Awesome Istanbul – What To Do & Where To Go
Istanbul is a truly amazing city. Fabulous to explore there are so many different sides to it and when it comes to food, you can eat like a king!
We’ve compiled a list of things of “must see” places to get you started – but there’s so much to see and do let us know what you’ve discovered too!
Explore The Grand Bazar
Even if you don’t like shopping there is so much to see and do at the Grand Bazar in Istanbul that there is something for everyone. Whether it’s just admiring the sheer amount and variety of goods on sale, admiring the colours, the crafts, the creamics, the glitter and the gold or simply people watching – the place is fascinating!
If you fancy shopping, don’t be frightened of bargaining. The first price you’re offered is unlikely to be the best one! However, the bartering process is all part of the fun – just make sure you don’t pay more for something than you really want to! Remember you can always walk away. However, there are some amazing souvenirs on offer and wonderful leather goods.
Don’t panic if you get lost – it is a bit of a maze – but people are friendly and will always help.
Check out The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque is a unique and imposing building. Wonderful architecture, beautiful colours and an amazing interior mean you can spend quite some time taking it all in. Make sure you look upwards and look at the ceiling – it’s so ornate and intricate. Don’t forget that you have to leave your shoes at the door and part of the area is segregated and men only.
Hagia Sophia Museum and Church
Another land mark stop has to be the Hagia Sophia. Steeped in history and with amazing architecture and so many amazing artefacts, it’s a fabulous place to explore. Don’t forget to make time to see the museum.
Galata Tower affords some great views of the city – just make sure you have comfortable shoes as you climb the stairs. Reward yourself with a drink at the top and sit and watch the view.
The Dolmabahce Palace
The Dolmabahce Palace is a stunning palace with 200 rooms! A beautiful and elegant building with a fabulous location close to the water.
The Spice Bazar
Situated behind the new mosque, Istanbul’s Spice Bazar is the perfect place to smell, taste and admire the most amazing fresh spices and drinks. Turkey’s most famous Spice Market is an aromatic place and a wonderful assault on the senses! We bought some amazing fresh Turkish Delight there and it tasted so much better than the usual ones we had bought in the boxes. You can taste before you buy so you know which ones you like the best.
Last but not least try the food – all the food! From Street Food to fish restaurants to kebabs and grilled vegetables – there is so much delicious food on offer. Be adventurous, steer away from the tourist traps and go where the locals eat. You won’t be disappointed.
There is to much to do in Istanbul in just a weekend – you will definitely be back for more!
Visas: Many nationalities need Visas to enter Turkey. If possible buy yours online beforehand or make sure you have cash to buy it (dollars, euros etc) at the airport.
Public Transport: You can buy a 24 hour travel card at the airport for use on public transport. It offers great value.
Taxis: Taxis are not too expensive, however, the traffic can be really congested at peak times and it was often quicker by public transport.
Dolmuş: You can also share use the Dolmuş the yellow shared taxis or minibuses in Istanbul. It’s a fun and more “local” experience and great for short rides in and around the city.
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