Top Things to do in Istanbul | Turkey
Banquet of Architectural miracles and History, Istanbul has many stories and experiences to tell and provide.
If you are a history lover, Art Digger, and a person with curiosity syndrome, you’ll fall in love with Istanbul.
There is no best time, in particular, to visit this place as every time has some of the other best things to offer to you. The best places and experiences are defined by the perspective of a person. So, for an artist or painter one particular set of things could be best to do or experience and for others the same in their way.
So, here I have considered all of you and prepared a platter of Istanbul to cater to varied interests.
When you look into the Best Places to visit in Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey, it could overwhelm you and confuse you even more as every place is worth visiting. You can’t inky-pinky-ponky this time. What you can do is to have most prior options and then the others following you on your second trip to Istanbul.
Still to give you a start, here I have put together a list of Top Things to do in Istanbul, that you should definitely have on your Turkey Bucket List.
- Shopping at Grand Bazaar
- Experience the view at Galata Tower.
- Try some Istanbul cuisine!
- Experience The River Cruise at the Bosporus River
- Experience the Peace at Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque
- Witness the Art at Istanbul Museums!
- Witness the Whirling Dervishes!
- Time Travel to Past at Basilica Cistern!
- Where To Stay in Istanbul | Turkey?
Shopping at Grand Bazaar
Every place in the world has something unique to offer and every marketplace has got a lot of souvenirs for you. Grand Bazaar especially caters to most of the handmade local stuff which not only has its regional touch to it but also the whole look of it, which gives you a unique perspective of art. And you must shop at the Grand Bazaar to take a part Istanbul home with you!
Experience the view at Galata Tower.
Such a massive city can be chaotic but to have a wide-angle view of the city is a whole another therapy. From the Galata Tower, you get to enjoy the best of Istanbul’s views. Be ready to take some panoramic shots of Istanbul, and Don’t forget that wide-angle camera lens at home (if you have one) ! You may regret not taking it!
Try some Istanbul cuisine!
We all bite on the standard food available worldwide but while you are here, introduce your taste buds to some local Istanbul cuisine. There is a lot of variations in that too, but for your convenience here are some that I would suggest
- Meatball made of lamb/beef
- Turkish Pizza
Its not even surprising to know, that most of these Istanbul / Turkish delicacies have been rated as some of the Best Street Food Items to try in Europe.
Experience The River Cruise at the Bosporus River
The Bosporus river that divides the two continents Europe and Asia has many views to showcase. The black sea on the horizon along with the surrounding city landscapes is something that you don’t want to miss.
The cold breeze and over fleet birds, the roar of river flow, and the social chirp. The cruising experience is unjustified when stated in words.
Experience the Peace at Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque
Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are wonderful representations of what people can achieve with their hearts and souls, and are those quintessential attractions in Istanbul, that should definitely find a place on your Turkey Bucket List. Large Islamic calligraphy and Christian murals are linked together at the Hagia Sophia, which was once one of the world’s largest structures. While the Blue Mosque’s interior design and décor contribute to a tranquil, peaceful aura of being at one with God.
Witness the Art at Istanbul Museums!
As stated in the intro earlier, the Istanbul art is unmatchable. The collection of classic antiquities here is jaw-dropping. Your eyes won’t have such a spa anywhere else in the world like this. The feeling would be exactly like you have fallen into a cave with treasure chests and everything is bling!
You must visit this although many skip and that a pity! It is a must-visit place.
Witness the Whirling Dervishes!
Though a religious performance, this serves as a tourist attraction as well.
During the ceremony, the Dervishes (Mevlana’s Followers) become the bridge between the divine plane and the human plane. The connection to God is made through this performance. This is a must witness performance that should be there on your list.
Time Travel to Past at Basilica Cistern!
Have you ever wondered how those drainage systems were even invented during the Mesopotamian period? Even without the modern technology and equipment how did they come up with that? The same thought you would have again when you know about Basilica Cistern. Istanbul’s most famous architectural confidence Basilica Cistern was built by the Great Emperor Justinian The 1st in the 6th century. The structure was built to store gallons of water for close proximate places.
Now the question is what is special to see or why to go? Well, for starters it was a good break from your sunny day visit. The underground cool and dark complex sanctum is chilly and cold. You get to see the ancient water supply system first hand. For many, it’s a curiosity fulfilled and for many, it’s another art legend.
Now that you’ve figured out some of the Best Things To Do In Turkey, it’s time to check out Where You Should Stay in Istanbul, during your Turkey Tour. To make your life easy, we’ve shortlisted some Istanbul Accommodation Recommendations, that you should definitely check out.
Where To Stay in Istanbul | Turkey?
Hostels : Hostel Le Banc | Wabi Sabi Hostel Istanbul | Bucoleon by Cheers
Mid Range Hotels : Nomade Old City Hotel | Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Istanbul Tuzla | Ibis Istanbul Tuzla Hotel | Holiday Inn Istanbul City, an IHG Hotel
Luxury Hotels : Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel | DoubleTree By Hilton Istanbul – Old Town | Mercure Istanbul Bomonti | Occidental Taksim