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Founded in 330 BC Istanbul has an interesting history. Today Istanbul has a population of 14.4 million making it the sixth largest city in the world. It has become an increasingly popular choice for short breaks. Three or four full days in Istanbul will allow you to experience the delights of Istanbul and give you plenty of time to visit the famous sights from the Blue Mosque to the Grand Bazaar. This guide aims to highlight the best bits in the hope that you will enjoy and fall in love with Istanbul in the way that I have.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

20 Places

12 City Tips

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Map

20 Places

Day 1

Blue Mosque

Sacred & Religious Sites

Kapali Carsi

Flea & Street Markets

Spice Bazaar

Gift & Speciality Shops

Bosphorus Strait

Bodies of Water

Galata Bridge

Bridges

Sura Restaurant

Restaurants

Fountain of Kaiser Wilhelm II

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Dara Hotel Istanbul

Hotels

Day 2

Mosaic Museum

Ancient Ruins, Art Museums, History Museums

Arasta Bazaar

Flea & Street Markets

Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, History Museums

Gulhane Park

Parks

The Han Restaurant

Restaurants

Basilica Cistern

Ancient Ruins, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites

Suleymaniye Mosque

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites

Khorasani Restaurant

Restaurants

Day 3

Serpent Column

Historic Sites

Obelisk of III. Tutmosis

Ancient Ruins

Topkapi Palace

History Museums

Istiklal Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

NatttyB's City Tips

  • Carry a head scarf at all times (if you are female) and tie it to your bag. You never know when it may come in useful.
  • Take enough lira with you for the first day or two but change some money when you are there as you are likely (though not guaranteed) to benefit from a better exchange rate.
  • Take comfortable footwear as you are likely to be doing a lot of walking.
  • Enjoy a cup of Turkish tea/coffee or apple tea. A lot of restaurants offer this on the house after a meal.
  • Places like the Grand Bazaar are very busy and like any busy place there is a risk of pickpockets. Take a bag that can be fully zipped up.
  • The tram is an easy way to get around however they are busy at peak hour times. Tokens can be purchased for 2TL from the machines at the stations. One token is needed per journey.
  • Get a map of the city before you travel and mark on your hotel as well as the areas, sites and attractions that you wish to visit. This will help you to plan your trip sensibly.
  • Pack a mixture of clothing when visiting between seasons. we visited late March/early April and wore everything from t-shirts to coats.
  • Consider purchasing a museum pass as depending on how many museums you intend to visit it can work out better value and allows you to skip the queues.
  • Book a hotel in the Sultanahmet district as this will put you in a great location for visiting the major sites.
  • Be mindful that men and women are expected to dress modestly when within religious buildings.
  • Always have you camera with you as there are so many wonderful things to photograph.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Blue Mosque
    Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    A world heritage site, you simply cannot visit Istanbul without visiting Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed). It is beautiful, both from the outside and within. I think it is especially spectacular at night time when it is lit up. Blue Mosque is located in the Sultanahmet district so is close by to many other popular sites. I suggest visiting here early on in your trip so that you have plenty of time to come and see it again before you leave. Allow yourself at least half an hour to visit inside. There are benches facing the mosque so you can spend limitless time here watching the world go by and admiring the beauty of the mosque. The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 and is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles inside.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Modest clothing is expected so be mindful of this when visiting in the summer months.
    • Women should bring a head scarf to wear within the mosque and the grounds. There are ones available there or from nearby shops if you forget.
    • Shoes have to be removed and there are shelves to leave them on, or you can carry them in one of the plastic bags provided.
    • The main door is not for tourists, the entrance for tourists is clearly sign posted.
    • Take you camera as you are sure to take some stunning photos however remember that you are not allowed to photograph people praying.
    • The mosque is closed to visitors at prayer times, the prayer times for the day can be checked on the Blue Mosque website.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very crowded, watch what you wear 20/09/2017
    • Breathtakingly beautiful place of worship and a work art ! 20/09/2017
    • Blue Mosque
    Address:
    Sultanahmet
    Sultanahmet Mah
    Istanbul 34122
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 518 13 19
    Hours:
    Fri
    13:30 - 15:30
    Sat - Thu
    08:30 - 11:30
    13:00 - 14:30
    15:30 - 16:45
    Other:
  • Save
    Kapali Carsi
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world. It is huge, a maze of 61 streets and 3000 shops! Some guide books suggest spending several hours here, which you could, however we felt an hour was enough to walk around just some of the many streets. This gave us a flavour of the bazaar and we were able to enjoy the bustling atmosphere. The Bazaar is very busy with tourists exploring, as well as locals enjoying Turkish tea. There were lots of shops selling lamps and carpets as you might expect so it is the place to come if you are looking for a souvenir.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This was the busiest place that we visited in Istanbul so may not be suitable for those who dislike crowds.
    • The Bazaar is split into sections such as leather or gold. Take a map of the Bazaar with you so that you can try to locate the areas you wish to see most.
    • As with any crowded place pickpockets are a risk so take a bag which can be securely closed.
    • Take your camera as there are some excellent photo opportunities, you can take some beautiful photos of the lamp stalls.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Big bazaar with bigger crowds 20/09/2017
    • Nothing much to see! 18/09/2017
    • Kapali Carsi
    Address:
    Beyazit Mh.
    Fatih
    Istanbul 34126
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 519 12 48
    Other:
  • Save
    Spice Bazaar
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    After visiting the Grand Bazaar we walked through the Spice Bazaar. The colours and smells are amazing and you can take some fabulous photos. There is so much food here from spices, Turkish delight and tea in so many flavours. It is much smaller than the Grand Bazaar and if anything I preferred it. The spice bazaar has been in Istanbul since the 1660s.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Take you camera as there are some excellent photo opportunities, there are some beautiful photos of the spice stalls.
    • Check your cupboards before your trip as this is a great place to stock up!
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 544 Shopping in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Bustling place 19/09/2017
    • Wonderful and Vibrant 11/09/2017
    • Spice Bazaar
    Address:
    Rustem Pasa Mahallesi 34116 Istanbul, Turkey
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 537 646 63 31
    Other:
  • Save
    Bosphorus Strait
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    After walking through the Spice Bazaar we walked down to the Galata Bridge. To the right of the bridge you can purchase tickets for the river cruise. We went on the cruise that departed at 2pm which was a round two hour trip on a large boat. There are all day hop on hop off options however we decided that this suited us best. A river cruise is an excellent way to see the Bosphorus and the many sites along it such as: Dolmabahçe Palace; Ciragan Palace; mansions, Ortakoy Mosque, Beylerbeyi Palace, Küçüksu Kasri (a hunting lodge). At present they are constructing a new bridge to be called the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge. The round trip cost us 12TL each.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • A river trip on a sunny day is the best way to experience the Bosphorus.
    • Buy the audio guide on offer or take a guide book so that you know what you are looking at.
    • Take an extra layer with you as it can be windy on the top deck.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not an Activity 20/09/2017
    • Busy waterway 20/09/2017
    • Bosphorus Strait
  • Save
    Galata Bridge
    Bridges
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    Famous for fish take a walk along the bridge following the river cruise. There are lots of fisherman fishing off the bridge and there is a constant flow of people crossing the water. If you walk along the bottom level of the bridge there are fish restaurants which I hear are some of the best - however I did not sample any. The original Galata bridge was constructed in 1845 however the one that stands today (the fifth) was completed in the 1990's.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • This may not suit if you do not like the smell of fish!
    • The tram line runs across this bridge so watch out!
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • something not to be missed! 20/09/2017
    • Very busy bridge 20/09/2017
    • Galata Bridge
    Address:
    Galata Koprusu Kemankes Karamustafa Pasa
    Beyoglu
    Istanbul 34425
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 243 95 01
    Other:
  • Save
    Sura Restaurant
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Turkish, Middle Eastern)
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    We found this fantastic restaurant in the Sultanahmet district and during the five nights we stayed in Istanbul we ate here three times. The food is delicious and good value. The staff are polite, everything seems very clean and it is located just off the main street. It offers a good selection of Turkish foods. Two main courses and two rounds of drinks cost us about 100TL.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Try the lamb chops - they are delicious!
    • An excellent place to sample an apple tea.
    • Make sure you visit the toilets. They are amazing. Immaculate! Everything is marble with horse heads as taps.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 7,502 restaurants in Istanbul
    • Nice lunch 12/09/2017
    • Great Turkish food and super nice service 02/09/2017
    • Sura Restaurant
    Address:
    Divanyolu Cad. Alemdar Mah.Ticarethane Sk. No:45 Sultanahmet
    Istanbul 34122
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 513 83 90
    Price range:
    US$20 - US$131
    Other:
  • Save
    Fountain of Kaiser Wilhelm II
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    The fountain was constructed in Germany and transported to Istanbul before being assembled in 1901. The fountain was commissioned by German Emperor Wilhelm II following his visit to Istanbul in 1898. Be sure to take a look at this at night time when it is lit up! It is very beautiful and the golden mosaic underneath the dome is stunning. It is located in the Sultanahmet district, if you are not staying in the area you are likely to walk past it on the way to Blue Mosque.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visit at night when it is beautifully lit.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #109 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • German engineering.. or was it Italian? 16/09/2017
    • Sons visit 13/07/2017
    • Fountain of Kaiser Wilhelm II
    Address:
    Hippodrome Square
    Istanbul
    Turkey
  • Save
    Dara Hotel Istanbul
    Hotels
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by friendly staff who took time to mark on a map for us the main sites - most of which were very close to our hotel. It took less than five minutes to walk to the Blue Mosque and there were plenty of restaurants serving traditional Turkish food nearby. Throughout our stay the staff were helpful; in particular when arranging transport back to the airport. The staff really couldn't do enough for us and are an asset to this hotel. Stay here if you wish to be close to the major sites as it is located just five minutes from Blue Mosque. Note that there is a full review of this hotel on my profile.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • We booked a triple room for two of us which had a double bed and two singles, this was perfect.
    • The hotel is next to a Mosque and the early morning call to prayer may wake you so request a room on the other side of the hotel if you are a light sleeper.
    • A taxi from the airport costs around 60 Turkish Lira
    • The lift is tiny! I think it would just fit a wheelchair. On one side of the hotel there is no lift so if stairs are an issue request a room on the side of the hotel with the lift.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #270 of 1,161 Hotels in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good Location And terrace 02/06/2017
    • Returning to my old friends 25/05/2017
    • Dara Hotel Istanbul
    Address:
    Kucuk ayasofya Mahallesi Su Terazisi Sok. No:25 Sultanahmet, Fatih
    Istanbul 34122
    Turkey
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Mosaic Museum
    Ancient Ruins, Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    I think this has to be the largest mosaic I have ever seen! You can walk around the mosaic on a platform at ground level and from above. The mosaic museum is not crowded and we did not have to wait in any queues. It dates from Byzantine times and was the floor of the Great Palace. Many scenes depict hunting and scenes from myths. Good for a rainy day!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is closed every Monday.
    • At time of writing entrance is 10TL.
    • The museum pass costing 85TL (at time of writing) includes entry to Mosaic Museum.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #63 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Something inspired 15/09/2017
    • Nice byzantine mosaics 02/09/2017
    • Mosaic Museum
    Address:
    Torun Sok.
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 518 12 05
  • Save
    Arasta Bazaar
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    This is next to the Mosaic museum and we walked through the bazaar on our way to the museum. There are a range of shops selling things such as carpets and jewellery. It is open air and much less crowded than the Grand Bazaar. The shops feature a number of handmade items that would provide many happy memories of your trip.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #62 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Arasta--A Highlights tour of the Grand Bazaar 19/09/2017
    • Beware of the higher prices 16/09/2017
    • Arasta Bazaar
    Address:
    Arasta Bazaar #57
    Sultanahmet
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 516 07 33
    Other:
  • Save
    Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, History Museums
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    Construction completed on Hagia Sophia in 537AD. Initially Hagia Sophia was a church until 1453 when it became a mosque. Since 1935 Hagia Sophia has been a museum and today it is a world heritage site. According to the museum website the museum received 3.3 million visitors in 2013 so expect it to be crowded. This is somewhere not to miss and there are religious images on the walls and ceiling as well as Viking graffiti upstairs. The museum is undergoing renovation so there was a lot of scaffolding up in one area when we visited. Hagia Sophia stands opposite the Blue Mosque and the site of them together is breathtaking. There are benches and a fountain where you can sit and admire the view both during the day and at night time when the fountain changes colour.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Hagia Sophia is closed every Monday.
    • At time of writing entrance is 30TL.
    • Take your camera as there are some great photo opportunities.
    • The queue is longer in the mornings than the afternoons.
    • Flash photography is not permitted in all areas.
    • Take your guide book with you so that you know what you are looking at once inside!
    • If you wish to visit the tombs you will need to be modestly dressed and women will need a headscarf.
    • The museum pass costing 85TL (at time of writing) includes entry to Hagia Sophia.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It was ok 20/09/2017
    • Hagia Sophia 20/09/2017
    • Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
    Address:
    Ayasofya Square, Sultanahmet
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 522 1750
    Other:
  • Save
    Gulhane Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    This is five minutes from Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. This park is a peaceful escape from the bustling city and is the perfect place to sit and rest your feet after a busy morning. We visited late March and the hundreds of flowers were not quite in bloom, I imagine they look beautiful later in April.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Visit in April when the hundreds of tulips are in bloom.
    • A great place for a sit down on one of the many benches after a busy morning sightseeing.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • OASIS 18/09/2017
    • Gulhane park 17/09/2017
    • Gulhane Park
    Address:
    Alemdar Mah. Alemdar Cad. Eminonu/Cagaloglu, Fatih
    Istanbul 34122
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90-212-584-16-00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Han Restaurant
    Restaurants (Turkish, Middle Eastern)
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    If you follow the tram line around the corner and down the hill from the left of Hagia Sophia you will come to The Han Restaurant near the bottom of the hill on your right hand side. It is a large restaurant authentically decorated and in the window you will see fresh savoury pancakes being made to order. There are lots of dishes to choose from however as we wanted something fairly light we decided on the pancakes. They are good value and really yummy - ideal for lunch!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Try the delicious savoury pancakes! We got two flavours and had half each.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #1,471 of 7,502 restaurants in Istanbul
    • Great Ambiance 25/07/2017
    • Not recommended 05/07/2017
    • The Han Restaurant
    Address:
    Cankurtaran Mah, Alemdar Cd. Soguk Cesme Sk. No. 26
    Sultanahmet, Eminonu
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 526 62 62
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    20:30 - 03:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Basilica Cistern
    Ancient Ruins, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    Located in the Sultanahmet district, over the road from Hagia Sophia, this Cistern constructed 527-565AD is unusual. Inside are 336 marble columns and 2 Medusa heads. It is certainly different, you won't need more than about half an hour inside.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Allow no more than an hour for your visit.
    • Take an extra layer as it is chilly and damp down there.
    • The queue for entry moves quickly.
    • A time of writing entry costs 20TL.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • One time visit 20/09/2017
    • Very unusual structure 20/09/2017
    • Basilica Cistern
    Address:
    Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3
    Istanbul 34410
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 512 15 70
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Suleymaniye Mosque
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    Construction on the Suleymaniye Mosque completed in 1557. It is one of the most popular mosques in Istanbul and is beautiful. The ceiling is amazing so take plenty of time to admire this. This is less busy than the Blue Mosque however it is still definitely worth visiting.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The main door is not for tourists, the entrance for tourists is clearly sign posted.
    • Women should bring a head scarf to wear within the mosque and the grounds. There are ones available there or from nearby shops if you forget.
    • Take you camera as you are sure to take some stunning photos however remember that you are not allowed to photograph people praying.
    • Shoes have to be removed and there are shelves to leave them on, or you can carry them in one of the plastic bags provided.
    • Modest clothing is expected so be mindful of this when visiting in the summer months.
    • The mosque is closed to visitors at prayer times, the prayer times for the day can be checked on the Blue Mosque website.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful 20/09/2017
    • A Must See 19/09/2017
    • Suleymaniye Mosque
    Address:
    Sinan Aga Mah. Zeyrek Cad. No:4
    Zeyrek, Fatih
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 506 769 33 92
    Other:
  • Save
    Khorasani Restaurant
    Restaurants (European, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Barbecue)
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    This restaurant offers traditional Turkish food and in the middle is a huge grill. We sat next to this and watched the food cook. We opted for chicken dishes which were yummy! However we particularly enjoyed the mixed meze starter. Located just off the main street in the Sultanahmet district with great service and good food you can't go wrong.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Get a table close to the grill in the middle of the restaurant.
    • Try the mixed meze starter.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #60 of 7,502 restaurants in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good food, questionable business practices 22/08/2017
    • loved the food 15/08/2017
    • Khorasani Restaurant
    Address:
    Divanyolu Ave. Ticarethane St. No:39
    Istanbul 34400
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 519 59 59
    Price range:
    US$6 - US$29
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Serpent Column
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    This is an ancient bronze column and is something worth taking a look at if you are in the Sultanahmet district, we stayed nearby so walked past it every day. It is located in the Hippodrome area.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Have your camera ready, again this looks best at night when it is lit up.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #122 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    • Poor Maintenance 18/09/2017
    • Very old but not maintained well 14/07/2017
    • Serpent Column
    Address:
    Hippodrome of Constantinople
    Istanbul
    Turkey
  • Save
    Obelisk of III. Tutmosis
    Ancient Ruins
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    The Obelisk is well worth stopping to look at if you are in the area - it is in the hippodrome near to the Blue Mosque. It has been standing in Istanbul since 390AD! However, the Obelisk is somewhat shorter than it was originally as it is believed to have been damaged in transit. Some of the plinth on which it stands has been restored.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visit at night when it is lit up.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • egyptian relic in the middle of istanbul 17/09/2017
    • Dont forget to Take a photo here 14/09/2017
    • Obelisk of III. Tutmosis
    Address:
    Sultanahmat Meydani
    Sultanahmet, Fatih
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Topkapi Palace
    History Museums
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    Topkapi Palace was one of the highlights of our trip. We were expecting to spend maybe a couple of hours here but surprised ourselves by spending most of the day here. Visiting on a sunny day which was a bonus as there are nice grounds to walk through. There are people offering guided trips when you queue to purchase tickets however we took our guide book in with us which provided us with enough information along with the signs in the museum. There are fantastic views of the Bosphorus and each room is different. For example there is a portrait room, Treasury and a clock room among many others. Don't miss Topkapi Palace - it will be a highlight of your trip.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The palace is closed every Tuesday.
    • Don't underestimate how long you may spend here as there is a lot to see.
    • The queue for entry is long and once inside you have to queue to enter some of the rooms however the queues do move quickly.
    • Watch out for people trying to push in the queues. We noticed people sitting on the benches near the entry to rooms and then jumping into the queue.
    • The museum pass costing 85TL (at time of writing) includes entry to Topkapi Palace and Harem Apartments.
    • Not all areas of the Palace are open at once as they close parts of the museum for restoration.
    • At time of writing entrance costs 30TL plus an additional 15TL for the Harem. If you wish to enter the Harem you have to purchase the ticket with your general admission ticket.
    • Don't miss The Treasury.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Grand Old place, worth taking your time, you'll need a fair bit of it to appreciate it. 20/09/2017
    • Must see in Istanbul 20/09/2017
    • Topkapi Palace
    Address:
    Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Topkapi Palace Museum, 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
    Gulhane Park, near Sultanahmet Square
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 212 522 44 22
    Other:
  • Save
    Istiklal Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    NatttyB Says:

    We stayed in the Sultanahmet district and got the tram up to here and from the tram walked to Istiklal Street. It was such a contrast to where we were staying with so many European shops. It was like Istanbul's equivalent to Oxford Street. We had gone up here hoping to get dinner, however were disappointed as it was mainly fast food restaurants and not the traditional Turkish food we were after, we therefore did not eat here. Come to Istiklal Street if you fancy some shopping.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • This is the place to go if you want European shops.
    • Lost of fast food restaurants here if that is what you are after.
    • The area is best accessed by tram.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #34 of 1,088 things to do in Istanbul
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Must go 20/09/2017
    • An OK experience 20/09/2017
    • Istiklal Street
    Address:
    istiklal street Taksim
    Beyoglu
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Phone:
    +90 532 421 61 64
    Other:
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