Vibrant hues flowing through the walls, scenic strolls around mosques with soothing Azan (Islamic call to worship) playing in the background or aroma of scrumptious food is scattered all over in the air. Istanbul is inevitable. Give a read to this blog and find 10 extraordinary things to do in Istanbul, Turkey. Whether you are foodie whose taste buds are always longing for culinary richness or you are fond of learning baroque architecture of historical monuments, the city of culture, delectable food, and astounding architecture never let you go empty heart. Istanbul settled between Europe and Asia, is an insane amalgamation of culture, astounding architecture, traditions, appetizing food, and friendly people. Majorly, the travel attractions of Istanbul are located towards European side.
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Here are some of the top extraordinary things to do in Istanbul
To relish the international vacation in Istanbul completely, one has to spend 2 to 3 days and transportation here is quick and easy, as public transport is available at any moment, additionally it is pocket- friendly.
1. Galata Tower
Make your morning vibrant in Istanbul by visiting exquisite medieval stone tower – Galata Tower. It is one of the oldest and highest towers of Istanbul. The tower is exalted high on a hill, bossing the entire city. There are modern cafes outlining the Galata to savor into yummy breakfast and coffee there. You can visit the tower around 9‘o Clock and tickets costs around 5 USD. The interesting part is it is installed with an elevator to transport visitors to relieve them from climbing.
2. Colorful Balat
Balat is one of the colorful districts and one of the pristine gems from the city. Dynamic, peppy, tilted lanes with enticing wooden houses, the bohemian spot is flooded with numerous cafes and restaurants for travelers. Though Balat is dotted with multi- colored houses and busy crowd but it is quiet especially morning hours. Take a stroll down the hill from Galata tower to reach the ferry point Halic Hatti to catch the boat for Fener.
3. Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque is a remarkable landmark in the city, it tops one of the Istanbul’s seven hills and over shadows the golden horn. Undeniably, it is one of the largest and incredibly beautiful Ottoman mosques. It consists of authentic Kulliye (A complex of buildings which is centered on a mosque, comprising Madarsa, kitchen, bakery, Dar- Al- Shifa, Turkish bath and other buildings) which are still retained and makes it unique. The amazingly detailed architecture shouldn’t be missed, if you are in Istanbul.
4. Egyptian Spice Bazaar
The second largest covered market after the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul allows customers to shop variety of spices, dry fruits, Turkish coffee, loose leaf tea and Turkish delight!. You need to take a 10 minutes’ walk to the river crossing vibrant streets to reach Egyptian Spice Bazaar. Usually, on holidays, the market is closed. You may also pay a visit to Rustem Pasha Mosque which is in the vicinity of spice bazaar.
5. Secret Rooftop in Istanbul
Craving for some picturesque views for your insta feed, you need to visit this secret rooftop in Istanbul. You can indulge in the breathtaking sights of Sultan Ahmad mosque, the Galata tower, the Bosphorus etc. To reach the secret rooftop, you need to plan it before sunset. Start walking from Eminonu crossing busy streets behind the Egyptian spice bazaar.
Then you need to find the courtyard entrance and walk up the stairs to Buyuk Valide Han. There you go! Have fun at watching the splendid view of the city ( well it sounds easy reading out, but you need to climb a lot and keep asking locals in between to reach rooftop) And if you are not a tower and tomb person, you can relax in the neighboring park outlining the river offering spectacular views.
6. Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque, the renowned landmark in the city, is popular as the most photogenic building. The building was a huge project in 17th century featuring striking blue interiors, that’s how it was named Blue Mosque.
The tomb of building is located on the northern site opposite Sultanahmet Park. Visit the place in the morning hours to avoid crowd. There is no entry fee to visit the mosque.
7. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO museum, is popular for its grandiose and baroque interiors. It is considered as the world’s biggest archaeological achievements. It was used as a church, later as a mosque for hundreds of years, afterwards it was converted into a museum by Ataturk and Council of Ministers. Hagia Sophia open from 9 AM to 7 PM and it is closed on Mondays. The tickets will cost you around 11 USD. You can buy tickets online to avoid long ques.
8. Topkapi Palace
The magnificent former palace is now a museum, spills loads of colorful stories than any other museums all over the globe. Determined courtiers, Libidinous sultans, gorgeous concubines and witty eunuchs ruled and lived here in-between 15th to 19th centuries.
You must not miss catching a sight on the palace’s luxurious pavilions, jewel- brimmed treasury, large courtyards with gardens, a river view and exotic Harem or Zenana (where females lived). The elegantly designed Topkapi Palace Harem features spacious rooms, Turkish baths, mosques and a hospital.
9. Colored Houses (Yerebatan Street)
Its’s noon and you are craving for lunch! Step into Yerebatan Street laden with houses poured in bright colors, hotels and restaurants. It takes 4 min walk from Topkapi to Yerebatan Street, the street is unique and always busy with the high tourist influx. Head to Kybele Hotel and restaurant and satiate your hungerpangs with a heavy main- course meal.
10. Umbrella Street Istanbul
The name itself depicts the vibrancy of the street. There are plenty of umbrella streets just like rainbow stairs in Istanbul. But one in Karakoy is pristine and charming, loaded with scrumptious places to eat. You can enjoy sipping on your coffee and relish the positive surroundings. The street is dotted with art, apt for your picture- perfect moment.
As public transport is handy and affordable in Istanbul, you can take metro, bus or train to tour the entire city. Book your Turkey holiday package and explore extraordinary things to do in Istanbul.
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