If you are looking for a vibrant metropolis full of surprises, Istanbul should be your next destination. From shopping to eating, sightseeing to clubbing, you will be surprised how time flies in this fascinating city. These shopping and nightlife options offer great joy to the visitors of Istanbul.
Best Attractions in Istanbul
In Istanbul attractions are waiting for you. How about learning the art of ebru, one of the oldest arts in Ottoman history? Or how about having a photo taken in between all the Byzantine and earlier remains? Do you want to go on a taste journey with all the cultures that have passed through this land, with its magnificent food? Or how about fishing in a nearby area of Istanbul? The best thing for you is to have an Istanbul attractions map and plan all the tours before your arrival to Istanbul.
Topkapi Palace and Harem Tour
To be fascinated by the glory of the Topkapi Palace and the mystery of the Harem, a 3-hours palace tour is required for the most beautiful one among Istanbul tourist attractions. Treasury, holy relics, imperial kitchens, the rooms where the sultans live… When you get out of here, you won’t be the old you.
The importance of Hagia Sophia with its magnificent architectural structure is different for Byzantine and Ottoman history. Hagia Sophia, which was once a church and later a mosque, is now waiting for its visitors as a museum and it is at the top of the list of Istanbul top attractions.
Whirling Dervish Exhibition at Hocapaşa
In Turkey, Istanbul attractions are not limited. The whirling dervishes and their exhibitions lead man to completely different lands. Watch the fascinating Mevlevi Sema ceremony in Istanbul. Discover the fascinating beauty of love and peace here.
Istanbul Archeology Museum
With over a million pieces, it is a museum that houses many cultures. This is one of the largest museums in the world. It is also the oldest building that was built as a museum in Turkey.
In Istanbul, the main attractions are not limited by museums. This mosque which was built by famed Ottoman architect Sinan for the sultan known as Suleyman the Magnificent is one of the landmarks of Istanbul. The harmonization of the 53 m high dome is unique. In its quiet garden, you can feel that the sultan and his precious wife are having a walk.
If you ask about Istanbul Asian side attractions, we recommend you to visit Maiden’s Tower. All lovers know that the Maiden’s Tower is the most lonely and fascinating building in the world. Sitting on the shore of Üsküdar while watching the Maiden’s Tower as the sun sets means irresistible romance. What about watching Istanbul from the Maiden’s Tower? This cannot be explained, it must be experienced.
The Egyptian Bazaar
One of the top tourist attractions in Istanbul is Egyptian Bazaar. Another local market. Once you enter here you must taste Turkish Delight. The best ones are here. This bazaar, where the Ottoman Empire sold spices and other products from Egypt, is one of the places to visit in Istanbul.
If you have a look at the Istanbul tourist attractions map, you can easily notice Dolmabahçe Palace. This palace, built by composing Rococo, Baroque, Neoclassical and Ottoman architectural elements, is also one of the important structures of Turkish political history. Since the Republic of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk closed his eyes to life in the palace, it is also valued by the public.
This Genoese Tower that was built in the 14th century is one of Istanbul’s most unforgettable landmarks. In order not to miss any detail of great panoramic views over the city, take the elevator for the top balcony. It is a very popular place, so come early. Thus, you will be able to see one of the best attractions in Istanbul.
Food and Drinks Worth to Try in Istanbul
It is obvious that Istanbul is a minefield of food diversity in the world, it is the junction of East and West, and the meeting of many civilizations and cultures Food in Istanbul is one of the most delicious foods in the world. The most popular meals we can find on the streets of Istanbul are;
Or “sesame cake”: it is impossible to pass through a street in Istanbul and not pick you up the delicious smell of ovens and stalls selling hot cakes and fresh sugar coated And covered with sesame. It is a great breakfast for a tourist who does not want to stop in a restaurant and would prefer to take his “on the walk” at the start of a busy and promising tourist day in Istanbul.
Fish and Bread
Fish Sandwich is one of the most popular street meals in Turkey, which you can not ignore when passing by Karaköy or Eminönü Beach.
Consisting of dough, minced meat, onions, red pepper, baked in the oven, sprinkled with parsley and some lemon juice and served hot.
Kebab, the word contains within it many of the types of grilled meat that we know, such as shawarma, kofta, and meat. You cannot say that you visited Istanbul without eating a sandwich or kebab.
The meal is made from oysters served on half a shell, mixed with mashed rice, with lemon juice. Although oysters are usually meals served in expensive restaurants, Istanbul is famous for the stalls of Midye Dolma, which are widely distributed in Taksim Square.
Tourist Activities You Can Do with Your Children in Istanbul
Families can visit many of Istanbul’s tourist attractions, which support family relationships and increase family fun and gatherings.
It is a group of islands located on the Sea of Marmara, it follows the province of Istanbul and the distance from the center of Istanbul to this island about an hour and a half. There are bicycles available for rent, including two-seater where two people can drive. There is more than one beach in the Islands.
Istanbul Toy Museum
Established in 2005 for children by Turkish writer Sunay Akın, the museum presents children’s toys in a distinctive way, so it is one of the best places in Turkey for families with children.
Vialand Theme Park
Turkey’s largest recreational city, loved by adults and children. Some call it Disneyland of Istanbul. You can spend the most beautiful and fun times with the family where there are games suitable for both young and old. Vialand Istanbul has a special place for children from primary and secondary levels to teach them educational activities. You can also enjoy shopping in the mall, which features world-famous brands as well as many dining options and cinemas.
Magic Ice Museum
Visitors to Istanbul have always been keen to go to the ice parks at the Ice Museum, the first of its kind in Istanbul. The museum was built of 70 tons of ice from the Swedish River Torn.
Best Experiences in Istanbul
How many days do you need for Istanbul experiences? The answer to this question varies from person to person. One of the interesting things about visiting Istanbul is the fact that you will want to see again at least 1 place you have already visited. Therefore, 7 days period is recommended for a pleasant but quick trip to the city. No matter how many days you have spared; since you will be touring continuously, you will need very high energy. In addition, Istanbul has a separate life during the day and night and sometimes vitamin supplements may be needed to adapt to this energetic city!
Istanbul experiences mean a different memory for everyone. When you come to Istanbul, you just need to let yourself go with the flow. Historical beauties bring you back to the past, while the delicious food makes you live the moment. Between the two continents, while throwing the simit to the seagulls at the seaside or on the ferry, the passing time brings along its surprises.
Top Shopping Places and Markets in Istanbul
Istanbul promises an excellent experience for shopping enthusiasts. If you are looking for the best things to buy in Istanbul, check these places before your visit and make sure to have a shopping list!
If you happen to ask anyone the best place for shopping in Istanbul, 99% of the answers will be Grand Bazaar. One of the most famous and oldest bazaars in Istanbul, Grand Bazaar is located in the renowned Historical Peninsula. Here you’ll find a wide array of products ranging from Turkish delight, jewelry, carpets, traditional clothes, wood carved items, and much more.
You don’t need to go all the way to Dubai to have the best shopping experience. Shopping malls in Istanbul awaits the visitors with its luxury stores and bright atmosphere. You can find all kinds of things to buy in Istanbul in shopping centers such as İstinye Park, Kanyon, Zorlu Center, Akasya, and Emaar while having a great time with your family.
With historical buildings from the 19th and 20th century, Nişantaşı is one of the most sophisticated and stylish shopping places in Istanbul. From accessories to shoes, you can find anything you need in Rumeli and Teşvikiye streets, while you can do window shopping on Abdi İpekçi, a classy street with upper-scale retail stores such as Dior, Prada, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and many more.
It is one of the most important shopping streets in Istanbul, attracting thousands of visitors daily. Istiklal Street in Istanbul is considered one of the main places for holding national festivals and events alongside popular marches and gatherings.
Bağdat Avenue is a 14 kilometers long street located on the Asian side of Istanbul and is one of the truly mesmerizing places for shopping in Turkey Istanbul. Famous for its local and international brands, it’s an open-air shopping paradise as well as a good strolling area with its cafés, restaurants, and bars.
Don’t Miss The Nightlife of Istanbul
A night out with best friends or a cocktail with colleagues after work, Istanbul nightlife is full of options for memorable times. If you don’t know what to do in Istanbul at night, these places will guarantee a night well-spent.
Once an old beer factory, Bomontiada is born out of the ashes in the last couple of years. Home to Babylon, a live music venue for alternative artists and bands, Bomontiada is an entertainment complex with bars and restaurants. It’s a good place for a beer after work or a nice concert at the weekends.
Looking for the best nightclubs in Istanbul? With its distinctive atmosphere, Minimüzikhol is nestled in a beautiful old building in Cihangir, one of the coolest neighborhoods of Istanbul. As the name suggests, it’s a “mini” but fully established music hall loved by both locals and tourists.
Being one of the classics of Istanbul nightlife, Peyote is a three-floor music venue that hosts live performances of artists and DJs. The terrace is perfect for enjoying a drink accompanied by the fascinating panoramic view.
Alexandra Cocktail Bar
It is located Beşiktaş. A very tastefully furnished venue, and It has delicious drinks and a wonderful view. I think that the ambiance and view on the terrace should be tried once.
If you think that the European side is your only option for an enjoyable Istanbul night out, you’re definitely wrong. Kadife Street or as locals call it “Barlar Sokağı” (Pub Street) is lively and bustling every night of the week. After a couple of beers in Arkaoda or Bina, you can go to Zor and dance until the sun comes up.
Places to Stay in Istanbul
Istanbul has hundreds of hotels, apartments, and hostel, which vary according to their prestige, style, level of service and even prices. The hotels vary from historical to modern. The prices of hotels in Istanbul vary according to the location and stars of the hotel. Cheap hotels in Istanbul are often far from the city center or tourist attractions, while luxury hotels in Istanbul are located in the city center near tourist attractions. Here some best hotels in Istanbul;
Four Season Bosphorus
It is located in the oldest district of Istanbul and is one of the luxury hotels you can see there. From there you can go to many tourist destinations on foot for easily, such as the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Palace.
Çırağan Palace Kempinski
The hotel offers a resort atmosphere in the city and reflects the absolute luxury of a true Ottoman palace. The hotel has 310 rooms, including 279 rooms, 20 suites in the main hotel section and 11 suites in the Imperial Palace, the hotel’s restaurants and bars, offering an enjoyable cooking experience.
It is one of Istanbul’s 5-star luxury hotels, which features a lively location with fine restaurants, cafés, convention centers, meeting rooms, celebrations, boutiques, shops, and shopping centers, as well as tourist attractions and art galleries.
Swissotel The Bosphorus
Istanbul is one of the best 5-star hotels in Istanbul. Located in the Beşiktaş, close to Istanbul’s tourist attractions. The Swiss Hotel Bosporus offers modern and elegant rooms along with spacious family suites with great Bosporus views.
Located in the heart of Istanbul at Taksim Square, The Marmara Taksim Hotel is strategically located in the highest place in the “Seven Hills” area, offering guests a stunning view of the Bosphorus, and the Marmara Sea.