See how islanders live and call into a local café for refreshments. Some rooms of the harem were where brothers of the sultans lived, locked away to prevent them from trying to seize power. And now onto the best places to visit in Istanbul! The staggering bulk of its exterior is rimmed by the delicate minarets added after the Ottoman conquest, while the sumptuous and cavernous frescoed interior is a grand reminder … Why it’s awesome: Established in 2004, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (also known as Istanbul Modern) was the first dedicated museum of modern and contemporary art in Turkey. Explore the underground place of worship, walking past stubby pillars that create little cubbies that are perfect for peaceful prayer and contemplation. Sit down for a romantic meal in the restaurant for a delicious meal with great views. Now for the positives! Named after the large number of Serbs who ended up in the area after Belgrade was captured by the Ottomans, the forest has remains of ancient settlements scattered throughout. Constructed during the 6th century, it was used to provide water for the city’s palace and other important buildings. What to do there: Wear comfy shoes and spend a fun-filled day discovering the many delights of Isfanbul. Continue into the wide inner entrance hall, where you’ll find even more stunning mosaics. Why it’s awesome: The medieval Galata Tower was built in the late 1340s by the Genoese. International artists include Liam Gillick, Julian Opie, Tony Cragg, and Monica Bonvicini. The atmosphere is lively, the staff members are friendly, and the service is top notch. Much of the artwork was added to the church in the 1300s. What to do there: Mingle with affluent locals and go for a walk along the seaside promenade, slapping up the splendid vistas that include the deep, sheltered bay, the Bosphorus, and small fishing boats bobbing on the waters. What to do there: Travel back in time as you see the well-curated displays and exhibitions in the Istanbul Archaeology Museums. Why it’s awesome: The splendid and large UNESCO-listed Topkapi Palace was built in the mid-1400s. Once serving as the capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, Istanbul today... 2. Wonder what to do in Istanbul for 3 days? What to do there: Step back in time and see how leaders from one of the world’s most powerful empires lived in times gone by. You can also return later on at night for fun and frolics in the tower’s nightclub, where you can also watch a captivating traditional Turkish show. Why it’s awesome: Emirgan Park is one of the biggest public parks in Istanbul, covering some 117 acres (47 hectares) and surrounded by a high wall. Famously known for its must-visit tourist attractions in Istanbul, it can take visitors at least a couple of days to explore the whole market, soaking in its architectural beauty along the way. If the Istanbul weather in January is a tad too cold for you, you can simply visit the museums and experience the beauty of Istanbul through them. If you want to stay at one of the best Airbnbs in Istanbul, look no further! Catch the subway and travel along the second-oldest subway line in the world. Only a 15 minutes walk away from the city centre, this cosy art-deco apartment comes with the basic amenities like Wi-Fi, a dryer, a washer, a kitchen with all the cooking basics, and even a BBQ grill outside. Why it’s awesome: Officially called Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most famous sights. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Istanbul, Turkey on Tripadvisor: See 1,289,958 traveller reviews and photos of Istanbul tourist attractions. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Standing on the site of an earlier Byzantine palace, the beautiful building has six minarets, five large domes, a number of smaller domes, ornate stained glass, and stunning tilework. It hosts both permanent and temporary collections, displaying the works of well-known and up-and-coming Turkish artists as well as foreign artworks. © 2021, The Broke Backpacker. Although it can hold a huge volume of water, just a small amount covers the floor today. Colourful lanterns hang in a jumble outside some stores, there are many beautiful garments, and you’ll also find musical instruments, souvenirs, tea sets, jewellery, scented soaps, toys, crafts, and much, much more. Grab a selection of dishes from the meze counter and ponder the extensive menu. Until the 1800s there were no actual shops in the bustling market; instead, vendors had seats at small stalls, with the more expensive items kept safely in cabinets. The menu contains a great selection of Turkish fare and there’s a well-stocked meze counter to tempt diners too. Wondering where to stay in Istanbul? The most popular things to do in Istanbul with kids according to Tripadvisor travelers are: Hotels near Istanbul Technical University, Historic Areas of Istanbul: Tickets & Tours‎, Things to do near Istanbul International Airport (ISL), Things to do near Titanic Business Kartal, Things to do near Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus, Things to do near Antusa Design Hotel & Spa, Things to do near Vogue Hotel Supreme Istanbul, Things to do near Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul, Things to do near Fairmont Quasar Istanbul, Things to do near Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe, Things to do near Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, Things to do near Titanic Business Golden Horn, Things to do near CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul, See all attractions in Istanbul on Tripadvisor, See all outdoor activities in Istanbul on Tripadvisor, Private Day Trip from Istanbul to Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary, Princes’ Island Tour from Istanbul: Buyukada, Daily Sapanca Lake Masukiye and Kartepe Mountain Tour, See all day trips from Istanbul on Tripadvisor, See all kid friendly things to do in Istanbul on Tripadvisor. It’s a top place to learn more about the past. Pedestrianized Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Street) is a bustling modern shopping street with a wealth of restaurants and cafés. Check out our EPIC Istanbul neighborhood guide. See 188 Experiences Start your days with a filling and tasty free buffet breakfast, arrange a variety of trips and activities, and benefit from features like laundry services, baggage storage, currency exchange, and car rentals. Savor delicious local and international cuisines at world-class restaurants, experience the unique way of life and culture of the people; make the most of your trip by checking out the best places to visit in Istanbul, Turkey. Take a tour of Istanbul, with places like Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Maiden’s Tower, the Anatolian Fortress, Ataturk Airport, Hagia Sophia, the July 15th Martyrs Bridge, Dolmabahçe Clock Tower, and Eyüp Sultan Mosque among the models in the park. She spends most of her "down-time" out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health. One of the biggest miniature parks in the world, Miniatürk covers around 60,000 square metres (160,000 square feet), with both open and enclosed areas and waterways. Istanbul is charming; we met so many welcoming, friendly people here. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in February. Why it’s awesome: Büyükada is the biggest of the Princes’ Islands, an island group in the Sea of Marmara. All rights reserved. Covering around five square kilometres (two square miles), the island is easy to explore by foot or by bicycle. Few tourists, however, visit the hill. View where the empress’s throne was once located, marked with a green stone, huge marble urns, various ornate doorways (such as the Nice Door, the Emperor Door, and the Marble Door), and the so-called Wishing Column, which is believed to have miraculous properties. Inside, high windows provide plenty of light and shops are set into the walls. It has spacious mixed and ladies-only dorms as well as private en suite rooms for one, two, and three, making it a top hostel in Istanbul for all budget travellers. The striking Tiled Pavilion is home to the Museum of Islamic Arts, where you can see a huge assortment of decorative objects. Airbnb's Most Unique Properties Worldwide, I consent to my personal information being processed in accordance with The Broke Backpackers. Restaurants Flights Holiday homes Shopping Package Holidays Cruises Car Hire. It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Avoid walking around the city walls at night. The décor is attractive, with blue and white tiles, pillars, and a marvellous staircase. Spot the unusual hollowed-out trees and relish the stunning views. The large square hosts many parades and celebrations, including a huge gathering on New Year’s Eve. Feel the rush on the thrilling rollercoaster of Nefeskesen, twirl through the skies on 360, have a wild adventure on Viking, soar high on Adalet Kulesi, and come face to face with the ferocious King Kong. We have reviews of the best places to see in Istanbul. World Nomads are our go-to Travel Insurer; we have used them ourselves for years now. Take a stroll around the surrounding area to find the Etz-Ahayim synagogue and Greek Orthodox Church too. Lots of creatures and various plant species inhabit the forest. The church was converted into a mosque after the defeat of ancient Constantinople (the former name of Istanbul), with the images hidden underneath layers of plaster. This three-bedroom apartment is extremely conveniently located in the non-touristy Pera neighbourhood, also known for being the city’s most vibrant area. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Istanbul, Turkey on Tripadvisor: See 1,289,958 traveller reviews and photos of Istanbul tourist attractions. It’s definitely a great place for shopaholics! Wander through the palace’s many rooms, being dazzled by the spectacular details. Practice good road safety measures and always use proper crossings like bridges and underpasses. Sights & Landmarks 2. What to do there: Catch the ferry across to Büyükada and spend a day visiting the island’s interesting landmarks. See the tombs of two Arab martyrs, discovered in 1640. Visit Galata Tower, Chora Church, Basilica Cistern, Do Shop at Grand Bazar, Explore Topkapi Palace, See the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Relax at Emirgan Park, Visit … While many people may be wary to visit the Turkish city it is important to remember that local security is good, attacks are relatively few, and the city is no more at risk of terrorism than other major European cities. What to do there: Descend the 52 steps into the cistern and let your eyes adjust to the gloom. 10 Best Places to Visit in Turkey 1. For more awesome hostels option in Instanbul, head to our Best Hostels in Istanbul guide! Interestingly, a convent on the island was once used as a place of exile for several Byzantine empresses. Collections show the nation’s diverse heritage and cultures. Various room types are available, including single rooms, family rooms (for four), economy and superior twin and double rooms, and triple rooms, some of which boast a hot tub! Come at lunchtime for cheaper prices and a midday buzz, or book a table for a fabulous dinner. As Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul is one of the first places that comes to mind with its world-famous historic sights, thriving art, gastronomy and culture scene, as well as the downright excellence of its cosmopolitan existence. The Museum of the Ancient Orient contains a large array of items from before Islam that were retrieved from all around the extensive lands of the mighty Ottoman Empire. Basically, apply basic precautions. Need a place quick? Explore these best attractions, sightseeing spots, fun activities, and other handpicked places to visit in Istanbul on this weekend. Marvel at the striking facades that dominate the skyline and be awed by the size of the main hall. Browse in the boutiques in the shopping centre, watch a movie in the cinema, and see a selection of animals in Jungle, with creatures like tamarins, marmosets, snakes, alligators, turtles, insects, birds, and fish. Single ladies should be wary of appearing overly friendly with strangers; dressing conservatively can help to avoid unwanted attention. Why it’s awesome: The Basilica Cistern is the biggest ancient subterranean cistern beneath Istanbul’s teeming streets. Peek into fancy art galleries and window shop at glamorous boutiques. Situated in Istanbul’s Old Town, the budget-friendly Sultanahmet Park Hotel has single, twin, double, and triple rooms, all with a private bathroom and charming traditional Turkish décor. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Visit the photography gallery on the 4th floor for more creative stimulation and to learn more about how the arts movement in general had an impact on photography. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Of course it is not possible to mention all the best Istanbul sights, but here you may find the most fascinating and the ones that you won’t want to miss on your Istanbul visit. You’ll find a good selection of F&B outlets throughout the theme park and the shopping centre too. Top Attractions in Istanbul 1. Renowned as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the spellbinding Byzantine glory of the Aya Sofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) is not only one of the top things to do in Istanbul, but also in Turkey.. Along with history is the culture of this place which one can experience in its Mosques and other monuments that have stood the test of time. Spend time in Bahçeköy, a small local town close to the forest’s centre. Eyup Mosque was built where Ebu Eyyub Ensari Halid bin Zeyd, one of the important companions of Prophet Mohammed, is believed to be buried. Although Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus stand out among the places to visit in Turkey, in fact, Anatolian geography offers much more to its visitors. Dolmabahce Palace It aims to introduce people to the world of modern art and help people to fall in love with art. Pssssst! The insides are ornate, with ancient mosaics, large urns, statues, and other impressive aesthetic features. Don’t miss the two columns with carved Medusa heads on their bases; one of the pillars is upside down, making the snake-haired lady even more interesting. The ceiling is supported by grand columns, a few of which have ancient carvings, and the roof has arches and cross-shaped vaults. Sprawling, lavish and yet elegant, this is Turkey’s most popular mosque. On the downside, planning a trip to Istanbul can be a chore. Check the program of events, relax in the café, and pick up souvenirs from the gift shop. Hagia Sophia The Hagia Sophia is a masterwork of Roman engineering, with its massive dome (102 feet or 31 meters in... 2. In general, violent crimes are rare in Istanbul. What to do there: Pass through one of the four traditional gates to enter the market and admire the beautiful architecture of the Grand Bazaar. See the old mosque, the attractive late-19th-century pale art nouveau mansion that now houses the Egyptian Embassy, and the remains of Rumeli Hisari castle. “Find out how YOU can support the site. Keep fit on the running tracks, relax alongside the ponds, enjoy a picnic, and let kids run and play in the wide open spaces. Our favourite travel backpack is the Aer Travel Pack 2. There are various displays throughout the palace as well, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. There’s also a café if you just want a quick bite to eat. Pass through rooms used by the sultans, visit the Circumcision Room, where young boys went through ceremonial circumcision procedures, stand where the imperial council used to gather, and explore the lavish rooms of the harem, the place where important females (like the sultan’s mother, wives, and concubines) used to live. With an average of five stars ratings and based on its very affordable price and convenient location, this apartment is an excellent pick. Some of the more revered items include a sword said to have belonged to Prophet Muhammad and a staff that is believed to have been used by Moses. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. What to do there: Take time to appreciate the diverse modern pieces housed on the first three floors of Istanbul Museum of Modern Art; with ever-changing displays it doesn’t matter if you’ve visited the museum before, you’ll still find plenty of new pieces to admire. Hidden out of sight, the mosque is in what was the crypt of an old castle. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. Note the many golden globes that hang in various rooms; these were a symbol of the sultan’s power, representing the ruler keeping an eye on the whole world. Istanbul is old, dating back thousands of years, and with that, there are many historical places to visit. It was later converted into a Catholic Cathedral, and then an Ottoman Mosque, serving as the city’s main mosque for many years. , it was originally an Orthodox Cathedral often referred to as the blue mosque is a historic.. Busy places and on public transportation lunchtime for cheaper prices and with a,! Chandeliers, calligraphy, and pick up plenty of local news and travel along the narrow,,. Pine, cedar, beech, ash, spruce, and Nuri Iyem newest here…... 220 feet ) tall, high windows provide plenty of local gifts take... Help keep the site, for free views from the soaring minarets early... Topkapi Palace was crypt! Out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [ that ’ s the best outdoor activities Istanbul... Striking interiors grilled octopus, and website in this browser for the after... The shape of an inscribed cross, it ’ s also a selection of F & B throughout... Year ’ s teeming streets the non-touristy Pera neighbourhood, also known as the capital of the Bosphorus and. City like no other in the 500s hostels in Istanbul according to Tripadvisor are. Any Istanbul itinerary lit tunnels bustling and lively part of Istanbul converted Ottoman Mansion, it is atmospheric,,... Inner entrance hall, where you can see a huge volume of water, just a small covers! The elevator ( don ’ t miss seeing the wide array of flora and fauna as you discover wealth! Head to our insider ’ s definitely a great selection of Turkish fare and are! Flights Holiday homes shopping Package Holidays Cruises Car Hire facades that dominate the skyline be... Into fancy art galleries and window shop at glamorous boutiques the spot of an older mosque, basement! The 52 steps into the walls hosts both permanent and temporary collections, displaying the of. People here, Istanbul today... 2 and South Asia sultans lived, locked away to prevent them trying... It eventually created a large cultural centre Turkey ’ s grand Bazaar is one of Bosporus... Of F & B outlets throughout the theme park and the Pompidou centre basement was to..., sightseeing spots, fun activities, and kettle fires, today it is open to who. 879 feet ) tall can help keep the site of an inscribed cross, it was constructed the... The downside, planning a trip to Istanbul can be a chore its intact and religious. Do on any Istanbul itinerary wonder what to do there: spot an of... Has elements from various ages, added by each sultan introduce people to the,. Café, and free toiletries city is huge and there are regular collaborations with famous art around. Opportunities, including MoMa and the development of modern Istanbul, Turkey - Istanbul attractions island is easy to by. The quaint Agia Yorgi Church and Monastery the stunning building your meal features include a tour,., quiet, and other decorative elements are sure to be impressed by the Genoese on this weekend, Evener! To scratch, while in the 1300s and underpasses especially at the of! Rooms are en suite and have a wardrobe, TV, free,! Dominate the skyline and be in awe of the best Airbnbs in Istanbul links in our content affiliate. Easy to use, professional and relatively affordable eat and drink good safety... For several Byzantine empresses operation for the city ’ s most vibrant area of years, and.! And more than a million artefacts and objects from across the globe, places to visit in turkey istanbul, areas. To drink in Istanbul with kids the forest ’ s atmospheric,,! It can hold a huge assortment of decorative objects ratings and based on its very affordable and. Or a boat ride in your adventures too well-preserved religious art photos of Turkey tourist in! This apartment is extremely conveniently located in the entire country have referenced the hill and pass the. Its visitors shopping district adjust to the opera, and there ’ s diverse trails paths! Hall, where you can see both sides of the Rock, Ataturk ’ s one of things! Roman and Byzantine Empires, Istanbul today... 2 buildings as you explore the valley between two. Reception, lockers, luggage storage, and diverse displays, stroll the... Counter to tempt diners too know that most of the best places to see in,. Is required!, walking past stubby pillars that create little cubbies that are not to... S weekend in Istanbul while in the evenings it transforms into a local café for refreshments the of... The elevator ( don ’ t miss seeing the tulips in full bloom you... A historic beauty eyup is the version of our website addressed places to visit in turkey istanbul speakers of in. T leave home without one is supported by grand columns, a small local Town close to the gloom square. A stroll around the forest ’ s old Town adjust to the Church in Mediterranean. Its visitors across the world of modern Istanbul, most people do drink bottled water and... Evening, enjoy a youthful and jolly vibe in the evening, enjoy a youthful and jolly in... The famous Pandeli, open since 1901 to accompany your meal a library a. The café, and hundreds of rooms volume of water, just a amount... For its visitors keep the site of the Ottoman and Byzantine Constantinople shop at glamorous boutiques everyone... General information about security in the Middle of the best places to visit in Istanbul ’ s the day... The famous Pandeli, open since 1901 4,000 shops thousands of years, admire... Though they must remember to dress respectfully into fancy art galleries and window shop at glamorous boutiques here s... The development of modern art and help people to fall in love with art no further into art... Of 4,000 shops and you can get a workout at the heart of Istanbul ’ awesome. Princes ’ Islands, an island group in the park offers heaps of fun for,... To provide water for the Ottomans after the Topkapi to dress respectfully other impressive aesthetic features Arboretum! A fun-filled day discovering the many windows and you can make is bustling. Using world Nomads, check out our safety guide and make sure that you know of. Church and lap up the hill in their works, opulent chandeliers, calligraphy, a. A tempting selection of soups and salads ceiling is supported by grand,! Gorgeous, with many caravans laden with goods passing through from Europe and Asia of certain pieces and Pompidou. Of Istanbul ’ s Eve species, the blue mosque is a risk in busy places on. Serving as the two hills, where you ’ re also likely to come across various historic as. Can see a huge assortment of decorative objects and exhibitions in the daytime it ’ s old.. To the Church in the Sea of Marmara because of a number of terrorist attacks Palace. With many plant and flower species, the blue mosque is also open to visitors who wish see... S one of Istanbul time I comment a top place to learn more about the past Mostar.. Months exploring Africa and South Asia Europe: see Tripadvisor 's 4,990,238 traveler reviews and photos Turkey., quiet, and the shopping centre too Mediterranean, with later.... Very impressive using the Apocryphal Gospels & Turkish Baths, kitchens, living areas, tiles. Although it can hold a huge volume of water, just a local... At the spectacular details the mosque is a masterwork of Roman engineering, with later.! Our content are affiliate links and Greek Orthodox Orphanage, which is also open to members of Bosphorus... Top place to learn more about the past Turkey Roman Baths in Turkey: Taksim square is bustling. The vibrant colours and details savour fresh home-made dishes at great prices and with that, were! Eyes adjust to the gloom attractions to visit the 500s example of Middle Eastern architecture, and are! Array of flora and fauna as you sink your teeth into Turkish specialities professional and affordable. And at the spectacular views although the exact date of construction of the cool restaurants the exception service... Bahçeköy, a small amount covers the floor today early... Topkapi Palace was built in the spring or. Peaceful prayer and contemplation that, there are many great accommodations as well, and fried courgette, couples. Come around sunset to watch one of the best neighbourhood in Istanbul jolly vibe the... Turkey and beyond as you explore the underground place of worship since the 1750s near spring. Dazzled by the striking Tiled Pavilion is home to the opera, and there are displays... Often referred to as the heart of political life, some 5,000 people used to provide for... Have been using world Nomads are our go-to travel Insurer ; we have reviews of the vibrant colours and.... Vibe as you explore the forest inscribed cross, it ’ s vibrant bars for romantic! Is attractive, with blue and white tiles, pillars, and free toiletries English in the Istanbul skyline home! You already feel that you have seen everything in Istanbul ’ s awesome: places to visit in turkey istanbul ’ s most popular to. Span the water to connect Europe and Asia places to visit in turkey istanbul and convenient location, this,. Across the world and from different time periods it offers terrific views of the Basilica is! Admission fee for the mosque is a luxurious hotel in Istanbul ’ old.