Istanbul in Turkey is the meeting point of the two continents of Europe and Asia. By connecting the east and the west, Turkey has acquired the fame of being a culturally rich city. Starting from the rich grandeur of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, the great number of decorated museums, bustling shopping centers, beautiful mosques, and ever-crowded streets, Istanbul has a lot of awesome things to offer to its curious visitors.
#10: Admire The Beauty Of The Famous Hagia Sophia Mosque
The stunning Hagia Sophia Mosque of Istanbul is a hot spot among tourists. Initially, this architecturally beautiful structure was used as a church for a period of a thousand years. Later, it came to be used as a mosque till 1935. Now, it stands tall as a secular structure, flaunting its impressive designs, exemplary architecture, and captivating interior. The vibrant Christian mosaics equipped with extremely beautiful Islamic calligraphy add to the already-existing charm of the place. The only irritating thing about this place is that you may have to tolerate a long queue before gaining entry into this wonderful place. But it will be worth the wait!
#9: Witness The Vibrancy Of The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s oldest, as well as, the largest fully covered market. Your trip to Istanbul won’t be deemed as ‘complete’ if you don’t visit this busy, vibrant market where you get to see a great range of attractive wares. There are thousands of shops scattered across dozens of narrow, colorful lanes. The kaleidoscope of colorful lanterns, chandeliers, vibrant rugs, cushions and Bohemian wares will present a lovely sight in front of you. On top of that comes a beautiful, historical ambience owing to the looming ancient palace-like framework of the market!
#8: Enjoy A Jazzed-Up Nightlife In Istanbul!
If you wish to experience Istanbul in its rawest form, you simply can’t miss out on staying up and perceiving the vibrant nightlife of this place. Bars and nightclubs stay open till late at night, and if you wish to sip some of the most flavorful drinks, exploring all of these is going to be an incredibly good idea. Taste the best local cuisines at the Galata Bridge. Live the night at Double Meze Bar, and get exquisite night views of Istanbul from the restaurant ‘Anjelique’. It’s time to blend in with the locals at the rocking restaurants, markets, and pubs of Istanbul!
#7: Take a rest in The Serene Gulhane Park
Gulhane Park, or the House of Flowers, is a lovely park situated adjacent to the famous Topkapi Palace of Istanbul. If you ever get bored with the great bustle of urban life in Istanbul, don’t hesitate to pay a visit to this tranquil place and enjoy a few moments in solitude. The sight of the beautiful tulip gardens is sure to impress you. The dazzling blue and bright yellow tulips that bloom here with great vigor will make your heart leap with joy. You can also pay a visit to the zoo that is located within the park premises. Embrace nature, and have an awesome time!
#6: Explore The Rich Architecture Of The Blue Mosque
The famous Blue Mosque of Istanbul is a renowned place that is thronged by tourists throughout the year. Also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this grand structure is an existing example of rich Ottoman architecture. Owing to the sparkling blue color that dominates the exterior domes and interior walls, this place has got its name of ‘The Blue Mosque.’ Its six lofty minarets, rich interior decorations and dazzling lighting arrangements are sure to captivate you like anything.
#5: Gain A Unique Cruising Experience On The Bosporus Strait
Get to know more about the lovely city of Istanbul by cruising down the electric blue waterways. This is probably going to be the unique experience of your life. After all, not many cities offer such grand opportunities to their visitors. Bend the usual norm, and go about exploring the city by not taking the roadways, but the waterways. Get to know the city in a different light, and relax as you move about swiftly in the increasingly calm surroundings. Zoe Yacht and Sehir Hatlari offer the best cruise tours on Bosphorus, so you may consider contacting them to have a wholesome experience on the scenic waterways of Istanbul!
#4: Walk Around The Famous Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is an extremely well-known structure in Istanbul, and it was constructed in the 14th century. It was then used as a dark, hellish dungeon and barracks. Visiting this tower is a must if you wish to gain a picturesque panoramic view of the city surrounding you. Climb the steps of this lovely tower and get a bird’s eye view of Istanbul from the Galata Tower and explore the local streets as you go walking to visit this structure.
#3: Try Out The Delicious Local Cuisines In Istanbul
While touring around Istanbul, you should definitely try out the delicious local cuisine. Our recommendation? Kofte or Turkish meatballs! Mostly made of ground beef and lamb, combined with strong spices, onion, garlic and bread crumbs. Spicy, tender and so tasty! Also, Pide won’t disappoint you. Pide is a kind of special small pizza prepared in a Turkish way. Still hungry? For desert, try out Lokum and Baklava. These are the best Turkish desserts you can have. Where to go? Karakoy Ozsut, Ciya Sofrasi, and Mavi Halic Pide Salonu are some of the most amazing places where you can order the tastiest local Turkish treats for yourself. Keep eating, and have fun!
#2: The Princes’ Islands
The picturesque Princes’ Islands, which are an archipelago in the beautiful Sea of Marmara, is a hot tourist spot in Istanbul. Just take a public ferry from Istanbul, and visit this dreamy place. You just can’t miss out on the awesomeness of this beautiful place that boasts of scenic beauty, sweet breezes, and sparkling waters.
The four core islands of this archipelago include Buyukada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kinaliada. Explore the religious vibrancy of each island because, each of these islands represents a distinct culture.
- The Greek Orthodox Monastery Aya Yorgi situated at the top of a hillock in Buyukada is a must-visit, while you explore this wonderful place.
- Enjoy the rich visual sights of the fantastic wooden houses on the second-largest island of Heybeliada.
- Indulge in water sports while on the island of Burgazada.
- Fill your mind with awe as you go about visiting the island of Kinaliada which is surrounded by incredible henna-hued waters.
#1: Experience The Royal Beauty Of The Topkapi Palace
The location of the famous Topkapi Palace at the meeting point of the Golden Horn and the Marmara Sea adds to its marvellousness. This ornate, skillfully designed palace used to be the royal residence of the Ottoman sultans. And, guess what? They had continued to live in this grand palace for more than four centuries. Isn’t it fascinating? The intricate details of the rich architectural palace and the spectacular view offered by it will give you a strong desire to stay here forever. Explore the large, lavish rooms, exquisite furniture, precious objects and various other artifacts of this beautiful palace. The major attraction of the Topkapi Palace is the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond. This sparkling jewel is a must-see while exploring the beauty of this royal residence. The museum of this palace also features a great collection of jewels, weapons, and various other artifacts of the period.
Top 10 Best Things To See and Do in Istanbul on a Map
Which one of these amazing activities or places in Istanbul appealed to you the most? Let us know in the COMMENTS section below.
To make your travel to Istanbul more exciting, read our article; 22x Traditional Turkish Food You Should Definitely Try