Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It is located on either side of the Bosporus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, and has been a major trade and cultural center for centuries.
In this post, we will help you to find the best things to do in Istanbul, as well as the most beautiful places in Istanbul for couples and families.
Istanbul is known for its famous attractions such as the Blue Mosque with its stunning blue tiles and grand size, the Hagia Sophia, a former cathedral turned museum, as well as the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.
Istanbul has a rich and diverse food scense, influenced by Turkish, Eastern European, and Mediterranean cuisines. In addition to its delicious food, Istanbul is also famous for its vibrant nightlife, with a plethora of bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from.
37 Best things to do in Istanbul, Turkey
1. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a former Byzantine cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally built as a cathedral in the 6th century AD, and later used as a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in the 15th century.
In 1935, it was converted into a museum, and it remains one of the most visited tourist attractions and best things to do in Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia is a architectural masterpiece that combines Byzantine and Ottoman styles, and is most famous for its spectacular dome. This dome is considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture.
The interior of the building is adorned with beautiful mosaics, frescoes, and marble decorations, and showcases a blend of Christian and Islamic design elements.
Hagia Sophia has a long and storied history, and it has played a significant role in the cultural and religious life of Istanbul for centuries. It remains an important symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
2. Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a historic mosque located in Istanbul. It is named after the blue tiles that adorn its interior walls and is considered one of the most beautiful and iconic landmarks in the city.
The mosque was built in the early 17th century by the Ottoman sultan Ahmed I and is considered a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. It is known for its six minarets, large central dome, and intricate interior decoration.
The Blue Mosque is still an active place of worship, but it is also a popular tourist attraction and is open to visitors during certain hours. Visitors to the mosque are required to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering.
The Blue Mosque is a must-see for anyone visiting Istanbul, as it is a symbol of the city’s rich history and culture.
3. Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with over 4,000 shops and stalls.
Located in the heart of Istanbul’s historic district, the bazaar is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering a wide variety of goods ranging from jewelry, ceramics, and textiles to spices, nuts, and sweets.
The bazaar is also a great place to find traditional Turkish souvenirs and gifts, such as carpets, lamps, and leather goods. It’s a great place to buy gifts for your loved one or for yourselves.
Visitors to the Grand Bazaar can expect to find a bustling, crowded, and lively atmosphere, as merchants and shoppers haggle over prices and browse the many stalls and shops.
The bazaar is open every day except for Sundays, and it is a great place to experience the energy and vibrant culture of Istanbul.
4. Spice Bazaar
The Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, is a historic market located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, known for its colorful stalls filled with spices, dried herbs, nuts, and other food products.
The bazaar is also home to many other types of merchants, including shopkeepers selling jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. The Spice Bazaar is located in the Eminönü neighborhood of Istanbul and is easily accessible by public transportation.
It is open every day of the week, and attracts large crowds of both tourists and locals. The market is known for its vibrant atmosphere and the opportunity it offers to try a variety of Turkish delicacies.
5. Ortaköy Mosque
Ortaköy Mosque, also known as the Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, is a historical mosque located in the Ortaköy neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. The mosque was built in the 19th century and is an important architectural and cultural landmark in the city.
It is known for its distinctive architecture, which combines elements of Ottoman, Baroque, and Rococo styles.
The mosque is located on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait and is a popular tourist destination, particularly due to its picturesque location and views of the water.
Visitors to the mosque are welcome to enter the main prayer hall and explore the grounds, although they are expected to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering.
The mosque is an active place of worship and visitors are asked to be respectful of the religious ceremonies taking place. Ortaköy Mosque is one of the best things to do in Istanbul.
6. Eminonu Square
Eminönü Square is a major public square in Istanbul. Located in the Eminönü district, it is a hub for public transportation and a major tourist destination.
The square is surrounded by a number of historical and cultural landmarks, including the Grand Bazaar, the New Mosque, and the Galata Bridge.
The square is also a popular spot for street vendors and food stalls, offering a variety of local delicacies and souvenirs.
Additionally, the square is home to the Istanbul City History Museum, which showcases the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Overall, Eminönü Square is an important and vibrant part of Istanbul, offering visitors a chance to experience the city’s rich history and culture.
7. Taksim Square
Taksim Square is a major transportation hub, cultural center, and tourist destination in Istanbul, Turkey. It is located in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of the city, and is named after the Taksim Gezi Park located to the north of the square.
The square is surrounded by a number of important buildings and landmarks, including the Republic Monument, the Atatürk Cultural Center, the Taksim Republic Art Gallery, and the Marmara Hotel.
It is also home to a number of popular restaurants, cafes, and shops. Taksim Square is a popular gathering place for both locals and tourists, and is known for its vibrant atmosphere and cultural events.
8. Istiklal street
Istiklal Street is a pedestrian street in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. It is one of the most popular and busiest streets in the city, known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
The street is about 3.5 kilometers long and runs from Taksim Square to Galatasaray Square. It is lined with historic buildings, many of which have been restored and now house embassies, theaters, pubs, and cafes.
The street is also home to the Galatasaray Lycee, a prestigious high school, and the Tünel, the second-oldest subway in the city.
Istiklal Street is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, and it is known for its lively atmosphere, especially at night, making it one of the best things to do in Istanbul.
9. Topkapi Palace
Topkapı Palace is a historical palace located in Istanbul that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1853).
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul, attracting millions of visitors each year.
The palace is located on the Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu), a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus Strait, and the Sea of Marmara. It was built in the 15th century by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II, also known as “Mehmed the Conqueror,” after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
The palace complex consists of several buildings, courtyards, gardens, and exhibits, including the Imperial Harem, the Treasury, and the Museum of Sacred Relics.
Visitors to Topkapı Palace can explore the rich history and culture of the Ottoman Empire through its architecture, art, and artifacts.
Some of the highlights of the palace include the Imperial Council Chamber, where the sultan and his ministers conducted state affairs; the Imperial Treasury, which houses a collection of precious jewels and other valuable objects; and the Harem, the private residence of the sultan and his family.
In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Topkapı Palace is also a popular destination for its beautiful gardens and views of the city. The palace is open to the public year-round, and guided tours are available in a variety of languages.
10. Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace is a historic palace located in the Beylerbeyi neighborhood. It was built in the mid-19th century as a summer residence for Ottoman sultans and their families.
The palace is situated on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Strait and offers stunning views of the water and the city.
The palace is known for its architectural style, which combines traditional Ottoman and European elements.
It has an impressive entrance gate, a grand courtyard, and a main building with several rooms, including a reception hall, a throne room, and private quarters for the sultan and his family.
The palace also has a large garden with a pool, fountains, and various trees and plants.
Today, the Beylerbeyi Palace is open to the public and serves as a museum. Visitors can explore the palace’s rooms and gardens and learn about its history and the daily life of the Ottoman sultans.
The palace is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul and is known for its beautiful setting and rich cultural heritage.
11. Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace is a historic palace, built in the mid-19th century and served as the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly a century.
The palace is located on the European side of Istanbul, on the Bosporus Strait, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
The palace was designed by various architects, including Garabet Amira Balyan and his sons, and is known for its lavish and opulent interiors, which feature a mix of European and Ottoman styles.
It has a total of 285 rooms, 43 halls, and 6 baths, and is adorned with many intricate details, such as gold-plated chandeliers, hand-painted tiles, and ornately carved woodwork.
In addition to its historical and architectural significance, Dolmabahçe Palace is also notable for its role in modern Turkish history. It was the site of several important political events, including the signing of the Mudros Armistice, which ended World War I, and the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey.
Today, the palace is open to the public as a museum, and visitors can take guided tours to learn more about its history and see its beautiful interiors.
12. Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern, also known as the Yerebatan Cistern, is a large underground cistern located in Istanbul. It was built in the 6th century during the Byzantine era to store water for the city’s residents.
The cistern is located beneath the Stoa Basilica, a former public square, and measures approximately 140 meters by 70 meters, with a capacity of approximately 80,000 cubic meters.
It is supported by 336 marble columns arranged in 12 rows, and the ceiling is supported by smaller brick vaults.
The cistern is open to the public and is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul, known for its beautiful architecture and the tranquil atmosphere created by the sound of the water and the dim lighting.
13. Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a public space in Constantinople that was used for chariot races and other public events. It was built in the 4th century AD and was a major attraction in the city for centuries.
The Hippodrome was located in the center of Constantinople, near the Hagia Sophia and other major landmarks. It was oval in shape and could hold up to 100,000 spectators.
The Hippodrome was also used for ceremonies, parades, and other public events. It was destroyed in the Nika riots of 532 AD and was later rebuilt, but it eventually fell into disrepair and was largely demolished in the 13th century.
Today, only a few fragments of the original Hippodrome remain, including the Obelisk of Theodosius and the Serpent Column. These can be seen in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul.
14. Walls of Constantinople
The walls of Constantinople were a series of defensive walls that surrounded the city of Constantinople. They were built in the 5th century AD, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius II, to protect the city from foreign invasions and attacks by barbarian tribes.
The walls were about 4.5 meters (15 feet) thick and stood about 12 meters (40 feet) tall, and were made of brick and stone. There were a total of three walls, each one built on top of the other.
The outermost wall was about 6 kilometers (4 miles) in length, and was surrounded by a moat that was about 30 meters (100 feet) wide.
The walls also had a number of towers and gates, which were used for defense and as entry points into the city.
The walls were heavily fortified and were considered to be impregnable, and they played a crucial role in the city’s defense throughout its history.
15. Süleymaniye mosque
The Süleymaniye Mosque is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built in the 16th century and is one of the largest mosques in the city.
The mosque was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and was designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.
The Süleymaniye Mosque is an important architectural and cultural landmark in Istanbul, and it attracts many visitors each year. It is known for its beautiful decorations, large courtyard, and four minarets (tall, slender towers).
The mosque is also home to a complex of buildings that include a library, madrasas (Islamic schools), and a hospital.
The Süleymaniye Mosque is a key example of Ottoman-style architecture, and it is considered one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the world.
16. Rustem Pasha Mosque
The Rustem Pasha Mosque is a 16th-century Ottoman mosque, which was built between 1561 and 1563 by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Rustem Pasha, who was a powerful grand vizier (minister) under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.
The mosque is known for its beautiful Iznik tiles, which cover the walls and dome of the building. It is also notable for its size, as it is one of the smaller mosques in Istanbul.
The Rustem Pasha Mosque is an important example of Ottoman architecture and is a popular tourist destination in the city.
17. Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is a historic tower located in the Galata district, which was the financial and commercial center of the city in the medieval period.
It was built in 1348 as part of the defense system of the Genoese colony in Constantinople (now Istanbul). The tower stands at a height of 66.9 meters (220 feet) and offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck.
It has been used for a variety of purposes over the years, including as a watchtower, a fire lookout tower, and a communication tower.
Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and is also used as a restaurant and café.
18. Galata Bridge
The Galata Bridge is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul. It was completed in 1845 and connects the Galata district on the north side of the Golden Horn with Eminönü on the south side.
The bridge is used by both pedestrians and vehicles, and it is a popular spot for tourists to take in the views of the city.
The lower level of the bridge is reserved for cars, while the upper level is a pedestrian walkway. There are also several restaurants and shops along the bridge.
The Galata Bridge has become an iconic symbol of Istanbul and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
19. The Museum of Innocence
The Museum of Innocence is a museum in Istanbul, Turkey, founded by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. The museum is based on Pamuk’s novel of the same name, which tells the story of Kemal, a wealthy businessman, and his obsessive love for a poor relative, Füsun.
The museum is located in the Çukurcuma neighborhood of Istanbul and contains over 4,000 objects that are mentioned in the novel, including everyday objects, photographs, and other ephemera.
The Museum of Innocence was established in 2012 and is housed in a 19th-century building that has been carefully restored. Visitors to the museum can view the objects on display and learn about the characters and events depicted in the novel.
The museum also hosts various cultural events and exhibits, including art exhibitions, concerts, and lectures.
The Museum of Innocence is a unique and interesting attraction in Istanbul, offering visitors a chance to delve into the world of Orhan Pamuk’s novel and explore the city’s rich cultural history.
20. Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum in Istanbul is a museum located in the Eminönü district, near Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace.
It was founded in 1891 by Osman Hamdi Bey, who was an Ottoman archaeologist, painter, and curator, and is one of the oldest museums in Turkey.
The museum houses a collection of artifacts from various civilizations and cultures that have lived in Anatolia, including the ancient civilizations of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, and Persians, as well as the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
The museum is divided into several sections, each dedicated to a specific period or civilization. Some of the highlights of the collection include the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, the Sarcophagus of Tabnit, the Sarcophagus of the Crying Women, and the Alexander Sarcophagus.
The museum also has a rich collection of coins, jewelry, and other artifacts from various periods.
In addition to its permanent collection, the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul also hosts temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year.
If you’re interested in ancient history and archaeology, the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul is definitely worth a visit.
21. Istanbul Art Museum
The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (İstanbul Modern Sanat Müzesi) is a contemporary art museum located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon with the family.
The museum was founded in 2004 and is dedicated to modern and contemporary art from Turkey and around the world.
It features a collection of more than 8,000 works by Turkish and international artists, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video and multimedia installations.
The museum is housed in a former warehouse on the Bosphorus waterfront, and features three floors of exhibition space.
The museum’s permanent collection includes works by artists such as İlhan Koman, Burhan Doğançay, Mustafa Ata, and Ali Elmacı.
It also hosts temporary exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs. The museum is open to the public, and admission fees apply.
22. The Turkish Islamic Art Museum
The Turkish Islamic Art Museum is a museum dedicated to showcasing the rich history of Islamic art and culture in Turkey and the surrounding region.
The museum is home to a wide variety of Islamic artifacts, including manuscripts, ceramics, textiles, and metalwork.
Many of the objects in the museum’s collection date back to the Ottoman Empire, and the museum also features exhibitions on the art and culture of other Islamic societies around the world.
The Turkish Islamic Art Museum is a popular attraction for visitors to Istanbul, and is considered one of the city’s most important cultural institutions.
23. Chora Church (Kariye Museum)
The Chora Church (Kariye Müzesi, Kariye Camii in Turkish) is a medieval Byzantine Greek Orthodox church, located in the Edirnekapı, in Fatih district.
The Chora Church is considered one of the most important surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and mosaic art in Istanbul. It was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire, and in 1948 it was converted into a museum.
The church’s original dedication was to the Holy Savior (Christ), but it is known as the Chora Church (meaning “in the country” in Greek) because it was located outside the walls of the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul).
The church is famous for its elaborate mosaics and frescoes, which depict scenes from the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. It is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.
24. Pera Museum
The Pera Museum is is considered an important cultural institution in the city. Located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, it is housed in a historic building that was once the home of the İstanbul Oriental Hotel.
The museum is known for its collections of Orientalist paintings, European art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and Turkish art from the Republican period.
One of the highlights of the Pera Museum’s collection is the Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics Collection, which includes a wide variety of ceramics and tiles from the Ottoman Empire.
The museum also has a collection of Orientalist paintings, including works by European artists who were inspired by their travels in the Ottoman Empire.
The Pera Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, talks, and other cultural events. It is a popular destination for visitors to Istanbul.
25. Rahmi M . Koç Museum
The Rahmi M. Koç Museum focuses on the history of transportation, industry, and communication. Located in the Hasköy area, the museum occupies an area of more than 60,000 square meters.
It is divided into several sections, including a section on land transportation, a section on water transportation, a section on air transportation, and a section on communication.
The museum was founded by Turkish businessman Rahmi M. Koç, and it houses a collection of more than 100,000 artifacts related to the history of transportation, industry, and communication, including vehicles, boats, airplanes, trains, and communication equipment.
Apart from the exhibits, the museum also has a library, a workshop, and a cafe.
The museum is open to the public and popular destination for students and families, as well as for those interested in the history of transportation, industry, and communication.
26. Fener Balat Walking tour
Fener and Balat are two neighborhoods located in Istanbul that are known for their historic and cultural significance, as well as their charming streets and colorful houses.
A walking tour of Fener and Balat is a great way to learn more about Istanbul’s history and culture, and to explore some of the hidden gems of the city.
Some possible highlights of a Fener and Balat walking tour are:
The Fener Greek Patriarchate – a spiritual center of the Greek Orthodox community in in the Fener neighborhoodand one of the world’soldest Greek Orthodox churches. It is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture.
The Chora Museum – Located in the Kariye neighborhood, this museum is close to Fener and Balat. It is home to a collection of beautiful Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, as well as a chapel with some of the world’s most well-preserved Byzantine frescoes.
The Balat Synagogue – Located in the Balat neighborhood, this synagogue is one of the oldest in Istanbul and is an important place of worship for the city’s Jewish community. It is also a great example of Ottoman-era architecture.
The Fener Rum Patriarchate High School – Located in the Fener neighborhood, this school is known for its beautiful architecture and gardens. It was founded in the 19th century by the Greek community in Istanbul and has a rich history.
The Fener Greek Primary School – Located next to the Fener Rum Patriarchate High School, this school is a great example of 19th century Ottoman architecture. It was also founded by the Greek community in Istanbul and has a long and storied history.
These are just a few of the many possible attractions of a walking tour of Fener and Balat. There are many other historical and cultural sights to discover in these neighborhoods, as well as charming streets and colorful houses to explore.
27. Maiden’s Tower
Maiden’s Tower, also known as Leander’s Tower or Tower of Leander, is located on a small islet in the Bosphorus Strait. It is often depicted in films, literature, and art.
The tower is believed to have been built in the 12th century, although some historians believe it may be even older. It has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years.
The tower is a hexagonal structure with a conical roof, and it stands on a platform that is supported by pillars.
It is believed that the tower was originally used as a lighthouse, although it has also served as a watchtower, a customs house, and a quarantine station.
Today, the tower is open to the public and visitors can climb to the top for a panoramic view of the Bosphorus Strait and the city of Istanbul.
28. Princess Islands
The Princess Islands (Adalar in Turkish) are a chain of nine small islands in the Sea of Marmara, located south of Istanbul.
The islands are named after Princess Irene, the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII. The islands are a popular tourist destination for both locals and tourists, and are known for their natural beauty, historical landmarks, and tranquil atmosphere.
The islands are easily accessible from Istanbul by ferry, and offer a range of activities such as swimming, hiking, and picnicking.
The largest and most populous island in the group is Büyükada, which is home to several churches, monasteries, and mansions from the Ottoman period.
The other islands in the group include Heybeliada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, Sedef Adası, Yassıada, Sivriada, Tavşan Adası, and Kaşık Adası.
29. Whirling Dervishes Show
The Whirling Dervishes are also known as the Mevlevi Order, named after the 13th-century poet and Sufi mystic Rumi, who was a member of the order.
The Whirling Dervish Ceremony, also known as Sema, a spiritual ritual that involves the whirling dervishes wearing long white robes and tall conical hats as they spin in circles to music.
If you’re interested in seeing a Whirling Dervishes performance, you can check performance schedules at the Galata Mevlevi Museum and the Hodjapasha Dance Theater.
30. Cruise the Bosphorus
The Bosphorus is a narrow strait that separates Europe and Asia. Connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, it is an important waterway for both commercial and recreational shipping.
One way to see the Bosphorus is to take a cruise along its length. There are sightseeing cruises and dinner cruises.
On the cruises, you can enjoy live music entertainment, and admire views of iconic attractions such as the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge, and the Suleymaniye Mosque.
Cruises typically depart from ports in Istanbul and travel north or south along the Bosphorus. Some stop at popular destinations along the way, such as the historic fortress of Rumelihisarı or the charming village of Anadoluhisarı.
Take a romantic dinner cruise along the Bosphorus, with live music and traditional Turkish cuisine are great activities for couples.
There are many reputable tour operators that offer Bosphorus cruises, and it is a good idea to research and compare options to find the best fit for your interests and budget.
It is recommended to book a cruise in advance, as they can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist season.
31. Take the Local Commuter Ferry
The local commuter ferry is a popular and convenient mode of transportation in Istanbul, Turkey. The ferry system in Istanbul operates on two main routes: the European side and the Asian side of the city.
The ferry system serves as a link between the two sides of Istanbul, and it is an important transportation option for locals and tourists alike.
To take the local commuter ferry in Istanbul, you will need to purchase a ticket. Tickets can be purchased at ferry terminals or onboard the ferry. The fare depends on the route and the type of ticket you purchase.
You can also purchase an IstanbulKart, which is a prepaid electronic ticket that can be used on the ferry and other forms of public transportation in Istanbul.
Once you have your ticket, you can board the ferry at one of the many terminals located throughout the city. The ferry ride is a great way to see the city from the water and to get a different perspective on Istanbul.
The ferry system is reliable and runs frequently, making it a convenient option for getting around the city.
32. Relax in a Turkish Hamam
Turkish bath is a traditional Turkish hamam, and a type of public bathhouse that originated in the Ottoman Empire. It is a place where people go to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate bodies and minds.
A typical hamam experience begins with a full-body wash, followed by a massage with a special mitt called a kese. After the massage, you will be given a traditional foam bath and then given time to relax in the hot room.
The hot room, also known as the hararet, is a steamy, warm room where you can rest on a marble slab called a gobek tasi.
If you are visiting Istanbul and want to experience a traditional Turkish hamam, there are many options to choose from. Some of the most famous hamams in Istanbul include the Cagaloglu Hamam, the Galatasaray Hamam, and the Suleymaniye Hamam.
It is recommended to make a reservation in advance, as hamams can get busy and you want to ensure you get the best possible experience.
This is a great thing to do for a coupes, a traditional way to relax and rejuvenate the body. Overall, a visit to a Turkish hamam is a unique and enjoyable experience that is not to be missed when visiting Istanbul.
33. Turkish food
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is known for its rich and diverse culinary scene. There are many traditional Turkish dishes that are popular in Istanbul such as:
- Köfte is a type of meatball made with ground lamb or beef, mixed with spices and herbs. It is often served with rice or vegetables.
- Doner kebab is a type of meat that is cooked on a spit and shaved off as it rotates. It is typically served in a sandwich with vegetables and sauces.
- Börek is a type of savory pastry made with thin layers of phyllo dough and filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. It is often served as a snack or appetizer.
- Lahmacun is a thin, crispy flatbread topped with a mixture of ground meat, onions, and spices. It is often served rolled up with vegetables and sauces.
- Manti is a type of dumpling filled with meat and served in a yogurt sauce. It is often topped with chili pepper and paprika.
These are just a few examples of the many delicious dishes that you can find in Istanbul. If you visit the city, be sure to try some of these traditional Turkish foods!
34. Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is a traditional method of preparing coffee that originated in the Ottoman Empire. It is made by boiling finely ground coffee beans with water and serving it in small cups. The coffee is prepared in a special pot called a cezve and is typically served with water and sometimes Turkish delight or other sweets.
To try Turkish coffee when visiting Istanbul, you can visit a traditional Turkish cafe or restaurant and order a cup of Turkish coffee. It is also common to find street vendors selling Turkish coffee in busy areas and tourist attractions.
When ordering Turkish coffee, you can specify how you would like it prepared – for example, “sade” (plain), “orta” (medium sweet), or “şekerli” (sweet). It is also common to add spices such as cardamom to the coffee.
As a traditional and integral part of Turkish culture, trying Turkish coffee is a must-do when visiting Istanbul or any other city in Turkey.
35. Istanbul Aquarium
Istanbul Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Istanbul for families with kids. It is one of the largest aquariums in Europe, with more than 15,000 different marine and freshwater animals representing over 1,500 species.
The aquarium is home to a variety of marine animals, including sharks, rays, eels, and a wide range of fish species. It also features a number of interactive exhibits, including a touch tank and a virtual reality ride.
In addition to the aquarium exhibits, the facility also includes a 3D cinema, a shopping area, and a food court.
The Istanbul Aquarium is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, and is a great place to learn about marine life and the importance of conservation.
36. Maçka Park
Maçka Park is a large public park located in the Maçka neighborhood. It is surrounded by several important sights, including the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Istanbul Military Museum, and the Maçka Democracy and Freedom Monument.
The Istanbul Military Museum is located within the park and features a collection of military artifacts, weapons, and uniforms from different periods of Turkish history. The museum also has exhibits on the history of the Turkish military and its role in the country’s development.
Maçka Park is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, and offers a variety of recreational activities such as walking, jogging, and picnicking.
The park is also home to a number of cafés and restaurants, as well as a children’s playground and a small lake. It is a great place for families and couples to relax.
37. Haydarpaşa Train Station
Haydarpaşa Train Station is a major railway terminal located in the Haydarpaşa. It was completed in 1908 as the terminus of the Baghdad Railway, and it has served as the primary hub for passenger rail service in Istanbul and the surrounding region ever since.
The station is a terminus for several long-distance and regional rail lines, including the Istanbul-Ankara high-speed rail line.
It is also the starting point for the suburban trains that serve the city and its suburbs. The station is named after Haydar Pasha, a general in the Ottoman Army who served as the governor of Baghdad.
Haydarpaşa Train Station is a historic building, and it is considered an important example of the Ottoman Revival style of architecture. It is a popular tourist attraction, and it is often used as a backdrop for photographs and film shoots.
In recent years, there have been plans to renovate and restore the station, as well as to build a new terminal nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I be careful of in Istanbul?
When visiting, it is important to be mindful of pickpockets and scams, particularly in tourist areas. It is also a good idea to be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as dressing modestly when visiting mosques. Additionally, be mindful of traffic and pedestrian safety when navigating the city, as roads can be busy and crowded.
What is the most beautiful part of Istanbul?
The most beautiful part of Istanbul is the Bosphorus Strait. The waterway separates Europe and Asia, and it offers stunning views of the city’s skyline. The historic mansions and modern skyscrapers that line the banks of the Bosphorus are a sight to behold. It’s a must-see destination for any visitor to Istanbul.
What are unique things to do in istanbul?
Some unique things to do include visiting the Hagia Sophia; taking a boat ride through the Bosphorus Strait to see the city’s skyline and iconic landmarks; trying local cuisine like kebabs and baklava; shopping at the Grand Bazaar; and exploring the city’s many parks like the Gardens of Gülhane. Additionally, you can visit the Topkapı Palace and the Galata Tower.
What are best things to do in istanbul for couples?
Istanbul is a romantic city with many things to do for couples such as visiting the iconic Hagia Sophia, strolling through the Grand Bazaar, watching a traditional Turkish dance performance, and taking a sunset cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, as well as visit the Topkapi Palace or dine at a rooftop restaurant with views of the city.
What are the best things to do in Istanbul with family?
Istanbul is a city with a rich history and cultural heritage, making it an ideal destination for families. Some things to do in Istanbul with your family include visiting the iconic Hagia Sophia, exploring the Grand Bazaar, and taking a boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait. You can also visit the Topkapi Palace, take a walk through the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, and enjoy a traditional Turkish meal.
What are the best things to do in Istanbul at night?
Istanbul is a vibrant city that comes alive at night. Some of the best things to do in Istanbul at night include visiting the Grand Bazaar for some late night shopping, trying some delicious Turkish street food, or checking out a traditional Turkish music performance at a local venue. You could also take a walk along the Bosphorus Strait to enjoy the city’s stunning waterfront views, or visit a rooftop bar for a cocktail with a view.
Istanbul is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are many reasons to visit. Some of the top reasons to visit Istanbul include:
Cultural heritage: Istanbul is home to numerous historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapı Palace. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past, and are must-see attractions for any visitor.
Delicious food: Istanbul is known for its delicious food, which is influenced by a blend of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines. You can find a wide variety of dishes to try, from kebabs and meze platters to baklava and other sweet treats.
Beautiful architecture: The city is home to a wide range of architectural styles, from Byzantine and Ottoman to modern skyscrapers. There’s always something new to discover, whether you’re exploring the winding streets of the old city or gazing up at the city’s modern skyline.
Vibrant nightlife: Istanbul has a lively nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a casual evening out or an all-night party, you’ll find plenty of options in Istanbul.
Shopping: The city is home to a number of shopping districts, including the Grand Bazaar and the streets around Istiklal Avenue. You can find everything from traditional Turkish handicrafts to designer clothing and accessories.
Scenic beauty: Istanbul is located on the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia. The city’s unique location offers stunning views of the water and the surrounding landscape.
Overall, Istanbul is a city with something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or just soaking up the atmosphere of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
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So you have it, the 37 best things to do in Istanbul. I hope this post help you plan the next trip the capital of Turkey.