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Istanbul Travel Guide

About Istanbul

Istanbul, a city that straddles two continents, is a vibrant and dynamic metropolis that effortlessly blends the best of both East and West. A capital of the ancient Eastern Roman Empire, a city once known as Constantinople or Nova Roma, has a rich and storied history that spans thousands of years and has been shaped by the influence of countless civilizations. Today, Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures, where traditional markets and mosques sit alongside trendy cafes and boutiques. From the healthy and delicious cuisine to the stunning architecture, this city has something for everyone. So whether you’re looking to explore the ancient ruins of the Roman Empire, indulge in a Turkish bath, or embark on day trips from Istanbul, this destination should not be missed.

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Istanbul, TR
5:21 am, May 30, 2024
temperature icon 62°F
clear sky
Humidity 87 %
Pressure 1010 mb
Wind 6 mph
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Sunrise: 5:35 am
Sunset: 8:28 pm
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Best Time To visit

If you’re looking for a healthy and active travel experience, Istanbul has a lot to offer all year round. However, the best time to visit Istanbul is during the spring and fall seasons when the temperatures are milder, and the city is less crowded. This is the perfect time to explore the city’s different regions, from the bustling streets of Beyoglu to the historic Old City of Sultanahmet. Springtime is also an ideal time to explore the city’s parks and green spaces, such as Emirgan Park and Yildiz Park, which burst with colorful flowers and vegetation. During the fall, the Bosphorus becomes a stunning sight with the changing colors of the leaves. Whether you want to take a scenic run along the Bosphorus, hike in the Belgrad Forest, or take a yoga class at one of Istanbul’s many studios, there’s something for every healthy traveler in Istanbul. So come and experience the city’s energy and discover all the healthy activities and destinations that Istanbul offers.

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What to expect

Istanbul is a vibrant city filled with rich culture, delicious food, and endless activities. One of the best places to start your exploration of the city is the historic neighborhood of Sultanahmet, which is home to iconic landmarks like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. While in Istanbul, sample some of the city’s healthy food options, such as the farm-to-table dishes at Neolokal, which has even been awarded a green Michelin star, or the vegan and gluten-free offerings at Healin Foods. Bi Nevi Deli is also an excellent choice for health-conscious travelers looking for fresh, locally-sourced . . . .

ingredients. For a unique experience, visit Overdose, a cafe, and kitchen located above a yoga studio with a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the city. And for something sweet, check out Tatlı Bahçe, which provides an array of delicious and healthy desserts. If you’re looking for a neighborhood to stay in, consider the trendy area of Beyoglu, which is home to the charming Hidden House Hotel and the hip vegetarian restaurant EK BİÇ YE İÇ. No matter where you go in Istanbul, you will surely be captivated by the city’s energy and welcoming spirit.

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Things to know

Here are some essential tips to make your visit to this beautiful city as smooth and enjoyable as possible:

  • Language: Turkish is the official language in Istanbul, but many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas.
  • Time zone: Istanbul is in the Eastern European Time Zone (GMT+3). It is 2 hours ahead of London, 7 hours ahead of New York, and 10 hours ahead of Los Angeles. 
  • Currency: The local currency is Turkish Lira (TRY). You can exchange your money at banks, exchange offices, or withdraw from ATMs. Credit cards are widely accepted, but having some cash on hand is always good. Tip: The cheapest rates are on Istiklal Street; avoid exchange places near sites like Galata Tower – their rates are always higher.
  • Plugs + Voltage: The standard voltage in Istanbul is 220V, and the plugs are Type F (European style). Bring an adapter if your devices don’t have this plug type.
  • Airports: Istanbul has two international airports – Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport. To plan your transportation accordingly, check which airport your flight arrives/departs from.
  • Common sayings: It’s always helpful to know a few common phrases in the local language, such as “Merhaba” (Hello), “Teşekkür ederim” (Thank you), and “Güle güle” (Goodbye).
  • Organic groceries and Vegetarian food: Istanbul has several organic grocery stores and vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Some popular ones include “Zencefil” and “Mahatma Cafe & Restaurant.”
  • Opening Hours: Many shops and restaurants in Istanbul are open seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. However, some museums and historical sites may have different opening hours, so make sure to check before you go.
  • Safety: Istanbul is generally a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to take precautions such as avoiding dark and quiet streets at night, keeping an eye on your belongings, and being aware of your surroundings.
  • Sites to visit: Istanbul is full of historical and cultural sites to visit, such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. Don’t miss out on a boat tour of the Bosphorus or a visit to the colorful Spice Bazaar.

With some preparation and knowledge of these basics, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy your trip to Istanbul!

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how to get around

Istanbul is a vast city with many attractions, and getting around can initially seem overwhelming. However, with various transportation options available, exploring the city is easy and convenient. Here are some of the best ways to get around Istanbul:

  • Metro: The Istanbul Metro is a modern and efficient way to get around the city. With several lines connecting different parts of the city, the Metro is a great option for traveling long distances quickly and comfortably.

  • Tram: The Istanbul Tram is a great way to explore the city’s historic areas. The T1 line runs along the coast of the Sea of Marmara, passing by many of the city’s most popular attractions.
  • Bus: The Istanbul Bus system is extensive and covers almost every part of the city. It can be confusing for first-time visitors, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an affordable and convenient way to get around.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Istanbul, and they’re a good option if you’re traveling in a group or need to get somewhere quickly. However, make sure to choose a reputable taxi company to avoid any issues with scams or overcharging.
  • Ferry: The Bosphorus is one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions; taking a ferry ride is a great way to experience it. The ferries run regularly between the European and Asian sides of the city, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Bosphorus Strait.

With so many transportation options available, getting around Istanbul is a breeze. Whether you prefer to take day trips from Istanbul using the Metro or Tram or explore the city by bus, taxi, or ferry, there’s something for everyone.

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Where to stay

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, Ciragan Caddesi 32, Istanbul, Türkiye

Situated on the Bosphorus, the hotel boasts stunning views of the sea and historic city skyline. The hotel features 313 rooms and suites, all elegantly furnished and equipped with modern amenities. Cirgan  . . . .

Palace Kempinski also offers a variety of unique offerings and services, such as a full-service spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a private yacht marina. The hotel is also an exceptional choice for travelers seeking unparalleled luxury and service in Istanbul, with its stunning location, elegant accommodations, and range of amenities and services.

No:28, Çırağan Cd., 34349 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

In the heart of Istanbul, the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel rises across the iconic Bosphorus Strait. The hotel seamlessly blends Ottoman-era architecture with contemporary design to create spaces . . . .

good for human health and the community. Guests ensure a comfortable and memorable stay with various services and amenities. Indulge in the ultimate relaxing Turkish bath at the full-service space, take a dip in the outdoor pool, or get a workout in at the fitness center. Guests can access all of the hotel’s services and amenities 24/7. Sustainability is important at the Four Seasons – The hotel focuses on reducing energy, carbon, water, and waste. Eco-certified products are used throughout the property. In addition, local, sustainable, and seasonal menu items are available at on-site restaurants with vegan and vegetarian options.

Silahsor Cad. No 42 Istanbul, 34381, Türkiye

Situated in the bustling Bomonti neighborhood, it has 829 roomy guest rooms and suites, all furnished with contemporary conveniences and breathtaking views. The hotel’s conference facility, which has  . . . .

38 meeting spaces and a massive ballroom that can hold 3,000 people, is the biggest in the city. Hilton Hotel and Conference Center is an excellent option for business and leisure travelers thanks to its convenient location, plentiful lodgings, and wide range of amenities like a rooftop pool, a spa, and a fitness center. Hilton Istanbul is also incredible as it is dedicated to sustainability and has received an eco-certification for its environmentally friendly practices.

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Ciragan Cad 46, Ortakoy, Istanbul, 34349, Turkey

Radisson Blu is a luxurious five-star hotel in the lively Ortakoy area. With stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait and iconic landmarks such as the Bosphorus Bridge and Maiden’s Tower, the hotel offers a  . . . .

perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience. Radisson Blu boasts 120 elegantly designed rooms and suites equipped with modern amenities. Guests can relax by the outdoor pool, in the full-service spa, or stroll along the Bosphorus promenade. The hotel is also ideal for business meetings, weddings, and other events, with its state-of-the-art conference facilities and picturesque waterfront location.

Sinanpasa Mah, Hayrettin Iskelesi Sok, No.1, Besiktas, Istanbul 34353 Turkey

Discover a magical getaway with 186 rooms and suites with captivating views of the Bosphorus on the border of Europe and Asia. The renowned Dolmabahce Palace is merely a 15-minute  . . . . 

walk from the hotel, which is located in the Besiktas neighborhood. Rooms with chandelier accents and relaxing cool tones, inspired by opulent Ottoman grandeur and Asian design features, will provide guests a haven. Additionally, you can unwind  Chi, The Spa, with therapies and rituals inspired by Asia, or stimulate your senses with a genuine Turkish hammam..

Merkez Mahallesi Meserburnu Caddesi No: 5 Sarıyer, Istanbul, 34450 Turkey

Located in the trendy district of Sariyer, this luxurious and elegant hotel is housed in two beautifully restored Ottoman-era mansions, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.

breathtaking views of the Bosphorus. The hotel’s unique offerings include various personalized wellness programs, such as yoga and meditation classes and spa treatments. Guests can also enjoy day trips from Istanbul to a variety of cultural experiences, including a visit to nearby historical landmarks, museums, and art galleries. So whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a business trip, Six Senses is the perfect choice for those seeking luxury, comfort, and exceptional service.

34 Kemankeş Caddesi Kemankeş Kocamustafapaşa Mahallesi, Karaköy, Beyoglu, 34425 Istanbul, Turkey

With stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait, the hotel provides visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience in one of the most dynamic and culturally diverse cities in the world. A comfortable and memorable stay is  . . . .

guaranteed at The Peninsula Istanbul with its 177 attractively designed guest rooms and suites and sustainable luxury facilities. In addition, the Peninsula Spa provides a variety of treatments and amenities, including a traditional Turkish hammam, a sauna, and a fully furnished fitness center, for guests looking to unwind and rejuvenate. The hotel offers an outstanding experience in one of the world’s most fascinating and dynamic cities, with unmatched service and support available at any hour of the day or night.

Suzer Plaza Askerocagi Cad Dessi, Elmadağ Cd. No:6, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

The Ritz-Carlton is only 15 minutes from the famous historical old town attractions of Sultanahmet, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar and boasts stunning views of the Bosphorus. 

There are 239 opulent rooms or suites, including a beautifully created Nobu suite. In addition, the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul donates $5 to the Community Footprints Fund every time a retail item is purchased to support causes, including child welfare, alleviating hunger and poverty, and protecting the environment.

Where to EAT

Etiler, Dilhayat Sk. No:10/1, 34337 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

In the Etiler district, this plant-based restaurant offers vegan, gluten-free, and paleo foods suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, you can order a variety of vegan desserts and beverages that go  . . . .

well with Shiitake green bowls, cauliflower rice, and even asparagus quiche, which is available daily. Bi Nevi Deli also sells a variety of cultured nut-based cheeses, gluten-free crackers, bread, cakes, and other items, in addition to their extraordinary foods that are purposefully created for special occasions and festivities.

Etiler, Dilhayat Sk. No:10/1, 34337 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

EK BİÇ YE İÇ is a dynamic social enterprise dedicated to promoting healthier and more sustainable living in urban areas, with a focus on Istanbul. By utilizing permaculture principles, EK BİÇ YE İÇ creates  . . . .

indoor and outdoor urban farms throughout the city, providing locally-sourced produce for its restaurants and catering business. In addition, EK BİÇ YE İÇ specializes in farm-to-table cuisine that is highly customizable to meet individual preferences and dietary needs. With its innovative approach, EK BIC YE Ic is positively impacting the environment and the health of its customers while also enhancing the culinary landscape of Istanbul.

Hüsrev Gerede Cad. No: 110 Teşvikiye-Istanbul

Healin Foods is a restaurant that strongly focuses on health, using fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. Veggie, gluten-free, and dairy-free options are available on the menu, along with classic  . . . .

Turkish dishes with a healthy twist. Their popular menu items include avocado toast, zucchini and carrot spaghetti, and bowls of quinoa and lentils. The restaurant is accessible for breakfast, lunch, or dinner six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Healin Foods has something for everyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle, whether searching for a fast snack or a sit-down meal.

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Bebek, küçükbebek caddesi, Yeniyol Çk. 2A, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

In May 2017, Hidden House opened in Bebek with a lively atmosphere, surrounded by greenery and overflowing with the smell of coffee and Chado herbal teas that you can enjoy in private rooms. 

The hidden house offers its guests natural and nutritious food alternatives with its menu that appeals to all tastes while meeting its guests with the taste of real coffee prepared with La Cimbali machines. The menu includes desserts for breakfast, hearty salads, special snacks, and delicious main courses. Hidden House is the secret escape point for Bebek’s residents and visitors.

Akarsu Cad. No:21/A Cihangir, Beyoğlu Istanbul Turkey

Since 2011, Journey has offered nutritious fare made with constantly-fresh, seasonal ingredients. You will feel at home with the lounge-style comfortable design and carefully picked small items. 

A carefully chosen library at Journey Café includes volumes on literature, history, art, travel, and contemporary publications. In addition, this restaurant will provide a calming feeling as its music selection is ideal for different times of the day and softly accompanies you.

Asmalı Mescit, The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:15, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Opened in October 2005, Mikla launched its visionary, the ‘New Anatolian Kitchen,’ in 2012. The menu at Mikla is carefully crafted by Executive Chef Mehmet Gurs, who combines traditional Turkish  . . . .

ingredients with modern techniques to create unique dishes using selected and carefully sourced ingredients. In addition, the restaurant offers a vegan tasting and a la carte menu paired with the wine list and cocktails. Mikla is located on the rooftop floor of the fashionable “The Marmara Pera” hotel; the restaurant is funky retro with chrome ’70s and 50’s furniture, and a stunning wooden rail-sleepers bar is open for dinner offering drinks Monday through Saturday.

Arapcamii Mahı, Bankalar Cd. No:11, 34420, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Led by renowned chef Maksut Askar, this organic Green Michelin-starred restaurant offers a unique and innovative gastronomic experience. One of the highlights of Neolokal is its exceptional menu, . . . .

which features an innovative take on classic dishes that showcases the restaurant’s commitment to using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Each dish is carefully crafted to taste the past while offering a contemporary twist.

Etiler Mahallesi Dilhayat Sokak No:10 Beşiktaş/Istanbul

Overdose offers a healthy menu catering to the health-conscious traveler. A breakfast, brunch, and dinner menu is served daily from 09:00 to 22:00 on the cozy ground floor terrace that greets the southern sun. 

The restaurant features entirely organic, sugar-free, and gluten-free products and offers freshly squeezed homemade juices, protein powder frappes, and smoothies that complement the wellness experience. Overdose is perfect for those seeking a holistic wellness dining experience in a luxurious setting.

Tatli Bahce is a charming cafe and restaurant known for its relaxing and cozy atmosphere. It offers a variety of delectable organic Turkish sweets, baked goods, and savory dishes. With indoor and outdoor seating  . . . .

options, customers can enjoy the beautiful garden views while savoring their meals. So whether you are looking for a quick snack or a full meal, Tatli Bahce is the perfect spot to indulge in authentic Turkish cuisine.

Kılıçali Paşa, Defterdar Ykş. 52/A, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Traditional Kurdish and Turkish breakfast dishes are served at the well-liked breakfast establishment Van Kahvalti Evi, known for its wholesome fare and welcoming ambiance. Cheese, olives, bread, honey, . . . .

and other locally obtained fresh items, along with tea or Turkish coffee, are all offered on the menu. Van Kahvati Evi is a must-visit location for residents and foodies alike due to its warm and friendly ambiance and wholesome and authentic cuisine.

Organic Market

Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi Cihangir Yokuşu 43/A 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul Türkiye

Known for providing agricultural goods that are 100% organic, Balya Organic is a well-known Turkish enterprise. Based in the productive Akrsu region, the business uses environmentally friendly and  . . . .

sustainable farming methods. A vegan and gluten-free supermarket where you can get all organic varieties of sweets, sauces, breakfast items, coffee, teas, cosmetics, and personal care items. The warm and inviting market makes it the ideal place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while also eating the goods bought there.

Caddebostan Ogün Sokak No:24 D:26B 34734 Kadıköy/İstanbul Türkiye

Cadde Sarkuteri is a  gourmet organic market offering high-quality, locally sourced products. The selection includes organic fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, grass-fed meats, and freshly baked bread. 

The shop also carries specialty items such as handmade chocolates, organic honey, and natural skincare products. Cadde Sarkuteri is committed to promoting sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices and strives to provide customers with the freshest products.

Caferağa Mah, Moda Cd. No: 144/A, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye

Located in the city’s heart, the store is a one-stop shop for organic and environmentally-friendly products. All of the products are carefully selected from certified organic farms and suppliers. Elta-Ada’s  . . . .

commitment to sustainability is reflected in the use of environmentally-friendly packaging and its dedication to fair trade practices. The product range includes organic cheeses and butter, dairy-free milk and yogurt, and organic meat products. With a focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle and supporting a more sustainable future, Elta-Ada Organic Products in Istanbul is an excellent choice for anyone looking for high-quality organic products.

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Beylikdüzü OSB Birlik Sanayi Sitesi 3. Caddesi Keleşoğlu Plaza No:3, D:4, 34520 İstanbul, Türkiye

Since 2007, Eko Organic Market has been a certified organic grocery shop that sells various premium organic goods, such as meatless items, cosmetics, textiles, books, and cleaning supplies. In addition to promoting regional farmers and producers, their  . . . .

goal is to offer clients healthy, sustainable food options. Eko Organic Market is a fantastic choice for Istanbul residents and visitors who want to eat well and support organic farming.

Asmalı Mescit, Asmalı Mescit İstiklal Cad, Kallavi Sk. 6/A, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Products at Warehouse Ecological and Natural Products are made with natural ingredients and have a low environmental impact. Typically, warehouse products use low-chemical and low-hazard  . . . .

production techniques and sustainable materials. Food, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and apparel are just a few examples of the numerous ecological and natural products found in the warehouse. These goods frequently have recyclable packaging, vegan or cruelty-free ingredients, and organic or biodegradable materials. In addition, customers often select natural and organic products from the warehouse to lessen their carbon impact and support sustainable methods.

Kozyatağı, 19 Mayıs Mahallesi, İnönü Cd. No:64-A, 34736 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye

With a focus on ethical and ecological agricultural methods, local farmers and producers supply a variety of fresh and seasonal vegetables at Unpacked Organic, a leading market for organic goods. The market  . . . .

also offers a selection of dairy-free meat and groceries and a lovely cafe that serves healthy, organic meals. In addition, customers can purchase high-end goods for their home. Its commitment to promoting a healthier and more sustainable way of living has made it a popular spot for ethical shoppers in Istanbul.

Wellness

No:28, Çırağan Cd., 34349 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

Four Seasons Istanbul Spa is a luxurious wellness retreat in the heart of the historic Sultanahmet district. This elegant spa offers a range of rejuvenating treatments and therapies, including massages,  . . . .

facials, body scrubs, and more. The spa’s serene atmosphere, attentive staff, and state-of-the-art facilities create an indulgent experience that promotes relaxation and wellness. So whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day of sightseeing or simply seeking some much-needed pampering, Four Seasons Istanbul Spa is the perfect destination for a revitalizing spa day.

Cankurtaran, Ayasofya Meydanı No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Hurrem Sultan Hammam is a traditional Turkish bath. Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, ordered its construction in the 16th century while the Ottoman Empire was in existence. 

The hammam was created to provide a luxurious bathing experience for both men and women, featuring traditional baths and massages to fit your preferences, including conventional Hammam rituals and aromatherapy. It has stunning architecture and intricate tilework. It now serves as a popular getaway and historical site, giving tourists a glimpse into the lavish way of life of the Ottoman Empire.

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Hamam Sk. No:1, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Kilic Ali Pasa Hamman is situated in Istanbul’s Tophane district. The bathhouse is a magnificent example of classic Turkish bath architecture and style, constructed in the 16th century by the famed Ottoman  . . . .

architect Mimar Sinan. You will be mesmerized by the grandeur of the structure as you enter the camegah (lounge) and by the striking central dome, which is regarded as one of Istanbul’s giant Hammam domes. You can take in the ethereal atmosphere while drinking handcrafted traditional şerbet. When ready to put on your peştamal (the traditional cotton Hammam wrap), you will be directed to the changing rooms and begin your Hammam experience.

What To Experience

Anadolu Hisarı, 34810 Beykoz/İstanbul, Türkiye

Sometimes called the Anatolian Fortress or Anadoluhisar, this castle was constructed in the 14th century by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid I. It functioned as a critical bastion of defense against enemy  . . . . .

assaults on the Bosphorus Strait. The fortress is now a well-liked tourist attraction, providing breathtaking views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. The fortress’s well-preserved walls, towers, and gates can be explored by visitors, who can also learn about its extensive history with educational exhibits and guided tours. Anyone interested in Istanbul’s history, culture, or the Ottoman Empire must visit Anadolu Fortress.

Alemdar, Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Basilica Cistern is an ancient underground water reservoir built in the 16th century during the Byzantine Empire that has since been used as a water facility for the city. The cistern features  . . . . .

impressive architecture with 366 columns, each 9 meters high, supporting the vaulted ceiling. Visitors can explore the site by walking on raised platforms over the shallow water and observing remarkable Medusa heads at the base of two columns. The Basilica Cistern is a popular tourist attraction and a significant historical landmark in Istanbul.

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi, Abdullahağa Cd., 34676 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Türkiye

Beylerbeyi Palace is an ancient Ottoman palace situated on the Bosphorus Strait’s Asian side. The palace, constructed in the 1860s, housed significant visitors and dignitaries and served as the summer . . . .

residence for Ottoman sultans. Its architecture combines Ottoman, Baroque, and Rococo elements, and it is lavishly furnished and decorated. Beylerbeyi Palace is a notable cultural and historical landmark in Istanbul and a well-liked tourist destination.

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Sultanahmet Mah At Meydani Cad No 7, Istanbul 34122 Türkiye Near at Sultanahmet

The Blue Mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a stunning historical monument built in the early 17th century. It is one of the most magnificent examples of Ottoman architecture and is  . . . .

renowned  for its elaborate blue tile work and towering minarets. The mosque is situated in the lively neighborhood of Sultanahmet, home to numerous other notable landmarks, such as the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Visitors can explore the Blue Mosque’s intricate interior design, admire its impressive domes and stained glass windows, and enjoy breathtaking views of Istanbul from its expansive courtyard.

Bosphorus Cruise

Cankurtaran, Keresteci Hakkı Sk. No:20/A, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Soak up the views with one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist attractions. A cruise down the Bosphorus offers a scenic boat ride along the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. 

Passengers can enjoy stunning views of the city’s skyline and famous landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Bosphorus Bridge. Many cruise companies offer a variety of tour packages, ranging from basic sightseeing tours to dinner cruises with live entertainment. A Bosphorus Cruise is a must-try experience for anyone visiting Istanbul who wants to soak up the city’s rich history and culture while enjoying breathtaking water views.

Dervişali, Kariye Cami Sk. No:18, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

In the Istanbul neighborhood of Edirnakepi, there is a Byzantine church from the 14th century called Chora Church, also referred to as the Kariye Museum. The church is well known for its mosaics and paintings  . . . .

that portray episodes from the lives of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The neighborhood is also full of historical landmarks, such as Fatih. Visitors can enjoy day trips from Istanbul to get a glimpse into Istanbul’s rich architectural and cultural heritage by visiting the Chora Church and surrounding areas.

Vişnezade, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

Dolmabahce Palace is a historic landmark on the Bosphorus Strait’s European shore. Commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid in the mid-19th century, the palace was designed by a team . . . .

 of architects in a blend of neoclassical, baroque, and rococo styles. It served as the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans and later the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey until 1949. The palace boasts an opulent interior with over 285 rooms, including grand reception halls, private chambers, and a ceremonial suite with a 4.5-tonne crystal chandelier. It is renowned for its exquisite furnishings, priceless artwork, and intricate design details, symbolizing Turkey’s rich cultural heritage.

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Galata Köprüsü, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Galata Bridge is a prominent landmark that spans the Golden Horn, connecting the neighborhoods of Karakoy and Eminonu. The bridge has a long and storied history, with the first iteration built in  . . . .

the 19th century and subsequently rebuilt several times. Today, the Galata Bridge is a bustling pedestrian and vehicular thoroughfare, providing stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline and the waterway below

Bereketzade, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Built in the 14th century, the tower stands 67 meters tall and offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. Galata Tower has served as a watchtower, fire lookout, and even a prison  . . . .

throughout its long history. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of Istanbul’s rich cultural heritage.

Sahkulu Mah. Galip Dede Cad. No:15 Beyoğlu, Istanbul 34420 Türkiye

Galata Dervish Monastery, also known as Galata Mevlevihanesi, is a medieval Sufi monastery. It was established in the 15th century and functioned as a hub for the Mevlevi group, a Sufi group renowned . . . .

for its unique style of devotion, which features the well-known “whirling” dance. The monastery comprises several structures, such as a mosque, a semahane (a place for Sufi rituals), and the tombs of notable Mevelevi Order members. Galata Dervish Monastery is now a cultural hub, holding performances, exhibits, and other occasions centered around Sufi tradition and history.

Beyazıt, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye 

With a history dating back to the 15th century, this historic Bazaar covers an area of over 30,000 square meters. It features over 4,000 shops, making it one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets. 

One of the famous stores in the Bazaar is the 500-year-old Kursunlu Han, which offers traditional Turkish ceramics and tiles. Other popular products in the Bazaar include textiles, spices, jewelry, leather goods, and carpets. Visitors can immerse themselves in the market’s vibrant atmosphere, interact with friendly vendors, and haggle for unique souvenirs and treasures. Moreover, the Grand Bazaar is an excellent starting point for day trips from Istanbul, offering visitors an authentic Turkish shopping experience.

Mecidiye, Mecidiye Köprüsü Sk. No:1 D:1, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

A stunning mosque in Ottoman design, the Grand Mecidiye Mosque was finished in 1855. Sultan Abdulmecid I commissioned the renowned architect Nikogos Balyan to create the mosque. 

The mosque has a stunning marble floor, a great dome, and detailed calligraphy. It is an important cultural and historical site that draws tourists worldwide to its beauty and extensive history. The Grand Mecidiye Mosque is still used as a place of prayer today.

Cankurtaran, Kennedy Cad., 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Gulhane Park is a historical urban park created as a royal garden by the Ottoman Sultan in the 16th century. The park covers an area of 16 hectares and is known for its lush greenery, serene atmosphere, . . . .

and scenic views of the Bosphorus Strait. It is also home to several important landmarks, including the Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam, the Tomb of Sultan Abdulmecid I, and the famous Topkapi Palace. Today, Gulhane Park is a popular destination, offering a peaceful retreat from the bustling city and a glimpse into Istabul’s rich cultural heritage.

Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Hagia Sophia was originally built as a cathedral in 537 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. The space served as the principal church of the Eastern Orthodox Church for almost 1,000 years. Following the  . . . . 

Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, it was converted into a mosque and underwent significant renovations to accommodate Islamic prayer. In 1935, it was turned into a museum by the Turkish government and remained a popular tourist destination, admired for its stunning architectural features that blend Byzantine and Ottoman styles.

Hippodrome

Sultanahmet/Istanbul

Hippodrome is a historically significant and impressive structure that was the center of Roman and Byzantine chariot racing and was an essential part of the city’s social and cultural life for centuries. Surrounded  . . . .

by several important areas, the Hippodrome is within walking distance of Sultanahmet Square, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace. Visitors, including those interested in day trips from Istanbul, can explore the rich history and culture of the area while taking in the breathtaking views of the city’s iconic landmarks. The Hippodrome and its nearby areas offer a unique and unforgettable experience for tourists and locals alike.

Cankurtaran, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is one of the world’s most influential and impressive museums. The museum is home to an extensive collection of artifacts that date back to ancient times, with exhibits  . . . .

from the civilizations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Ottoman Empire, among others.

The museum was founded in 1881 by the Ottoman Empire’s first director of antiquities, Osman Hamdi Bey. It’s main building, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, was designed by the French architect Alexandre Vallaury and opened to the public in 1891. In addition, the museum complex includes two other facilities: the Museum of the Ancient Orient, which was opened in 1835, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum, which was added to the complex in 1953.

The Archeological Museum houses a vast collection of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, including sculptures, mosaics, sarcophagi, and coins. One of the most famous pieces in the collection is the Alexander Sarcophagus, which dates back to the 4th century BC and is decorated with intricate carvings depicting scenes from the life of Alexander the Great.

The Museum of the Ancient Orient focuses on the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Babylon. Its collection includes cuneiform tablets, clay seals, and other artifacts that provide insight into these older people’s daily lives and religious practices.

The Tiled Kiosk Museum, located in a 15th-century Ottoman building, houses a collection of Ottoman ceramics, tiles, and other decorative arts. The building is an example of Ottoman architecture decorated with colorful tiles and intricate woodwork.

Visitors to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum can also see other notable exhibits, including the sarcophagus of Heracles, the statue of Bes, and the Siloam Inscription, one of the oldest known examples of Hebrew writing.

In addition to its impressive collection, the museum is known for its beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces. The courtyard of the main building is home to an array of ancient Greek and Roman statues, while the gardens of the Tiled Kiosk Museum are a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the city.

Archaeological Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in ancient history and art. Its extensive collection, beautiful architecture, and peaceful surroundings make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

Near at Beyoglu

Istiklal Avenue is a busy pedestrian route that attracts locals and tourists because of its exciting energy and fascinating history. The street is lined with various stores, including vegan restaurants, cafes, and  . . . .

old buildings, and is around 1.4 kilometers long. The neighborhood and numerous attractions along Istiklal Avenue are equally interesting to explore. Taksim Square serves as a focal point at the northern end of the roadway. It has countless landmarks, including the Republic Monument and the Atatürk Cultural Center. In addition, Istiklal Avenue is only a short stroll from the old Galata area, renowned for its narrow lanes and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.

Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Türkiye

On Istanbul’s European side, with views of the Bosphorus Strait, stands the medieval fortification known as Rumeli. The castle, which Mehmed II, the Ottoman Sultan, built in 1452, was significant in  . . . .

the 1453 conquest of Constantinople. The stronghold, a triangle structure with three necessary towers and a curtain wall, is a striking example of Ottoman military architecture. Today, it serves as a well-liked tourist destination and a location for concerts and cultural activities.

Rüstem Paşa, Hasırcılar Cd. No:62, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Built-in the 16th century, the Rustem Pasa Mosque is notable for its beautiful tile work and unique blend of Ottoman and Persian architectural traditions. Rustem Pasa, a prominent Ottoman statesman and  . . . .

grand vizier commissioned it, and it was created by the renowned architect Sinan. Today, the mosque is an essential point of interest, attracting visitors interested in day trips from Istanbul, and is regarded as one of Istanbul’s most beautiful and majestic religious structures.

Rustem Pasa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambari Sok. No:92 Eminonu – Fatih, Istanbul 34116 Türkiye

Located in Istanbul’s Eminonu neighborhood is a bustling bazaar that has been a prominent landmark for centuries. Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, it is a hub for a wide range of exotic spices, herbs, nuts, and other  . . . . 

culinary delights across Turkey and the Middle East. The market is steeped in history and offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage. With its vibrant atmosphere and aromatic scents, the Spice Market is a must-visit destination for foodies, tourists, and locals.

Süleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

One of Isatnbul’s iconic landmarks situated in Fatih’s neighborhood, the  Süleymaniye Mosque was constructed in the 16th century during the Ottoman Empire under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent. 

The Süleymaniye Mosque boasts stunning architectural features, including a grand dome, intricate tilework, and beautiful stained glass windows. In addition, the mosque is a religious site and a significant historical landmark offering stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline and the Bosphorus Strait.

Gümüşsuyu, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

As a bustling public space and essential historical and cultural landmark, Taksim Square is renowned for its stunning architecture, lively atmosphere, and extensive cultural legacy. Various events, festivals,  . . . .

and protests are held in the area, a well-liked meeting place for locals and visitors. The Galata Tower, a stone tower built in the Middle Ages and just a short distance from Taksim Square, provides breathtaking city views. The Istanbul Modern, a contemporary art gallery featuring works by Turkish and foreign artists, is another close destination. With numerous buses and metro lines linking to various sections of the city, the square also serves as a transportation hub.

Cankurtaran Mahallesi Gulhane Park, Near Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul 34122 Türkiye

Topkapi Palace is situated in the neighborhood of Sultanahmet, located in the heart of Istanbul’s old city. This palace served as the Ottoman sultans’ primary residence and administrative headquarters from  . . . .

the 15th to the 19th centuries, featuring ornate architecture, beautiful gardens, and a vast collection of art and artifacts, including the imperial jewels, armor, and clothing of the sultans. The museum also features multiple exhibition halls. The Harem section, the Treasury, and the Baghdad Pavillion are among the most popular exhibits, attracting visitors worldwide.

Binbirdirek, At Meydanı Cd No:12, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, also known as the Istanbul Turk ve Islam Eserleri Muzesi is located in the historical Sultanahmet. The museum is housed in the former palace of Ibrahim Pasha, the Grand  . . . .

Vizier of Sultan Suleyman, the magnificent, built in the 16th century. 

The museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Islamic art and artifacts worldwide, with over 40,000 items in its collection. The exhibits include textiles, ceramics, metalwork, calligraphy, and other decorative arts from various regions of the Islamic world, including Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and Central Asia. The collection covers a period from the 7th century to the 20th century, representing the artistic and cultural diversity of the Islamic world throughout the centuries.

The museum is divided into several sections, each representing a different Islamic art and culture aspect. The first displays artifacts from the early Islamic period, including some of the earliest examples of Islamic calligraphy and manuscript illumination. The second section focuses on ceramics, with examples from the Ottoman, Seljuk, and Malmuk periods. Finally, the third section is dedicated to textiles, featuring examples of Turkish carpets, Ottoman and Mamluk textiles, and Persian silk fabrics.

Other sections of the museum include metalwork, which provides for bronze, brass, silver, and gold objects from the Ottoman, Mamluk, and Seljuk periods: woodwork featuring carved and inlaid doors, screens, and panels from the Ottoman and Seljuk periods; and scientific instruments, including astrolabes and sundials.

The museum also has a library and research center, which contains over 25 000 books, journals, and manuscripts related to Islamic art and culture. The library is open to researchers and scholars and is a valuable resource for those interested in studying Islamic art and culture.

With its extensive collection and well-curated collection, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the Islamic world’s rich artistic and cultural heritage.

Famous Streets

Maltepe-Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey

Stretching for over 14 kilometers, Bagdat Avenue is a famous and upscale shopping street on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. The street is divided into three main sections: the first is known for its high-end  . . . .

fashion boutiques and designer stores, while the second is home to a mix of mid-range and high-end brands. The third section of the street is more relaxed, with various plant-based cafes and restaurants that offer traditional Turkish cuisine and international dishes. The nearby areas of Bagdat Avenue are also worth exploring. Just a few minutes away is the beautiful Fenerbahce Park, which offers stunning views of the sea and a peaceful place to relax.

Sahne Sok.Istanbul, Istanbul  Turkey

Balik Pazari Street, or Fish Market Street, is vibrant and bustling. As its name suggests, the road is famous for its fish market, where locals and tourists alike can buy fresh seafood and enjoy delicious meals at  . . . .

the many seafood restaurants in the area. The street is in the historic neighborhood of Eminonu, home to several other popular tourist destinations, such as the iconic Galata Bridge and the Spice Bazaar. Visitors to Balik Pazari Street can explore the narrow alleys and traditional markets of Eminonu or take a short walk to the beautiful Yeni Cami Mosque.

Istiklal Avenue is a busy pedestrian route that attracts locals and tourists because of its exciting energy and fascinating history. The street is lined with various stores, including vegan restaurants, cafes, and . . . . 

old buildings, and is around 1.4 kilometers long. The neighborhood and numerous attractions along Istiklal Avenue are equally interesting to explore. Taksim Square is a focal point at the northern end of the roadway. It has countless landmarks, including the Republic Monument and the Atatürk Cultural Center. In addition, Istiklal Avenue is only a short stroll from the old Galata area, renowned for its narrow lanes and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.

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Maltepe-Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey

The Beşiktaş neighborhood’s Ortakoy Square is a well-known tourist attraction. This lively square is famous for its frantic energy, breathtaking views of the Bosphorus Bridge, and recognizable Ortakoy Mosque. 

Tourists and locals frequent the neighborhood because the bustling street sellers sell authentic Turkish food and homemade goods. The stylish Kabatas district is to the east, the historic Dolmabahce Palace is to the south, and the fashionable Bebek neighborhood is to the north. Ortakoy Square is a must-see destination for anybody visiting Istanbul because of its distinctive fusion of tradition and contemporary.

Famous Beaches

Gümüşdere, Boğaziçi Kampüs Yolu 1/A, Istanbul 34450 Türkiye

A stunning seaside destination, Suma Beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and pristine sandy shorelines, making it a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. 

The Beach is in a picturesque cove surrounded by rocky cliffs, offering visitors breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Suma Beach features a range of amenities, including loungers and umbrellas. With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, Suma Beach is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and enjoy a day in the sun.

Fenerbahçe, Atlıhan Sk. No:30, 34726 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye

True Blue Beach is a picturesque and luxurious beach with crystal waters, pristine sand, and stunning views of the sea and city skyline; it offers visitors an unparalleled seaside experience. 

The Beach boasts top-notch facilities, including a swimming pool, lounge chairs, beach umbrellas, showers, and changing rooms. True Blue Beach is a perfect destination for those seeking a relaxing and upscale atmosphere, whether for a day or a more extended stay.

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