If you’re thinking about what to do in Istanbul which consists of multiple personalities and attaches visitors to itself with a passion, you’re at the right place … Be ready for a breathtaking journey while you’ll get to know unparalleled architecture, waterfront properties which decorate people’s dreams, rich delicacies, compelling cultural architecture of Istanbul and, above all, friendly and hospitable local folks and locations that are countless and are too many to travel!
If you want to make a profitable investment, pursue the life of your dreams or have a dreamlike holiday, Istanbul is the perfect place for you. Every corner of Turkey is to leave everyone fascinated with its unique values, but the spirit of Istanbul is unparalleled.
You can find yourself dreaming even just by standing on the coastline and watching the sea. When you wake up, you can watch the sea with sounds made by seagulls and watch the sunset in a rooftop while sipping your favorite drink in the evenings. No article or even a book will be sufficient for answering the question “what to do in Istanbul?”. Below are our recommendations for your one-day gastronomic trip plan in Istanbul. But you cannot omit what you should see. Our 4-day plan that will provide guidance for foreigners and local folks thinking about what to do in Istanbul which is evolving all the time will be enough to make you go into your dreams…
Reach Different Dimensions in Istanbul | Take Off Your Horse Glasses
Getting to know different cultures is the biggest investment we will make for ourselves throughout our lives. A gain that is bigger than learning and seeing is incredible. Experiencing different beliefs and different tastes, since the richness created by them in your subconscious will expand your world of thoughts, will help you reach different dimensions with every decision you’ll make in your life and give you a broader perspective. Come one now, throw away your blinkers and get into action!
Overview of the 4-Day Travel Route in Istanbul
1. Day: • Hagia Sophia (Fatih) • Blue Mosque (Fatih) • Istanbul Archaeology Museum (Fatih) • Basilica Cistern (Fatih) • Hagia Irene Church Museum (Fatih) • Chora Church (Fatih)
2. Day: • Innocence Museum (Beyoglu) • Pera Museum (Beyoglu) • Istiklal Avenue (Beyoglu) • Galata Lodge of Mevlevi Dervishes (Beyoglu) • Istanbul Modern Art Museum • Dolmabahce Palace (Besiktas) • Ortakoy Mosque (Besiktas)
4. Day: • Rumeli Fortress Museum (Sariyer) • Belgrade Forest (Sariyer) • Anadolu Fortress and Yoros Castle (Beykoz) • Kuleli Military High School (Uskudar) • Maiden Tower (Uskudar)
First Day in Istanbul | Journey to History in Fatih District
Moving towards Hagia Sophia, which is one of the most popular historical buildings in the world and has lately been a hot topic, may be the first answer to the question of what to do in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia, which has many rumors about it, was opened for worshipping after the conquest of Istanbul, and it was re-arranged as a mosque inside, ranging from gathering place for muezzins and minbar. It has been accepting visitors as a museum since 1935.
Turn your back to Hagia Sophia and what you’ll see is the Blue Mosque, the mosque that greets you with its unique beauty. The magnificent structure, which fascinates with its elegance and turns into a giant with its grandeur, reveals classical Ottoman architecture.
Istanbul Archeology Museum that has a 600-year in Turkey and is considered the most valuable cultural heritage for museology s one of the rare works of art that will give an answer to your question of what to do in Istanbul. The museum, located in the Fatihdistrict of Istanbul, is located on the slope that advances towards the Topkapı Palace through the entrance of Gulhane Park.
For the question of what to do in Istanbul, there are many points to see in Fatih district, which includes many cultural heritages. You can complete your day by visiting Basilica Cistern, Hagia Irene Church and Chora Church. In the evening, you can relax with a nice meal at the Four Seasons hotel in Sultanahmet, or at other places in the region which enchant visitors with their flavors.
Day 2 in Istanbul | Beyoglu and Besiktas, The Heart of Istanbul
If you woke up with the question what to do or where to go on your mind, prepare a bag… you are setting out a dreamlike journey in Istanbul . We suggest that you turn your route to Beyogluand then to Besiktas. We’re sure that you will want buy a house and live in Turkey, regardless of whether you’re are here for investment or just as a traveler. If you are visiting a country you do not know, there are two points to prioritize; food and cultural heritage. Beyoglu is one of the best alternatives for both.
You can start your second day in Istanbul by visiting museums. If you’re not already familiar with the work by Orhan Pamuk, one of the most valuable authors of Turkey, let us first recommend his work and start telling you about details; Masumiyet Müzesi (Innocence Museum)… The entrance fee for Innocence Museum which is actually a project planned by Orhan Pamuk before starting to write the book is TRY 20. However, the thing is that they will not charge you if you show up with a copy of the book with the same title as the museum itself. The museum filled with memories will affect the deepest corners of your soul.
We strongly recommend that you visit the Pera Museum right after this museum. Do not worry about what to do in Istanbul, the places you need to see will never end. The Pera Museum as one of the most qualified museums in Turkey constantly carries on its innovative activities as a contemporary cultural center and museum. Then, we recommend that you have a piece of dessert at te patisserie of Pera Palace Hotel.
Walk! Walk! Walk! | What to do in Istanbul
Walk up to Istiklal Avenue and blend within the crowd. İstiklal Avenue is a location that is always alive. This avenue with a dense human population gathers all types of stores and street flavors at a single place. It will drag you to different places owing to its atmosphere. Do not think about it, jut blend with the crowd and keep on walking… Then, we recommend you to stop by Galata Lodge of Mevlevi Dervishes. It is the first Lodge of Mevlevi Dervishes in Istanbul. Lodge of Mevlevi Dervishes, which is not a museum will take you to a different world.
There are many places on the Beyoglu route, but you will have time to visit all those places on different days. We suggest that you head towards Besiktas and see Ortaköy Mosque and Dolmabahce Palace in the evening. The unique sea view will make you fall in love with it. Dolmabahce Palace, which is the most magnificent and elegant structure of the Bosphorus, will enchant you with its magnificence. Look into its history and feel the history as you visit this unique value that has been turned into a museum.
Day 3 in Istanbul | There Is Much More To See!
If you think about what to do in Istanbul, we need to add that there are so many cultural heritages in every corner of Istanbul that one day will not suffice for all of them. There are many more places worth visiting within Fatih District. Today, you maybe exhausted at the end of the day. We suggest you to be a little cautious.
At the beginning, we told you that getting to know different cultures is the biggest investment we will make for ourselves throughout our lives. Fener Greek Patriarchate, known as the heart of Orthodoxy, is located in Fatih district of Istanbul. Regardless of the belief you have adopted, we recommend you to visit this place. After investigating the history of this heritage that sheds light on history, you will be so curious.
Places worth seeing in Istanbul never end, the Topkapi Palace has witnessed a history dating back to the time when Istanbul was conquered. Before the Dolmabahce Palace was built, it was the center for the administration of the state and for the daily life of the dynasty for a very long time. To understand Ottoman traditions, you should definitely see this valuable historical architecture.
We recommend that you make some difference to complete our “what to do list” in Istanbul in one day. You can visit the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. Here, you can shop, buy a wide range of products from coffee, spice to carpet and clothing. But you must absolutely stop by Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi shop and buy your freshly ground coffee. Do no forget to buy a spare pack.
Day 4 in Istanbul | It’s time to Travel to the Other Side of the City!
We do not know how to take a final tour on the European Side before going over the unique beauty that brings the two sides of Istanbul together, but we think you should go to Belgrade Forest and breathe in the fresh air. Then, you can witness the history by heading to the Rumeli Fortress Museum in Sariyer. Rumeli Hisarı Museum, located on the opposite side of Anatolian Fortress, was caused to be built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet to prevent attacks from the north of the Bosphorus.
We believe that everyone who is asking what to do in Istanbul is satisfied with this trip plan. If you are able to extend this 4-day plan to a wider time window, it will be more pleasant and comfortable for you.
After seeing the European side, we recommend that you go to the other side of the city and head to Anatolian Fortress you have watched form Rumeli Fortress. Then, Yoros Castle, located on the Anatolian side, which is known as the Genoese Castle. It is known that there was a Turkish quarter consisting of 25 households in the castle in the early 19th century.
Magical Visual | What to do in Istanbul
If you still have time, we recommend you to go to Uskudar and start sightseeing during the day. Uskudaris known as the place which witnessed history of Istanbul and combines European and Asian side of the city. Uskudar is a district you cannot finish sight-seeing in 4 days, let alone one day. Therefore, we have not added the Maiden Tower and Kuleli Military High School to our list.
The Maiden Tower is the first thing that comes to one’s mind when it comes to Istanbul, not just the question “what to do in Istanbul?.” We put it at the end of the list because we wanted you to have this magical visual feast in your mind when leaving Istanbul. Do not think that you have seen Istanbul without seeing the Maiden Tower.