3 Days in Istanbul with the Perfect 3 Day Itinerary
Are you ready to spend an enjoyable 3 days in Istanbul? Our HeyTripster’s local trip designers’ trip plans are available to help you squeeze every last drop out of your experience here in one of the world’s most fascinating cities. With so much to see and do in Istanbul you could spend weeks exploring and discovering its delights and treasures, so we’ve condensed all of it down to help guide you through the must-see places for your first trip to this incredible city.
You should read other blogs including 4 days in Istanbul or 7 days in Istanbul according to your stay. If you are looking for hotels in Istanbul to stay in, I’m recommending you book via this Agoda link.
Here’s how to plan your trip day by day:
Day 1 – Sultanahmet Walking Tour
- Historical peninsula of Istanbul
- Blue Mosque
- Basilica Cistern
- The Grand Bazaar
- Suleymaniye Mosque
- Taste the famous Vefa boza
Before we start, I’d like you to consider these tours you can use during your visit in Istanbul!
Historical peninsula of Istanbul
Why not start your trip with sightseeing in the historical peninsula of Istanbul. Strolling through its streets is a journey through history.
Your first stop is a visit to the Blue Mosque. The mosque’s unique structure attracts a lot of attention.
You should also visit the Basilica Cistern while you’re in the area. This subterranean structure was built by order of Emperor Justinian in 532.
The Grand Bazaar
From Sultanahmet, you can walk to Beyazıt where you’ll find The Grand Bazaar, one of the most famous and fabulous places in Istanbul. You can buy many varieties of spices and precious jewellery such as gold and silver, and all manner of local and artisan goods at the Grand Bazaar. It’s huge, and if you want to fully experience it you should give yourself plenty of time.
After visiting the Grand Bazaar your next stop is the Suleymaniye Mosque. The Suleymaniye Mosque was built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan at the request of Suleiman the Magnificent, one of the most famous sultans of the Ottoman Empire. It’s impossible not to feel the glory of this fantastic historic building.
Taste the famous Vefa boza
We recommend you walk from the Blue Mosque to Vefa where you can taste the famous Vefa boza, a traditional, lightly fermented beverage made using millet semolina, water, and sugar. After completing your tour, you can go into one of the cafes overlooking the Golden Horn to relax.
Day 2 – Kadikoy Walking Tour
- Travel from Europe to Asia by ferry
- Go to the bazaar in Kadikoy
- Lay on grass at Moda
- Be amazed by the view of the Maiden’s Tower
Travel from Europe to Asia by ferry
We have planned a truly magical journey for your second day. You’ll travel from Europe to Asia by ferry. It’s traditional on the trip, to throw bagels to the seagulls that follow the ferry during the journey! Boats and ferries depart from the piers in Eminönü, Karaköy, and Besiktas to go from Europe to Asia.
You can consider Bosphorus tours which is a great experience for you!
Go to the bazaar in Kadikoy
On the Asian continent, you’ll arrive at the Kadıköy Pier. Kadikoy is always lively, energetic, and cheerful. For your first stop, go to the bazaar in Kadıköy. It’s the ideal place for shopping, eating, and drinking. Why not take a break and enjoy a Turkish coffee made with beans freshly roasted on embers? Then walk down to one of the most famous streets in Kadıköy; Bahariye Street.
There are lots of shops that you can do your shopping in Istanbul.
Lay on grass at Moda
You can walk to Moda from Bahariye Street or you can use the tram if you don’t want to walk. In Moda, there are outdoor tea shops where you can drink tea and gaze at the seaview. And afterwards, why not take a walk along the beach and then take some time to lie on the grass and just enjoy life for a few moments.
Be amazed by the view of the Maiden’s Tower
You can return to Kadikoy either by walking through the beach or by taking a bus, tram, or taxi from Kadikoy to Uskudar. In Üsküdar you can sit on cushions on the coast of Salacak and watch the glory of Kızkulesi (the Maiden’s Tower), which seems to smile coyly in front of the setting sun. Romance rocks!
Day 3 – European Side Tour
Taksim Square and Istiklal Street
For your last day in Istanbul, your tour starts from Taksim and Istiklal Street. During the walk from the square to the street there are many shops selling food and drinks or souvenirs. Generally, the famous streets in Istanbul are here!
When you reach the end of Istiklal Street, continue walking towards Galata where you can view the Istanbul cityscape from the balcony of the Galata Tower.
After your visit to Galata, walk to Karaköy where you’ll find the ambiance of the shops and streets quite different. There are many cafes in Karaköy where you can relax.
We suggest a different area of the city for your final dinner in Istanbul: Arnavutköy – a unique place different from anywhere else in the city. For a unique taste of Istanbul, we recommend you eat fish. Eating fish on the last evening of your visit is the most spectacular way of saying goodbye to this fascinating city. Arnavutköy has many restaurants.
Have a look at the HeyTripster trip plans for your three-day trip to Istanbul and enjoy this fabulous city with a trip plan of your choice and the places you most want to see.