Whereas the Hagia Sophia is value visiting, there’s a lot extra to Istanbul that you need to try on this unbelievable metropolis!
From distinctive purchasing experiences and eccentric neighborhoods to scrumptious road meals and historic buildings, there’s one thing for everybody within the Turkish capital metropolis!
Listed here are the highest ten issues you need to add to your Istanbul itinerary!
Shop at Grand Bazaar & the Egyptian Bazaar
One of the most classic things to do in Istanbul is to visit one of the historic bazaars in the city: the Grand Bazaar.
The word bazaar translates to market, specifically a large market space that has multiple stalls and vendors.
The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest covered market and features 61 streets and over 4,000 individual stalls where you can buy goods like spices, sweets, and dried fruit.
You can also pick up non-edible items to take home like jewelry and ceramics.
Try the Street Food
Turkish food is incredibly rich and flavorful, and there are many popular Turkish dishes that you need to strive while you go to Istanbul.
Begin your day without work with a standard Turkish breakfast unfold that features cheese, olives, bread, and recent greens, and is served with numerous jams and sauces.
In case you’re interested by a candy deal with, strive Turkish Delight…which you may need heard of for those who ever learn The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe!
It has a jelly texture and flavors like rosewater and citrus and is often served as cubes coated in powdered sugar.
In case you’re interested by a extra in-depth meals expertise in Italy, think about reserving an Istanbul food tour that options the perfect of Istanbul’s eating places, cafes, and meals stands. It’s a good way to ensure you don’t miss any of the highlights!
Go Underground for The Basilica Cistern
Cisterns are massive underground reservoirs that had been constructed to gather rainwater and there are tons of beneath Istanbul.
The Basilica Cistern is the most important of them, and you’ll descend into the chambers as there’s little or no water saved in it immediately.
If you’re touring the cistern you’ll be capable of see a number of the intricate stone buildings and carvings. Two of the columns are made with reused blocks carved to seem like Medusa, the snake-haired lady of Greek mythology who may flip anybody who made eye contact together with her to stone.
The Blue Mosque
In case you’re interested by visiting considered one of Istanbul’s most well-known historic websites, ensure you slot in a visit to the Blue Mosque.
You possibly can see some wonderful artwork and structure all through the area however ensure you understand that it’s an lively mosque with each day prayer providers.
It’s vital to decorate appropriately while you go to the Blue Mosque — it’s a spiritual and cultural website so that you’ll must put on an outfit that covers quite a lot of pores and skin.
Lengthy pants, attire, and skirts are important in addition to clothes that covers your shoulders and higher arms.
Discover Hip Neighborhoods of Karaköy & Kadikoy
For a take a look at trendy Turkish tradition, head to the neighborhoods of Karaköy and Kadikoy. Karaköy is a hip neighborhood constructed into the traditional ruins of Istanbul. Regionally owned eating places and boutiques have sprung up through the years in addition to modern artwork galleries.
Kadikoy has lots of the similar perks and can also be thought-about a gritty creative hub with rock music reveals and file retailers.
This neighborhood tends to be the livelier of the 2 and presents extra by way of nightlife.
Climb Galata Tower
The spectacular Galata Tower was initially constructed as a watchtower as a part of the Partitions of Galata, positioned within the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. It’s 9 tales excessive and you’ll pay a small price to take an elevator to the highest and see some gorgeous panoramic views of Istanbul.
Be sure you double-check the opening instances as a result of the tower often is shut down for restoration — it is practically 700 years outdated, in spite of everything!
Sip of Turkish Coffee
If you’re a fan of strong coffee, make sure you give Turkish coffee a try!
Not only is this drink richly flavored and high in caffeine because of the unfiltered way it’s made, but it’s also an important part of many Turkish customs such as the art of tasseography.
This is a kind of fortune-telling that involves drinking the coffee and flipping the cup over so the grounds settle in the saucer, and then interpreting the shapes that they might form.
Turkish coffee is usually served with a glass of water which you’re meant to sip on to clear your palate so you can fully enjoy the rich flavor of the coffee. You can also enjoy your Turkish coffee with pastries and candies.
See Whirling Dervishes
Historically the term dervish has been used to refer to a specific group within Sufism, an order of Islam. Sufi whirling is a type of active meditation performed as part of a religious ceremony and the participants wear flowing robes or gowns, sometimes with bright colors and patterns.
You can see this unique custom at the Galata Mevlevi Lodge, which is among the oldest of its variety.
In case you’re interested by studying extra in regards to the historic tradition and traditions of Istanbul and Turkey as an entire, that is a necessary addition to your Turkey itinerary.
Visit a Hammam
The term hammam refers to Turkish baths which are famous around the world for many reasons including religion, culture, and general hygiene. Although there are many you can visit, one of the most popular is the AyaSofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam.
Not solely is it historic, however the inside is attractive.
Whereas it was at its hottest through the sixteenth century, it was restored and reopened in Could of 2011 for normal visits.
There are a number of packages you may choose from that embrace providers like physique scrubs and massages. Notice that there are separate entrances and rooms for women and men and there could also be particular hours for every group as properly so ensure you name forward whereas planning your journey.
The Topkapı Palace was as soon as a grand residence and administrative heart for sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Within the Nineteen Twenties it grew to become a museum and immediately you may go to and tour a number of the rooms and courtyards of the palace.
Highlights embrace jewel-toned tiled rooms that you must see to consider and reveals with examples of the clothes the sultan and the folks round them would have worn.
Visiting the Topkapı Palace is a good way to step again in time and study how folks lived in sixteenth and seventeenth century Istanbul.
There’s loads to do in Istanbul however for those who’re interested by venturing past the town and seeing extra of what Turkey has to supply, try this listing of the highest ten best places to visit in Turkey that aren’t Istanbul!