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Things to Do in Istanbul Turkey – Sunday Spotlight

Things to Do in Istanbul

credit: Amateur Traveler

Welcome to this weekends Sunday Spotlight – Things to Do in Istanbul

Every Sunday we shine the spotlight on a different city by sharing travel tips and stories written by other bloggers around the web.

We hope these blog posts will inform and inspire you to visit Turkey.

Food, Food & More Turkish Food

Wandering Earl gets such great tips from his own readers and the locals wherever he goes, including one who said “do not miss the opportunity to eat at Ciya“. And sfter going on his own culinary tour of Istanbul he tasted some of the best food that he’s ever eaten in his life.

8 Historic Sites Not To Miss in Istanbul

If you are a history buff like Chris Christensen, he suggests Istanbul is a place to visit before you die. Here are his top 8 historic sites:

Things to Dpo in Istanbul
Theodosian Walls – credit Amateur Traveler

The Two Great Mosques

On one side of Sultanahmet Park sits Hagia Sophia. On the other side is the Blue Mosque. Michael Turtle experiences two buildings, two religions, hundreds of years, one history.

Things to Do in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque. Credit: Time Travel Turtle

Ottoman Architecture

Katie Aune suggests it is impossible to understand the history of Istanbul without getting a good feel for the history of the Ottoman Empire – one of the largest and longest-lasting empires in history.

8 Things to Do on Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue is a busy street from morning until night and Natalie Sayin says it never fails to surprise. Here are 8 things to do.

Soaking in the Bosphorus Strait

The Bosphorus Strait is where east meets west, where a quick ferry ride enables people to bounce across continents, and if Dalene Heck had more time in Istanbul she would ride the waves of the Bosphorus every day.

Things to Do in Istanbul

credit: Hecktic Travels

Discovering Hidden Istanbul

Amanda Williams embarks on a hidden Istanbul walking tour with a local that at first takes her to a few familiar favorites, but then away from the crowds to discover some hidden secrets.

Things to do in Istanbul

Süleymaniye Mosque – Credit: A Dangerous Business

Sampling Simit – a Turkish National Food

Lisa Goodmurphy discovers that simit is an extremely popular fast food in Turkey and are a great snack choice for families on the move as they are tasty, filling, and inexpensive.

ReadSampling Simit 

Things to Do in Istanbul

Credit: Gone With The Family

Tips For Surviving The Grand Bazaar

Natalie Sayin offers her tips on surviving the Grand Bazaar, which is not your average shopping mall, including how to avoid the hassle, finding your way around, and how to bargain.

ReadThe Grand Bazaar 

Things to Do in Istanbul

credit Turkish Travel Blog

The Other Tour of Istanbul

Dave Dean is not usually a fan of organised group trips, but on the “other tour” led by Fethi and his family discovered a side of Istanbul away from the vendors and mosques, including NOT visiting a carpet shop.

ReadThe Other Tour 

Things to Do in Istanbul

credit What’s Dave Doing?

Istanbul’s Hidden Street

Jenny Freedman visits a small cobblestoned street lined with beautiful trees and restored historic wooden houses which turns out to be a quiet gem in a city of hustle and bustle.

Things to Do in Istanbul

OMG – The Turkish Bath

Megan Singleton didn’t know what to expect, but suggests it would be wrong to leave without trying the ancient cleansing ritual of a hamam, or Turkish bath, and offers her survival tips.

Bars in Taksim – Nightlife for Females and Foreigners

Natalie Sayin recommends a few bars where she felt very comfortable both as a foreigner and as a female, plus one bar to stay away from.

ReadBars in Taksim 

5 Things You Must Do

If you only have time to do 5 things on your trip to Istanbul, Ali Garland says while there are endless possibilities, these were five of her favorite things to do.

Read5 Things to Do 

Things to Do in Istanbul
The Agya Sophia – credit Ali Adventures

What to Do With a 15 Hour Layover in Istanbul

Kimi Sugiyama stumbles on a FREE ‘Discover Istanbul in Hours’ pass offered by Turkish Airlines to see some of the city’s major icons instead of wasting time twiddling your thumbs in the airport.

Read: What to Do With a 15 Hour Layover 

More Posts about Turkey

If you have a blog post on Istanbul share the link in the comments.

OR, if you have a travel tip share that too!

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48 thoughts on “Things to Do in Istanbul Turkey – Sunday Spotlight”

  1. Thanks for including me! Istanbul is such a wonderful city, I really want to go back. We had 4 or 5 days there, and it just wasn’t enough.

  2. One thing to note for male tourists: Don’t fall for the shoe-shine trick!

    While walking along the bridge from the Grand Bazaar to Taksim, many shoe shiners will walk past male tourists and “accidentally” knock their brush off, counting on your kindness to pick it up.

    After offering to shine your shoes to (seemingly) repay your kindness, they try to charge you up to 20 TL.

    I’m not sure if this is common in other parts of the world, but it certainly happens in Istanbul often.

  3. Now if there was only a list of great but reasonably priced & central hotels. I’m forwarding this to a friend who’s off in a month.
    Istanbul is one of my favourite all time cities and one of the few I’d really like to see again. I’m loving your series.

  4. flashpackatforty - Craig

    We visited in March, the weather was pleasant if you wrap up well and you get out of season hotel prices and plenty of room at the main sights. Don’t miss a whirling dervish ceremony it is a real spiritual experience.

  5. Thank you very much for this advice. I absolutely love Istanbul. Something that you may want to include in this blog is the culinary walks provided by I took one of them and it really shows the Turkish culture. The people in Istanbul absolutely love food and that really shows in the food we tasted during the tour. It is a nice change to the crowded, busy tourist spots in Istanbul

  6. What a wonderful compilation of tips on experiencing Istanbul. One of my best memories is the day I took my Istanbulkart for a workout. I was amazed at how many transportation options were covered by the card from ferries across the Bosphorus to a train under the Bosphorus and a cable car to Pierre Loti cafe (among others). It’s a great way to craft a unique itinerary to explore Istanbul.

  7. As a guy who lives in Istanbul, I can recommend that to go “Sariyer” in Istanbul. There are 3 restourant which serves great Turkish Breakfasts and also i can recommend the Sapphire plaza in “Levent”(Istanbul”.

  8. Via Istanbul Tour

    Great list…..
    I think Süleymaniye Mosque and Rustem Pasha Mosque should have made this list….
    Still I loved reading the post…
    These are surely some never-miss attractions in Turkey..

  9. Perfect selection of best blog posts related to Istanbul City. I have been working as a guide in Turkey for long years. I find these pages very useful for visitors as a local. Thank you.

  10. Thank you for sharing a very nice, post including great tips about Istanbul. Additional to this great post, I just wanted to tell there are many things to share for highend traveller of Istanbul. As being luxury travel advisor, ready to help all.

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