If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital. – Napoleon Bonaparte
Either I conquer Istanbul or Istanbul conquers me. – Mehmed the Conqueror
When you see Istanbul you’ll understand why everyone loves this city.
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1. Rowing on The Golden Horn
How about sailing with a rowboat from the shores of Old Istanbul at sunrise? It’s a different way to see the splendour of the city. Contact Istanbul Tour Studio to book this unique 1-hour experience.
2. Walk The Old Byzantine Walls
Starting from Yedikule Fortress, which protected the Byzantine Empire, follow the walls of Old Istanbul to the city’s outer limits. A fantastic alternative view of Istanbul. Click here to read reviews about the Yedikule Dungeons in Fatih, Istanbul.
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3. Take a Bath in the Hammam
Kılıç Ali Paşa Hammam
Bathe like a sultan at a hammam. There are many historical hammams in Istanbul and Kılıç Ali Paşa in Karaköy, Tophane is one of the best. There are separate times for men and women to bathe.
If you’re travelling as a couple, Suleymaniye Hammam in Suleymaniye is ideal. It’s open 24/7 and will open your eyes to 450 years of historical and private hammam rituals. This hammam is exclusively for families and couples.
4. Go On a Cruise Between Two Continents
Istanbul is the city where Asia and Europe meet and travelling from one continent to another takes just 15 minutes. For this, you can use Cityline Ferry and if you pay with Istanbulkart you can sail for a single boarding fee. Don’t forget to buy simit (bagels) to throw to the seagulls that will follow the ferry.
5. Listen to the Screams in the Basilica Cistern
Istanbul also has delights and surprises underground. The best example of this is the Basilica Cistern. Inside the Basilica Palace, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, you can see Medusa’s head which is said to turn people to stone. If you listen carefully you can hear the screams from the depths of the cistern – and perhaps even uncover the secret of the weeping stone. There is an entrance fee to pay.
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6. Visit Galata Tower
Climb Galata Tower, a fairytale setting with panoramic views of Old Istanbul and gaze out over the city while having a drink in the upstairs restaurant and bar.
7. Watch the Maiden’s Tower at Sunset
As the sun goes down the glory of the Maiden’s Tower is enhanced. Watching the Maiden’s Tower from the coast of Salacak on the Asian side of Üsküdar is the most romantic way to end your day in Istanbul.
8. Stay in the Room Where Agatha Christie Has Stayed
Stay in room 411 in Pera Palas and take a trip back in time to when Agatha Christie wrote “Murder on the Orient Express”.
PLANNING A TRIP TO ISTANBUL?
Uncover the top hidden gems of the city, suggested by locals themselves. Get in-depth local knowledge and skip the tourist traps with covid-friendly and up-to-date trip plans designed by locals with HeyTripster!
I am eager to leave my comfort zone and push myself to try new things. The best way to do it is by traveling. So I keep exploring the world and myself.