What to see in Istanbul: the 19 best attractions and things to do

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

A little bit of Asia and a little bit of Europe, a place where East and West blend harmoniously... We are talking about Istanbul, the ancient Constantinople, a city that for centuries has had a strong appeal and a great charm. If you are looking for a holiday where mystery and beauty go hand in hand, where the desire to visit monuments and churches is directly proportional to the inevitable temptation to go shopping in typical shops and markets, then Istanbul is the city for you. The Turkish metropolis retains all its oriental charm, between dream architecture and streets that smell of spices, thanks to the bazaars present in every corner of the city.

Here is a guide on what to see in Instabul, the best attractions and things to do!



Index

  1. Blue Mosque
  2. Aya Sofya
  3. Topkapi Palace
  4. Basilica Cistern
  5. Grand Bazaar
  6. Spice Bazaar
  7. Galata Tower
  8. Suleiman the Magnificent Mosque
  9. Dolmabahçe Palace
  10. Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square
  11. archaeological Museum
  12. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art
  13. Fatih district
  14. Istanbul modern
  15. Fener district
  16. Ortaköy Mosque
  17. Church of San Salvatore in Chora
  18. Museum of Islamic History of Science and Technology
  19. Racecourse
  20. Other attractions to visit
  21. 10 things to do in Istanbul
  22. User questions and comments

Are you looking for a hotel in Istanbul? We have selected the best offers on Booking.com for you.


1 - Blue Mosque

The Turks call her Sultan Ahmet Camii, for us Europeans this evocative and mystical place of prayer it is known as the Blue Mosque.

The exterior of the building is striking the harmony and elegance of its forms. Six imposing minarets underline its beauty; the game of domes is brilliant: a central dome flanked by four half domes around which other smaller half domes push the visitor's gaze towards the sky.

But the even more beautiful wonder is yet to come because it is located inside the sacred building. The interior of the religious structure is indeed covered with over 20 thousand colored ceramic tiles, whose predominant shades are turquoise and blue (hence the name). This stylistic choice, associated with the play of lights created by the numerous windows on the domes, has made this very important place of prayer in a welcoming and fascinating environment.

Leads barefoot and with shoulders and knees strictly covered; women also have the obligation to cover the head. The show is really worth the price of this small "sacrifice".


Wake up early: it is one of the most visited and most photographed places in the whole city! If you want to take a photo without people, wake up at dawn to get there before everyone else, it will definitely be worth it.


  • 5 minutes walk from the Hagia Sophia museum taking Sultan Ahmet Parki, otherwise by tram 11 from Zeytinburnu Station, direction Kabatas, after 15 stops get off at Sultanahmet - Get directions
  • every day 8: 30-11: 30, 13: 00-14: 30 and 15: 30-16: 45, Fri from 13:30
  • free

2 - Aya Sofya

Among the most important symbols of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia is famous not only for its complex historical story, but also for being one of the greatest architectural works in the world, by size and beauty.

Built between 532 and 537 at the behest of Justinian, polychrome marble, precious materials and stones, even columns from the temples of Diana in Ephesus and Athens in Egypt were used for its construction. Mehemet the Conqueror he wanted to turn it into a mosque; this is why the presence of minarets, minbars and large circular discs on the walls with the sacred Muslim names imprinted in Turkish. In 1935 Ataturk, father of the new Turkish Republic, turned it into a museum. Recently, however, the splendid Basilica was again converted into a mosque.

The main feature is the immense central dome (831 m in diameter), apparently without supports, which gives the interior space of the building a great lightness in contrast to the rather squat and heavy exterior. Inside you can admire valuable mosaics dating back to the Byzantine period.



  • 20 minutes walk from Central Station along Alemdar Cd. Alternatively take tram 1 or bus 81, BN1, BN2, YT-1 - Get directions
  • from mid-April to the end of October every day 9: 00-19.00, remaining months Tue-Sun 9: 00-17: 00, closed Mon
  • 100,00 TL (€ 13,50), children under the age of 8 enter for free

3 - Topkapi Palace

For centuries it was there residence of the Ottoman sultans. The Topkapi Palace was completed in 1478, 25 years after the conquest of Constantinople by the armies of the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II. Its location served not only to reaffirm the supremacy of the empire, but also to control maritime traffic in transit between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

It looks like a citadel, consisting of a heterogeneous set of kiosks, harems, corridors, lookout points, large courtyards embellished with lush gardens and fountains where 26 of the 36 sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived. In 1924 Topkapi was transformed into a museum and today it is open to the public.

The "gems" of the residence (for which you have to make a separate ticket and line!) Are the harem and the Imperial Treasury where clothes, weapons and precious items of the sultanate are preserved, including the Topkapi Dagger and the 86-carat Kasicki Diamond.

Avoid the crowds: the site is vast and the influx of tourists is enormous. Better to go early in the morning and try to visit the harem and the treasure room right away, or during the lunch break. The best solution, also given its extension, is the guided tour with entrance ticket included, to better enjoy the palace and not miss the most important parts


  • starting from Sultanahmet, in about 10-15 minutes, proceeding towards the Golden Horn, passing in front of the Hagia Sophia. By tram (T1), direction Kabataş, Gülhane stop - Get directions
  • from mid-April to the end of October 9: 00-19: 00, remaining months until 17: 00. Closed every Tuesday
  • Palazzo 100,00 LT (€ 13,00) / Harem 70,00 LT (€ 9,00)

4 - Basilica Cistern

Spectacular underground structure conceived as a water deposit. Built in 532 AD by Emperor Justinian to supply the city with water, the vast reservoir of the Basilica Cisterna occupies what was originally a pagan basilica located below one of the city's large squares. Opened to the public in 1987, walkways have been placed to allow visitors to visit it.

To access it just go down a small staircase and you will find yourself in a submerged temple. A room 140 meters long by 70 wide, covered by a vaulted ceiling supported by 336 columns of the classical age divided into 12 rows of 28 elements 4 meters apart. The atmosphere is very suggestive also thanks to the presence of water that creates enchanting reflections and plays of light, and to the background music.
Note the two monumental heads of Medusa, one horizontal and the other upside down, in the north-western corner on which the pedestals of two columns rest.

  • from Marmaray Sirkec station, take Alemdar Cd and follow it for about 15 minutes to your destination. Alternatively, T1 tram to Sultanahmet - Get directions
  • every day 9: 00-19: 00. Closed until 13pm on the first day of religious holidays
  • 30,00 LT (€ 3,20)

5 - Grand Bazaar

One of the most characteristic places in Istanbulas well as the best place to shop. The Grand Bazaar, with an area of ​​31.000 square meters, 18 gates, 60 streets and over 4.000 shops and artisan workshops, as well as banks, restaurants, mosques, hammams, the Kapalı Çarşı, is the largest covered market in the world and also one of the oldest. An intricate maze of narrow streets and passages dominated by frescoed vaults. A great commotion and a great confusion, these are the elements that best characterize it. Voices, colors, perfumes, noises ... and goods of all kinds.

Part of Istanbul's social and economic life for centuries, the Grand Bazaar is a sort of ancient shopping center that offers objects of all kinds: antique books, carpets, jewelry, traditional clothes, fabrics, spices, pottery, leather products, copper and brass artifacts ... Shops and stalls are organized by product type, so you will find the way of the goldsmiths, the way of the cobblers, and so on.

Password "contract": do not hesitate, here it is normal to bargain for everything, also because they tend to raise the price with tourists. Be careful not to get lost: the Bazaar is immense, stay on the main streets, avoid too narrow alleys and little frequented by other tourists, or at least identify landmarks.

  • 950 meters from the Blue Mosque, a short 15 minutes via Peykhane Cd and Yeniceriler Cd. Alternatively, at the Sultanahmet stop, take the T1 bus towards Bagcilar and get off at Cemberlitas - Get directions
  • 8: 30-19: 00. Closed on Sundays and all days of religious holidays
  • free

6 - Spice Bazaar

Smaller but much more distinctive of the Grand Bazaar, the new Spice Bazaar (Mısır çarşısı, meaning "Egyptian market") was built in 1943 on the site of theancient spice and perfume market, near the port of Eminönü.

It is located in one privileged position, right in front of the Galata Bridge and behind the majestic Yeni Camii. It can be visited quite quickly, but it is still very fascinating and intoxicating to do bewitched by colors and scents that invade the alleys.

Go behind the Bazaar: just behind the Spice Bazaar is the Tahtakale area, a sort of continuation of the open-air market where everyday goods and products are sold. Not touristy, but useful for having a "daily insight"

  • within walking distance of Sultanahmet; from Beyoglu tram T1 to Eminonu stop - Get directions
  • lun-sab 8:00-19:00, dom 9:00-18:00
  • free

7 - Galata Tower

At the heart of the ancient European district of Beyoglu, stands the Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi), one of the symbols of Istanbul, the greatest legacy left by Genoese merchants settled north of the Golden Horn from 1273. After the conquest by the Ottomans, it first became a prison and then an observation point for spotting fires.

It measures 66 meters high and from its top (easily accessible by lift) it is possible admire one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul.

Go at sunset prayer time: The top is to go up to the panoramic terrace at sunset, in conjunction with the call to prayer. The singing of the muezzin, the twilight atmosphere and the view from above create a memorable effect. Inside, just below the panoramic terrace, there is also a restaurant.

  • 50 minutes by ferry from the port of Kadıköy İskelesi. M2 metro stop at Şişhane station, T2 historic tram to the terminus, T1 tram to Karakoy stop and then walk or F2 funicular - Get directions
  • 9: 00-20: 00. Restaurant open until 22pm
  • 25,00 LT (€ 2,70). Children up to 6 years enter for free

8 - Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent

The Suleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii) is the first imperial mosque in Istanbul. Built around 1550, it is the most important work of the great architect Mimar Sinan, a fundamental figure of Ottoman art, comparable to our Michelangelo and Leonardo. The Suleiman Mosque is located on one of the hills of the city and can only be reached on foot at the end of an uphill stretch.

The position overlooking the Golden Horn makes it iconic; from the rear courtyard you can admire a splendid view towards Eminönü and Galata. With the Bosphorus in the background, this majestic building is a constant reminder of the splendor and grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, it can be seen from several points of the city thanks to the unmistakable profile consisting of the imposing dome and the 4 minarets. Beside the religious building there are: the soup kitchen, the Koranic school (madrasa), the hospital and a hammam that is still functioning.

Also visit the mausoleum: on a visit to the mosque, you should also see the mausoleum of sultan Suleiman and the tomb of the architect Mimar Siman, who wanted to be buried in the mosque he himself designed.

  • 2 km (approx.25 min) from the Blue Mosque via Fuat Paşa Cd. From the Topkapi area, at Gülhane istasyonu stop, take the T1 tram and after 3 stops get off at Beyazıt - Get directions
  • 9: 00-17: 30. Entrance prohibited only during prayer hours
  • free

9 - Dolmabahçe Palace

One of the buildings that resembles Europe more than the Middle East in style and characteristics. Dolmabahçe Palace (Dolmabahçe Sarayı) is a huge palace located on the European shore of the Bosphorus, in the Beşiktaş district, built around the mid-800th century at the behest of Sultan Abdülmecid I, who considered the imperial seat of Topkapi too old by now.

The palace reminiscent of the great European palaces for splendor and size: 285 rooms, 44 reception rooms and 68 bathrooms! The style is eclectic and contains baroque, neoclassical and rococo elements. Inside there is a riot of gold and Bohemian crystal decorations, marble, alabaster, mahogany furniture and everything that the luxury of the time could foresee. It stretches over the Bosphorus for almost 1 km and can only be partially visited.

  • Tram T1 stop Kabatas and then proceed for about 1 km via Meclis-i Mebusan Cd. and Dolmabahçe Cd. - Get directions
  • 9: 00-16: 00. Closed every Monday and Thursday, January 1st and the first day of religious holidays
  • 60,00 TL (€ 6,50), Harem 20,00 TL (€ 2,20)

10 - Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square

The most modern and most luxurious area of ​​Istanbul. Istiklal Caddesi, which means Independence Avenue (and until 1923 it was called Grande Rue de Péra in French) is the most famous street in the city, frequented by about one million people every day and a kilometer and a half long. It is about a crowded pedestrian street at all hours of the day and night, full of shops of the biggest international brands, restaurants, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, pubs and night clubs. Historically it is linked to the European presence in the city; for this reason you will find numerous churches, ex-embassies, consulates, but also "international" shopping shops and, if you are tired of Middle Eastern flavors, western restaurants and clubs.

Istiklal Caddesi finally flows into Taksim Square, the modern heart of the city, an important commercial district with numerous restaurants, shops and hotels.

From Sultanahmet, take Tram T1 and get off at Findikli stop; then continue 800 meters on foot through Mebusan Ykş. and Kazancı Ykş. - Get directions

11 - Archaeological Museum

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is one of the most important of its kind. It was founded by the painter and archaeologist Osman Hamdi in 1891.

It houses some world famous objects and the collection is basically divided into three parts. The most important collection is undoubtedly that of the sarcophagi, including the sarcophagus of Alexander (th century BC). Follows the Oriental Art Collection where Ottoman tombs and finds from the Egyptian, Sumerian and Akkadian cultures are exhibited. In this case, the most valuable objects in the collection are the parts of the Babylonian Gate of Ishtar. And finally the Collection of pottery and jewelry, placed in the tiled kiosk.

  • 2 minutes walk from Topkapi Palace, via Soğuk Çeşme Sk. - Get directions
  • Tue-Sun 9 am-00pm, closed Mon
  • 30,00 LT (€ 3,20). Children up to 12 years have free access

12 - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

One of the most important museums in Istanbul. Contains over 40.000 objects and an interesting ethnological section.

Inside you can admire a riot of carpets, ceramics, sculptures, sarcophagi ... And even various versions of the Koran and read where to place them.
Equally interesting, the little one ethnological section where you can see the recreations of everyday life in different geographical and temporal points of Turkey.

Also visit the courtyard: After your visit to the museum, be sure to reach the courtyard, where there is a terrace with a fantastic view of the Blue Mosque! Perfect angle for a nice souvenir photo.

  • strategically located, close to both the Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque (130m, 2 min) - Get directions
  • from November to March Tue-Sun 9: 00-17: 00, from April to October Tue-Sun 9: 00-19: 00
  • 20,00 LT (€ 2,20). Children up to 12 years have free access

13 - Fatih district

One of the most "conservative" neighborhoods in Istanbul. It is in fact the most observant area from a religious point of view (women wear the burqa), with the monumental complex of the Fatih Mosque in the center.

Strolling through its streets, and especially in the market area, is an experience that cannot leave you indifferent. Today many immigrants from the Anatolian far east live here, who have also brought with them their amazing regional culinary traditions: This is why Fatih is also considered as the gastronomic center of the city. It is in fact here that you have to come for try the most authentic flavors of Turkish cuisine. Note the 200-year-old wooden houses from the Ottoman period. A very picturesque glimpse of the city.

From Sultanameth, take Tram T1 and get off at the Capa-Sehremini stop; otherwise, to get closer to your destination, get off at Yusufpasa and change to bus from Aksaray to Emniyet-Fatih - Get Directions

Pay attention to the rules of conduct: being a very conservative neighborhood, it is advisable to observe even more than in other areas a calm and respectful attitude, to have a decent outfit and to avoid effusions.

14 - Istanbul modern

Despite being a destination deeply linked to history, since 2004, Istanbul also has a museum dedicated to contemporary art. Istanbul Modern, developed on an area of ​​8.000 square meters, is the most important contemporary artistic address in the city. And it's mainly based on the works of Turkish artists.

Overlooking the Bosphorus, the gallery was born from the ruins of an old warehouse, considered as one of the trendiest artistic and cultural haunts. The collection housed is developed on two floors, each of which is dedicated to temporary and permanent exhibitions. There is also a library, a room for photography and another for videos.

Panoramic restaurant: on the upper floor there is a restaurant with a terrace, particularly popular in summer and well integrated into the exhibition spaces, where you can have lunch with a beautiful view of the city.

  • a few minutes walk from istiklal Caddesi. Accessible from other areas on metro line M2 to Şişhane station, tram T1 to Karaköy station and there take the F2 funicular, or walk up the street - Get directions
  • Tue-Sat 10: 00-18: 00, Thu until 20:00, closed Mon
  • 68,00 TL (€ 7,40), students and over 65 51,00 TL (€ 5,55)

15 - Fener district

The historic Greek quarter, characterized by narrow and labyrinthine streets, and all in ups and downs. Between colorful ottoman houses and with the most bizarre shapes, there is Rum Lisesi, the Greek Orthodox High School, a magnificent and characteristic red brick building overlooking the hill of Fener.

Climbing up a staircase you reach the top of the hill, where once passed the walls of ancient Constantinople: it is right here, today, the Church of Santa Maria dei Mongoli, also known as the Red Church, a very important building for the history of the city.

The neighborhood is located on the other side of the Bosphorus, exactly opposite the Istanbul Modern. By public transport, from Sultanahmet take tram 1 and then the ferry. Much faster and easier to use a taxi that takes you directly to your destination in about 5 minutes - Get directions

16 - Ortaköy Mosque

It is not as famous or as magnificent as Aya Sofya or the Blue Mosque, but this little mosque really is suggestive and picturesque for its position with spectacular views of the Bosphorus.

Overlooking the water, practically in the shadow of the bridge over the strait, the Ortaköy mosque is simple, and is extraordinarily beautiful and exciting because of its simplicity. Inside, you can admire pearl-colored walls, very large windows and numerous crystal chandeliers.

Always open, closed only during prayers. From Sultanahmet take the tram to Kabatas and then bus number 25 towards Beşiktaş (Kabatas-Sariyer route) - Get directions

Go on Sunday: on the side of the mosque not overlooking the Bosphorus there is a small square where, on Sundays, a nice handicraft market is held.

17 - Church of San Salvatore in Chora

One of the best examples of Byzantine art in the world. Built between 1316 and 1321, the Church of San Salvatore in Chora boasts Byzantine frescoes and mosaics in excellent condition.

Just as happened to Aya Sofia, also San Salvatore in Chora it was transformed into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest. During this domination, the frescoes and mosaics were covered with plaster, a material that has favored the excellent state of conservation which, fortunately, we can still enjoy today!

The term "chora" means "outside the city", because the church was built outside the ancient walls of Byzantium.

  • from Sultanahmet take the T1 Tram line, get off at Topkapi and change onto the A4 to the Edirnekapi stop. Then walk for almost 800 meters to reach the destination - Get directions
  • every day 9: 00-17: 00, in summer until 19:00
  • 54,00 TL (€ 5,90). Free for children up to 9 years

18 - Museum of Islamic History of Science and Technology

Very interesting museum that tells the story of achievements of science and technology in the Islamic world, from ancient times to the present day.

In an exhibition area of ​​about 3.500 square meters, they are exhibited the inventions, discoveries and works of Islamic scientists between the ninth and sixteenth centuries, which made a very important contribution to the development of modern science today, for a total of 585 instruments and devices.

The museum is developed on two floors: upstairs there is a cinema room where various images about the museum, astronomy, clock technology, maritime department, war technology and medicine can be viewed; below is a section where maps and various cartographic drawings relating to Mines, Physics, Mathematics-Geometry, Urban Planning and Architecture, Optics, Chemistry and finally Geography are exhibited.

  • in the historic Sultanahmet district. The entrance is on the side of Gülhane Parkı park. The areas of Sultanahmet / Fatih can be reached on foot. From the Beyoglu district, the T1 tram (Gülhane stop); metro line M2; bus 80Т, 70KY, 74A - Get directions
  • from April to October 9: 00-19: 00, from November to March 9: 00-17: 00, closed Tues
  • 18,00 TL (€ 1,90). Free for children up to 8 years

19 - Hippodrome

The Hippodrome was the place of sport and aggregation of ancient Byzantium, name by which Istanbul was called in the Ottoman imperial period. Today, unfortunately, very little remains of the ancient Hippodrome built by Septimius Severus and subsequently enlarged by Constantine.

Although partially devastated by riots and looting, this attraction still retains some of the most important monuments of the Turkish capital: the legendary Obelisk of Theodosius (dedicated to emperor Theodosius I); the Serpentine Column from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece; the Column of Constantine, of unknown origin.

It is located next to the Blue Mosque, 5 minutes walk from the Hagia Sophia museum by taking Sultan Ahmet Parki, otherwise by tram 11 from Zeytinburnu Station, direction Kabatas, after 15 stops get off at Sultanahmet - Get directions

Other attractions to visit

Surely several times you will find yourself in stroll on the Galata Bridge (Galata Köprüsü) which connects the district of Galata with that of Eminönü, at the entrance to the Golden Horn. It allows car transit on the sides and the tramway in the center, with a pedestrian crossing on two levels, and the picturesque restaurants on both sides. Near Fatih, however, you will come across the Valente aqueduct, of which 921 meters survive today (about 50 meters less than the original).

Among the numerous churches, the delightful Little Hagia Sophia (Küçük Ayasofya Camii) should be mentioned: very different from Aya Sofya in size and characteristics, this small mosque retains a particular charm, silent, intimate and visited by very few tourists (free). In the same district, the Sokollu Mehmet Paşa Mosque is worth a visit, considered the most beautiful mosque in the city which reveals a rich decoration of turquoise Iznik tiles inside, and the Theodosius Cistern, in the basement of the Eminönü town hall, with 4 rows of 8 columns.

In addition to the more fully described museums, in Istanbul you will also find the Atatürk Museum, the house where Atatürk (first Turkish president, founder and national hero) lived in the early 20,00th century (2,20TL / € 20,00), the Carpet Museum (2,20TL / € 30,00) and the Naval Museum, which boasts a collection of original caiques, ancient and elegant "representative" boats with which the sultans crossed the Bosphorus (3,20 TL / € ).

A few miles south-east of the city are the Princes' Islands, suggestive archipelago of the Marmara Sea, for many years elected by the bourgeoisie of Istanbul as a summer retreat and that you can visit with an all-inclusive tour from the city. Here the ethnic minorities live, especially Jews and Armenians. Of the 9 islands that make up the archipelago, 5 can be visited: Büyükada, the largest and most visited of the archipelago; Kınalıada, the closest to Istanbuli; Burgazada, where there are the most beautiful villas; finally Heybeliada and Sedef.

To admire the Maiden's Tower (Kız Kulesi which means "Tower of the girl"), it is a tower located on a tiny islet at the mouth of the Bosphorus, facing the coast of Üsküdar. Many legends surround its origin. Since 2000 it has housed a restaurant.

10 things to do in Istanbul


  1. Bosphorus cruise: to admire Istanbul from another perspective, we recommend a cruise on the Bosphorus, especially at sunset! Alternatively, you can opt for something more romantic, like a sunset cruise on a luxury yacht
  2. Typical local dishes: a must-try experience that of a traditional dinner at home with a local family, where you can get closer to the local culture and taste the real traditional dishes. Here more info
  3. Tourist bus: if you have little time to visit the city or want to enjoy a scenic ride, we recommend you travel on the tourist bus, with stops near the main attractions
  4. Whirling dervish show: the spectacle of the whirling dervishes is truly captivating! The dervishes dance performing hypnotic movements that hide a refined and profound symbology and spirituality. Info and prices here
  5. Relax in a hammam: after so much walking and visiting, nothing better than a nice treatment in a typical hammam. There are several, some beautiful for tourists, but for a truly authentic experience we recommend trying a public one (from € 30,00 depending on the treatments chosen). The most famous is Cemberlitas Hamami, in the Fatih district
  6. Photo at Rainbow Stairs: Looking for Instagrammable Photos? The Rainbow Stairs are all colored stairways, reminiscent of a rainbow. They are located about one kilometer from the Galata Tower
  7. View from the Seven Hills Hotel: this hotel has one of the most beautiful panoramic terraces in the city. You do not need to be a guest to go up, but you can have lunch or dinner in the hotel restaurant and then enjoy the view of the main attractions of Istanbul
  8. Coffee from Hafiz Mustafa: it is one of the most loved by the locals! Elegant and refined, here you can drink a good coffee accompanied by excellent traditional Turkish desserts, including one of the best Balaklavas in Istanbul
  9. Photo at the Karakoy: another of the most instagrammable places in Istanbul, also known as "Umbrella Street". The entire street is in fact covered with colorful umbrellas, where you can also stop for a coffee. It is located between the Spice Bazaar and the Suleiman Mosque
  10. Visit the football stadiums: if you are a fan, here you can see the stadiums of the 3 most important teams in the city: Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Galatasaray

Plan your stay in Istanbul: flights and hotels

To Istanbul there are direct flights of about 2,5 hours (compare flights from € 62,00). The city enjoys a good climate all year round, but if you can't stand the extreme heat, avoid the summer period, prefer autumn and spring instead.

The most convenient choice for visiting the center is staying in the Sultanahmet district, a few steps from the most important monuments (compare the accommodations on Bookig.com from € 15,00), if you want to stay in modern and luxurious hotels and with services of all types and levels, then opt for Taksim, the area where you can have fun in the evening and stay up late. The best way to fully experience and breathe the atmosphere of Istanbul daily life is definitely to get around on foot. To move between the various districts of the city, it is better to use public transport, which are often very crowded, so be prepared to stay a little tight. Of all, better metro, trams and ferries, instead the bus is not recommended, for traffic and route reasons.

If you are traveling with children, there are several activities dedicated to them, in addition to the fact that in most of the attractions they enter for free or have reduced admissions. However, plan a stop atIstanbul Sea Life Aquarium and Miniaturk.

If you are traveling low cost, Istanbul is a city within everyone's reach! The bazaars, some mosques, the neighborhoods, the Galata bridge and their magical atmospheres are all beauties that you can enjoy for free. In addition, you can eat in typical restaurants or taste street food at great prices!


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