There are so many things to do in Istanbul, Turkey to keep even the most fidgety person occupied. There’s one thing you need to know, however: when you’re sightseeing in Istanbul, you can forget about fashion. Seriously, you need comfortable shoes because you’re going to want to keep exploring!
Your feet will throb at the end of the day, but trust me, it’s oh-so worth it. I’ve never visited a city that’s enthralled me quite as much as Istanbul and even now, after so many years, I still find new places to see.
There’s no city on earth quite like Istanbul; with a history that dates back over 2500 years, you can expect to find plenty of old buildings and ruins here, but there’s so much more to this city than its past. Istanbul captivates me every single time, and I’ve visited on so many occasions now, I’ve lost count.
Of course, this is a huge city – it’s massive – so you’ll need to know the best places to visit in Istanbul ahead of your trip so you don’t end up wasting your time on things that aren’t to your taste. Within this post, I’ll share all my secrets, so you can start planning your time.
Best Things To Do in Istanbul
I’ve stayed in Istanbul for more than a month at a time on several trips to Turkey, and I go back with my husband every winter for at least a few weeks. I’m lucky that he has family there and, being Turkish, he knows the area inside out and can show me the best spots.
The problem with not knowing the first thing about Istanbul is that you can easily get lost and miss the best bits. Istanbul’s attractions are plentiful, but they can also be quite a distance away from each other. That’s why this list of things to do in Istanbul will come in very handy when helping you put together an itinerary.
1. Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque is without a doubt one of the most beautiful mosques you’ll ever see in your life, and it’s one of the top free things to do in Istanbul. I was blown away by the interior design, but the outside is just as breathtaking. It’s worth mentioning that this is a functioning mosque so remember that it will close (and reopen) at certain times of the day for prayers.
The scenery around Blue Mosque is extremely photographic, but I most enjoy simply walking around and soaking up the serene atmosphere; it’s quite rare to feel that way in such a big city. Of course, this is one of the most popular places to visit in Istanbul, so a guided tour…