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Top Things to Do in Istanbul

By Edited Aug 12, 2016 0 0

Istanbul is a place not many people think of traveling to these days, although it is becoming more popular.   The people have a character which is lacking in the Western society. When one thinks of Istanbul you may be thinking of mosques and museums, but it is so much more than that. There is a lot happening in the city and new advancements are always taking place.

At the time of writing a tunnel is in the process of being built from the European side of Turkey to the Asian side, the first in the world. Turkey is the only country in the world that contains two continents, connected by a bridge. This is a city that is not too expensive, but Istanbul travel packages can also be arranged.

Here is a Short Travel Guide of this Fine Place

Dining in Istanbul

Walk down the streets of Istanbul and find a spot to rest your weary legs. Once you have found a place, which is not difficult to navigate your way in, don’t go and sit at a table like you would at home, but experience the Turkish culture and relax on the comfortable cushions on the floor eating Turkish kebabs and sampling a Turkish coffee to finish off with.

The food in Turkey is really good so don’t miss out on this. This is one of the best Istanbul Travel tips I would give. Just experience the atmosphere. Backpackers travel Istanbul in a different style and will enjoy lounging out on sofas in the streets of Istanbul over Turkish coffees.

Bosphorus cruise

Take a trip over the Bosphorus Strait into Asia, just a few minutes away and you are in another continent, experiencing a whole new way of life. The scenery of this trip is also incredible, going past a lot of Turkish culture so just soak it all in. You can opt for a much cheaper ferry or take a tour with an Istanbul travel guide.


 credit: flickr.com/photos/osde-info/1517412037/

Where is Istanbul?

Cappadocia and Ephesus

I don’t think it’s possible to come to Turkey without going on a trip to Ephesus. After Jerusalem this is the place with the most history and it has to be seen to be believed. You can get an overnight bus tour from Istanbul which will include Cappadocia, another mind blowing experience.

However most people fly to Ephesus and take a tour when they get there because it is a 9 hour trip from Istanbul to Ephesus. This can be arranged through an Istanbul travel agent as well.


 credit: flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/8082261795/

Travel Istanbul Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque

The palace is beautiful with typically decorated Turkish tiles dating back hundreds of years ago. Gold structures are everywhere. You will get a map so you won’t get lost and it is definitely worth your while getting an audio guide so you will know what is what. 

At the Blue Mosque, another famous landmark make sure you are dressed appropriately otherwise you will not be allowed in.

Everywhere you look in Istanbul there are shops with shopkeepers standing outside their shops inviting new customers in. There are all sorts of shops and markets in Istanbul you could possibly think about.

Many people come here as tourists or just passing through for the night only to discover the vast array of places to buy great gifts. You can even plan an Istanbul shopping tour while you are in town.

Shop until you drop

Lots of people come to Istanbul just to shop. I never would have thought this until I saw the affordable prices on various goods. If you planning your shopping adventure well you will save yourself a lot of money, but if you were to hang out in the touristy areas you will not benefit all that much.

I have seen things at home, which have obviously been imported from Turkey. It is the same quality, but it is just double the price at home so if you are on vacation in Turkey it might be worth your while stopping off in Istanbul for a day of shopping and while you are at it the sightseeing is not that bad either.

The Grand Bazaar is an interesting place to start your shopping spree, but you should be aware that this is a touristy area so the same goods can be found at little shops around the bazaar and at other markets, but it is definitely worth a visit. Take note where you entered because it is quite easy to get lost.

Outside of the Grand Bazaar are a few cobbled streets that are lined with cheap clothing stores. You could pick up dirt cheap clothing, shoes, textiles and scarves here. Most Istanbul shopping street are bunched together depending on what they sell which is quite convenient.

The Spice market is another popular place where you can find dried fruits, nuts, more sweet things like Turkish delight and Turkish baklava and spices to keep you smiling.

spice market

 credit: flickr.com/photos/tambako/4065163633

Many people come to Turkey to shop for carpets and this is indeed the place for carpets as well as cushions or handmade bags. You can see them been hand-woven in shop windows.

If you want a good price you need to learn how to bargain and this might take some practice. You may prefer to refer to an Istanbul shopping guide about this procedure because it can get tricky.

Modern Istanbul shopping malls are not far away. The Cevahir mall is the biggest in all of Europe. This is impressive, bringing in hundreds of people every day.

Galleria is another modern shopping center in the western suburbs and was one of the first to be opened and also houses an ice skating rink. Two major Istanbul shopping centers, Carousel and Capitol were opened in the 90’s.

Between the two they will bring in 30 million people a year and this just shows how much shopping is loved in this city. The designer malls will be more expensive than they are in the United States because of import tax.

Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee 17.6 Oz. by Kurukahveci
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(price as of Aug 12, 2016)


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