constantly, people sit around smoking or drinking tea and where thousands of fishermen come out every day ...

    Popular withOutdoorHistoryLocal
  • 18


    30 reviews

    In my opinion, if you happen to have only 30 minutes in your life to spend in Istanbul, I would choose the Eminönü Pier. Here you will see Istanbul´s vibrant city life, with spectacular view of the Galata Tower, the city ferries entering and leaving, to carry the people all over the city, including the Asian part of the city ...

    Popular withLocalHistoryBudget
  • 19


    29 reviews

    The ferries in Istanbul are great. They come often, are very inexpensive and are a good way to avoid traffic getting to and from the European and Anatolian side. There are also ferries that can take you to the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara

    Popular withLocalOutdoorBudget
  • 20

    New Mosque

    Yeni Cami Cd, Istanbul 34116, Turkey
    25 reviews

    The New Mosque of Eminönü is not as new as it name promises. Since 1665 this mosque is part of the Old Istanbul Skyline. It took 68 years to built the mosque. Entering the Eminönü pier by boat, gives you a fantastic view of the mosque.

    Popular withHistoryLocalDesign
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