FREE: 16 Things To Do In Istanbul
Istanbul is the largest city in Türkiye that sits in both Europe and Asia with the Bosphorus Strait flowing between. The city has several famous landmarks which can't be missed! Here are 16 things to do in the beautiful city Istanbul.
16 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

Overview

Best Time To Visit

🌸 The best time to visit Istanbul is in the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) seasons. The weather is much cooler than the summer months and a great time to sight see and wander the neighbourhoods. There are also fewer tourists during these seasons, allowing easier travel.

Physical Rating

🚶‍♀️Active - Majority of the city can be explored by walking however, there are public transports available to use to make travelling faster. 

Traveller Type

🏛 History - a rich history lies in the city of Istanbul with several ancient ruins such as the Basilica Cistern and Galata Tower. There are over 3000 mosques in Istanbul with the famous ones being The Blue Mosque and the Suleymaniye Mosque. 

😋 Foodie - A variety of food to try from such as simit and baklava as well as try the traditional Turkish cuisine available in many restaurants. There are also several vegan and vegetarian restaurants too!

🛍 Shopaholic - Explore the oldest and largest Grand Bazaar or the famous Spice Bazaar which a variety of spices to buy from. 

Cost

💰Istanbul is relatively cheap however, this depends on the time of year the trip is, how many days you are there for and the activities you decide to do. 

Transport

🚆Metro - the fastest and efficient way to travel around with a total of 16 lines. 

🚋 Tram - Available on the European side of Istanbul to explore the city with its two lines T1 and T2.

⛴ Ferry - A scenic way to travel around Istanbul. It is a popular transport for both the locals and tourists and an easy way to connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. 

🚌 Bus - The bus is an affordable way to travel around the city, however, it can be slow during peak hours due to high traffic. 

🚖 Taxi - Taxis are available easy and are a great way to travel around. I recommend using Uber to ensure you know the cost of the ride from before and avoid taxi drivers over charging you. 

Current Weather

Links marked with a "*" are affiliate links - which means I receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products through this link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product.

Flights/Hotels/Transfers

*Flights and Hotels:

 *Airport Transfers:

Grand Bazaar
@TravelWithJanvi
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with over 4,000 shops. The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams (Beyazıt-Kapalıçarşı stop). The Grand Bazaar is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the world. If you are planning to visit the Grand Bazaar, you can find a variety of goods such as jewellery, carpets, spices, ceramics, textiles, and more! The Bazaar is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Add to
Details
Suleymaniye Mosque
@TravelWithJanvi
The Suleymaniye Mosque, situated in Istanbul, is a striking architectural marvel constructed during the Ottoman era in the 16th century. Crafted by the esteemed architect Mimar Sinan, it stands as a symbol of the city's rich cultural heritage. The mosque showcases exquisite Ottoman design with its grand dome, towering minarets, and ornate interiors adorned with intricate tile work and calligraphy. Beyond its religious significance, the Suleymaniye Mosque offers visitors breathtaking views of Istanbul's skyline, making it a must-visit destination for both worshippers and tourists alike.
Add to
Details
Sultanahmet Square
@TravelWithJanvi
Sultanahmet Square, located at the heart of Istanbul's historic district, is a significant public space surrounded by some of the city's most iconic landmarks. Dominated by the impressive Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the square serves as a central hub for both locals and tourists. It offers a vibrant atmosphere with street vendors, cafes, and a constant flow of visitors exploring the nearby historical sites. Sultanahmet Square is not only a starting point for exploring Istanbul's rich history but also a gathering place where people can immerse themselves in the city's cultural and architectural wonders.
Add to
Details
The Blue Mosque
@TravelWithJanvi
The Blue Mosque, formally known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a stunning architectural gem in Istanbul, Turkey. Completed in the early 17th century during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I, it is renowned for its intricate blue tiles that adorn its interior, giving it the popular moniker. Situated adjacent to the Hagia Sophia, the mosque features six minarets and a large central dome, creating a majestic silhouette on the city's skyline. As an active place of worship, the Blue Mosque welcomes both worshippers and tourists, offering a serene and culturally rich experience in the heart of Istanbul's historic district.
Add to
Details
Dimitrie Cantemir Museum Cafe
@TravelWithJanvi
The Dimitrie Cantemir Museum Café is a notable establishment in the Balat district of Istanbul, known for its cultural ambiance and historical significance. Named after the Moldavian prince and scholar Dimitrie Cantemir, the café is often associated with the nearby museum dedicated to his life and works. Visitors to this café can enjoy a blend of history and relaxation, surrounded by artifacts and exhibits related to Cantemir's legacy. The café is an inviting spot for patrons to unwind, perhaps sipping on a Turkish coffee or tea, while immersed in the cultural richness of both the museum and the Balat neighborhood. To enter the cafe you must sit down to have a drink or eat some food.
Add to
Details
Renkli Merdivenler
@TravelWithJanvi
Renkli Merdivenler, translated as "Colorful Stairs" in Turkish, is a vibrant and picturesque staircase located in the Balat district of Istanbul. These eye-catching stairs are adorned with an array of colourful hues, creating a visually striking and Instagram-worthy spot. Renkli Merdivenler serves not only as a practical passage for locals but also as a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors who appreciate the artistic charm of the neighbourhood. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these colourful stairs offer a unique backdrop for photographs and add to the overall charm of Balat, contributing to its reputation as a culturally rich and visually captivating area in Istanbul.
Add to
Details
Coloured Houses of Balat
@TravelWithJanvi
Balat Renkil Evler (Coloured Houses of Balat) One of the most photographed spots in Balat, Istanbul 📸 Located on the street Kiremit Cd. It was lovely to walk in the streets of this area and get to see the colourful architectural style of these places!
Add to
Details
Eminönü Ferry Terminal destino a Arnavütkoy
@TravelWithJanvi
Enjoy a boat trip on the Bosphorus Channel, which runs through the city, marking the border between Europe and Asia. See the stunning the views of Istanbul's famous bridges, palaces and traditional riverside houses.
Add to
Details
Dolmabahçe Palace
@TravelWithJanvi
Dolmabahçe Palace is located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul. The palace is the largest in Turkey, and the most modern one ever built in the country.
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Details
Rumeli Fortress
@TravelWithJanvi
Rumeli Fortress is a medieval Ottoman fortress located in Istanbul, Türkiye. It was built around the 1400s. The fortress sits at the middle of the Bosphorus strait on the European side.
Add to
Details
Egyptian Bazaar
@TravelWithJanvi
The Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Bazaar, is one of Istanbul's oldest and most famous covered markets. Located in the Eminönü district, adjacent to the New Mosque, it has been a hub of commerce since the 17th century. The bazaar is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse array of shops offering spices, herbs, teas, dried fruits, and Turkish delights. While spices are a primary focus, the market also features stalls selling textiles, souvenirs, and other goods. The Egyptian Bazaar is not only a shopping destination but also an immersive cultural experience, allowing visitors to explore the rich tapestry of Istanbul's culinary and trade history.
Add to
Details
Kamondo Stairs
@TravelWithJanvi
Kamondo Stairs, also known as Kamondo Merdivenleri in Turkish, is an iconic staircase in Istanbul, Turkey, located in the Karaköy district. Constructed in the late 19th century, the stairs connect Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) to the Galata district. The staircase is an architectural gem adorned with ornate iron railings, providing a picturesque ascent with a historic ambiance. It is named after the prominent Kamondo family, who were influential bankers during the Ottoman period. Today, Kamondo Stairs stand as both a functional pathway and a historical landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into Istanbul's rich past and architectural heritage.
Add to
Details
Galata Tower
@TravelWithJanvi
The Galata Tower is an iconic medieval landmark situated in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey. Constructed in the 14th century by the Genoese, this cylindrical stone tower has served various purposes throughout history, including as a watchtower and a fire observation point. Rising prominently above the skyline, the tower offers panoramic views of the city and the Bosphorus. Its observation deck attracts visitors seeking breathtaking vistas of Istanbul's historic and modern landscapes. The Galata Tower remains a symbol of the city, showcasing both its historical significance and providing a unique perspective on its ever-evolving urban fabric.
Add to
Details
Grand Mecidiye Mosque (Ortaköy Mosque)
@TravelWithJanvi
The Grand Mecidiye Mosque, commonly known as the Ortaköy Mosque, is a prominent Ottoman-era mosque situated in the Ortaköy neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey. Commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I in the mid-19th century, this architectural gem exhibits a fusion of Ottoman Baroque and Neo-Baroque styles. Nestled by the Bosphorus Bridge, the mosque boasts a stunning waterfront location, attracting locals and tourists alike. Its elegant design features intricate details, including ornate calligraphy and delicate tiles. The Ortaköy Mosque stands as a testament to Istanbul's rich cultural and architectural heritage, offering a serene and picturesque setting along the Bosphorus.
Add to
Details
Çamlıca Hill
@TravelWithJanvi
Çamlıca Hill, also known as Büyük Çamlıca Tepesi, is a prominent hilltop located on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. Offering panoramic views of the city, the hill is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Çamlıca Hill features two main summits, Büyük Çamlıca (Big Çamlıca) and Küçük Çamlıca (Little Çamlıca). The area is known for the Çamlıca Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Turkey, which adds to the scenic beauty of the hill. Visitors can enjoy a tranquil atmosphere, walking paths, and various vantage points overlooking Istanbul, making Çamlıca Hill a favoured spot for relaxation and sightseeing.
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Details
Otağtepe Fatih Grove
@TravelWithJanvi
Otağtepe Fatih Korusu, also known as Otağtepe Fatih Grove, is a park located in the district of Beykoz on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated near the Black Sea coastline, offering visitors panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding greenery. This grove is known for its natural beauty, walking paths, and recreational areas. It provides a peaceful escape from the urban hustle and bustle, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking a serene environment. Otağtepe Fatih Korusu is a place where visitors can enjoy nature, unwind, and appreciate the scenic landscapes that Istanbul's Asian side has to offer.
Add to
Details

For More

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Follow me on Instagram:

More Guides & Itineraries:

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CURATED BY
Hi there! I'm Janvi, a travel creator from England, UK 🇬🇧 As a passionate traveller of 10+ years, my enjoyment of travelling has led me to share my travel tips, itineraries and guides with those who are lovers of travel, food, landscapes, culture and lifestyle. Here you can shop my travel itineraries so you can easily replicate my trips! You can also check out and save my free guides.📝 All guides and itineraries have an interactive map which can be opened directly on Google Maps. For easy access to the itineraries and guides, download the Thatch App! Looking for a customised itinerary or recommendations? Hire me to plan your trip or curate a custom list of recommendations for your trip.
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FREE: 16 Things To Do In Istanbul
Istanbul is the largest city in Türkiye that sits in both Europe and Asia with the Bosphorus Strait flowing between. The city has several famous landmarks which can't be missed! Here are 16 things to do in the beautiful city Istanbul.
16 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

Overview

Best Time To Visit

🌸 The best time to visit Istanbul is in the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) seasons. The weather is much cooler than the summer months and a great time to sight see and wander the neighbourhoods. There are also fewer tourists during these seasons, allowing easier travel.

Physical Rating

🚶‍♀️Active - Majority of the city can be explored by walking however, there are public transports available to use to make travelling faster. 

Traveller Type

🏛 History - a rich history lies in the city of Istanbul with several ancient ruins such as the Basilica Cistern and Galata Tower. There are over 3000 mosques in Istanbul with the famous ones being The Blue Mosque and the Suleymaniye Mosque. 

😋 Foodie - A variety of food to try from such as simit and baklava as well as try the traditional Turkish cuisine available in many restaurants. There are also several vegan and vegetarian restaurants too!

🛍 Shopaholic - Explore the oldest and largest Grand Bazaar or the famous Spice Bazaar which a variety of spices to buy from. 

Cost

💰Istanbul is relatively cheap however, this depends on the time of year the trip is, how many days you are there for and the activities you decide to do. 

Transport

🚆Metro - the fastest and efficient way to travel around with a total of 16 lines. 

🚋 Tram - Available on the European side of Istanbul to explore the city with its two lines T1 and T2.

⛴ Ferry - A scenic way to travel around Istanbul. It is a popular transport for both the locals and tourists and an easy way to connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. 

🚌 Bus - The bus is an affordable way to travel around the city, however, it can be slow during peak hours due to high traffic. 

🚖 Taxi - Taxis are available easy and are a great way to travel around. I recommend using Uber to ensure you know the cost of the ride from before and avoid taxi drivers over charging you. 

Current Weather

Links marked with a "*" are affiliate links - which means I receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products through this link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product.

Flights/Hotels/Transfers

*Flights and Hotels:

 *Airport Transfers:

Grand Bazaar
@TravelWithJanvi
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with over 4,000 shops. The Bazaar can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams (Beyazıt-Kapalıçarşı stop). The Grand Bazaar is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the world. If you are planning to visit the Grand Bazaar, you can find a variety of goods such as jewellery, carpets, spices, ceramics, textiles, and more! The Bazaar is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Add to
Details
Suleymaniye Mosque
@TravelWithJanvi
The Suleymaniye Mosque, situated in Istanbul, is a striking architectural marvel constructed during the Ottoman era in the 16th century. Crafted by the esteemed architect Mimar Sinan, it stands as a symbol of the city's rich cultural heritage. The mosque showcases exquisite Ottoman design with its grand dome, towering minarets, and ornate interiors adorned with intricate tile work and calligraphy. Beyond its religious significance, the Suleymaniye Mosque offers visitors breathtaking views of Istanbul's skyline, making it a must-visit destination for both worshippers and tourists alike.
Add to
Details
Sultanahmet Square
@TravelWithJanvi
Sultanahmet Square, located at the heart of Istanbul's historic district, is a significant public space surrounded by some of the city's most iconic landmarks. Dominated by the impressive Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the square serves as a central hub for both locals and tourists. It offers a vibrant atmosphere with street vendors, cafes, and a constant flow of visitors exploring the nearby historical sites. Sultanahmet Square is not only a starting point for exploring Istanbul's rich history but also a gathering place where people can immerse themselves in the city's cultural and architectural wonders.
Add to
Details
The Blue Mosque
@TravelWithJanvi
The Blue Mosque, formally known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a stunning architectural gem in Istanbul, Turkey. Completed in the early 17th century during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I, it is renowned for its intricate blue tiles that adorn its interior, giving it the popular moniker. Situated adjacent to the Hagia Sophia, the mosque features six minarets and a large central dome, creating a majestic silhouette on the city's skyline. As an active place of worship, the Blue Mosque welcomes both worshippers and tourists, offering a serene and culturally rich experience in the heart of Istanbul's historic district.
Add to
Details
Dimitrie Cantemir Museum Cafe
@TravelWithJanvi
The Dimitrie Cantemir Museum Café is a notable establishment in the Balat district of Istanbul, known for its cultural ambiance and historical significance. Named after the Moldavian prince and scholar Dimitrie Cantemir, the café is often associated with the nearby museum dedicated to his life and works. Visitors to this café can enjoy a blend of history and relaxation, surrounded by artifacts and exhibits related to Cantemir's legacy. The café is an inviting spot for patrons to unwind, perhaps sipping on a Turkish coffee or tea, while immersed in the cultural richness of both the museum and the Balat neighborhood. To enter the cafe you must sit down to have a drink or eat some food.
Add to
Details
Renkli Merdivenler
@TravelWithJanvi
Renkli Merdivenler, translated as "Colorful Stairs" in Turkish, is a vibrant and picturesque staircase located in the Balat district of Istanbul. These eye-catching stairs are adorned with an array of colourful hues, creating a visually striking and Instagram-worthy spot. Renkli Merdivenler serves not only as a practical passage for locals but also as a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors who appreciate the artistic charm of the neighbourhood. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these colourful stairs offer a unique backdrop for photographs and add to the overall charm of Balat, contributing to its reputation as a culturally rich and visually captivating area in Istanbul.
Add to
Details
Coloured Houses of Balat
@TravelWithJanvi
Balat Renkil Evler (Coloured Houses of Balat) One of the most photographed spots in Balat, Istanbul 📸 Located on the street Kiremit Cd. It was lovely to walk in the streets of this area and get to see the colourful architectural style of these places!
Add to
Details
Eminönü Ferry Terminal destino a Arnavütkoy
@TravelWithJanvi
Enjoy a boat trip on the Bosphorus Channel, which runs through the city, marking the border between Europe and Asia. See the stunning the views of Istanbul's famous bridges, palaces and traditional riverside houses.
Add to
Details
Dolmabahçe Palace
@TravelWithJanvi
Dolmabahçe Palace is located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul. The palace is the largest in Turkey, and the most modern one ever built in the country.
Add to
Details
Rumeli Fortress
@TravelWithJanvi
Rumeli Fortress is a medieval Ottoman fortress located in Istanbul, Türkiye. It was built around the 1400s. The fortress sits at the middle of the Bosphorus strait on the European side.
Add to
Details
Egyptian Bazaar
@TravelWithJanvi
The Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Bazaar, is one of Istanbul's oldest and most famous covered markets. Located in the Eminönü district, adjacent to the New Mosque, it has been a hub of commerce since the 17th century. The bazaar is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse array of shops offering spices, herbs, teas, dried fruits, and Turkish delights. While spices are a primary focus, the market also features stalls selling textiles, souvenirs, and other goods. The Egyptian Bazaar is not only a shopping destination but also an immersive cultural experience, allowing visitors to explore the rich tapestry of Istanbul's culinary and trade history.
Add to
Details
Kamondo Stairs
@TravelWithJanvi
Kamondo Stairs, also known as Kamondo Merdivenleri in Turkish, is an iconic staircase in Istanbul, Turkey, located in the Karaköy district. Constructed in the late 19th century, the stairs connect Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) to the Galata district. The staircase is an architectural gem adorned with ornate iron railings, providing a picturesque ascent with a historic ambiance. It is named after the prominent Kamondo family, who were influential bankers during the Ottoman period. Today, Kamondo Stairs stand as both a functional pathway and a historical landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into Istanbul's rich past and architectural heritage.
Add to
Details
Galata Tower
@TravelWithJanvi
The Galata Tower is an iconic medieval landmark situated in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey. Constructed in the 14th century by the Genoese, this cylindrical stone tower has served various purposes throughout history, including as a watchtower and a fire observation point. Rising prominently above the skyline, the tower offers panoramic views of the city and the Bosphorus. Its observation deck attracts visitors seeking breathtaking vistas of Istanbul's historic and modern landscapes. The Galata Tower remains a symbol of the city, showcasing both its historical significance and providing a unique perspective on its ever-evolving urban fabric.
Add to
Details
Grand Mecidiye Mosque (Ortaköy Mosque)
@TravelWithJanvi
The Grand Mecidiye Mosque, commonly known as the Ortaköy Mosque, is a prominent Ottoman-era mosque situated in the Ortaköy neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey. Commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I in the mid-19th century, this architectural gem exhibits a fusion of Ottoman Baroque and Neo-Baroque styles. Nestled by the Bosphorus Bridge, the mosque boasts a stunning waterfront location, attracting locals and tourists alike. Its elegant design features intricate details, including ornate calligraphy and delicate tiles. The Ortaköy Mosque stands as a testament to Istanbul's rich cultural and architectural heritage, offering a serene and picturesque setting along the Bosphorus.
Add to
Details
Çamlıca Hill
@TravelWithJanvi
Çamlıca Hill, also known as Büyük Çamlıca Tepesi, is a prominent hilltop located on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. Offering panoramic views of the city, the hill is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Çamlıca Hill features two main summits, Büyük Çamlıca (Big Çamlıca) and Küçük Çamlıca (Little Çamlıca). The area is known for the Çamlıca Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Turkey, which adds to the scenic beauty of the hill. Visitors can enjoy a tranquil atmosphere, walking paths, and various vantage points overlooking Istanbul, making Çamlıca Hill a favoured spot for relaxation and sightseeing.
Add to
Details
Otağtepe Fatih Grove
@TravelWithJanvi
Otağtepe Fatih Korusu, also known as Otağtepe Fatih Grove, is a park located in the district of Beykoz on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated near the Black Sea coastline, offering visitors panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding greenery. This grove is known for its natural beauty, walking paths, and recreational areas. It provides a peaceful escape from the urban hustle and bustle, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking a serene environment. Otağtepe Fatih Korusu is a place where visitors can enjoy nature, unwind, and appreciate the scenic landscapes that Istanbul's Asian side has to offer.
Add to
Details

For More

Follow me on Thatch:

Follow me on Instagram:

More Guides & Itineraries:

* * *
CURATED BY
Hi there! I'm Janvi, a travel creator from England, UK 🇬🇧 As a passionate traveller of 10+ years, my enjoyment of travelling has led me to share my travel tips, itineraries and guides with those who are lovers of travel, food, landscapes, culture and lifestyle. Here you can shop my travel itineraries so you can easily replicate my trips! You can also check out and save my free guides.📝 All guides and itineraries have an interactive map which can be opened directly on Google Maps. For easy access to the itineraries and guides, download the Thatch App! Looking for a customised itinerary or recommendations? Hire me to plan your trip or curate a custom list of recommendations for your trip.
Send A Tip
Support Travel With Janvi’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Travel With Janvi Privacy Terms