Top 10 Things To Do
A Top 10 things to do in Istanbul list is a hard one to create. There are so many things left behind while choosing the ones on the list...
This list should start with the historical highlights in Sultanahmet district. But Istanbul's other architectural delights are worth mentioning too.
For strolling, shopping and going out Beyoglu is a classic and Galata is up and rising nowadays.
A Top 10 things to do in Istanbul list cannot go without mentioning the less crowded places. Istanbul also has its quiet places like Prince’s Islands or Northern parts of Istanbul like Belgrad Forest, Anadolu Kavagi etc.. These places still remain untouched by the hectic goings on in the city, during weekdays.
Istanbul provides plenty of choices for you, actually more than you need to…
Here are the Top 10 things to do in Istanbul:
1) Explore the exotic monuments of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires in the Old City:
See where the Roman Hippodrome was, see the Blue Mosque's fascinating interior, explore the treasures of Topkapi Palace, see the marvelous dome of Hagia Sophia, walk between the columns of Basilica Cistern, shop in Grand Bazaar and so on… For more information click here.
2) Cruise up the Bosphorus with Istanbul Shore Excursions:
Be sure to take a cruise between the two continents along the Bosphorus Strait. You will get past waterfront villages, picturesque palaces, mansions, fortresses situated on slopes, green forests and under two suspension bridges.
Remember that night view of the Bosphorus is especially pretty.
You can either take a private boat cruise which finishes under the Second bridge and turns back from there or take the ferry which travels the Bosphorus all the way to Black Sea (Anadolu Kavagi is the last stop) stopping in each port on the way for 10 minutes. For more information click here.
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3) Shop in the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market:
These two are the ultimate shopping experiences in an authentic atmosphere.
After having a glimpse of the Grand Bazaar, Mahmutpasa Gate exit, follow the way down full with peddlers, to the Spice Market. For more information click here.
4) Stroll through the Istiklal Street in Beyoglu:
This is probably the most famous one after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and righteoulsy deserves its place in the list of Top 10 things to do in Istanbul.
This street and its surroundings were the “New City” of their time and named “Pera” back then.
The area is full of elegant 19th- and early-20th century apartment buildings which were used as houses, stores and embassy buildings in giant gardens.
You can still see a couple of embassy buildings around here.
3rd oldest subway of the world, built in 1876, named “tunel” is waiting for you at the end of this street. For more information click here.
5) Soak up the atmosphere of Fishing villages along the Bosphorus:
There are quite a number of fishing villages along the Bosphorus but a trip to Istanbul should not end without a visit to Ortakoy, Bebek or Kuzguncuk.
These are perfect venues for exploring the Bosphous part of Istanbul. And a list of Top 10 things to do in Istanbul could never go without one of these neighborhoods.
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6) Ride a bike around tranquille Prince’s Islands:
Prince Islands are an archipelago in the Sea of Marmara, consisting of 9 islands.
The islands have natural forests and beaches. Going to Buyukada (the biggest one) for a day, is a renewing experience. You can have a horse carriage trip around the island or rent a bike.
Chances are, you will be surprised by the silence since motorized traffic is prohibited on the islands. For more information click here.
7) Have a refreshing Hamam experience:
Relax and cleanse with a Turkish bath and rubdown in a Hamam. You will admire the soothing effects of it on your body and mind.
You will feel totally refreshed and renewed after your hamam (Turkish bath) session. For more information click here.
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8) Feel like you are one of the Imperial crown family:
Trace the footsteps of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire and their families, who lived in palaces and mansions and had hunt trips in the forests on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait.
There are lots of places for you to feel what it was like to live during the Ottoman Empire times. You can luxuriate in an Ottoman palace or a mansion converted to a hotel.
You can even stay in a prison converted to a 5 star hotel, in Sultanahmet. You don’t have to stay if you are on a budget trip, you can get in there and have a drink to soak the atmosphere.
9) Sip a cup of tea as you watch boats passing by the Bosphorus Strait:
This is the most favorite activity of us, locals. You can easily understand this just by looking at the great number of shorefront tea gardens. There are really lots of them.
You can watch the giant ships and the tiny fishing boats at the same time, you can watch the sea changing color with the wind and the sun. You will definitely be delighted to feel the soft sea breeze in your face…
This is an experiment that you should not miss. If you have to choose one of the “Top 10 things to do in Istanbul”, pick this one.
10) Have the best dinner ever with Turkish Foods:
Have a dinner with a background of domes, Bosphorus and sunset. You have too much options it is nearly impossible to choose one.
Turkish food is not only delicious but healthy and exciting too. For more information click here.
I know I said Top 10 things to do in Istanbul, but I have to add this last one too as an 11th;
11) The Norther, the greener:
Make sure you see at least one of the Northern parts of Istanbul.
Be it the Anadolu Kavagi on Asian Side or Kilyos, Rumeli Kavagi or Belgrad Forest on European Side of Istanbul, just see one of them.
You don’t need the whole day, if you have only several hours that will do too… For more information click here.
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