8 Must-Do Things in Istanbul
Updated: Apr 23
If you're planning to visit Istanbul, you're in for a treat. This city is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and history. And with so many things to see and do, it can be overwhelming to decide what to prioritize. Fear not, as I've put together a list of 8 must-do things in Istanbul that you simply cannot miss.
1. Marvel at the Hagia Sophia
This iconic structure is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture and is considered one of the world's most impressive landmarks. You will be amazed by its enormous dome and intricate mosaics. Don't forget to explore the underground cisterns beneath the building while you're there.
2. Cruise the Bosphorus
A Bosphorus cruise is an excellent way to take in the city's stunning skyline and make your way to the Asian side of Istanbul. You can book a tour or hop on a ferry and enjoy the ride with the locals. Either way, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the city.
3. Shop at the Grand Bazaar
No trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the world-famous Grand Bazaar. This centuries-old market has over 4000 shops selling everything from gold jewelry to Turkish ceramics, spices to leather goods. It's a shopper's paradise and a great place to hone your haggling skills.
4. Walk the Hippodrome
The Hippodrome is an ancient stadium that was once used for chariot races and other public events. Today, it's a spacious park with monuments and ruins from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Take a stroll through the area and imagine the grand events that once took place here.
5. Eat a Turkish Breakfast
A traditional Turkish breakfast is a feast for the senses. Enjoy Turkish tea, fresh bread, olives, tomato and cucumber salad, cheese, jam, and eggs cooked to your liking. Some restaurants even offer a selection of pastries to indulge in. It's the perfect way to fuel up for a day of adventure.
6. Explore the Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi Palace was once the residence of the Ottoman sultans and is now a museum that displays the luxuries and secrets of the Ottoman dynasty. It's a fascinating place to visit if you're interested in Turkish history and art.
7. Visit the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque is a beautiful and impressive structure that is still used as a place of worship. The interior is ornately decorated with blue tiles and intricate calligraphy. Be sure to bring a scarf or long-sleeved shirt if you plan to enter as a sign of respect.
8. Soar on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
One of the most unique and thrilling things to do in Istanbul is to take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. You'll be treated to stunning views of the rock formations and unique landscape that has been shaped by centuries of volcanic activity. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Istanbul is a city of endless possibilities, and with these 8 must-do things, you're sure to have a trip of a lifetime. Whether you're into history, culture, shopping, or adventure, there's something for everyone in this vibrant metropolis. So, pack your bags, prepare your itinerary, and get ready to discover the magic of Istanbul. Happy travels!