Things To Do In Istanbul

International Istanbul Music Festival

The top ten things to do in Istanbul can make a difference in terms of appreciating the different cultures and enjoying the unity that exists within the diversity of the city. The first thing to do is visit the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), which is an architectural masterpiece that surpasses all the other buildings in the city. Aya Sofya sharpens the senses and makes the soul soar with its pure beauty and ancient majesty. Here are nine other things to do, which will make an Istanbul visit an adventure to remember:

  • Visit the Seven Old Hills of the city and see one of the most stupendous skylines in the world. It’s filled with ancient domes and delicate minarets as well as curvaceous outer castings that make the building stand out day and night.
  • Visit the colorful and chaotic bazaar district where the scent of cinnamon floats through the air, and the labyrinthine little shopping streets overflow with fresh fish sandwiches and fake Rolexes.
  • Take a ferry at sunset and see the natural silhouette of the Old City, which comes alive against the backdrop of a red-orange and dusty pink sky.
  • Spend some time on Istiklal Caddesi. That avenue is the perfect metaphor for 21st-century Istanbul. The laid-back flavor of the churches, shops, hotels, and gay bathhouses make it as European as the Champs Élysées in Paris where the beautiful people come to watch each other as well as soak themselves in modern style. From Taksim Square, to Galata, which is the home of old meandering cobblestone lanes this area of the city is a treat that can’t be missed.
  • Visit the Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art in Levent, as well as the Pera Museum in Beyoğlu, and Istanbul Modern in Tophane. Istanbul’s art galleries are worth every minute since they represent the emerging culture of socially aspiring Istanbul elite.
  • Listen to a world class performance at the International İstanbul Music Festival which is held in June and July every year.
  • Visit a Turkish bath and wander semi-naked through a 16th century Ottoman built bath house that offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time while they immerse themselves in architectural elegance and warm water.
  • Sample the food of Istanbul. The people of Istanbul love to eat so the kebaps are considered austere, the meze (hors d’oeuvres) are simple, the unique salads are unstructured, and the seafood is served without sauce, but the flavors explode in the mouth because ingredients are always fresh.
  • Party through the night at a famous Istanbul superclub which epitomize the word indulgence. Guests are surrounded with incredible food, perfectly mixed cocktails, as well as an array of the famous and no so famous locals.
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Ortakoy Mosque
  • Maiden’s Tower
  • Visit Galata Tower
  • See Hippodrome