Istanbul
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Top Tours & Activities in Istanbul

See all tours & things to do in Istanbul

Top 10 things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul's strategic location between Europe and Asia on the ancient Silk Road has made it one of history's most important cities. A list of its points of interest would be long enough to bridge the Bosphorus, so here's a top 10 to make your itinerary more manageable!

Hagia Sophia

In Hagia Sophia, the immense dome crowning this church turned mosque turned museum was an architectural miracle in its time, although it took a lot of trial and error to get to that point: it collapsed twice!

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Also commonly known as the Blue Mosque, the fine İznik tiles adorning this magnificent structure may make it appear bluer than it actually is!

Dolmabahçe Palace

The glorious Dolmabahçe Palace dominates the European shoreline of the Bosphorus where it served as the key administrative center in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace, the one-time home of many Sultans, not only offers spectacular views of the city, but also houses treasures that make the Crown Jewels look like Claire's Accessories!

Galata Tower

As early as the 1600s, Ahmet Çelebi is said to have flown across the Bosphorus from the top of the Galata Tower. Most visitors will probably be content with the incredible views!

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest markets on the planet. A constant source of wonder, it's also one of the world's most visited places. Expect crowds at any time!

Süleymaniye Mosque

The stunning Süleymaniye Mosque was built for Suleiman the Magnificent by the great architect Sinan. If you're feeling peckish, Ali Baba across the road might be the best restaurant in town for Turkish beans!

Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar otherwise known as the Egyptian Bazaar was created in 1660 and remains the place to go for spices, nuts, Turkish delight, and other divine tastes and smells!

Basilica Cistern

One of Istanbul's most unusual sights, Roman relics have been reappropriated by Byzantian builders to support this complex system that once brought drinking water into the city.

Maiden's Tower

Perched on top of a tiny islet in the Bosphorus strait, this historic lighthouse was once a watchtower. It now also serves as a popular restaurant and café with splendid views of the city's shoreline.

Planning Your Istanbul Visit

How many days?

Istanbul is a cartographical labyrinth with sights and experiences awaiting you round every corner. How long to stay depends on how immersed you want to get, but a week should be enough to cover the most famous attractions.

How to get from the airport to the city?

Havataş Shuttle Buses are available from outside the terminal and leave every half an hour for Taksim between 4:00AM and 1:00AM. Taking a taxi is, however, the most convenient way, and shouldn't be more expensive than the shuttle service between a group of four. Be sure to ignore the hustlers inside the airport and take an official vehicle from the taxi rank at the terminal exit.

Where to stay?

The key touristic areas are Fatih and Taksim, and which to stay in depends on the nature of your stay. Fatih is the old town and home to many of Istanbul's historic landmarks. Taksim, on the other hand, is modern and appeals more to those visiting the city to shop, dine, and party. Traveling between the two is simple, so don't worry if you fancy hitting the dancefloors after the Hagia Sophia!

Good to Know

  • Language
    Turkish
  • Currency
    Turkish Lira (₺)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +90
  • Best time to visit
    The weather is good at all times of the year, but it may be a good idea to avoid the summer if you do not like extreme heat.

Things to Do in Istanbul

Top Attractions in Istanbul

Cities in Turkey

Other Sightseeing Options in Istanbul

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What People Are Saying About Istanbul

Very good experience and enjoyed the activitiy.

Its good experience, but a big problem to come from Istanbul Asia side. You don't provide pick up from Asia side and even you do not highlight this thing on portal while making the booking of ticket. You should either provide pick up from Istanbul Asia side also or it should be clearly mentioned on Portal at the point of making booking the ticket that pick up is only for Istanbul Europe side.

Istanbul: 4-Hour Bosphorus Dinner Cruise by Night Reviewed by Akhtar, 10/31/2017

Excellent !!!!!!!!!!! A faire absolument

Excursion to the Top. Impeccable service The ride on the bosphorus was magical, with lots of explanations & details Regarding the cable car, not as spectacular but to do, the +, Pierre Lotti café located

Thank you for the wonderful tour and very accommodating guide and bus

Thank you for the wonderful tour and very accommodating guide and bus Driver! ☺️

Our tour and tour guide was excellent and exceeded our expectation

Our tour was wonderful. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, pleasant and engaged. She made the tour an unforgettable one. The contact information that were sent to me by mail contained the wrong contact details (name and mobile number) of our guide and this is why we had to wait for 15 minutes to get the right details of our guide who was actually already there but because we did not have the right information, we could not identify her.

Dolmabahce Palace: 4-Hour Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 09/06/2017

An interesting activity that would probably be hard to see in situ

If you are curious about cultures and customs, this is recommended. There is no excitement but enlightment.

Istanbul: Dervishes Ticket Reviewed by Maricruz, 05/29/2017